I am honored to be the Honorary Chair of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Quabog Valley in Belchertown, MA. Here are my notes for my speech from last night. 🙂
Relay is about a community that takes up the fight – the fight against cancer.
Then that next week that in Dr. Levheim’s office just around the corner from here — she told us that it looks like I have cancer. I was hearing those words “YOU HAVE CANCER”. We left the office armed with appointments, doctor recommendations, insurance follow up, and onward, fighting like so many stories I had heard from cancer survivors at Relay. It was scary, no fun at all to say the least. After going to Mass General for a specialist opinion and Cooley Dickinson for my PET scan we had a diagnosis and a plan. We were going to fight this thing – stage 4 diffuse large B cell lymphoma – and the prognosis was good. 4 months of chemo, 3 trips to Boston – a nasty treatment of methatrexate….. Lost my hair, decided to go blonde, endured the drugs, the side effects making the most out of each and every day…. . The PET scan in November showed something more and the docs said the best route was to remove my spleen. If I don’t need it – take it! The whole thing really did slow me down mind you…. But I still ran the Chicago marathon in October (2/3 through treatment) and then Boston (6 weeks after spleen removal)… looking back it sounds like a whirl wind! My friends called me Wonder Woman and I have the photos of me in costume!
“No one can hold you back from doing all the things you want to do. Just keep your goals in sight, listen to your body and take one day at a time. Some days will be better than others, but every day is a blessing. – so make each day the best it can be. “
It IS all about HOPE… and once you have HOPE
you can share HOPE and if you inspire others, they can in turn inspire you.”