Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dream Big!

Thursday, May 22,2008

Current mood: Excited!

I am so excited that David Cook won American Idol! The video is of him singing one his songs at the finale. It's called Dream Big. I think the song is very appropriate for him and where he is in his life.

But that message needs to be passed around and EVERYONE needs to Dream Big. We all need to chase our dreams. I learned that this past year after fighting cancer. Every day is precious and we have to embrace every opportunity and chase those dreams and make them reality!

My mom once gave me a saying and it's framed and sits on my end table in my living room. It reads:

The Voice of Adventure

There is a rawness and a wonder to life. Pursue it. Hunt for it. Sell out to get it. Don't listen to the whines of those who have settled for a second rate life and want you to do the same so they won't feel guilty. Your goal is not to live long; it's to live. Jesus says the options are clear. On one side there is the voice of safety. You can build a fire in the hearth, stay inside, and stay warm and dry and safe...Or you can hear the voice of adventure, God's Adventure. Instead of building a fire in your hearth, build a fire in your heart. Follow God's impulses. Adopt a child. Move overseas. Teach the class. Change careers. Run for office. Make a difference. Sure it isn't safe, but what is?

Right now I'm chasing my dream. Anyone who knows me, knows I love NYC and after fighting cancer last year I said, you know what?, I'm going to chase my dream! So I started applying for jobs in NYC and after June 4th (I go for a 2nd interview) my dream may be my reality. Keep your fingers crossed for me...

So Dream BIG! and chase your dream and make it your reality!

Congrats to Jon Lester!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Current mood: Inspired

OK, Anyone who knows me knows I love my Andy Pettitte and the New York Yankees...yes in that order. But as a young adult cancer survivor, I find myself rooting for other young adult cancer survivors as they accomplish great things. So for today, I guess I could be a Red Sox fan.....What! Did I say that? Let's face it, that will never happen! But I am a Jon Lester fan. Congrats to Jon on his no hitter.

Lester's No-Hitter Inspires Cancer Survivors
Less Than Two Years After Lymphoma, Jon Lester Makes History
By AUDREY GRAYSONABC News Medical Unit May 21, 2008

When Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester took the mound for Monday night's game against the Kansas City Royals, 12-year-old Wil Vaillancourt of Marblehead, Mass., at first, could not be bothered to watch. Engrossed in his computer game, Vaillancourt only glanced at the television periodically to see the score.

Wil Vaillancourt, left, and Matthew Lowney, right, are two of the cancer survivors who were inspired by Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester's no-hitter on Monday.

But midway through the televised game, when Lester appeared poised to pitch a no-hitter, Wil's father, Quin, mentioned nonchalantly, "You know, Jon Lester is a cancer survivor."

Wil was enraptured. But his reasons for pulling for Lester may have been even more personal than those of the thousands of fans that crowded Fenway Park that night.

Wil has leukemia. For him, watching Lester pitch his way into the history books was particularly inspiring.

"I was surprised that [Lester] did have cancer, seeing how good he was pitching," Wil said. "I was surprised how he could be doing that."

The 24-year-old Lester, who sat out the end of the 2006 season and returned to the team last year after completing treatment, held the Royals to no hits in a 7-0 win.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How A Simple Smile Can Make Someone's Day :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Current mood: Happy

The nicest thing happened to me today and I want to share it with everyone and hopefully this message will get passed along...

My message is A smile can go along way and for me it has. A complete stranger smiled at me today and it so made my day!

I went to NYC today and on the train ride home, while I was standing ready to exit the train as we approached Stamford, I noticed a man look at my necklace. He then looked up and as our eyes met he gave me a smile. Why is this a big deal? It's a big deal because I wear a breast cancer survivor necklace. His smile meant so much to me.

In the past people would stare at me and it used to PISS ME OFF! They would stare at my bald head and make me feel like crap. Even as my hair grew back, I still got stares. I'm happy to say today that I just look like I have a short hair cut and no longer look like a chemo patient.

Now if people wanted to stare and then smile at me, that would have been OK. But that never happened.

