Goodbye March!

March has been SUCH a crazy month and it apparently didn’t want to go out without just one or two more things.  So far this week I have successfully clamped my flat iron down on my finger causing a nice burn and my fridge/freezer went out costing me about $250 worth of food. The saving grace of the month is the fact that it just *barely* snowed [and lets face it that is just about a miracle for Michigan in March!] and today as I drove home it was an absolutely fantabulous 78^F on my car thermometer!  Lovin’ the gorgeous weather so, SO much! 

So as we prepare to enter into the month of my birth [and we all remember what age I'm supposed to be again, right?], I’m taking tonight to try to catch up on a few things, pamper myself a little bit, and get into a new mindset for a new month.  Maybe some ice cream and a 3 Day PediCure is in order? What’s that, you say? Well let me tell you!  When training for the 3 Day, you really should not get a pedicure.  While pedicures make your feet look pretty, they also scrape away those precious calluses that your feet will depend on so much when walking 20+miles every day.  Trust me, you do not want to get a full pedicure.  Just say no, ok?  Your feet will thank you. 

So my 3 Day PediCure… it consists of a foot soak, a nail trim, some yummy smelling lotion, and some pretty [PINK] polish on my nails. That’s it.  No scraping or buffing here ladies.  Not only does it make your feet look semi-pretty, it can also lift your spirits as you remember what you are building your calluses and blisters for.

And if that doesn’t lift your spirits, maybe you should check out this post: What Are We Training For? for some more inspiration and blister pride!


Prayers, Prayers, Prayers

3 Aunts that all need as many prayers as possible...

1 I mentioned in an earlier post, she is scheduled for a Galactogram today.
1 Had a mammo last week and got called back for today because of "something they didn't like"
1 Has had some symptoms that could be related to "the change" or could be signs of uterine cancer and is getting checked out Wed.

Too many loved ones and never enough prayers! Please add them to your list the next couple of days.


Grandparents are Funny

Grandpa K making headlines in Florida - too funny! (he's the one in the green shirt w/ his back to the camera)

Video: 'Oldies from Palmetto' serenade city commission - The Bradenton Times - Bradenton, FL and Manatee County


Shoes seem to be a big topic of conversation these days… from what to wear to my cousin’s wedding to how the heck to pick out a 3 Day shoe!  Well for me the wedding shoe is still being debated among the bridesmaids but the 3 Day shoe is all taken care of! 

So how do you pick a 3 day shoe?

The absolute must for me is to get fitted by someone who knows shoes.  Most New Balance stores have just such people but if you aren’t sure that the New Balance brand is the best for your feet, I suggest heading to a running specialty store (ex: Gazelle Sports or Striders).  I have always worn New Balance for the 3 Day but I have a couple friends that swear by Asics.

This year I went to Gazelle’s and told the sales guy that I was walking 60 miles in 3 Days and will be doing approximately 500 miles in training – to which he said I would definitely need to replace the shoes halfway through (note: shoes have a lifespan of about 200-300 miles) – and then he watched me walk and brought out the shoes.  He brought me 4 pairs all different brands and I had to try them on and walk around the store.  Only 3 of the 4 felt decent and only 2 of those pairs were really comfortable and only 1 of those pairs offered stability AND flexibility so I could stretch my feet when needed.  It just so happened that it was New Balance once again AND happened to be a model that came in the Lace Up for the Cure colors! (note: my love of pink did not factor into my shoe choice, the guy was supersmart and brought all the shoes out in blue to start) 

Soooo without further ado, I introduce you to my new 3 Day shoes!



Thyroid Cancer a Public Threat?

I’ve had so much going on lately that I haven’t had a chance to post anything about the USA Today article from a week ago discussing how radioactive thyroid cancer patients are a threat.  You didn’t know I was public enemy #1 now did you?

