Friday, December 31, 2010

2010~ A Year in Review

It is the last day of 2010 with only a few hours left till a New Year begins. As I have looked back over the past year I am overwhelmed by how much has happened in just 12 months. Some very good and some very difficult. I am thankful for the year that God has given me.
2010 in Review~

1) We were fortunate to take 3 trips~ Chris and I spent New Years at Lake Murray. We like to get a cabin, hike and plan for the New Year.
A camping trip with Matt, Kevin and Nikki over spring break. Started out with warm weather in shorts, woke up the next day to 6 inches of snow. Just one of the unexpected snow falls last year!
Our "trip of a lifetime" to Europe! We visited Prague, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, Holland and England. What a great experience!

2) This was a more difficult year for me health wise.I had my 3rd diagnosis with cancer.It had spread to the pectoral muscle and a scare of uterine cancer, resulting in 3 more biopsy's, 2 more surgeries, 25 more radiation treatments, several new medications and lots of side effects. I finally gave in when I could no longer read and have glasses I need to wear nearly full time

3)We sadly and tragically lost two more very special family  members. Chris's mom, Lois and our nephew Joey.

4)During radiation treatments my son Kevin ran a half marathon for me! I can't say I did not consider doing it with him but I stuck with some smaller races this year.Chris and I both placed first( in our age divisions:) in a small, local 10k. I had always wanted to organize a race, so on Thanksgiving along with 17 others we ran our first Annual Minich 5k Turkey Trot!
A few other Mountains we climbed... well literally, we climbed  MT. Brandon, the 2nd highest mountain( 2775 ft.) in Ireland.Hiked Sir Arthur's seat, which overlooks beautiful Edinburgh, Scotland. And took a beautiful 26 mile bike ride from Brugge, Belgium to Holland.  

5) A few special events/ celebrations.Went to my first Komen Brunch for survivors with my great friend and sister survivor, Natasha. While at the brunch I won 8 tickets to the Texas Rangers game which is how our family and the Weeks family spent Mothers day!Our daughter-in-law Nikki, was the graduate this year from UTD Suma Cum Lade! And finally, just last week we celebrated my dad's  75th BDay with a huge surprise party!
6) Our son Tim  moved back home from Prague, engaged to our newest daughter-in-law to be Stephanie. She is from England where her family lives and she has recently moved to Texas. Another wonderful family addition, we are so happy she is here.
7) Around the house~ I decided to get some help this year and am so very thankful for Maria who comes every 2 weeks. Yay!
My garden was a bust and I don't know if I will continue it this spring/summer. We are working on some remodeling with the addition of wood floors ( currently being installed by Chris) and a new tile entry way which is done!

8)By having some help with the house I am able to continue training and teaching my 5k run groups,Ladies boot camps, swim lessons,and personal training. This year was a full and rewarding year getting to work with so many wonderful people and families!

9) A wonderful Halloween,Thanksgiving and Christmas with our kids, family and friends. Always reminded how special everyone and the time together is.

10) And lastly, my personal victories for 2010. Celebrated my 12 year cancerversary, 46th Birthday and 26th wedding anniversary!

I enter 2011 with cautious optimism.HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
"hopefulness and confidence about the future or successful outcome of something; a tendency to take a favorable or hopeful view."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Every time I think it can't get any better, it somehow does...

