Sunday, November 29, 2009

Some Numbers

I have been writing this blog for close to a year and a half now. I am able to track visitation to the blog - how many are reading it, how long they are on there, how many are new visitors, and where visitors are from.
This is my 122 post and of that number 93 were from last year when I was still in treatment. So far as of today I have had 6,895 visits and 1,366 different visitors. Those visitors have come from 40 different countries including; Estonia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, and Tunisia. Most of the countries of Europe and the Americas have had at least one visitor. All continents except Antarctica are represented on the list. In the US, I have had visitors from 45 different states. The five states not on the list are New Mexico, Vermont, Mississippi, Alaska, and Hawai'i. The states with the most visits are Utah (Hi Mom!), Michigan (Thanks Aunt Joyce and Aunt Janice!) and Illinois(WooHoo Janet!).

I know most of the visitors are people who know and love me that are checking in to see what I am up to and to see how I am doing. I know others are just starting or are in the middle of their own journey with cancer. Every time I see someone from a new location stop by and stay for awhile my heart goes out to them. Most recently someone from Brazil has been reading through the 122 posts. I don't know if my blog is of any help to anyone but I hope they at least see that while cancer will occupy their lives for awhile, the treatment does end and a new "normal" life starts again. Cancer can go from being the major focus of their life to something that while always there, no longer is the first thing they think of in the morning. The medical bills will finally get paid, your body will start to feel "normal" again, and you will laugh at yourself for being upset at the little things. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you in the fight.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Daisy is Crazy

That's it - we are renaming her Marley!
We had Daisy spayed last week and she is supposed to remain calm and not tear open her stitches. They gave us sedatives and we have kept her locked in the kitchen. This is what I came home to today at lunch. Of course Maddie was outside the kitchen egging her on. Dad had used wires from coat hangers to lock the cabinets shut. They did no good against this determined little dog. Sedatives or not she almost tore the doors off of the cabinets. I was hoping she hadn't eaten too much of the pasta and such that she pulled out but she refused to eat her normal dinner tonight so I am guessing that she has a sore tummy. I've used picture hanging wire to tie them shut this time - we will see if she gets passed that. (Don't worry Mom, I saved the coffee maker and put it on top of the fridge. She hasn't figured out a way to get up there yet!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The First of Many Photos from the 3 Day Walk

One of my favorite photos
That's me dead center, looking at the camera and waving. I'm in the sunlight and you can see only part of my face.
At the end of the three days of walking everyone walked into Phoenix Stadium for a closing ceremony. I learned on the first day of the walk that the survivors on the walk were to walk in together last behind the other walkers and the crew members. It disturbed me at the time that I would not be walking in with my teammates - Steph and Kristin. We had made the journey together and I thought should finish together. But as I thought about it more, I realized that yes I had made the journey with them, but I had also made a journey that all the other Breast cancer survivors had made also. As survivors we may have not made our cancer journeys together, we did however make the same journey; from hearing the diagnosis to having to tell our friends and family to dealing with the elephant in the room to making treatment decisions that we will never know if they are correct or not to dealing with medical bills to the pain and struggle of treatment to living with the fear that at anytime it can come back and that this time it doesn't go away to deciding that we weren't only going to fight the cancer in ourselves but we are going to join the fight to make a difference and end cancer once and for all for everyone by participating in the walk. I decided that the walk was like my like cancer journey - my friends were with me during the whole journey but in the end it was still a journey by myself. I needed to walk in with the other survivors and show myself to the world as a representative of a survivor. Cancer may not define me but I am one of the many faces of cancer.
It is hard for me to put into words the feeling I had when they had us survivors join together before we walked into the stadium. I have to admit that I have been really struggling with my self esteem since I finished treatment. Let's face it I am not even close to the same person as I was physically or mentally since my diagnosis and I've been embarrassed to have had cancer and have tried to forget about the whole thing. I was really nervous before the walk to face it all again. There were 200 or so survivors on the walk out of 1,800 walkers. When I walked up to the group of survivors and saw the smiles and tears, I was as proud as I have ever been to be a part of such a group of wonderful women. Very few of us knew each other but we all held our head's up high and looked each other in the eye as we hugged and cried and laughed and appreciated each other. We may not have know each other's names but we knew each other's journeys.
I will have quite a few more posts about the 3 Day Walk. We raised over 4 million dollars to fight cancer and end it forever. That is first and foremost the most important part of the walk. For me personally, I learned to say...
"My name is Linda and I am proud to be a breast cancer survivor. I walk because Everyone Deserves a Lifetime."

Friday, November 13, 2009

Greetings from the Arizona 3 Day Walk

It is day one and this is the most amazing experience. I am back at camp and have shower and set up our tent. I walked ten miles today which is double what I thought I would be able to do. It is easy though with all of the people cheering and walking with my great team. I'm getting a chair massage in a minute and thought I'd do a quick post. I have two blisters on the bottom of my feet and a broken toe nail. And I am of course a bit sore. Lots and lots of walkers - the logistics are amazing (that's the accountant in me!). Lots of pink too!

I'll check back in tomorrow!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm Heading Out to Phoenix This Morning

The 3 Day Walk starts tomorrow morning. We are supposed to be there by 6:30 am. Looks like the weather will be great and I have everything packed that's going to be packed. Thanks again everyone for all of your generous donations and well wishes. I'm very excited that it is finally here and ready for a fun weekend with friends, new and old while contributing to a cause that is very personal for me. I have the camera all ready to go so will have lots of photos to share when I get back on Monday.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Arizona Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk

Well, the walk is almost here - it is less than two weeks away. It seems like we have been planning for it and raising money forever. I'm starting to get nervous about it - not about the walking - I know I can't do the whole 60 miles but I'm going to do the best I can. I worry about how emotional it may be. I'm doing a great job not making breast cancer the number one topic in my life and this will move it back to the forefront for at least a few days.

A breast cancer survivor is what I am and always will be. Embracing the survivor part of that statement and doing everything I can to make sure that everyone who is diagnosed with breast cancer also gets to embrace their survivorship is what the walk is all about for me.

I was really worried when I signed up for the walk that I would not be able to raise the $2,300 minimum amount they have on donations. I am so excited and grateful to say that I have raised over $6,000. Unbelievable!! Thank you to everyone who donated. Thank you so much. By the time of the walk the three of us in Team Grand Canyon will have collected close to $15,000.

If you are planning on donating there is still time -