My journey - battling lymphoma

Recently I celebrated my 46th birthday. I love celebrating birthdays! Then I participated as a co-captain for our local "Quabog" Relay For Life and the Pack 57 Rocks! Cub Scout Team. This was the time frame that I had discovered an uneasiness in my stomach and growth in my spleen and stomach. After weeks of monitoring, my husband Steve took me to the doctor who felt the lumps and ordered a CT scan. The CT scan showed a massive area, my spleen enlarged to twice its size and an additional growth lower in my stomach. Next was the localized CT guided biopsy and subsequent PET scan. The biopsy showed positive for lymphoma and most likely Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma.

This is my online journal sharing my experience through battling this cancer that has abruptly entered my life for no apparent reason. The story is documented here if you want to start from the beginning, you can check the archives on the side bar.

As a top competitive master athlete this year winning my age group at the Marine Corps Marathon and placing 3rd in the New England Trail Running Championship I have been truly excited with my results of late and am a truly driven athlete. Driven by goals.... my goal right now.... to beat this "thing"!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bald appearance brings on standing O at the NEDIV Relay U!

Here it is -- I am posting the video of my presentation at the NE Division Relay For Life University.

 It wasn't easy, telling my story for the first time.  I had a tough time practicing it, with the tears welling up in my eyes and having a hard time finding a flow for a 7 minute --- "let me tell you my life and stress" - presentation.  Although Steve is quick to remind me that I do like to talk about myself.  :)   I had all kinds of great ideas, all kinds of wonderful thoughts, humorous thoughts and had my written notes and bullet points there to get it down so I could get it out and hopefully be well received.  I was thinking that I wanted more audience participation (so they don't fall asleep - kidding), but you never know how that is going to go, so I built it in and even if it went off just a little I thought it would be good to have that interaction.  But then it was about the story and the humor.  So again, here it is, I didn't get in as many as the fun things as I had hoped and rushed the beginning, it was a little all over the place, but as Steve said when we watched it later, as soon as the hair came off - - I seemed to relax and it got better from there.  :)

I hope you enjoy the presentation --- Personally it is pretty funny to watch yourself speak and see the shake in my voice and hands --- but it wasn't too bad for the first time EVER  sharing my story with around 400 people, a few I know, most I don't know....  I know there are quite a few things I will change for next time, and I am sure it will be a much smoother presentation and hopefully I will get in more of the pertinent points and not wander so much and get into the details that may not be needed.

It was so great at the end with such great people giving me hugs and encouragement.  Sue Ann was fabulous in her position as VP of Relay in New England putting on such a great Relay U.  She was there for me a midst all of the craziness of coordinating the successful event  -- I thank her for that and for asking me to share and hopefully inspire others.


  It was good to see and meet some amazing volunteers there too.  Dick, Laura, Gordon, Ben, Mark, Mary Kate, Lynn, Bob A, Dan, Susan and more!  To be there and feel the passion of all these volunteers making Relay a HUGE success in New England is truly and inspiration to me!


Please don't forget to leave a comment if you stop by!




Some other photo highlights from the event below: 

Me with Don & Peg (CEO & COO of NEDIV)



Sue Ann, Judy, ME and Kelli



Steve & I on stage after the presentation 
(note Steve holding onto my hair that I inadvertently left on stage)  :) 





14 comments:

Sasha said...

So now that I have wiped away the tears I think I can see enough to type. There was so much feeling in this video..simply amazing and very moving. You are a force to be reckoned with Nancy and and you have sooo much fight in you. You are truly an inspiration and I am honored to call you my friend. I will be cheering you on when you are in Chicago and maybe in 2012 we can run Burlington together!
Keep on rockin' out the miles and keep kicking Cancer's A$$

Sheryl said...

Nancy,

You are an amazing woman with a lot of faith and determination. Your story was great and I'm sure it's comforting to be able to share your story with others. Your faith along with the love of your family and friends will help you through this marathon and there is no doubt in my mind you will win this race! :-) I'm very proud to know you and am so happy you and Sasha are back in touch. You mean alot to her and you were her inspiration in school.

I will keep you and your family in my prayers daily as my faith is very strong too.

By the way, hair or no hair, you still look wonderful.

Love,
Sheryl

Laura said...

Nancy - you're incredible! I stopped by, watched the video, teared up, and loved the photo of Steve holding your hair... :) Love you!!!
(Sis)

Suzy said...

You are the most beautiful bald woman I know. Tears are running down my cheeks cuz you have to go through this. You are one tough chick, and truly an inspiration! Love, Sooz

DP_Turtle said...

Nancy, what an outstanding job you did in telling your story! And the reveal was fan-TAS-tic! Just so you know ... you're beautiful - with and without your pirate cap!

Thanks for being brave. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for telling your story. And thanks for being an inspiration.

joy.ginsburg said...

nice job, nancy! I'm sure that was very difficult to get through but you did it! You look amazing and I hope you are feeling well.

Paulette said...

Wow Nancy... Wow. I'm not gonna lie this was hard to watch. Only because I knew your were scared and nervous and shaking but it was you. So vulnerable and yet you still got up and did this. It is one thing to tell your story on your blog but quite different in front of people and you ditched the hair. Amazing. I lift you up Nancy because you are fighting your fight your way. I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am that you have Steve and that he has you...even more he knows he is so lucky to have you, and I know you feel so lucky to have him. No accident you were meant to be together. I hate that you have to go through this (or that anyone does) but thank you for sharing your journey, it would be so easy not to. You are an awesome women, awesome Mother, awesome friend.

Desparately seeking my sanity said...

Nancy,

I love the pirate cap and everything about presentation! Thank you for sharing your story and for giving all of us that extra reminder to be thankful today. Big hugs!

Tina

MBP said...

Nancy
Great job....thanks for sharing your story...you are an amazing woman!!

Chicago runners watch out!! Nancy is coming thru!!

Hugs!!!!

Melanie

Ann said...

Great job, Nancy! Thanks for being such an inspiration to cancer survivors and all of us who are working hard to find an end to this disease. Can't wait to celebrate you and Judy on your success in Chicago!!

Ashley Sisk said...

What an incredible speech and you are inspiring. Keep fighting friend.

Wendy J. Matthews said...

Awesome. Just ... awesome.
xoxo

Laurie said...

Great job, Nancy. You really do inspire me too!

Laurie

Lynne said...

Nancy you are a true inspiration!!! I love seeing you every week & seeing that fighting smile no matter what. You give me the strength i need to keep going with all my health issues. The speech was amazing & yes i too did cry but they were tears of JOY after hearing the news today. I love you & i am so thankful GOD bleesed me with you as my friend. Everyone meets each for a reason & i know the reason for me was to TEACH ME to keep up the fight no matter how many times you get knocked down. YOU ARE MY INSPIRATION!!!!!