Before Christmas I wrote "All wrapped up".It was a difficult time and quite honestly I was really feeling estranged from everything. And then Christmas came with all the joy, wonder and excitement that always comes with this special time of year.
As Chris and I were all bundled up walking Ryo one night I said " every time I think it can't get any better, it somehow does". He asked me what I meant by that. Well, last year we had our very first white Christmas and although it was still a difficult year, there was just something about the "first white Christmas" that made it so very special.
With how I was feeling this year I never thought it could be better than last year. Once again, God reminds me to trust Him and He is bigger than anything I can possibly imagine.
The day before Christmas Eve I spent with my son Matt,shopping for presents, eating out for lunch and ending the day with a peppermint latte' from Starbucks. Everyone was home from work on Christmas Eve day and little by little the kids started trickling in. Tim and Stephanie were the first to arrive and we were all so happy they were "home" this year.
Little did I know as I braved Wal Mart on Christmas eve I would run in to my son Kevin who was there getting supplies to make his special person gift...which happened to be me :) He made me a beautiful keepsake box that reminds us both of the beach. I love it! He helped me with the shopping and then we went out for lunch. I made a huge pot of minestrone soup followed by baking cookies with my newest daughter-in-law to be, Stephanie. Our son Tim once again got his "mulled wine"going in the crock pot.
Chris and I along with our 5 kids headed off to the Christmas eve service where it was so nice to see everyone and be surrounded by my family. A last minute invite to join us at our house led to a house full of family, friends & laughter, with 10 unexpected guests! What a wonderful time we all had and I was very glad I had made all that soup!
As we do every Christmas eve we exchange our "special person" gift. This year I picked my daughter Nikki and had a great time putting together a photo scrapbook for her. Scouring through Facebook and blogs to find highlights from her year.After a long night, all the stockings were hung by the chimney with care... and the rest of us headed off to bed.
Christmas morning with adult children means a later morning for all to sleep. Little by little everyone woke up to the smell of sourdough bread in the bread maker and fresh coffee...ahhh. Then it was time to exchange gifts. We open presents one at a time so everyone shares in the joy of giving a gift. Stephanie's mum sent her some special gifts from England to remind her of home. It was very sweet.
All these special little moments made this one of the best Christmas' yet. I was able to enjoy everyone all at once and special moments with each of them. God knew exactly what I needed and I am so very thankful for Him.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

All wrapped up for Christmas

I am lying in bed with my head buried in the pillow, blankets over my head and my finger blocking the sound of the song "One Last Christmas" playing on the radio from the other room. For so many of us the holiday's are  a time of struggle. Whether we have lost ones we love and are going through Christmas without them or we fear the very words that are sung in this song. Perhaps these songs bring comfort for some, but for me it is a time I have to turn the radio off, or, if I don't want to get up, block my ears :)

This time of year brings so many emotions all wrapped up at the same time.I can't wait to get out the decorations &lights. Pick out the perfect tree that "has to be taller than our kids".Play Christmas music without everyone telling me "it's too early"!Oh how I look forward to the celebration of the season and then it hits me... I find myself struggling with sadness and fear, wondering... what if? Scared for me, scared for my family. I try to remind myself that I go through this every year but somehow it just doesn't help.

So... what is one to do with all these feelings at the same time? I am trying to focus on the JOY of celebrating the birth of Christ and the special time with family and friends and the PEACE of knowing we have a loving, all knowing God that knows the plans He has for us.
When I find myself straddling this fence I work hard to stay positive through
 Prayer, He knows our fears and how to help us with them.

It is a great time to focus on giving to others. This always brings Joy.
We have talked about  making some changes that may help make this time of year a bit easier.Nothing big, just some small changes.Well, this is about the 6th time I have tried to write and finish this as I find this a difficult topic but yet one I am sure many understand. Tonight Chris and I both were having a tough day so we dragged ourselves up and out the door to run. Four miles later and we both feel a lot better...always does the trick!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


"Dream with me.... what would you like to do with your running if you could take it to the next level"?
"I would like to start with local runs, like 5 and 10k's and grow it from there. Maybe into a foundation one day".
Dream it...and then do it.... 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Adding a "little spice"...

Once a month I head in to my doctors to receive my Faslodex injection which I did again today. Each time I go I swing by Starbucks on the way home and treat myself to a latte. Today I enjoyed one of my favorites... Pumpkin Spice latte!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


This Thanksgiving we will run in the the First Annual Minich Family & Friends 5k Turkey Trot! So far we have a good number of people signed up considering this will be the first year and with 2 weeks notice. I hope each year it will grow and the predicted cold weather does not keep people from coming.

We will meet in the Starbucks parking lot and we will Trot @ 8 AM. The 5k (3.1 miles) will take us through some beautiful country back roads heading towards the lake and back to Starbucks where all the frozen runners and walkers can enjoy a cup of coffee.
A great way to start your Thanksgiving Day, thankful for good health that allows us to do this and great friends & family to share the time with.


Monday, November 15, 2010

The Fall Flu and other health updates

It's Fall and Flu season. As I write this I have a nightstand full of medications and have gone through close to a whole box of tissues.
I started feeling bad Thursday and have been in bed all weekend. I think I am over the worst part now, have slept a lot and watched many movies. I did not get a flu shot this year. No particular reason. I am not convinced one way or the other on the flu shot. I did get it last year and had the flu anyways. I will say it did not seem as bad as this year.

