Thursday, October 18, 2012

Go Team Thunder!

Ten months ago, in this post, I announced that I had signed up to run a half marathon in this year's Detroit Free Press Marathon.

A lot has changed in 10 months: I rejected conventional treatment, accepted alternative treatment, got rid of cancer, turned 29, got cancer again, rejected a bone marrow transplant, accepted radiation, celebrated my fourth (!) wedding anniversary, got rid of cancer again.


So here we are, just days away from marathon day and no closer to being able to run 13.1 miles than I was in January.

It's not that I didn't try. I really did. I set up a training schedule. I woke up early most mornings to get my runs in. I ran. A lot. But in the middle of this training, I started going through radiation, which in itself takes a toll on the body.

But I was determined.

So most mornings (with the help of friends), I would wake up and run before my 8am daily radiation treatments. The warrior came out. There was no way I was letting Cancer take this away from me.

But about two weeks in, I started to notice a shortness of breath. Not only did running become harder, breathing became harder (a common side effect of having radiation so close to my chest and lungs).

So I stopped running. I told myself it was temporary. That as soon as I was done with treatment, my lungs would improve and I would start up again.

My condition didn't improve. Here I am, two months later, still unable to take a true full breath and expected to run 13 miles on Sunday.

But, this will not be another thing cancer tries to take away from me. On Sunday, even if it takes me all day and I have to crawl across the finish line, I will complete my 13.1 miles. And luckily for me, I don't have to do it alone. Not only is The Hubby "running" with me, but my sister and a great friend are joining as well. We also have a team of friends coming to cheer us on throughout the day, decked out in Team Thunder shirts. It's pretty incredible to have friends that are willing to stand all day in a crowd of people, waiting to catch a glimpse of me as I walk a half marathon. That's love.

Even though cancer may have slowed me down (literally), it will not stop me from finishing the race. After all, it's not just my ego on the line. As I mentioned before, I am also running in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. And any foundation that strives to make a kid's experience with cancer a little brighter deserves our support and money. If any of you would like to support me by supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation, please go to my fundraising page and give whatever you are able to.

Again, thank you all for your constant support throughout my journey.

See you at the finish line.

Go Team Thunder!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Breathe Easy

Last week I got good news. Really good news. Last week, after 23 radiation treatments, I got a clean scan. This officially puts me (for the second time this year) in remission.

But this time was different. I didn't run around yelling, "Suck it cancer!" This time, Mama Bear didn't cry when she heard the news. The Hubby, although ecstatic at the outcome, seemed more relieved than anything else.

This time we understood that this news, although reason to celebrate, is only the first of many hurdles.

Last time I got good news - the "you're cancer free" news - within a few months, it was back. And being told "you relapsed" is a prognosis that was, in some ways, worse than the initial diagnosis.

Right now I am extremely grateful, thankful, and excited with the news, but also cautious. 

I was told by my oncologist that it was expected to get a clean first scan, but it is the next several that really matter. His exact words, "After two years, then you can breathe."

Great. Thanks Doc.

In the meantime, besides holding my breath, I'm trying to stay focused on living a healthy lifestyle by juicing, eating right, and doing regular yoga. I'm trying to not let the fears of my oncologist's words flood my thoughts. I'm more focused on the optimism of my radiologist who believes in the success of my treatment path.

And most importantly, I'm trying to keep things in perspective. Rather than focusing on the uncertainty of the next scan, I'm constantly reminding myself that this holiday season (unlike last year) will be minus one Little Hodgy. I am constantly reminding myself that I am in remission.

And even though the future is uncertain at the moment, I'm looking forward to the day when I'm allowed to breathe. Then, I'll take it all in and finally tell Cancer to "Suck It" for good.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Waiting and Worrying

I'm not sure I can top today's post from The Hubby as he perfectly sums up what we're going through with such eloquence, but I think it's important to voice my thoughts as well.

This fucking sucks.

Here I am a year later and still waiting to see if I have cancer. This whole year has been one long waiting game.

And not just waiting, but worrying.

Waiting and worrying.

This is not to say that I don't thoroughly enjoy my life in the middle of all this waiting and worrying. I do. But underneath every thought, word, and action is "do I still have cancer?"

This constant thought gets really fucking old.

But tomorrow, I get my PET scan, which means by Wednesday, the waiting will be over.

And hopefully, for fuck's sake, the worrying too.