Par for the Course

Well the results from my x-rays are in – absolutely nothing seen there.  Very good because that means there are no stones and no tumor seen.  Now its just the what the heck is causing this question… 

My theory: Well, a side effect from RAI can be thickened saliva.  Gross I know.  Thickened saliva can have a hard time passing through the tiny ducts… if you get dehydrated your saliva gets thicker… dehydrated (i haven’t been getting my water in the past 2 weeks) + RAI = disaster waiting to happen.  The other theory is that it was/is an infection caused by who knows what and there is nothing I can do to prevent it from coming back.  I prefer my first theory because I can do something about it.  Apparently I need to take better care of myself by not only drinking coffee & soda & wine for 2 weeks straight.  Even 1-2 glasses of water per day can’t counteract all that dehydrating intake.  Add in training and I really need to pay more attention to hydration!

walking_sign4517On that note… This week is the start of the 16 week training schedule!  That means I'm scheduled for 22 miles this week and I lost 2 days to being laid up and in pain.  So far I've done approximately 9 miles with tomorrows plan being another 9-10.  I plan on posting my training plan vs. actual numbers weekly – probably Mondays – so stay tuned!


Is that a Golf Ball?


Is that a golf ball… Nope its just my salivary gland… which is the size of a golf ball… which is extremely painful… Yes, I awoke to a large and painful lump on the left side of my face.  Lumps, bumps, swelling in the area of glands or nodes… these things are utterly terrifying for someone less than a year out from a cancer diagnosis. 

This bump didn’t terrify me because I've experienced it before about 4 years ago.  Actually it was 4/22/06 almost 4 years ago exactly.  At the time, the differential diagnoses were sialolithiasis or mumps.  Yes, mumps.  At the time there was an outbreak so I got some blood drawn to see if my titer showed up – it did, no mumps. So that left sialolithiasis or more simply salivary gland stones.  They didn’t do any testing for this, just told me to suck on lemon drops, drink lots of fluids, and use hot compresses. 

So this morning I grabbed some lemon drops and headed to work and the pain got worse… so I called my PCP for tips/tricks on dealing with this. To my surprise I was scheduled for an appointment and then sent on for x-rays.  Apparently getting this more than once is a bit more unusual and needs further investigation.  I got the x-rays – only about 8 views were taken – and then I was sent on my way to wait it out.  I’m entirely sick of doctors, hospitals, labs, x-rays, CT’s, nuke med…

So begins the waiting game… again…



They say most people can only do 2 things at once and if you can do more you are called a supertasker.  I am of course convinced I am one such creature. 

For instance I am currently composing a blog in my head, typing such blog, texting about and making plans for our fundraiser on Saturday and watching TV. That is way more than 2 things!  On any given day my mind is not only at work – which includes rules & regs for 3 different hospitals, yup I said three (more on the promotion later…) – but also on my training which officially starts next week, the upcoming fundraiser (in this case Crop for the Cure 2), answering team questions, being a good friend and MOH by assisting with wedding planning and panic attacks… It is simply not possible to only be doing or thinking about just 2 things at once.  I would never get anything done! 

Personally, I think all women are born with the ability to supertask. Men, however, are a completely different story!


Take a Stand

How many times have you thought “Someone should DO something about that!”?  Have you ever thought about doing something about it yourself?  Why not? Do you think that what you do won’t make a difference?  Have you ever thought about what would happen if everyone stopped trying to make a difference because they didn’t think they could make a difference?

All it takes is for one person to take a stand.  To say “This isn’t right and I am going to do something about it!”

I am leading a team of 9 people… and we are a part of a 3 Day event where thousands of people will be walking… which is part of a series of events in 15 cities where tens of thousands will walk… which in 2009 raised over $91 million… which since it started in 2003 has raised over $500 million to fight cancer all because one woman made a promise to her dying sister to make a difference.

Never underestimate the impact one person can make.

What are you doing to take a stand?

Artists Standing Up to make a difference: Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Fergie, Sheryl Crow, Miley Cyrus, Melissa Etheridge, Ashanti, Natasha Bedingfield, Keyshia Cole, Ciara, Leona Lewis, LeAnn Rimes and Carrie Underwood


News Junkie

I’m a bit of a nerd and I like news.  No, I love news.  News of any type will grab my attention but politics, weather, disasters, and health related news are my favorites.  I mostly read my news these days – I check at least 3 sites daily – but I do still watch the morning news while getting ready for work. 

Recently I was reading an article and noticed the comment area at the bottom and just kept on reading. Let me tell you, I think every crazy opinionated person in the world (literally) posts comments on these things!  And of course because they have their outrageous remarks on there, it makes me want to comment.

