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"!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It was only ONE year ago......

Next week will mark my one year anniversary since the end of my chemo treatment.  It was only one year ago that I was in Northampton at Dr. Mullally's office with that chemo dripping in my arm.  I packed up my computers, my books, my iPad, my Nano and Steve drove me to the office.  I had just finished the Chicago marathon a couple weeks prior and I was smiling from that success.  I had printed out a photo of me in the Wonder Woman outfit and Cara as BatGirl - put it in a frame for the Doc.... he has placed it in a prime location right above the chair where I regularly received my chemo.

It was only a year ago - I was bald and wearing my blonde wig trying to fool everyone around me that I bleached my hair and was trying to look young! Or so I remember that lady commenting behind my back... I had no eye brows, no eye lashes, but I had a smile a mile wide because I was so loved by my husband, my family and friends.  I remember all the self portraits I took during that time and am glad I did because I really didn't feel very well.  It was the last week of treatment and I felt like celebrating - although wine didn't taste very good...  so we curled up and went to sleep early most nights.

We took a photo of us with the doc in the office after waking up from my treatment, as it was a norm that I fell asleep near the end and just got cozy with a blanket and pillow in my favorite chair  with the smiling nurses checking on me every once in a while to be sure I was still feeling ok.  :)

My hair is finally growing back to "almost ponytail" length -- and it is a nice brown color with a little curl to it.  Much more curl than I have ever had before.  Although chemo wasn't the end of my "treatment" having my spleen removed at the end of February would really be the official end -- this is a truly monumental time for me.

My recovery from the Chicago marathon --- and then to finish treatment.  That was all that was going on in my mind at the time.  :)  Yay!  HUGE accomplishments!

Fast forward to today.... in 4 days I toe the line for my 24th marathon in New York City.  I have never run the NYC marathon before and it will be quite the amazing adventure!  Ramon from DNation asked me to speak for the Friday night dinner so we are headed down on Friday.  Then staying with our friend Tabi who we know from Mount Snow.  It is supposed to be 50's and tail wind -- yahoo!

Info for NYC - Bib
Blue Wave#1 Corral#11 11/6/2011 9:40:00 AM 

Drum roll please!!!!  My total amount raised for DetermiNation is $1550 for this event and I am so thankful to all my donors!  I had 2 friends that gave $200 plus and the last donation was 206.50 to put me right at the $1500 mark.  My grand total for all 6 DetermiNation events I have raised money to support the American Cancer Society is $9283.80 !  Yay!  Today was the day that the group of INGNYC DNation runners reached the $1 million dollar mark!  An incredible feat of passion in the fight against cancer -- raising money so there will be less cancer and more birthdays!   Coming from a girl who LOVES her birthday --- celebrating life -- this means so much to me!  So excited to meet all the other runners when we get down there on Friday.

Tapering has been crazy this week with the freak snow storm that came to town.  2 feet of heavy wet snow that has destroyed trees, falling down on wires, cables and into the roads in our area.  We have been without power for 3 days--- no water for showers that is readily available (we only run the generator for small periods of time to keep the food from spoiling).  So I haven't been running much -- got to get out more in the end of the week if life gets back to normal at all.  This storm has truly brought our neighborhood together -- looking out for one another, helping people with clearing trees, and sharing the warmth.  I feel ready for New York -- strong, happy, healthy and thankful.

After all - it is that time of the year we remember to be thankful -- although after having cancer, I am so incredibly thankful ALL YEAR ROUND!
Steve & I celebrating our 4th wedding anniversarynumber and start time:

"Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back!"

It is not too late to donate --- I am working hard to hit that $10,000 mark - so please if you can help support my efforts in the fight against cancer it truly means the world to me...  more than ever.
Nancy's DetermiNation NYC marathon website

Thank you!
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