The Flu was preceded by 2 UTI's which required 2 rounds of antibiotics and a message from my doctor that if I have another one I will need to see a urologist. I think it is a side effect from the Faslodex injections as they come after I recieve the shot and it is listed as a side effect. Next shot is at the end of November so I will see if it happens again.

 The migraine headaches have stopped and my nurse gave me some medication to try if they come back again. Hopefully not. With those under control my BP is also back to normal.
A much needed trip to the dentist revealed 2 cavities, which I had filled and 2 crowns that are needed. I have not made that apt. yet.

Besides the above mentioned I am doing pretty well. My next visit to the oncologist and round of tests will be in February. I continue with the hormone therapy, once a month faslodex injection, every 4 months Lupron injections and daily dose ( 4 pills) of Tykerb. I will admit all of this combined with the regular fatigue and side effects have been a bit tough to deal with lately and my visits to Dr.K, my psychologist have become more frequent again. Just thankful I have the option to see him when I need to.
I do not know how long I will stay on any or all of these treatments.If all goes well with my next set of tests I plan to ask Dr. A.
That's about it on the "medical" side of things. Next post will be on the more fun things in life!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Our first place 10k race :)

This morning Chris and I ran in the Lake Cities  Spirit of Christmas run. We participated in the 10k  ( 6.2 miles) race. The run was all along the lake and quite nice.Weather was humid as we have had storms all day but were fortunate enough to get the run in before they hit.
This event was a small community race to raise money and toys for local families for Christmas.
Receiving my 1rst place medal
Chris receiving his first place medal
Chris and I both placed first in our age divisions which was not hard to do given most people were younger than us :) But.... race completed and we are happy with our first place medals.
Chris had a good race, I have had better :) We have noticed I am having so much trouble with fatigue ever since the last rounds of radiation which ended the end of May. It is showing up everywhere, including my running.

Chris keeps reminding me it has not been that long but it is difficult when you can't do what you used to be able to do.Time...time..time.
Chris crossing the finish line
 There were several members from our church there and all first place winners! Yay for FBC!!
FBC Corinth Runners!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I came across this on Facebook from the Lance Armstrong foundation. With this being October and breast cancer awareness month I do find myself at times feeling conflicted over the "pink" advertising you see everywhere.
On one side of things,the awareness and support is wonderful. If the proceeds are truly going towards breast cancer research and helping survivors and their families it is a great thing.
I myself support research, raise money and participate in events all the time through organizations like Komen, American Cancer Society, Team In Training and Livestrong. The money raised, research, help and support to patients and their families is invaluable.I guess the conflict for me is feeling it has become commercialized. Breast cancer is neither pretty or pink. The picture above is the absolute reality of breast cancer.To many the pink is a sign of hope and support, it can also be a label that none of us ever  wanted and a constant reminder everyday of what we have been through and what we still live with.
I knew I had been feeling conflicted about this lately so one day I decided to see what would happen when we went to a restaurant with a large group of people that  was all decorated with pink balloons, hats, shirts, ribbons, etc. I wondered if they truly supported the "cause" they were displaying everywhere.I asked if there was anything special they did for breast cancer survivors.  He asked me if I was a survivor and I told him yes, of 12 years. After dinner, he and the manager brought out a huge desert with several spoons for me and our table to share. And share we did, passing it around the table 2 times before we  were all too full to finish it. My wonderful family and friends sang "Happy Survivor Day" showing their support as they always do. Kudos to On The Border!
As the title indicates "Conflicted"....on this one.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

You have a brain!!

Yes, this is how I get my test results (which I love having such a good & fun relationship with my oncology team :) I do have a brain and it is alone with only the parts and pieces that should be there.So, YES my test results are fine!
Thank you everyone, once again, for your prayers and support. Now to find out why I am having these migraines??
After talking with my nurse here is what we plan to do;
I will begin keeping a journal to see if there are patterns ( foods, weather, stress,etc).
I will have another faslodex injection on the 25th. At that time they will give me some stronger pain meds in case the headaches return due to the faslodex and we will see if there is a connection to the drug.
As of this morning I do not have a headache ( yay) and hope it has passed. If the migraines return before the 25th, I will call the doctor again.
That is about it for now~ thanks everyone!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Feeling better today

only a slight headache this morning, getting ready to leave for the MRI. My son Kevin is going with me and then we will go out for lunch :)

Me and Kevin having fun at the lake


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Update and MRI tomorrow

Tomorrow I will be having an MRI of the brain due to migraine headaches I have been having for the past 3 weeks. They are definitely causing a problem in my day to day activities and Dr. A wants me to have the MRI done to make sure there is nothing going on.I have had 2 of these done in the past and do fine with the test itself.
Would appreciate prayers that this test result comes back with no problems.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


To all cancer survivors, their families, friends, doctors and support teams "Happy LIVESTRONG DAY"! Thank you ALL for helping me to "LIVESTRONG"!

