Sunday, August 18, 2013

Marking Milestones

Those of you that know me well know I love my birthday. Growing up in a big family we shared everything – bedrooms, bathrooms, toys, clothes – but your birthday was just yours. My mom always made a big sign and decorated the dining room where we ate all our meals. She always did this after you’d gone to sleep so you woke up and it was all for you. You got to choose what you wanted for meals that day and my mom always made great cakes.

As I have gotten older, I’ve decided birthdays are so great that in my family now we all get a week. Truth be told I’ve extended mine to a month since my birthday is in May, and so is Mother’s Day, and I am really into rounding up for things like this. J  With the girls I love making their birthday cake. I’m game for taking on any kind of cake they want. We always make homemade icing and decorate the cake together. They definitely are never mistaken for bakery cakes - they are heavy on icing in lots of bright colors, and in the case of Margaret, heavy on the sprinkles!!

With my big 1 year anniversary of my diagnosis of cancer and chemo coming up in October I wanted to do something, but it did not feel like a cake kind of occasion. So instead I am doing the opposite and have signed up to run the Cincinnati half marathon with Team in Training to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). I’m registered, I’ve started my training (which has felt awesome thanks to the unseasonably cool July nights we’ve had) and now I need your help. To really celebrate I want to raise a lot of money for leukemia research because that, along with blood and platelet donors, saved my life. I frequently think about the fact that if I had been born 40 years early there would have been no treatment options available and I would not be alive today.

Below is the link to my TNT fundraising website. Any amount you can give would be greatly appreciated. I know there are a lot of friends and family that have already donated to LLS on my behalf – thank you so much for this. If it is possible for LLS to become an organization you give to regularly and you are in a position to make another donation I would really appreciate your support.

From my runs so far I can tell I am definitely not going to be breaking any personal records on my time. I am hoping with your help I can cross the finish line on race day and make a difference in the fight against Leukemia.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

My reluctant return

I got to take almost 3 months off from going to the doctor. I have been feeling good and really got to put the cancer out of my mind. I cannot tell you how good that felt.
About 6 weeks ago I finally went back to my doctor to get my blood work checked. The appointment started off quite well.  When I arrived I told them I had a 9am appointment with my doctor and the receptionist started to show me to a conference room… I had to let him know I was a patient and they usually had me wait in the waiting room. I was dressed for work and looked more like I was there for work than treatment which was a good sign.
Unfortunately, once again, my blood work and how I feel, or look, are not totally in sync. My white blood cells were back down to put me back into the category of food and other restrictions. I was heading out of the country to visit my sister and her family. Luckily my doctor just loaded me up on antibiotics to take with me just in case and I got an appointment for my blood work upon return.
My trip and time with my sister, Margaret, and her family was great. Luckily there were no coughers next to me on the plane and I did not need any of the extra meds that I had with me. Not so great were my blood work results after I got back. I was feeling good and hoping for a rebound but my whites are still low and my platelets are down. We are still in the wait and watch mode, and the numbers could be bouncing around but it is a total bummer…. I was really hoping just to have this behind me and have another few stretches of only going to the doctor every 3 months.
So while I’ve appreciated all the support from everyone through this blog, I associated it with being sick. I really blocked it out while I had my time off but realizing this is something that will be around for the rest of my life….