Some comments read recently that particularly pissed me off were attached to a story about the increasing birth rates among women 40yrs+.  One comment said women who waited until their 40’s were selfish and irresponsible and that they needed to get back in the kitchen and out of the workforce.  Totally not kidding you!  I guess I'm fast approaching that selfish and irresponsible category huh? 

Yes I know that there is a slightly higher risk of birth defects the older you get… but tell me how is it irresponsible to wait until marriage to have a child?  Maybe I am selfish because I want to share parenting with my husband and not bear the responsibility alone? Oh and I guess I'm irresponsible because I'm waiting until I am financially stable enough too?  If I were married it would be hard to say if I would have a child at this point or not…  Because I'm not married I definitely haven’t had a child but I don’t think I should completely write off the idea of children just because I hit a certain age. 

Not all of us get married at 22, not all of us should have kids by 22.  Statistically, those of us who don’t get married at 22 have a better chance of not getting divorced. I know some great moms in their 20’s and I know some great mom’s in their 40’s.  Life doesn’t always work out like you thought it would when you were 15yrs old but that’s what makes it an adventure.



So over the past few birthday days, my family showed up in classic form.  On my birthday my mom handed me a lovely card…actually it was a “funny” one so my dad must have picked it out… and when I opened it to read the punch line I noticed that my mom had signed the card:

“Love, Mom & Dad K//////// <SORRY!”

Yes folks, she actually signed their last name, my last name, to the card!

Then on Tuesday while we were out celebrating my sister’s birthday, we were talking about how stuffed we were and how KT was going to just eat her cake at a later time (and conveniently keep it all to herself).  My mom had ridden with KT to the restaurant and I had ridden with my dad and it was decided that KT would go home with her hubby and my parents would just drive me home and then go home.  As we were going to the cars, my mom says, “I just have to go get…” and headed toward KT’s car.  Now if you know my mom, you know she is famous for not finishing her sentences AND walking off in the middle of a sentence so you have no idea what she is saying at the end…

So dad and I proceed to his car and get in and then he starts pulling out of the parking space.  Not too odd because I'm thinking he’s being a gentleman and heading to KT’s car to pick mom up.  Not so much.  He pulled out of the spot and then started pulling out of the parking lot!  I looked at him in shock and said “Where are you going!?” and he says “To your sister’s for cake!” and I said “We’re not going to KT’s and we are supposed to take mom!” and then I burst out laughing.  At this point he has people behind him and he is pulling across the road to get out of the way and turn around.  I looked behind me and I see my mom doing something similar to this in the parking lot:

what My dad turned around and I see my sister cracking up just as hard as I was which then made my mom and brother-in-law start laughing.  My dad?  He was slightly mad and just said “Well, nobody ever tells me anything!” Oh daddy, check your hearing aid batteries! LOL It was so classic!


Quote of the Day

Found in the wonderful 3 Day for a Cure message boards:

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”

Finding a cure is more important that fearing what could be.

Happy Wednesday everyone!


All I Can Say is Oy!

I am never ever, ever taking a Monday off again!  What was I thinking?! I work in healthcare and no one likes Mondays hence the increased need to see your doctor on Mondays to avoid work, school, feeling like crap the rest of the week…

Yes today was that bad and felt like a Monday and a Tuesday all wrapped into one.  Thank goodness for my sister’s birthday to celebrate tonight! 


Three-Oh plus One

Well today is the big three-oh plus one!  Yes I am not moving on from 30 until I have counteracted the crappiness of last year… so far, we are off to a great start! 

Friday I made some pizza, drank some wine and watched some movies – it was a fabulous night!  Saturday I walked 10 miles with friends and then went out with 10 of my favorite people for Japanese hibachi and a movie.  Sunday I caught up on some sleep and laundry and then went out for fajitas and margaritas with the fam.  Today I had a vacation day from work so I slept in, had breakfast with a friend, hit the mall, went to a movie with my aunt, went to dinner with my parents and grandpa and then came back to my place for some cake! YUM! Tomorrow its back to work but then off to Longhorns Steakhouse to celebrate my sister’s birthday! (we are 6 years and 1 day apart)

I swear in the past 4 days I've gained back the 10lbs I've lost in the last 5 weeks but its been an absolutely fabulous 4 days filled with the people I love most!  Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with me – love you all!


Cooking Up A Cure 2

Just got word today that Cooking Up A Cure Volume 2 is PRINTED and READY TO SHIP!! I just need to call them and pay the balance and they will be on their merry way!  I’m hoping against hope that I will pay tomorrow and they will ship tomorrow and arrive on my doorstep just in time for the HOPE Expo next weekend… is that too much wishful thinking?! 