If you celebrated LiveSrong day and have pictures I can add to this post please e-mail them to me...thanks!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Will you wear Yellow on Saturday, Oct.2nd?

Who's In?? I am looking for those of you that would like to join me this Saturday, Oct. 2nd for LIVESTRONG day 2010.
WHAT IS LIVESTRONG DAY? The anniversary of Lance Armstrong's cancer diagnosis is a global day of action. On October 2, we gather to celebrate survivorship and commit to working towards a world without cancer.
What do you do? Simply wear yellow this Saturday...anything yellow, wrist band, shirt, hat, anything. Then let me know you are participating and who you will be remembering or honoring that has faced or is living with cancer.
If you are able, please post pics showing your support in Yellow!! OK..lets see how many people will join in and from how many places around the country and world! You can get the yellow wrist bands from most sporting goods stores.

I will wear yellow In memory of;
Jim Minich
Ed Minich
Minnie Hack
Ed Roache
Gail Spinks
Connie Cobb
Layla Grace
Byran Mote
Linda Dansby
 Jan Giest
Frank McGrath

And in Honor of;
Natasha Smithey
Robin Myers
Art Ritter
Noelle Clark
Dianne Smith
Joyce Murphy
Diane Ulrich
and me :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Training for a 10k!

Chris and I are loving the change to the Fall season here. Until today it has been a very long, hot summer. Tonight we went for a 4.5 mile run in a cool 66 degrees and it was my best run in a long time!
I do not tend to do well in the heat and feel many of the medications affect me more so when it is hot. I did have a faslodex injection on Friday but have felt fine this time. I have no doubt that running/exercising reduces or takes away the side effects from on-going medications and treatments.I have experienced this time and time again.

We were starting to get a little lax with our running and decided it was time to sign up for a race to "kick us into gear". We will run a local 10k race in October that raises money to help families during the Christmas season. This will be our first "official" 10k.
Thanking God for the ability to run, a husband to run with and cooler weather!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Running Route

This painting was done by my friend Cynthia to illustrate a favorite running route that Chris and I run often. "Many of the elements don't actually appear in this manner...but were "collected" in honor of family memory." There are many details in the painting, all which have a particular and special meaning. It now hangs in my home gym... beside the treadmill :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

