Celebrating two years...and an ask for help.
Today marks my two-year remission date.
It, at times, feels quite distant. The fight it took to get here. (A lump forms in my throat, and tears well up in my eyes as I write this, remembering it all). And yet other times, it feels like it was a mere few months ago. Part of this, I think, is due to the frequency with which I still have appointments, etc., and the regimen of injections, infusions, and 11 pills a day I take to keep cancer at bay. As much as I want this to be in the rearview mirror, it is still very much a daily part of my life. A medication I am on has caused significant weight gain despite exercise and diet (which I try to act like doesn't bother me, but it very much does). I have struggled with lymphedema (swelling of my right arm, mainly due to the number of lymph nodes that had to be removed). This requires me to wear a compression sleeve anytime I travel to altitude (think mountains or airplane travel). I still experience significant joint pain caused by one of my medications, especially in the morning. This mostly happens in my hands, wrists, ankles, feet, and legs. It is painful, and it takes me a bit to mentally shake it off and get moving in the morning. Unfortunately, this will continue until I reach five years of remission. At five years, my medication will be re-evaluated.
I, of course, know I am lucky. I am a survivor. I take it all in stride and am extremely thankful for every day I have been gifted with.
I feel incredibly grateful to be in remission. I will do anything to stay here in this state of remission. I owe it all to the brilliant drs that treated me and how far science and medicine have come. Yet there is so much further to go. Every month, I still hear from friends and family whose scans come back uncertain. Most of whom are ok. Sometimes they find out they are to embark on a similar pathway that I experienced. Just yesterday, I spoke with a friend awaiting her treatment plan. Please, please, PLEASE...if you are overdue for your mammogram, this is your sign. It's time to make the appointment and go. I'll be that person if you need someone to accompany or support you.
I wish that no one would have to experience this disease again. I wish for a cure. For all these reasons, I have decided to walk in the Komen 3-day breast cancer walk this November 17-19th in San Diego. The Susan G. Komen 3-Day is a 60-mile walk over the course of three days. It will be hard, but not as hard as breast cancer. It’s not as hard as chemo. It’s not as hard as getting bad news at your latest scan. It’s not as hard as saying goodbye. And that’s why I know I have to do this. That’s why I commit. That’s why I’m walking and why I’m raising money – to end breast cancer forever.
Here is how you can support me as I commit to an incredible challenge.
I started a team called "Miles for Melons," I would love for you and anyone you know to join me as we raise money, train and walk 60 miles to raise awareness and take steps toward finding a cure for this heinous disease. If anyone is interested in joining my team, please let me know. I will welcome you will open arms.
(you wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find a funny name about breasts that hasn’t been taken already)
I'm excited and humbled that two friends have already joined. One is my friend and primary care Doctor, Shannon (many of you may recognize her name from all of my posts at the beginning of my diagnosis). She is an incredible Dr., and I credit her for getting me into precisely whom I needed to be here to celebrate this day. She is the first member of my team, which seems so fitting since she jumped on board my team from the beginning and was by my side. Emily, another dear childhood friend from when I was an exchange student in Japan, has also jumped on board.
Are you next?! We have 139 days left to train. Let's do this together! (I will organize training walks for those living in San Diego.)
If you are unable to walk, I understand. I ask you to please consider a donation. I am committing to raise $2,300 and hoping to raise much more.
Please help me reach my fundraising goal and beyond. Any amount is appreciated. I can't do this without your support.
Thank you in advance for all of your love and support. Cheers to another year of remission and hopes for many, many more.