The article talks about a congressional report stating that the NRC’s relaxed guidelines regarding thyca patients has created a public health threat.  Currently a thyroid cancer survivor (and former NRC lawyer) is trying to get the rules changed.  In the US, you can and most likely will be sent home with as much as 200mCi’s of RAI floating around  in your system whereas in Germany for example you are hospitalized for anything over 8mCi’s.  (If you are getting lost with all my acronyms and abbreviations read THIS)  There was also a link to an article from 2008 with the title “It Kills Thyroid Cancer, but is Radiation Safe?”  The title of this article [as well as several comments posted] upset me because no, radiation isn’t really safe but its the ONLY treatment available to thyroid cancer patients!  What do you expect us to do, just wait to die?!  Sorry, not ready for that yet!

If you have been reading this blog since day 1, you know that my radiation journey was anything but pleasant.  I was extremely sick and wished I had been under closer medical care during my isolation period.  Every other cancer patient gets help from their doctor or nurses when they are so nauseated they can’t move, why are thyca patients different?  Oh yeah, because we are public health threat and no one, not even the doctors and nurses, want to be anywhere near us while we are emitting radiation. 

Going through thyroid cancer RAI is an extremely lonely experience during an already lonely and depressing time.  Learning you have possibly endangered a child while radioactive is even worse.  I’m glad there are people out there standing up for thyca patients and for the public at large.  Maybe we will see some advancements in treatment or new options.  We have to do something, especially when the RAI shortage isn’t letting up.   We need options and we need to be recognized as “real” cancer patients, not just the ones with the good cancer”!


Not About Me

This post is to specifically ask for your prayers for my aunt.  She has been my partner in crime for years in the fight against breast cancer and yet… she is now facing a possible breast cancer diagnosis.  I know from being an activist in this arena for over 10 years that treatments have advanced in amazing ways.. but its still scary when it is a possibility for someone you love.  So please send out your prayers that she can get a biopsy scheduled soon and that we will hear an all clear instead of a BC diagnosis!


Too Hilarious Not to Share…


Health Care Reform

Ok so I've been debating on writing about this or not… unless you live under a rock or if you live outside the US of A, you have probably heard of the bill that was passed this weekend initiating health care reform.  Since it passed, there have been outrageous remarks by those both for and against the bill and even a few death threats against the president via Twitter. [ps: the secret service can figure out who you are via your internet accounts – might want to think about that next time…]  I was reading through a hundred or so comments on an article about reform this afternoon and was struck by the complete lack of compromise displayed. 

It makes me sad that Americans can be so angry, violent, and hateful toward those who have an opposing viewpoint.  Saddened even more by the fact that it didn’t shock me.  People are generally resistant and fearful toward change and this change will be a big one.

To preface my thoughts on the topic, I would like to say that I consider myself an independent in the political realm.  I try to learn what I can about candidates and issues and make my own decisions based on my own thoughts and beliefs, not just what a certain party tells me is right or wrong.

So my short and sweet thoughts on healthcare reform are… The current healthcare system in the US is broken and is breaking American citizens at an alarming rate so something had to be done.  Is the current bill perfect?  Definitely not.  But what would be perfect when you have two sides determined not to compromise?  I believe that this is a step forward for the US because it is a step toward doing something.  Its about time Americans invested in helping other Americans.


We Lay Down Our Footsteps…

…For this generation and the next.  This is our promise: A world without breast cancer.


Fill In the Blanks

Outside my window… It’s quite dark but still in the 50’s so I’ll take it!

The time is… almost 10pm

Today I feel… like it should be Friday because i’m ready for the weekend!

I am thinking… that i’m exhausted after a long day of work and walking

At the moment, I am thankful… for friends that make me smile.

I am going… to bed soon because i’m exhausted…wait I already told you that… point proven

I am wearing… gray sweatpants and an old CAB (campus activities board) tee

I wish… there was a cure for cancer

I am reading… Five Things I Can’t Live Without… well not technically started yet but its on my nightstand to start on a night when i’m not so exhausted.