110 Survivors Speak...

This question was posed to all cancer survivors on Facebook by the organization "Livestrong" . Although there were over 300 answers, I chose these to post. There is really nothing better than hearing answers like these straight from the people who have gone through a cancer diagnosis and treatment.These are their personal experiences and thoughts. Although I agree with many they are not my own thoughts & opinions. I hope if you or someone you know is facing a cancer diagnosis there will be helpful information here to help you through this time.
"Survivors: Name one piece of information you wish you had known before going through treatment".
 1) when your immune system is so should incubate yourself and your house from visitors dad caught pneumonia from sick people coming to visit and he didn't have a chance to fight it...
2) Keep a journal, there will be too much to remember.
3) I had no idea how important humor was. Everyone around me was so serious . . . I found humor everywhere.
4) Think of your doctors as members of a sports team, each with his or her own specific role. You need a great team captain you can trust...and who may or may not have a medical degree. That person should be aware of what all the other team members are doing, to ensure everyone's working in sync toward a common goal: your physical AND emotional well-being
5) My mother always said she wished someone had told her that it almost hurt when your hair falls out during chemo. She was so grateful the day I shaved her head
6) that I would be living my life to the fullest of its potential. Before cancer, I am not sure if I was living or just going through life.
7) that not everyone that said they would be there for me was telling the truth.
8) POSITIVE ATTITUDE no matter what happens!!!!
9)the high risk of lymphodema and how to try to reduce the risk of getting it
10) Having just given birth the day before my diagnosis, I wish I would have known how to cope with being a mom, understanding my type of cancer, long term effects and how to live life after treatment. Don't be afraid to ask questions!!!
11) more likely to get a blood clot because I've had cancer...
12) the people that said they would be there WON'T, and people you never expected and some you don't even know will do more for you than you could ever expect! I have met the most amazing people through my cancer journey! 
13) That the nurses and doctors that are there would become a part of your life and that a positive thought no matter where it comes from can do more than the treatment at times.
14) Cancer can be very lonely. The power of being touched was so important to just feel normal. I needed Hugs!  Hug a cancer patient we need it! It fills the spirit so we can fight on. Also time to heal. There is no set time frame when to feel better. It takes time.
15) How you should try to keep working, even if it's very part time because it's been extremely difficult finding a job.
16) That I did not have to remove my ovaries!!!
17) would have loved to have met someone who had been there, done that. as it happened i didn't meet my first fellow testicular cancer survivor face to face till after nine years.
18) That I wasn't the only one having a hard time. I promise I thought I was ! Lol but I suppose that's the mind of a 5 yr old.
19) how much simpler life would be once I had my priorities in order.
20) That the hormone treatment would have felt like i was going through hell and back.
21)That I would never be the same again :(
22) The long-term effects of radiation.
23) You are the boss of you!!
24) To line up dedicated people to come to my house and help me every day.
25)That life would be better afterwards. That I would be a better person as a survivor.
26) That I would be ok after it all was said and done. I was an emotional mess afterwards
27)There isn't enough money in the world to cure stupid. It only takes one stupid doctor to ruin a lifetime. Get a second opinion EVEN if insurance doesn't pay for it! 
28) Knowing an Onc. could speed up the drip to cause heart problems...should have happened on 1st cycle, no, unusually, happened on 2nd....Rituximab CVP. Alert.
29) That I didn't need rehab to stop smoking pot! 
30) That skin cancer needs more media focus, it's a killer too.
31) Get therapy during treatment. Don't bottle up your emotions. This is what happens when your brain goes into survival mode after a diagnosis. You will be better off when you finish treatment. Oh yeah, and get gentle massages ;)
32)My God.....I would have appreciated knowing what where the different phases that I would go through during and after treatment...continually had to ask the Doctors or Nurses of this and that was normal !!!! Furthermore..... I was never told that chemo. and radiology would be responsible for close to $13,000 of damage to my teeth!
33)That had I listened and used sunscreen, I could have prevented so much!
34) I wish I had recommended Cannabis to a good friend of mine to ease his pain.
35) A plan to try and recover financially.
36) One piece of info: that 11 years later I would still be dealing with the side effects and fatigue.

    • 37) a) that I had to be my own advocate throughout, and b) that the 2nd year -- the one AFTER surgery and chemo was going to be SO hard!!
    • 38) that I had choices in dossages of the various chemo treatments.
    • 39)That I could have frozen sperm and had a chance of being a father.
    • 40)I knew I would be sick, but I had no idea how bad it would be and for so long. Every muscle in my upper body so sore from vomiting that you could not touch them. All bad!
      41) Choices and the advice to "get a 10th opinion"
      42)That you don't have to go through cancer alone - with wonderful people like Paula Holland De Long and her amazing book "What's Next for Life"
    • 43) that i had choices in dosages and treatments i ended up with injuries that may have been preventable.
      44)  Build your support group from the start and inform yourself as much as possible. DO NOT put your head in the sand!!! Fight like you have never fought before...
    •  45) That I should have a scoop of ice cream before my T-FOX treatments because the Oxalliplatin prevents me from eating or drinking anything cold for a good week after treatment!
      46)That when you get diagnosed before your 21 that your life will not be the same as your peers as far as dating and your possible ability to have kids
    • 47) As a wife of a survivor...and his advocate....I wish we had known that the doctor's receptionist can make appointments appear where there were none and is an integral part of the entire process. Make friends early.
    • 48)That it does finally END! After 1 1/2 years, you begin to think it will never be over....9 year survivor Stage 3 breast cancer xxoo
    • 49)I wish I had known I would have breast cancer a second time 12 years later - I may have had a mastectomy and chemo but no radiation. 
    • 50)My sister and I ended up starting a Leukemia/Lymphoma support group in our town. We both (10 years apart) had a rare form of Lymphoma.
    • 51) I have only had 3 sessions of chemo so far but I wish I could have prepared better for the effects of it!Can't believe how SICK it makes you!Wish I had time to put on weight! I'm dwindling away!
      52) How to secure help with medications.
      53)Insurance costs....what would be considered "covered"
    • 55) How sick I would get after eating Greasy food's :(
    • 56) to take more time off and not rush back to work... 
    • 57) that it would take me two years to get back to running a marathon. 
    • 58)  Becoming dehydrated!!! I couldn't drink water or anything for that matter. Had to go in for fluids everytime....
    • 59) That no matter how much your care givers and friends want to and try to understand, nothing beats the fellowship and no one understands what we are going through like other cancer patients and survivors.
    • 60)That it can be inconvenient and stop you doing all those things you wanted to do, and never knew you wanted to do before you started that you now do and love because you earned it and wanted to do it
      61)What to expect in survivorship and how long it really takes to recover,
    • 62)How much PTSD would affect my life. Two years later and I still have nightmares and flashbacks triggered by the craziest things.
    • 63)If your doctors are giving you conflicting information, make sure you address this immediately. You are your own best advocate, don’t think that your doctors are all talking with each other regularly.
      64)I wish I had known that chemo brain would be so pervasive, even more than a year after treatment, and that I shouldn't pretend that I was fine physically and mentally when I really wasn't.
    • 65) I'd like to know what everyone would like to know post treatment. I'm a 20+ year survivor and the information out there has been sketchy.
    • 66) the heartache watching your child suffer.
    • 67) That being well doesn't always mean that life is normal again. You have to be a warrior for your health and always always stay focused on being healthy.