I guess my point is that a simple gesture such as smiling at someone can really make a difference...

So to the man on 3:38 pm train from NYC to Stamford, I say Thank You for making my day!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Celebrating Livestrong Day

Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Current mood: feeling blessed

Today was Livestrong Day and it was the best day ever!

For one thing it was a beauuuutiful day. Sunny, not a cloud in the sky and there was a light breeze and the temperature was around 70. Can’t ask for anything better than that!

The other thing that made the day so wonderful was that I didn’t have any doctors appointments or didn’t need my "every 3 week" treatment. How sweet is that! A day to do NOTHING, that doesn’t happen very often for me and I took full advantage.

Instead I got to spend the day doing what I wanted for a change! I spent the afternoon with my close friend Danielle. We shopped and ate lunch and just did what good friends do....gossip and catch up on our lives. She just had a baby, so I got to spend time with him as well. Now anyone who knows me, knows I'm not a baby person, but I have to admit he is a cutie! We even joked about how we timed things wrong. Here she was out on maternity leave and I just returned to work. We laughed and agreed it would have been dangerous if we were both out at the same time. We'd be poor and 400 lbs.

This evening I met another friend for dinner. And yes, we gossipped and caught up on our lives as well. My friend Sue is like a second Mom. She is always there for me when I need her and is always willing to listen to me whether it's just bitching about something or giving me great advice, she's always there and I love her for that.

I think I did a good job today "living strong". I enjoyed myself and shared my day with two very important people in my life.

Isn't that what life is all about?...

Come Out and Support Young Adult Cancer Survivors!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Current mood: content

Celebrate stupid cancer in style! Survivors, friends and family, please join us for our 2nd Annual signature 'stupid cancer happy hour' social networking event in NYC. Complemantary cocktails, drink specials, chemo dancing, DJ survivors, special guests, raffles and door prizes. Come one come all. Stupid cancer. Survivors rule!
For additional information, visit
If you cannot attend, please consider making a donation in any amount at Rock on!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

David M. Bailey Is Coming To Connecticut!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Current mood: Excited!!

I am so excited! I got an invitation the other day in the mail from Hartford Hospital inviting their cancer patients, family and friends to a party called Celebrate Life. Now I have to admit I usually don't like going to these things but when I saw who was going to be the featured guest, I said, "I'm there!"

David M. Bailey is going to be the featured guest. He is a singer, songwriter and also a young adult cancer survivor like myself. I first heard his music on the i2y benefit cd. The first song on the cd is his called One More Day.

The words to this song are so powerful. Here they are:

Don't let the grass grow beneath your busy feet
Don't let the grass grow above you when you rest
You've got one more day to get to where you're going
One more day to give your very best
Don't let the clouds forever block your sunshine
Don't let the sunshine blind you on your way
You might have years of tears put behind you
But right now you've got one more day
One more day when you can hold your children
One more day you can hold your wife
One more day when you can watch the grass grow
One more day when you can live your life
Don't let the cynics tell you they know better
better yet, don't let them talk to you at all
You've got one more day to prove that they know nothing
One more day to find your private call
Don't let your loved ones ever doubt your passion
Don't let your passion ever start to fade
I know how it feels to be so frightened
But right now, you've got one more day
One more day, when you can hold your children.....

I love this song! This song and all the other one's on the i2y benefit cd are so powerful. What also makes this cd so awesome is that all the songs are performed by young adult cancer survivors or ones touched by cancer in their lives. You can check it out at the i2y website, Cancer Survivors Rule!

If you are in the Hartford area and want to come to the event. The details are as follows:

Celebrate Life
Hartford Hospital Cancer Program's Annual Celebration of Life for patients, friends and family
Featured guest will be David M. Bailey. As a singer and songwriter David will entertain and move you with his stories and songs of growing up as the son of a missionary family in Beruit, his life in Europe and his ten year survival from a brain tumor that changed the purpose and course of his life. The Master of ceremonies will be Scot Haney, WFSB weather personality and host of Better Connecticut. Scot's mother Marlene, will offer her survival story along with anecdotes on raising Scot. Live entertainment provided by Screamin' Eagles Jazz Band from Pratt & Whitney. A light lunch will be provided. This event is free and is being held at the The Learning Corridor, which is directly across the street from Hartford Hospital. RSVP by Friday, May 23, 2008 at 860-545-1888 or 1-800-545-7664. Directions and parking info. will be provided when you RSVP.

