Thursday, August 27, 2009

Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk

Thank you so much all of you who have donated. I have a couple of more months before the walk in Arizona and hope to reach my goal of $6,000. I am almost there and it is due to all of you.

I've never been involved with collecting donations for a cause before and I am humbled by all the generosity I have seen from my family and friends.

I have attempted in my own words to describe the horror of being diagnosed with cancer and the torture of the treatment that ensues in this blog. It was one year ago that I started chemotherapy. I remember vividly the pain of that first weekend. I was unable to even get up from my bed for days after the treatment I hurt so badly. I was alone and was as terrified as anyone could ever be. How was I going to survive this? Would it get worse? (It did) What is the reason this is happening to me? Did I make the right treatment choices? Was I going to die? It still takes my breath away and brings me to tears thinking about it. Chemo is a horrible terrible thing. There has to be a better way to beat this horrible disease. I knew that if I made it through my treatments that it had to mean something. All of that pain and effort had to lead to more than me - or at least the pre-cancer me.

I now have a few simple goals. I hope to get better at supporting others going through cancer hell. I try to live every day thinking "any day that's not a chemo day is a great day". I try not to think about it too much but I could have a recurrence at any time and I don't want to be kicking myself for not enjoying the time I have being relatively healthy. There was a quote in the radiation waiting room in the cancer center - "happiness is not a destination, it is a way of travel". I spent many an hour staring at it and contemplating how true that can be. I swore if I made it through all the treatments I would be one happy traveler through life.

My new passion is raising what I can to fight breast cancer and to support breast cancer patients. If you would like to contribute to my walk or learn more about it please click here.

everyone deserves a lifetime

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Couple of Photos from the North Rim Last Night

Linda and Felicia on the North Rim veranda
I made a quick trip to the other side of the canyon this weekend to see my dear friends - John , Felicia, and Julia. The sunset was beautiful over the canyon, the meal was yummy, and it was wonderful to see my friends and spend an evening laughing.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Some Photos from the President's Visit to the Grand Canyon

Air Force One Lands at the Grand Canyon Airport

Start of the motorcade at the airport

Look close - the President is in the picture somewhere

Hey look it's Greg driving the firetruck in the motorcade!!!
Click here for more pictures of Air Force One landing
or here for more pictures of the Grand Canyon presidential visit

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hey It Has Been Awhile

It has been over a year since I was diagnosed. 7-08-08. I meant to write a "what a difference a year makes" blog on the anniversary but I'm still in a state of denial that the whole cancer thing ever happened. I try not to think about it at all. I started reading some of the posts on this blog and I don't even remember writing some of it. If I do start to think about it I get all wigged out - did that really happen to me? What would my life be like if it never happened? Maybe it didn't really happen and it was all a bad dream? Surely it won't happen again? Right? Can I handle it if it happens again? How would I ever find the strength to walk into the chemo room and sit down in a chair ever again? Please please please never make me lose my hair again. And I don't ever want another of those nights of terror. Or the pain. Or another hated port. How will I ever survive? See - it is just best if I don't think about it at all. I digress down this thought path all to easily.

Here's a great Newsweek article about cancer patients who use humor to fight back.

Physically and mentally I feel better every day. I've still got some chemo side affects that seem to flair up from time to time. I can tell when I am going to have a bout of chemo brain when I start hearing the same song over and over in my head for a day or two. The weird thing about it is - no matter what song it is, it does not bother me. The next sign that chemo brain is starting - I see things out of the corner of my eye that aren't there. Over and over and over. I'll see that my message light is blinking on my office phone - I'll reach for the phone - and then notice it is not blinking - I'll see that my message light is blinking on my office phone - I'll reach for the phone - and then notice it is not blinking - I'll see that the message get the picture. I can some days do that 50 or 60 times. And just like the repeating song in my head, reaching for my phone all day long does not bother me. Then chemo brain will start and I'll forget who people are, or where I parked, or how I got somewhere, or or or. I will also find it hard to think through things - the other day I had a chemo brain episode and I was in tears at the thought of unloading my groceries from the car. It just seemed such a daunting task - I had no idea how I was going to do it and I was in tears about it. I got home, carried the three bags of groceries into the house, put the items away, and almost sank to the floor in relief to have accomplished the task. The worst part of it is that there is a normal part of my brain totally aghast at what is happening. UNLOADING THE CAR IS NOT HARD!! Luckily my chemo brain sessions are getting further and further apart. Oh Oh - I'm hearing the theme from The Office.

Physically I feel pretty good. I seem to still have pain in my joints and numbness in my hands. I'm starting to get out hiking more and loosing the weight I gained in the past year. A year ago I was a tall thin long-haired blond. Now I'm a tall heavy short-haired brunette.

Both of my Grandparents died this spring.

Sales of my photography at have started to take off. I'm averaging a sale a day this last month or so.

I've also been spending most of my computer time writing for I just posted my 100th article.

Both dogs are doing well. Puppy has made Maddie young again. It is awesome to see her run again!

The president and first family will be at the Grand Canyon this weekend. Makes for a busy week and weekend. It will be exciting though.

All of my medical bills have been paid as of last week!

Any day that is not a chemo day is a great day-