      68) That hospitals make you wait...and wait...and wait some more.
      69) Before participating in a clinical trial, seek all the advice you need from your providers, gather the information you need to make the best decision for your situation and take all the time you need to be comfortable with YOUR decision.
      70)How much school I'd have to miss because of being sick all the time, how depressed I would be during treatment, how I would be treated differently by everyone for having cancer.
      71) I'm not the survivor my mum is, what she wanted to know, was why, but other than that she wanted to know how long it would be till she felt safe without worrying everyday if it was going to come back, she is only 5 months post op, and still thinks every trip to the hospital they will tell her its back.
      72) that being a survivor is harder than you could possibly imagine - that your relationships change forever - that life never goes back to normal - that friends fall back into the woodwork once treatments are done.
      73) How to protect my right to work as a survivor
      74) My dad wishes that he would have known that the chemo ( that made him vomit ) would rupture his esophageal tumor & kill him by it bursting , insted of being told it would shrink it and give him 6 extra months... he said he would have chosen shorter time of life with better quality than the sickness & death :(
      75) If I would live
      76) Suck on candy to help with the chemotherapy
      77)How guilty one could feel because I did survived (8 months after treatment) and that I handled treatment better than most!
      78) not to look my dx up on the internet....
      79) as a caregiver, actually knowing how strong and courageous those that have to go through this are..
      80) How complicated managing EOBs vs Medical Bills were, & had a system to go to & put in place to organize & reconcile them.
      81) Well I have to say I am thankful that I thought things through with chemical treatment the stages my cancer was in, chemical treatment was not highly effective enough for me to suffer through it so I chose alternative treatment such as herbs and natropathic methods and have out lived my doom date lol by 3 yrs and still going strong! I'm thankful I had someone to show me another maybe this will find someone who needs more info on natropathic meds and I can help them like someone helped me 5 yrs ago!
      82) During treatment you won't believe that you can come out the other side a stronger and better person and an Ironman finisher.
      83) How much longer doc....
      84) That Cancer is big business and all I am is a # and an insurance card.Luckily I was and still am very proactive in my treatment.I made the decisions and wasn't afraid to question the Dr.'s decisions. 85)Keep physically active; it helps you deal with the effects of medication.
      86) how much more i would appreciate the people in my life, how much more positive i would become and how much more value i would place on nature and relationships...
      87) That I was going to survive.
      88) That I would go from fat and unhealthy to being a healthy 1/2 marathon runner! The sky is the limit!!
      89) That life would never be the same again... But not necessarily worse!
      90) Advice on how to handle the panic attacks and paranoia afterward. Or just to know they would be there. Might have made them less affecting
      91) That chemo would make me uncomfortable in my own skin and that the food channel would totally disgust me.
      92) family members (especially spouses) need to voice their emotions too.
      93) SIDE EFFECTS FROM RADIATION, LIKE C.A.R Cancer Associated Retinopathy
      94) Wish we had taken more pictures during chemo, etc. My husband, a survivor and always a comedian, says he wishes someone would have told him he'd lose ALL his hair, including below the waist.
      95) I wish i would have learned more about being a survivor. I never doubted my survival but once i beat it i wasnt sure what to do afterwards and the transition back to normal life. It was sooo much harder than i ever dreamed
      96) How important it is to have a survivor support net work.Somebody that understands that has been through it to talk to.For me its been about understanding and living 1 day at a time and getting stronger, without any kind of pity.Our support network we help each other. This has happened through facebook Livestrong and Gilda,s club. I f you get a chance to help another survivor Just do it.Remember you also will be helping your self.
      97) To allow people to help and not hide it.
      98) Steriods can make gain weight and its hard to loose it
      99) That not only will I survive Stage 4 stomach/esophageal cancer, but that I will thrive and be significantly stronger than before.
      100) It's doable.... it's okay.... it can be done... LIVESTRONG.(12 year survivor)
      101) There is so much at the beginning of treatment that is needed to know like long term affects of radiation and chemo, but some of that can be pretty hard to swallow when faced with the realities of beginning treatment.
      102) That what I thought was going to be the worst would turn out not to be, and that what I thought would not bother me (no hair) did.
      103) I wish that I had been ...given nutritional information and exercises to help the treatments effectiveness and recovery from the treatment.
      104) Even though you are the one going through it, the people around you are helpless unless you guide them and let them know what you need.

