Thursday, October 25, 2012

For the Record...


Last night, ten weeks out of my last "heavy" chemo; three weeks and four days after bilateral mastectomies...

I ran six miles, on trails.

A victory that sent me into the happiest of tears.


Maybe it was a little much - I could have done less. And yes, the muscles that were cut to accommodate  bilateral mastectomies and tissue expanders are a little bit... errr... irritated today- but I felt like a bird in flight!!! I needed to let go, so I did.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

And then some


Re-reading my little blog/journal tonight (narcissistic? yeah, whatever...) and I gotta say...

I miss Africa something fierce.

I'm missing the adventure, newness, hilarity of it all. I miss having the kind of passion that I had going into it... Like "life" multiplied by 3,447... and then some.

I know that at some point this will all make a little bit more sense, but I've never really been super appreciative of being "slowed down." A gift wrapped in cancer (no, I'm not being sarcastic.)

So surgery went great. Aside from having drains for three weeks (not a big deal, really) - I recovered like a rockstar. I'm not shocked or feeling any remorse about losing my breasts or nipples. The new girls are already about as big as I want them, and I'm kinda (REALLY) enjoying having smaller breasts. I'm streamlined now...

Losing 30 pounds doesn't hurt either. I knew it was chemo induced, I knew I didn't "deserve" this weight, but it tortured me. Yes, I've been careful about what I've put in my mouth the last few weeks, but I'm not starving myself. My body is naturally returning to what it knew.

I want to run. I have, a little bit. I'm worried about dislodging something in my chest, so I'm super careful. Dr Lawton said "Don't do anything that hurts you. Listen to your body..." And as I was about to ask her the ULTIMATE question, she said, "and DON'T RUN. That would be stupid. It would hurt."

Oh... ok. No running.

Technically, I'm not doing anything that hurts.

But I will say this...

I bought new runners on Saturday. I'm ready to reap what these legs are willing to give me...

I rode my bike 23 miles today. I know that my body is back. I don't feel the "cramping" in my legs that I had going into surgery. I feel strong, stellar, fierce. I feel ready to take on the world. (I know, I have a long way to go.)

I found out yesterday that I will have 28 sessions of radiation. It broke my heart. It felt like they'd told me that I had cancer again, and all of the emotions that came with having cancer came flooding back - from losing my world tour, to losing Dan, to losing health, to losing my hair, to losing fitness... and everything in between - and more. I cried all day long. Just like I did on April 10th.

Today, as it goes, I decided I would make this work for me. It is as it is, nothing more, nothing less. This is an experience. I'm the only person I know that's had heavy chemo, light chemo, mastectomies, reconstruction, and radiation.

So I ask myself, "Ok then, what do we do?"

Make it work.

If I'm gonna have to be at the hospital every day (minus Sat and Sun) for 28 days, I will ride my bike there. I'll save gas and build my legs and make this my own.


And suddenly, I've reclaimed it. It's mine. I'll come out radiated and FIT.

Suck it, cancer.

Thursday, October 18, 2012



It is the single, most important message I've ever received.

I kept asking him to repeat it to make sure I got it right - so he wrote it down for me. Thank you, the amazing (and beautiful) Dr. Vandermolen. it's framed in my home now, the first thing I see when I walk in the door... My new lease:

Every second of every day is sacred. Every time I'm told I'm "allowed" to do something, it's the greatest gift I've ever received.

Today, I took a shower for the first time in three weeks, and I rode a recumbent bike for 40 minutes.

I have bunny-hair fuzz on my head.

Life comes back.

Every single second... a gift.

Gratitude abounds.

Monday, October 15, 2012



I made this little do-dad for a dealie that I'm hoping/dreaming/praying/hoping/dreaming about (and it might involve a little trail time in New Zealand).

Honest to god - I watch it and still can't believe I'm talking about my own life... Weird.

I'll say this, I am ONE LUCKY GIRL to have a brother as talented and helpful as mine (I have two of them, actually - which makes me twice as lucky!) Here's Jared recording some music to go along with the video. Love, love, LOVE him!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Auto Fuser


If you're easily grossed out, get over it, cause THIS IS RAD!

Ok - so they gave me this little device...

The teeny tubes were inserted into my skin during surgery, they were connected on the outside to more tubes that connected to a button that connected to an external pouch that had local anesthetic. When I pushed the button, my whole chest would go numb.


Here I am taking the tubes out.