I am working on… getting my life back together… cancer really throws a wrench in your best laid plans

I am hoping… that tomorrow will be Friday… but I know that will not happen

I am hearing… the dishwasher rinsing, Chloe meowing, cars on the Beltline, and Ghost Hunters on TV

Around the house… I have a lot of work to do, that is this weekend’s agenda

I bet you didn't know… that people wear green on St. Patty's day to hide from leprechauns that like to pinch people.

One of my favorite… places in the world is the Smokey Mountains National Park.  I’m off to bed to dream about it now!


Checking Off The List

I’m starting to make headway on my Resolutions list.  So far I’ve finished 3 books this year and am working on my 4th – 1 full book ahead of schedule!  The team is well on its way to having a successful fundraising year – we are currently about 30% to goal and I have met my minimum already!  We have several upcoming fundraisers too so I’m sure the other girls won’t be far behind!  I have serious plans for the apartment decluttering project and am blocking out next weekend for just such a thing….

The number one resolution on my list (eating healthier, training, and dumping the poundage) has just started getting on track.  This past week I dumped some less healthy choices and stocked up on fruits, veggies and lean meats, bought some multi-vitamins, and have been tracking my meals and exercise.  I have a goal in mind for the big birthday extravaganza on April 10th and so far I'm on track to exceeding it!  Granted it’s just the first week but I know that healthy eating and exercise works and… I lost 4lbs! YAY!!

I know how long it may take to get to my ultimate goal but I also know that I will get there.  I will do it without starving, without depriving, without withdrawing from social gatherings where lovely sugary and fattening food will be served.  Because after all, you have to LIVE your life, not pack it into a tight little box!  Who wants to avoid enjoying a piece of birthday or wedding cake?  Not me!  Who wants to completely avoid chocolate during a certain time of the month? Not me!  Who wants to avoid drinks with the girls to celebrate or drown our sorrows?  Not me!  I will get to my goal and I will enjoy life simply because I have a better understanding of what a gift life is!

So… Here’s to life!  Now go eat your fruits and veggies!


Calm Before the Storm

Training season has begun for many 3 Day walkers who are following the 24 week training schedule.  I am not one of them.  I have done both the 24 week and 16 week training schedules and find that I get training burn out so I am shooting for the 16 week more aggressive mileage-wise program.  Let me just say this – both programs work because you get out there and walk… a lot!  As the 3 Day says, there is nothing that better prepares you for walking than…walking!

So what am I doing to still prepare while not focusing on training these next 6 weeks? 

Well, I have been walking a little… this week’s mileage after Saturday will be about 16 miles.  What?! A little you said?! Yes, this is a little bit of mileage.  When training really starts I will be walking at least 4 days a week and at least 20 miles each week - sometimes 18 miles in one day!  The other thing is right now if I planned on walking and it doesn’t happen for various reasons I don’t worry about moving that mileage to another day – I just skip it!  In 6 weeks I will be rearranging my schedule around the weather so I get every planned mile in!

I’m also focusing on hydration and nutrition.  Both of these are super important when you are doing an endurance event like the 3 Day. Me, I've not been doing so hot in the taking care of me department so my nutrition has been consisting of fast food and frozen pizzas.  Last week I pitched a bunch of stuff and bought fruit, veggies, lean proteins and started cooking more.  I’ve also made a conscious effort to up my water intake.  By the time training really starts my body will have the nutrients it needs to keep up with the 20-50 miles each week. Yes, you read that right…20-50 miles per week!

And this weekend I will be doing the 1 thing that is probably most important for a walker…. I’m getting fitted for my new shoes!  I have a gift certificate and can’t wait to use it!  My old shoes – the ones I have used for at least 12 miles this week – are literally duct taped together on the inside because I wore them down so much in my last 3 Day.  The tape is PINK so it goes with the theme but its not entirely comfy on the tootsies.  I’m also looking forward to trying out some new socks this year.  I’m sure there is an update or two more to come on this topic!

So that’s how I'm gearing up for training.  What are you doing?  Or if you aren’t registered (why not?! lol) do you have a new walking or fitness plan you are starting for Spring?



