Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bunnies Everywhere- Updated

Today I am meeting my friend Amanda Gillenwater in a parking lot to hand off to her a bunch of bunnies that I have picked up. Why? It was the wish of a little girl named Samantha. I have mentioned her on the blog before. She battled cancer and went to be with the Lord almost 5 months ago now. It was her wish that bunnies be given during the Easter season to children who are in the hospital and are battling cancer as she did. Here is a link to her web page. Amanda wanted to do this not only to honor Sammie but to encourage her grieving mother.

And so with a car full of bunnies,  we are passing it on. I am constantly amazed by the little things that make such a difference and can touch so many people's lives. So here's to Sammy and all the bunnies being collected in her name.

Update: Amanda contacted me last night and told me that the local Walmart on Millertown Pike had given 100 bunnies to the bunny drive! When we got there this morning there were 125, plus the ones she had donated through friends!!Yeah!! All together (with our four kids/great helpers in tow) we dropped off 200 bunnies to the hospital this morning. Amanda's goal had been 175. The rest will be given to children visiting the ER over the Easter weekend. We'll have pictures to follow.  What a blessing this experience was on our hearts. Lots of love,


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ouch! Smile! Ouch! Smile!

This sounds like a weird topic heading for the blog I know but that is how I have been feeling lately.

Things still are going well. I go weekly for my expander fill ups. Laura and Leslie go with me. They hang out in a corner of the room playing their hand held video games while I lie down on a table. There are two nurses (one on either side of me), both holding a big syringe with a long needle. They inject me on both sides simultaneously and I find myself (as I have many times in the past) admiring the lovely ceiling above. The whole experience is rather surreal. I have lost count now on how many times I have had a "fill up."I have had it pretty easy with the expanders and no complications thus far. The expanders can move around alittle and one is partially under my left arm. It is now pressing on the same nerves that bothered me when the cancerous lymph node was still around. It doesn't hurt, just tingles constantly like whenever you bump your funny bone. My chest feels heavy especially when I lie down on my back. It feels like my back muscles must somehow be connected to my chest muscles because I get neck, shoulder and back discomfort every fill up. Please understand I'm not sharing all this to complain.

 As I've said time and time again, I have been so fortunate. I guess I just feel it's important to share what it is like, this getting back to "normal" and the way I once was. So that's the "ouch part." It's all part of the journey. And the getting back to normal is the "smile" part. It's knowing the end of it all is in sight. I talked to my doctor about reoccurances last week and told her I'd been worried about lots of aches and pains lately. She said if the cancer comes back it would not be "the achies" but "the ouchies." My ouchies are more like "achies" and I will take those any day. Lots of love,


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More Young Survivors Conference Pictures

Here are some more pics from the Young Survivor's Conference I attended in Atlanta. Aren't the women beside me from the Thompson Cancer Young Survivors group all beautiful? Who would have guessed looking at us what we've all been through. What an amazing group of strong women. They are all such a huge source of inspiration to me. God bless the 900 survivors that were at the conference and all the others that are out there!!

Monday, March 1, 2010


I have just returned from the Young Survivor's breast cancer conference in Atlanta and it was truly incredible. I was there with my sister and niece as well as a bunch of sister survivors from the Thompson Cancer support group. Here's a picture of our support group.

The conference was truly a educational and inspiring. There were more than 900 women there who had felt what I've felt and experienced what I've experienced in the bc battle.

In addition my sister Shannon and niece Heather and I had some adventures around the city of Atlanta. There was a crazy new GPS system to get used to, the Hard Rock Cafe, the Phipps Plaza Mall with $3000 purses in stores like Saks 5th Ave, Versace and Valentino which took window shopping to a new level. There was lots of laughter, lots of hugs, lots of memories made.

At the conference I attended seminars on triple negative bc, clinical trials, and nutrition. All of them were very helpful. I picked up lots of great goodies to give out in my chemo kits. I met two authors, both of them mothers, who have written inspiring books on bc. The first is Lori Sorbo who wrote Eleven Years Later. She has battled 5 different kinds of cancer in the last eleven years. The second book is called A Mommy Can Love You From Anywhere by Jenny Sugg. I picked it up to give to the family of a sister survivor who couldn't make it to the conference.

Sadly I received word today that this member of our Thompson Cancer group just passed away. I first met her at the Women's Expo in March. She amazed me on that day by her spirit and faith. For many months afterward she would encourage us other survivors at our support meetings even in the midst of what she was facing. Here's to Missy B., a sister survivor in the truest sense. Lots of love,