Monday, October 11, 2010

Two Year Oncology Visit

More good news. My oncology visit was short and sweet. The blood work was perfect and coupled with my good mammogram last Friday, it doesn't get better than this. I'm to continue with the Tamoxifen. Next appointment is in six months.

Stepping Out for Breast Cancer Luncheon

Yesterday, I attended a beautiful luncheon sponsored by the "Stepping Out for Breast Cancer" organization. This all volunteer organization was created 13 years ago (I hope I have the right time frame) to provide services and improve the lives of women with breast cancer in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. All of their funding goes to services - most unusual in these times.

Thanks to Lynn Kay, my college roommate and very dear friend, who works selflessly for this organization and many others for inviting me to attend. The room was filled with pink - flowers, balloons, chocolate lollipops, pink cupcakes, and pink sherbert. There were wonderful vendors who graciously donated a portion of profits for the cause, but more importantly, the room was filled with women of all ages who believe in finding a cure.

Dr. Rachel Brem from George Washington University Hospital was the guest speaker and caught everyone up to date with the latest radiation technologies used to diagnose breast cancer earlier and more accurately.

A wonderful afternoon for a wonderful cause!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Race for the Cure 2010

On Friday, I had my 2nd survivor year mammogram and all was good! This was the first time in years I only needed one set of films and now I don't have to go back for another year. So sweet! Prior to the exam, I made a promise to myself that if all was well, I'd participate in the Race for the Cure. Oh...way before, I had signed up and had received my dark pink t-shirt with the words Survivor on it, but could not get the nerve to go. But now I had no excuse. All was going well. I had a lot to be grateful for and it was time to show it!

My dear friend, Sharon, kept encouraging me to go with her. She had participated for the past 3 years, and found it to be an inspiring event. So at 5:45 AM yesterday, we headed off to the local Lowe's to catch a shuttle bus to the event. It was dark and cold, but so exciting! There were tents everywhere. Women dressed in pink as survivors and white as supporters.
At 6:40 AM, all the survivors walked together in between 2 pink ribbons toward a large grandstand, where we were each given a beautiful pink rose. All of us had the number of years of survival in pink ribbons on our hats, and together many of us cried as we stood together and looked out at all the people who offered their love and support to all of us who had heard the devestating diagnosis and endured the many different treatment paths. I cried for my mother and others, who was not fortunate enough to be alive now when all these wonderful diagnostic tools and treatments were available. I also cried in happiness that someone like Nancy Brinker had the motivation, knowledge, and connections to make breast cancer survival a priority and has not faltered a day in making it a reality through the Susan B. Komen foundation.
Thousands and thousands of supports and survivors ran or walked together (see picture). At the end, I was encouraged to walk on the left side of the road and instead of pink ribbons, there were rows of people slapping my hands in celebration. It was a beautiful moment and beautiful day.