If you are interested in ordering a copy contact me soon!  We couldn’t keep volume 1 on the shelves for very long and sold well over 200 copies!  This time the cookbook is only $10 and we have a limited supply of 300 copies – about 100 have already been spoken for! 


Working on Wednesday

I’m going to dub this “Working on Wednesday” and run down the 5 things currently going through my head.

  • cleaning out my apartment and truly clearing the clutter.  I have so many things that I haven’t used in 1, 2, even 5 years… at some point you just have to ask yourself why do I still have this?!
  • adding more fruits/veggies to my diet.  Well actually eating healthier overall but that is too vague of a “goal” so I'm attempting smaller steps like the fruits/veggies and having a new focus each week or two.  Next week I'm going to do fruits/veg as well as more water.
  • budgeting. I hate this more than absolutely anything else in the world but as I was so annoyingly reminded this week money does sometimes run out. Booo!  Its time to redo a budget and stick within it… or win the mega millions jackpot.
  • fundraising. We have 2 fundraisers coming up in the next few weeks and there is lots to do in the meantime!  If you are interested check out the event pages of the HOPE Expo and Crop for the Cure 2!
  • Walking and working out.  As we get closer to the 16 week training schedule [2 more weeks!] I've been walking with friends, getting used to spending those hours each week walking instead of on the couch.  I’ve also been doing the 100 push ups challenge and 200 sit ups challenge.  When training really starts I will be adding in some yoga for some good stretching and balance.
  • relaxing.  My body, my mind, my soul… taking more time to tune in or out depending on how you look at things. Making time at least once a week to decompress and unplug from being constantly connected and available to everyone but myself.  Hopefully this one sticks around for a while!


Friendly Perspective

Since Friday I've been dwelling in my head a bit too much.  I had some extra time and did some cancer research and found all these scary statistics on thyroid cancer patients who get a 2nd type of cancer (usually melanoma or breast cancer) within 5yrs of their thyca diagnosis.  I was starting to get that certain type of anxiety all over again and was really just getting into a kind of funk.

Today I was emailing with my dearest friend sister from another mother and she said “Most important thing is that you are doing good and that you are even walking again! Could you have imagined that 6 months ago?”

Could I…?

6 Months ago I was radioactive – literally! I had radiation sickness and was in isolation from everyone and everything.  My body and mind was weakened from the surgery & newfound allergy to vicodin, the big scary cancer diagnosisanother surgery, postop calcium depletion, radiation, possible lung mets… quite simply put, I was a hot mess!  It was in the midst of all of this that I tried 5 miles with my friends and then collapsed from fatigue for the next 7 days… 6 months ago I felt like I would never be normal again.

Today I did 5 miles and that makes a total of 15 miles in the last 6 days and I feel GOOD.  I feel a normal sort of tired and not the utter exhaustion of the previous year. More importantly I'm starting to feel like I can have a semi-normal life again. 

Will cancer ever be far from my mind? Most definitely not!  But its only because of wonderful friends that I stop my cancer panic attacks and regain my perspective on just how far I have come from the moment of my diagnosis.


National YAC Awareness Week April 4-10

Today marks the start of the 8th annual Young Adult Cancer Awareness week!

Young adults with cancer (defined as those in their teens to early 40’s) face some unique challenges after diagnosis.  While friends are out living it up, you are dealing with surgeries, chemo/radiation, body image issues, cognition problems [read: chemo/cancer brain], fertility issues… Not to mention you may or may not have “settled down” so then you are dealing with trying to explain to your potential “Mr. Right” why you have a ginormous scar across your neck or to your young child why you are too tired and sick to even pick them up.  Young adults are more likely to not have insurance, have a delay in diagnosis, or are not taken seriously as a cancer patient [ie: you are too young for ___].

Support for young adults living with cancer is improving but is still falling short.  We are underrepresented in clinical trials so the latest and greatest treatments may not work, there are little to no YAC support groups, research for our age group is underfunded, and physicians just may not “get” what we are stressing out about.  In August of 2007, the National Cancer Institute and the Lance Armstrong Foundation released a report that found that even though cancer survival rates continue to improve in adults middle aged and older, the survival rates for those 15-39 have not risen in over thirty years.  Something needs to change!

If you are a YA dealing with cancer, here are some of my favorite resources [ie. the things that kept/keep me sane while dealing with this crappy cancer stuff]:

Everything Changes Blog

Planet Cancer

Gilda’s Club

I’m Too Young For This! i[2]y

Crazy Sexy Cancer