Sunday, August 29, 2010

Young survivors unite - and dance!

The local chapter of the hair club for women (what us sassy young breast cancer survivors are calling ourselves) invites all young breast cancer survivors (and their friends, families, physicians, etc.) who wish to join us to celebrate life as survivors as we don our pink wigs and dance around while being filmed.  It's our own answer to the pink glove dance video that's all over the internet.

If you'd like to join us, send an email to Tira (see pic below for her email address - click on the picture to enlarge it) and she'll get you the details. We'll be dancing and filming on Saturday, September 25th, somewhere in the Los Angeles area. We hope you'll join us.

BUT, if you're not in the area or can't join us in person for any other reason, you can still do it: take video of yourself and your peeps and email it to Tira. :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A makeover!

 I'd love to get some hair extensions to catapult me past this transitional hair regrowth phase right into a preferable "normal" hair phase but my hair dresser tells me that they'd look awful since my hair is so short. She said I'd need it bob-length for it to look natural and that just isn't helpful since bob-length is the actual goal.  Since learning more about the dangerous chemicals in skincare and cosmetic products, I'm not interested in facials and make-up style makeovers so what is a gal to do!?

So I figured...if I can't have much say in the hair department just yet, and I can't afford to resume my former addiction to designer handbags (I'm broke) or spa visits (no exposure to hot temps in hot tubs, steam rooms and the like due to lymphedema), why not a blog makeover!? I just selected a new template using the new designer - what do you think?

And while I'm on the subject of blog administration, I'm curious to know what else you might be interested in hearing from me. I'm tossing around some ideas for a website and I realize that my blog followers have different reasons for following. Some of you are survivors, some are friends or family members of mine or of other survivors.  What types of things would you like to hear more about from me?  Don't be shy - please comment.

AND, I have it on good authority (love you, Mom - you're such an effective snitch! haha) that there are a lot of anonymous followers that have never commented before and I want you to know that comments make me feel great and help keep me blogging. So, please do comment - I love hearing from everyone (OK, well not from the spammers - but from everyone else I do). If you have a blog that I haven't seen, please tell me about it.

Have a blessed day!

1 Peter 4:8 (NIV) Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Been! =)

I know, I know, I've been a bad blogger - I'm really behind in updating you on my latest adventures. I'm sorry!  But I have a really good excuse though - I've been busy living!

Life has become hectic again now that I'm back to work full-time, but I have kept my promise to myself that it wouldn't take over my life the way I've allowed it to in years past. I now work to live, not live to work.  In fact, I've been busy making sure that we are doing fun things in my off hours, even taking days off to take fun adventures away from home.

We've been having dinner picnics in the park on free concert Saturday night, we enjoyed the 50's bash/picnic at our church, and Cooper and me even took a trip to Ohio to meet up with 35+ other people in a lodge for a few days of fun fellowship!  Our Ohio trip was AWESOME. We met up with 12 other moms and their kids - there were 13 two-year-olds, and as many as 10 older children there with us in a beautiful 6-bedroom lodge in Hocking Hills, OH.  I met these wonderful women through an online pregnancy support group when I was pregnant with Cooper over two years ago. Many of us (up to 100) keep in touch via Facebook and a bunch of us thought it would be fun to meet up so we flew out to meet up with the Midwest gang and we're so glad that we did. I am so incredibly blessed and to have these amazing women in my life. What an awesome time we had and we hope to do it every year.

On the way home from Ohio, Cooper and I had quite the adventure GETTING home. Flying standby is hard enough but when you are a non-revenue (non-paying) standby passenger things really do get interesting. We started out in Columbus and couldn't get on the direct flight back to L.A. Since Columbus isn't a hub for Delta we realized we had to get out of there and to a hub if we wanted to get home so we hopped a flight to Detroit which had a couple open seats.  Unfortunately, once in Detroit, we were unable to get on the remaining flights out to L.A. that night so we spent the night at the Westin in the airport. That turned out to be fun though - sort of. Fun that we got to have hot shower/bath, room service and sleep time in a heavenly bed but not fun that we had to fork over the big bucks to do it. Oh well!  Middle of the night the room filled up with cigarette smoke coming from an adjoining door to a room next to us. Called security and they could smell it but the neighbor denied smoking and there were no other rooms to move to (they were sold out) so we had to crank the A/C to try to force the smoke out and go back to sleep. In the morning I asked for a discount and got the bill reduced to half which was a huge relief because Westins are not cheap at all - especially not the airport attached hotels where rooms quickly become a commodity.

The next morning we watched as 4 L.A.bound flights left without us and then my husband had a brilliant idea and he instructed me to head over to the gate for a flight to New Orleans. I joked with him that I appreciated him wanting me to extend my vacation by sending me somewhere fun and then he explained that he could see in the system that there were open seats on that flight and a flight to L.A. an hour or so after arriving in New Orleans with open seats on that one too. I asked him why the gate agents didn't know this and suggest it after seeing me and Cooper get denied seats on several flights and he said they just look for open seats at the major hubs (New Orleans isn't one of them) because they're so busy dealing with everything there at the
gate. Makes sense.  So, thanks to my genius husband, the plan worked brilliantly and we finally got home to L.A. late Friday night.  I learned a lot from that trip - about what we can and can't live without in our carry-on bags (can't check bags when you're non-rev standby) and how to find creative flight paths home when your first 3 (or more) choice flights leave without you. So now I'm even more ready for the next adventure!

My arm weathered the trip pretty well. At first I didn't think so because it looked worse from all the pressure changes of several flights and hauling bags and a car seat on wheels with Cooper on it. However, my lymphedema therapist measured me on Monday and in spite of it looking worse, only one of ten measurements had gone up and only minimally. Praise God for that miracle!  Once we realized the measurement results she looked up at me and exclaimed "you can fly!" haha. Yes I can!

I'm excited for our next adventure...a trip to Reno in the beginning of September to visit my BFF Diana and her awesome family - they're moving there this month following her husband's early retirement from the Army due to combat-related injuries from the Iraq war. Her husband, John, is an amazing man who has made great sacrifices for our freedoms and I am forever grateful to him and to his family for the sacrifices they've made for all of us. Thank you, Hartleys! I love you!

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

The church support ministry that I co founded has been moving along nicely with our monthly meetings. I've met some most amazing people and I'm grateful to God for putting it on my heart to start the group.  There are other things I know He's calling me to do - I see signs everywhere I turn and I have intentions to follow through. I just need to shuffle my time around and find a way to make time to do it. I will. Meantime, I pray that He helps guide me to moving things around to make it possible to fulfill all of my obligations and while enjoying life too.