Have you ever felt like you are there but everything is just going on around you… And every once in a while, someone turns your way… and for a brief moment you think they see you but they turn away just as quickly? 

Its like you are an observer of things but for whatever reason you can’t get fully involved.  Like you are a ghost unseen and unacknowledged by most people but always there just the same. You are invisible because what is going on in your life is uncomfortable and isn’t happy or fun or interesting to talk about.  Sometimes those that see you try to make conversation only to wind up reminding you how uncomfortable the situation really is.

I’m convinced that I've become a master at being just this sort of invisible.


Award Tag

I was tagged by Big Red at Neurons Turn Me On for this award:  "This award means you're really going places, Baby. You'll still be blogging about your great adventures 10 years from now, and I'll still be reading them."

The Rules:

  • Link back to the blogger who sent you this award
  • Post where you would like to be in 10 years
  • Pass it on to 10 other special bloggers!

I’m passing this award to:

Sooooo here’s an attempt to answer the question…

In 10 years I will be *gasp* 40yrs old!  I hope to God at that point that I have found the love of my life and that he loves me back…  I suppose we should get married at some point and maybe have a kiddo or two?  Still undecided if kiddos are in my future or not given my medical history…  I will have a house that I don’t have to clean, preferably in a warmer climate…  My cats plan on living forever so Moses Jean and Gilbert Sullivan will be lounging in the sunshine streaming into the warmer climate home…  I will have been back to Germany a zillion times and will have traveled to a few new places too… maybe my hair will be pink…

Hmmmm… to be honest I have no idea what the next 10yrs will bring!  If you had asked me 10yrs ago where I would be now I surely wouldn’t have said I would be managing departments at multiple hospitals or that I would be single and childless or that I would raise tens of thousands of dollars for cancer research or that I would be a cancer survivor myself!  I think I've given up on having concrete plans for my future because as the saying goes…

“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans”



Scarred Have you ever seen that show Scarred on MTV?  If not, its a show about the scars people have and how they got them.  Of course the people they focus on are skateboarders, BMX-ers, quad racers and the like… but what about the scars cancer patients bear?  The show on MTV focuses on mostly fearless people who race headfirst into these situations that most of us consider dangerous – you might call them bad asses? 

Well I think cancer survivors are pretty bad ass too.  From diagnosis to treatment to remission cancer patients go through more emotional and physical turmoil than most people will in a lifetime.  We come out of it with battle scars and survival stories of our own that are worth telling.

Recently, a blogger I follow posted a link thyroid_surgery_adto a blog she reads and an ad that has caused quite the controversy at least in the world of thyroid disease and cancer patients of all kinds.  To a cancer patient this is a almost like a slap in the face – are you less beautiful because you have a scar?  Are you less beautiful because you fought to LIVE and not just be a decoration in life?  As someone who has a scar from the removal of my cancer, I can tell you that a scar wasn’t even a thought in my mind.  Actually I was consumed with how soon I could get my treatments, what I could and couldn’t eat, and what were my odds of survival?

That being said, I hate my scar.

DSCN0324 I am not at the point where I can proudly point to the shiny, pink, puffy, burning, aching… daily reminder that the cells in my body turned against me.  I know I will get there because everything I have been through has made me stronger and deserves to be celebrated – but I'm not there yet.   

Would I have opted for the “no scar” surgery?  I really don’t think so.  The only ways I can see you not getting an outside scar is either a) cutting through the internal neck structures or b) burning the thyroid out with RAI.  My treatment dose was hell enough to go through so just the thought makes me shudder.  Both of those options to me are much less appealing than living with a scar.  DSCN0707

I am now obsessed with necks, searching for a scar twin.  Maybe one day my scar will spark a connection with someone else who needs a scar twin too?


Extra Looong Dr Visit

I had an appointment to discuss this lung pain I've been having (previously mentioned here) and my description of the pain, coupled with the fact I haven’t been sick in almost a year (aside from that whole cancer thing of course) and the fact that I haven’t had a trauma of any sort and have been on a plane/in a car for hours… plus a few other things like medication I take, relatively recent surgeries… well apparently all this added up to: OH MY GOODNESS! for the doc.

