It’s so great hearing from friends and family all over the world. Your care, concern, and warm wishes are true blessings.
Some of you have asked “what’s going on with…that…you know…that…thing.” Awkward, eh? Go ahead; you can say it. “What’s the latest with your cancer?” Oh, that stupid cancer thing, yes. And some of you are on Facebook but others rely on this blog so here it is!
Well, remember the blog article WE LOVE NED giving the results of my scans at the end of January?
NED is my best friend! When speaking of breast cancer, the term No Evidence of Disease (NED) does not mean that the disease had been cured, since recurrence can’t ever be ruled out. To be classified as NED means there is “no evidence of any cancer present that can be detected by studies such as blood tumor markers, CT, MRI, bone, or PET scans.” NED is very good!
GREAT NEWS: My early August scans were also NED, yippee!
Still Adjusting to Living with Stage IV Breast Cancer
There are many more days that I DON’T think about cancer than those when I do. This is a great thing! If you can, visualize an EKG or polygraph chart with the zigs and zags – that’s my “emotional response chart.”
My emotional spikes are not only farther apart, but the depth of the “zags” (the down swings) is shallower and lasts a shorter time. I stopped reading other Stage IV metastatic patient blogs (we’re called Metavivors) since it was depressing me. However, if you want to learn more, here is a link to a great organization.
I’m staying in shape by my favorite new thing, Pilates, and playing golf with Mathis.
Lots of travel and good times, for sure!
Mathis and I went to golf boot camp in Napa Valley, numerous outdoor music concerts, and have a golf week in Scottsdale scheduled in October, Then off to L.A. for Thanksgiving, and our annual trip to Mexico in December with Mom (Ilse).
We love comedy shows, seeing friends, going to movies, and just hanging out at home. Shane, Chad, and Milo are doing amazingly well, as are Mathis’ girls, Christina and Leslie. Christina and Brian are getting married in 2017!
Mathis and I were featured in an article, thanks to you!
Many of you donated to breast cancer as a fabulous wedding gift last year, culminating in our raising over $17,000. We just celebrated the first anniversary of our courthouse ceremony and we are so very grateful. My medical center, Virginia Mason, featured us here.
Small TV clip on a segment of how we deal with adversity
This summer there was a series of very tragic events in Orlando, Nice, Dallas – and at home in Puget Sound, so in early August, a local news station decided to focus on unique positive perspectives. They called the morning of August 1, came to our house and did the filming, and broadcast this video that evening.
Kick-off to our BIG event in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month
This past week, I spoke at the American Cancer Society’s kick-off for “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.” For the second year in a row, I am their Survivor Ambassador and my goal was to inspire breakfast attendees to start a team for the October 29, 2016, event in Seattle.
And a number of you have asked for the short speech I gave so here it is:
“I didn’t choose this.
- …3rd battle with breast cancer starting last year
- …now facing Stage IV metastatic breast cancer – the last stage
- …no possible remission – only NED or NO Evidence of Disease
I didn’t’ choose to lose my identical twin sister, Tracy, to breast cancer 2 years ago.
I AM choosing to LIVE with cancer. Yes, BIG “LIVE” and little “with cancer”
- …I got married to my love, Mathis, while in chemo and we threw an enormous party to celebrate life and marriage.
- …Oh, Mathis and I CHOSE to say “absolutely, positively NO gifts…only donations to breast cancer research.”
We raised $17,000 in one night!
Show of hands!
- How many of you have a birthday between now and October 29? Keep your hands up.
- How many of you have an anniversary before October 29? Keep your hands up.
- How many of you will have a football or sporting event party at your house?
- Finally, how many of you have 25 friends you can e-mail to donate?
GREAT! EACH of you now has a choice.
- You can put out a jar or take your guests to your new Making Strides web page and ask for walkers and donations.
- Or you can, well, do nothing.
Let’s make this go viral.
The concept of any gathering including donations to a cause. And, I guarantee, we WILL make a dent in this breast cancer crap.
Hey, if a mom in a gorilla mask can go viral, why can’t we start something big?
Starting today, with the team you will form, simply ask people around you to contribute to your efforts to crush breast cancer.
It’s so easy to do and you just showed that each of you have plenty of opportunities during the next 2 months!
Breast Cancer is not in my control. I didn’t choose it and, well, it sucks.
But taking some action today IS in my control. I’ll be leading Dana’s Gladiators again this October at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.
What will you choose? Right now. Don’t think. Just CHOOSE. Thank you.
Finally, “Dana’s Gladiators” will walk again this year at American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Cancer” on October 29, 2016
We’re walking in memory of my sister Tracy, in honor and memory of others, AND in the hope that researchers can erase this stupid breast cancer. It’s my one big fund-raising event every year and my web page is now “open for business” until the event on October 29.
My family is sending huge hugs to each of you and I am so grateful for everything. Yes, everything.