      105) B-Complex to help you sleep...enjoy your food before treatment, because nothing will taste the same
      106) I wish someone would have told me how paranoid I would be about every minor symptom after treatment and remission....  
      107) My hubby wishes he would have exercised everyday before going through prostate cancer surgery. Helps with the stamina needed for recovery. Surgery was a success and contained. Praying through each PSA test. "Know your numbers!"
      108) That oncology nurses are the greatest and most wonderful people on the planet!
      109) how doctors think! You owe it to yourself and family to do your homework about options and treatments and ultimately to find the right doctor. Thanks Dr Urken for never shutting down my questions and for knowing you could make a difference.
      110)"if i can just make it through today.." will get you further than you think

      And lastly my own; how hard it would be to completly submit my life, like I had never done before. To KNOW and TRUST that the Lord is always with me, will never leave me and knows what is best.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A rough time with the Lupron....

Yesterday was my Lupron injection which is given every 4 months as part of my treatment. Generally I have side effects from both the Lupron and the Faslodex shots, but this one seemed a bit worse. Why, I don't know.
As I was driving home from the doctors office I started having sharp, stabbing pain in my upper abdominal and back area. It came 3 times in a row and then stopped. It was pretty painful and kind of scary as I was alone and driving. I started to feel a little dizzy so I made sure I knew what cross streets I was at in case I needed to call someone.
Thankfully, it stopped and I continued on home. Since then I have, until now, been in bed just feeling very weak, tired, nauseated and achy. All common side effects from the Lupron. This one just seemed a bit rougher than the previous ones. Hopefully I am on the upswing now and hoping for a better day tomorrow:)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Blog for my classes!

I decided to change my "Food4Life" blog to "Fit4Life" as this will allow me to post all my classes in one place making it easier for people (and me) to see what classes are being offered, times, locations, etc.

I am looking forward to this next session "Fall into Fitness" and hope you will check out the new blog, leave feedback and if you live in the area... come join us for one of the several classes offered!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Looking Like Lymphedema

Went to my doctors office today to get a Faslodex shot and a Lupron injection. Lucky me, the Lupron was not in so I get to go back for that one.

I did see the doctor ( not my regular Onc) and asked him to take a look at my arm and hand. I have been having trouble with slight swelling, discomfort/tightness and restricted range of motion in my right arm. This is the side that I had surgery and radiation on.
He gave me some medication to try for 5 days, I think it is a diuretic. If that does not help he said I will need to be fit for a compression sleeve. I would like to talk with my regular doctor first before I take the diuretic. Not sure that is the correct way to go as I have all the "symptoms" of mild lymphedema and would prefer to do the therapy needed before it gets worse or infected.


