Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fantastic, Funtastic, Runtastic

I had a great run tonight.  8 miles!  I felt so strong and I had a lot of time to reflect on my last year and how far I have come in running, fitness, health and quality of life.  Everything is stronger now (Well, except my job.  That's my low point). 

I hope to run the next two days before my rest day and then continue this summer until my 10K in September.  My goal is 1 hour, and by the looks of this run, I completely think that is doable.  Here are my splits.  I can't believe how fast I was at the end!

  • Mile 1- 11:34 Warm Up
  • Mile 2- 10:54
  • Mile 3- 10:27
  • Mile 4- 12:10 (includes 2 minute re-fuel break)
  • Mile 5- 10:10
  • Mile 6- 10:03
  • Mile 7- 9:58
  • Mile 8- 10:03

We get back from South Carolina Friday evening.  My next appointment in Baltimore is next Wednesday (the 8th).  I'll definitely update for that follow up. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Amazing South Carolina!

We are at Seabrook Island this week. Wow, this place is amazing! We saw dolphins strand feeding this morning, horseshoe crabs, hermit crabs, alligators in the pond behind our house and turtle hatchlings. Here is a short clip of the dolphins, something this place is known for.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Blog Facelift

I was thinking yesterday that I am really moving into a very positive place with my BRCA recovery and I am really enjoying the connections I am making with people through this blog.  I can't tell you how meeting other women and making connections on something I am so passionate about makes any time spent or aggravation with blogger worth it! 

I loved my old template because of the flower reflection.  I liked that it was two side of the same "face" so to speak.  I also liked the pop of color and a lot of black because that's how I felt.  Now, I feel much less dark, scared or sad.  I feel confident and strong.  I liked this template because it still has the same flower symbol but in a more positive scheme. 

I am also working on a new section for running and various fund raisers.  I will be part of Relay for Life again in Clarksburg for 2013, but I will not be the chair of the event.  So be looking at the "pages" now listed to the left side (not tabs at the top) for that new section! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What is a Survivor?

I always, and will always, call my mother a survivor of Breast Cancer.  She survived!  She is a survivor.  However that is personal to me and I am not offended by other interpretations of labels.  I call myself a previvor for example although there is some resistance within the community that the term is offensive.  I find that any attitude that promotes competition among members of this community, whether the memeber a care-giver, previvor, patient, or survivor, only promotes mutiny.  Competing over who is more or less a survivor, or deserving of support only internally weakens the group.  We need to come together under the common characteristic of passion to prevent and find a cure for cancer.  And internal mutiny means cancer has won because the fosuc is then on labels and attention rather than research and education.  I try not to get to concerned over labels.  If you use them or not, I don't care.  

This article is a great article and I love the perspective.  I think calling yourself something, whether a care-giver, co-survivor, previvor or survivor is just another step in the journey.  There are steps many of us take, but sometimes we take them in different orders, or we skip them all together.  I think the "label" (whichever it might be) is just this kind of step.  Some people take it before other in their journey and some never take it at all.  And that's okay!  It doesn't change their memebership to the community.

Please take a moment to read: "Life, Interrupted: Am I a Cancer Survivor?" by SULEIKA JAOUAD

Hey New Yorkers!

This coming weekend you can participate in Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day!  I am SO jealous!  If I had more money, I would be traveling north for this day.  HERE is the information.  Also, in New York, you can participate in the T.E.A.L. Ovarian Cancer Walk in September.  Find out more information HERE.  

I always thought of Ovarian Cancer as a "silent killer".  In fact, this page is a great resource.  In fact, while it was historically thought to be silent due to vague symptoms that resemble other female issues (menstruation, infection, menopause, etc.), the key is the persistence of the symptoms, rather than just the experience.  

These lists are taken from the website found HERE:

  • There are NO effective pre-screening tools for ovarian cancer and a pap smear will NOT detect it.
  • Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women.
  • In 2011, it is estimated that 26,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 15,000 women will die from the disease.
  • Approximately 174,236 women living in the United States currently have ovarian cancer or have a history of ovarian cancer. Women are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region. Despite aggressive surgical intervention and new chemotherapeutic regimens, the overall 5-year survival rate for women with advanced stage ovarian cancer has remained constant over the past 30 years, at approximately 15%. However, when ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.
The symptoms are generally subtle and vague so that women ignore them.The key is that the symptoms last more than 2-3 weeks and are otherwise unexplained. 90% of women with ovarian cancer reported having some of the following symptoms:
  • Digestive problems: gas, flatulence, bloating, loss of appetite, occasionally abdominal pain.
  • Abdominal pressure or discomfort.
  • Changes in bowel and bladder habits (e.g. urinary frequency, diarrhea, constipation).
  • Pain (less common) in the lower back, pelvis or legs.
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding.
  • Unusual fatigue or backaches.
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Increasing waist line size, for no obvious reason.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Running for Little Lives

In my journey through BRCA2, "previvorship" and fitness, I registered for a my next 3 races.  I have a small and hopefully fast 5K next weekend right here in my town.  In August, I am stepping up for a 10K in Annapolis followed by a 10K in September in Baltimore.  The first race is for local high school scholarships in memory of a local woman who served as a coach at the local high school.  The second race is for multiple causes, but most notably the women and children's shelter and programs in Annapolis.  The last race is the 2012 Race for our Kids that supports childhood cancer treatment and research in Baltimore, MD at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai.  For this race, I would like to and can fund raise for the cause.  My goal is $250.  If you can and choose to support me and children with childhood cancer, you can pledge HERE.

This, as in cancer awareness, activism, research, education and every aspect of this disease is such a near and dear passion, clearly, that I am just thrilled that I have yet another avenue to participate.  I hope to run, not just for me and my health, but as a method to disseminate my passion.  I said I wanted to run for something and I am just loving that my goals are coming to fruition. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012


A year ago, while sitting in my breast surgeon's office waiting to hear all the details of my big day, I saw a picture of a woman and her family skydiving together.  As I looked at the picture intently, the nurse said, "She survived cancer.  She said when she was cancer free she was going skydiving to remind her to live life."  Well, today, I lived! 

Ray planned a surprise outing today to celebrate our 7th anniversary.  Skydiving!!  Here is the video.  It was just an amazing experience that I will cherish forever.