Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Super Bowl Challenge

I kicked off my Cleveland Fans Against Lung Cancer fundraising campaign this month. This is part Team Draft's 2017 Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge. This is a friendly competition between lung cancer survivors to raise funds for lung cancer foundations and cancer centers of the survivor's choice. The survivor that raises the most funds will win a trip to the Super Bowl in Houston, TX. Second place is a trip to the Pro Bowl in Orlando, FL and third place gets to attend  26th Annual Taste of NFL.

I set my fundraising goal high. I know with your help I can reach that goal. Lung cancer research funds are critical to my future and my quality of life.

My funds will be donated to the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer in Denver, CO. I attended my first lung cancer event in September 2015. It was just two weeks after my stage iv lung cancer diagnosis. That event was the Pancake Walk Kickoff Breakfast for the World Conference on Lung Cancer in Denver. That day I was introduced to a handful of peopleand survivors in the lung cancer community. They gave me information, hope and advice that I will always remember and hold near and dear to my heart.

In Week 10 of  NFL season, the Browns have an 0-10 record. The Cleveland Browns may not be going to the Super Bowl this year. I may never get to see the Browns at a Super Bowl in my lifetime. But you could help send this Cleveland fan to the big game this year.

Together we can #tacklelungcancer.
I challenge you to make a donation today and find one (or more) person to match your donation.
Click HERE to make a donation today.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

How Not To Let Lung Cancer Win

I completed my Livestrong at the Y program. I tried not to miss any Livestrong days at the gym during the program. There was one particular day that I was feeling very down and tired. I just didn't have it in me that day. But my boyfriend gave me a pep talk. If you would put his pep talks in a book, the title would be, "How Not To Let Lung Cancer Win". Think in this instance he used my, no missed opportunities, motto to remind me that I should not stay at home on the couch that evening.

I went to class. It was yoga that day. Even when I was feeling some pain and I was run down from the day, I was there. I was able to fully participate. The instructor said some words that made quite an impression that day and impacted me for the rest of my life. We were holding a pose and she said something along the lines of, "this is how you are today. Recognize it. But it doesn't mean that's how you will be tomorrow."

In my day planner, in July 2016, there is one day marked with several stars. That was one of the very few days I had no pain, no fatigue, and I almost made it through the whole day without thinking or talking about my lung cancer. Those days are very rare. It's only happened a couple times since starting my treatment in September 2015.

I don't post too much about the bad days. My symptoms and side effects are intermittent. If I do complain, in the next few days things are different. My approach is the "life must go on" method. Almost like, putting the negatives in words will give them strength.

I had goals set for this fall that I've had to change or postpone to next year. Remember how excited I was about running again? I was only able to run a couple of times. At the same time as I started running again my side effects started kicking in. I was getting tired more easily. Stomach and digestive issues that I've been lucky enough to mostly avoid were happening often. I was experiencing new types of pain.  I was training to run the Run the Rocks 5k in October. If mental preparedness was all it took, I would have climbed the incline already. But the downside of feeling so well and living a half way normal life is feeling not so well at the same time.

The body and the mind are strange. Does the comfort of friends and family or the excitement of an opportunity/event overpower the negative effects and feelings caused by my lung cancer and treatment? The answer must be, yes.

Surrounded by my dearest friends and with the support of my family, I was able to complete and even run a good portion of the Run the Rocks 5k last month.
This is what Stage iv lung cancer looks like on a good day....and sometimes on a bad day too.