At the close of my appointment I was instructed to proceed immediately to the nearest imaging center (ok not the nearest, but the one relatively close with an open time slot within the hour) to have a Chest CT/Angiogram done to rule out a pulmonary embolism or PE.  Oh my!  I was worried more along the lines of my lung micro-mets rearing its ugly head.  A PE would actually be worse that the mets because it is an acute life threatening condition, whereas the mets would just mean more drawn out cancer treatments but is not necessarily life threatening.

Ha.  Who would have ever thought that cancer metastasis would be a “good” scenario?

My fabulous all knowing doc (who, i must mention, saw me today on his day off) requested a “wet read” of my scan so I wouldn’t have to wait on the results… also did i mention a PE is an acute life threatening condition? yeah? ok just want to make sure you had caught on to the seriousness of sitch

So I had my scan – oh yay, a doc visit that turned into an IV being shoved into my arm – and then my dad and I went and got some lunch to wait on the doc.  I was just taking my first bite when I got the news that the wet read was negative for PE.  YAY! So what is it?  Don’t know…maybe more info to come after the full read aaaaaand maybe not. 

For now, I'm instructed to ‘take Motrin and call my doc on Monday’.


3rd Day of the 3rd Month of the 3rd 3-Day

On the 3rd day… of the 3rd month… of the 3rd 3-Day…

I have met my fundraising minimum!!!

Its not all in my account right now but it will be as soon as the mail people can deliver it to the kind people of the 3-Day who will deposit it!  Thank you to everyone who has donated on my behalf in 2010!  And if you haven’t donated yet, I encourage you to donate something to one of my teammates!


Soooo Close!

My fellow walker (& cousin)- Mayme - and I held a Dining for Donations event tonight.  We cooked a 5 course dinner for our family members in exchange for a suggested donation of $20 per diner. We served dinner to 18 people and raised a whopping $600!! We are so thankful for their generosity and support I can’t even begin to express it! 

With tonight’s donations that also puts me only $27 away from my fundraising minimum of $2,300!  I am completely amazed that it happened so quickly.  I’ve done this twice before when the economy was MUCH better (I'm in Michigan with 15-20% unemployment in my area) and can’t remember having this response… or is that just my cancer brain acting up again?  Either way, I’m overwhelmed…

But… I’m not stopping here!  My team members have just as much passion for this cause as I do and deserve every ounce of energy I have to devote to fundraising with them.  Once that magic number appears in my account, every donation made through events and such will be going to them because its not about seeing how much I can raise but how much we can collectively raise for a world without breast cancer! 

Will you be the donor that gets me to that magic number?

Drumroll Please…

I’m unveiling the new Pink PediCures team logo!  pedicuresmall

Many thanks go out to Tina a fellow 3 Day walker for an absolutely outstanding job! For a small donation to her fundraising account, you too can have an amazing logo like this!


Boot Camp

So apparently I lost my mind at some point and signed myself up for Rock Hard Boot Camp 3 times a week.  You may not see much of me on here in the next month…ahhh yes at least its only a month… 12 sessions… 1 down only 11 to go… If i can walk tomorrow remains to be seen and I'm totally hating the fact that I live on the 3rd floor.

On a happier note, the Pink Pedicures have raised $4,205.06 so far which is 30% of our minimum goal! I’m so proud of my team for jumping right into the fundraising ~ we will get there before you know it!  I’m also super excited that my wonderful family and friends have supported me to an amazing $1892.50 so far!  I have another $80 in the mail on its way to the 3 Day too so I will soon be up to: $1972.50!  That’s only $327.50 left to go in my account and then I will focus on helping the rest of the team achieve their goals.  For our team its not about who can raise the most, but helping everyone get to the event to experience the 3-Day… that being said I have a feeling we will blow our minimum fundraising goal of $13,800 out of the water…stay tuned!