I will so be there, and I hope you will be there too!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Results Are In...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Current mood: Relieved

Well I just got my pathology report back yesterday from my colposcopy and everything came back benign. What a relief, for the lack of a better word! The doctor doesn’t know what caused my abnormal cells. They think it is probably caused by the chemo. Damn chemo!

I also had to have an ultrasound of my ovaries. Now that was quite an experience. Here I am sitting in the waiting room, full of women who are all happy and excited to have their ultrasounds. Of course they’re happy, they’re pregnant. And here I am scared shitless, praying there is nothing wrong with my ovaries and I'm not having a recurrence of my cancer.

The ultrasound was shall we say, invasive. I know I have mentioned this before, but I am so sick of being pocked and prodded. Well the results came back OK. My doctor did find an area on my left ovary that is a “spot” of interest. She’s not sure what it is, but she wants to do another ultrasound in two months, just to make sure that it doesn’t get any bigger.

I’m happy, I’ll take those results! I can handle another ultrasound in two months and another Pap test in four months. I guess this is the life of a cancer survivor…

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sending My Mother’s Day Wishes to Heaven

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Current mood: sad

The picture to the left is my favorite of me and my Mom when I was a little girl.

Well next week is Mother’s Day and it seems everywhere I go now a days I see a display for Mother’s Day. You hear advertisements on the radio and see them on T.V….Don’t forget to get Mom that perfect gift for Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is supposed to be a joyous day, right? Spend the day with Mom and tell her how much she’s appreciated. But what do you do when Mom’s gone? That’s the case for me and for me I find Mother’s Day to be a sad day. I usually keep myself preoccupied and this year I’m scheduled to work. I just feel I’m way too young to be without my Mom.

This will be my 4th Mother’s Day without Mom. I guess it has gotten easier over time. The first year was the hardest. Celebrating every holiday without her SUCKED! And I always thought that I shouldn’t be having fun, like I was supposed to be in mourning.

My Mom and I have had a rocky relationship, for the lack of a better word. When I was little everyone tells me that my Mom doted on me and that I was her little girl. But as I grew up and as time went on, this would change. See my parents were divorced when I was only 4, so I have no recollection of them being together. My Mom remarried when I was 6 or 7 and then my world changed when I turned 10, that’s when my brother entered the world.

I remember our family always being happy and then somewhere it all changed. My Step-Dad tells me it all changed after my Nana died. She was my Mom’s Mom and they were extremely close. I think they were more like sisters than Mother and Daughter. After my Nana’s death is when my Mom started getting depressed and along with that came her drinking. I never picked up on it when I was little, but as I entered High School all my Mom and I did was fight. I always thought that there was something wrong with me. I actually asked my Step-Dad after she passed away if he thought I was an “evil” child. He quickly reassured me that I was not and that it was my Mom’s alcoholism that was the root of most of our fights. Now let’s not kid anyone, I’m sure I was a typical teenager and had my little “attitude” moments, but I now know that the alcoholism magnified the fights.

Instead of dwelling on my Mom’s death and her disease; I try and remember all the good times we had, because don’t get me wrong, we did share good times.

As I get older, it just seems to hurt more and more, not to have my Mom around. I wish she was her to see all my accomplishments and share in my happy moments and even be there for me when I was going through my rough times.

Last year when I was diagnosed with cancer, I always wondered how she would react to my diagnosis. Would that have made her stop drinking, would she have been there for me? I’m sure she would have been there for me, but would she have been there sober?

I guess for those of us who have lost our Mom’s tragically, we must not dwell on the hurt but celebrate the good memories. So that is what I am doing this Mother’s Day. Celebrating and remembering the good times with Mom.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom! I love and miss you.