By Mayo Clinic staff Lymphedema refers to swelling that generally occurs in one of your arms or legs. Although lymphedema tends to affect just one arm or leg, sometimes both arms or both legs may be swollen.
Lymphedema is caused by a blockage in your lymphatic system, an important part of your immune and circulatory systems. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and as the fluid builds up, the swelling continues.
There's no cure for lymphedema, but it can be controlled. Controlling lymphedema involves diligent care of your affected limb.
Compression Sleeve;

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Worthwhile Cause....

Hi Fellow Cancer Survivors (and families of),

I found this survey for cancer survivors on Livestrong, one of the strongest advocates of cancer survivorship.  It takes about 15-20 minutes if you are interested.  I think it is a worthwhile cause, and you might want to send it on to other survivors that you know.
I recieved this from a fellow blogger and survivor. Last night I filled it out and feel the questions they asked and topics they covered were quite relevant. Hopefully all the data that is collected will provide more knowledge and help for those of us and our families that are living with cancer.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

12 year Cancerversary!

" This is a really hard life isn't it" ? This was a question my father-in-law Ed asked me the last time I saw him. Ed, sadly lost his fight with brain cancer just 9 months ago.
As I now celebrate my 12 year "cancerversary" I cannot help but reflect on that question he asked me.
The short answer is yes, it is a hard life. But... it could be so much harder.
I am sad for so many family and friends that did not survive and at the same time I know how blessed I am to still be here.
God gives us all work to do while we are here and it is so exciting to see what He brings to me each and every day.
Yes, it is a hard life, but it is the one He has asked me to live.

 17Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him.

Psalm 138:8
The Lord will fullfill His purpose for me.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Session 3 of "Little Swimmers"!

Well, summer here in Texas is coming to an end, by the calendar only. As I write this it is 102 degrees outside at 11:30 AM!
With school getting ready to start swimming lessons have come to an end. I finished my 3rd session yesterday with a wonderful group of kids ages 3-10!
My first class was a 3 yr. old class with Josiah, who I taught at the beginning of the summer. He started out in May not wanting to put his face under water. Now... we can't keep that boy above water! What a great little swimmer he has become!
getting the rings and rocket ship
Josiah age 3!

Also in this class was Izzy, who just turned 3! She was very hesitant with this being her first  swim class, but ended up making lots of progress and just has the cutest smile ever! Motor boat was her favorite song to sing:)
Izzy age 3 singing motor boat and practicing her bubbles

Second class was John & Brianna, brother and sister to Izzy. What a sweet family! The thing that stands out the most to me with their lessons was that they did not want to go in the deeper water. As you can see they both had, as Brianna said "conquered their fears"!

The 3rd group were my "girls", Emma, Abigail & August.

They too were lots of fun and getting to work on stroke development with them was for me personally a lot of fun!
They worked on their freestyle...



Flip turns...

And of course diving for rings and sticks while holding their breathe as looong as they could! They were pretty good at this.

All the older kids in group 2 & 3 also learned to tread water, swim to the bottom in the deeper water and practice safety skills such as how to rest when they need to.

It has been a great summer of teaching and I have been blessed to teach and get to know these 21 "Little swimmers"! Sharing the love for water is a joy!
Have a great end  of summer, stay cool, safe and enjoy the water!
Miss Elayne :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Teaching my "Little Swimmers"~ session 2

It has been a fun and busy summer, not to mention ridiculously hot! These are some pictures from my second session. I had a total of 8 kids this session ages 2-7

TJ ( my nephew :) doing bobs.
Sophie ( my niece) learning how to blow bubbles and kick ....
This is Sarah from one of the 3 year old classes. The goal is always safety first. So, here she is jumping in, swimming back to the wall and pulling herself out of the water with no help!

Summer & Josh from another 3 year old class. It is a great idea to have an instructor come to your house to teach your kids so they learn safety and swimming at the pool they will be in the most. That is what I did for these next two classes.

Learning how to float and swim on their backs. This is a hard one to get them to trust you with, especially if they have never met you before :)

Going to the bottom to pick up the "Rocket Ship"!

swimming through the hoop under water and practicing kicks and arms...  which we call ice cream scoops!

My youngest swimmers of the season were Hayden and Liam who swam with mom in a two year old WaterTots class.... Liam was sick on the last day so Hayden got to be the ham for the camera.. so cute!
Hayden learning to blow bubbles..........
Splashing in the waterfall while doing his "monkey walk" was a favorite.


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