Hello, friends and family,
First, an update on the cancer front:
Good news! My scans on August 17 showed diminished cancer on the mammary lymph nodes and another area showed no visible cancer. So chemo did most of what it’s supposed to do. Now, we continue to treat the cancer aggressively!
Next on the schedule:
- Surgery on Thursday, September 3, which is similar to a mastectomy (again) on the right side. At least a few weeks recovery and lots of Vicodin for pain.
- Radiation will start as soon as possible after surgery for 6 weeks every single day.
- Puerto Vallarta during Thanksgiving week!
I am feeling much better now as my energy is coming back (along with my hair). I’m back in the gym, although not 100% yet. Getting there! Yes, surgery and radiation will set me back a tiny bit but not too much.
Harley Girl Now!
I like to plan fun things to look forward to. And when opportunities come along, I take them! I recently had a great experience; I got to ride on our friend Carl Sittig’s Harley Davidson motorcycle!
Not only that, but he had the gear so I got to look the part, too!
(Oh, my cap says “Suck it up, Buttercup”)
Thank you, Carl, for the special treat!
Fun with Socks
Two of my girlfriends, Gail and Connie, have given me great socks, and I wore them to chemo for every treatment! The nurses loved them, too.
Professional Soccer Game Highlight
My medical family at the Virginia Mason Cancer Institute invited me to be the “Patient Hero” at a sold-out professional soccer game between the Seattle Sounders and Orlando FC on August 16, 2015.
I placed the match ball on a podium to kick off the game, high-fived the players as they came out, and then the announcer told my story to a stadium filled with 40,000 people. They learned about my three rounds battling cancer, about Tracy, and my efforts to raise money for the cancer cause. Then we all watched the rest of the game and the Sounders beat Orlando 3-0!
Photo album here: https://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AcM2LFq1Zt2jHbg
Upcoming fun things:
- I’ve really enjoyed giving time to the American Cancer Society and the Virginia Mason Cancer Institute to help raise awareness and funds. So, between now and the month of October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month), I’ll be a “survivor ambassador” and do some local TV and radio shows.
- October 2-3, I get to visit my Aunt Sandy, Uncle Bobby and Cousin Elizabeth and her kids in Durham, North Carolina. Can’t wait!
- Saturday, October 10, the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides for Breast Cancer” 5K family walk. I will be leading “Dana’s Gladiators” and many of my friends have started their own teams, hanging under “Dana’s Gladiators.” Here is the link to my team site so you can sign up to walk with us or donate: http://makingstrideswalk.org/danasgladiators
- Mathis and I are constantly planning concerts, golf, movies, outings with friends and so much more. Join us!
In close, I recently had a wonderful visit by my girlfriend, Mary Foss-Skiftesvik, who was my college roommate at UC Santa Barbara in 1982 and who now lives in Connecticut. She shared the following quote:
Yesterday is History.
Tomorrow is a Mystery.
Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.
A special thanks to each of you for being on my team, supporting me every step of the way. I still hear “Oh, I don’t want to bother you” or “call me when you need me” but please reach out any time of day or night. If I’m resting or sleeping, my devices are off so there is no risk of bothering me. I cherish each connection with family and friends. I used to be that “crazy-busy” person and now look back and wish I had taken more time (prioritized) to just be there for friends. Family and health were always a top priority, as they are now.
Huge hugs and love,