This is all the Cowgirls dressed up right before we did the fashion show for the Art Bra Show.
This is the group at one of our topic discussions.
We wore our Graphic Art Bra shirts at the Komen Race in Austin. Shauna (center) wrote "No, they're not real" on her chest. Cracks me up.
Brenda, Shauna, me, Kim, Kerstin and Elise in the front. I love all these wonderful women.
This is the cover of the Art Bra Calendar we made. Proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Resource Center.
So everyone remember me talking the blood test that is a tumor marker for breast cancer?? The test is called the CA 2729. The normal (you don't have cancer) range is 5-35. When I was diagnosed mine was 2,679. Here is your recap of my progress……After two chemotherapy infusions my results went down to 1,451. Then they went down to 992, then 795, then 408, then 336, then 316, then 286 and the last test I had was 249 (this is the latest result). Yeah!! I am on my way to normal. Well, I might never be normal, but who wants to be normal??? Normal is so boring. I am expecting even better results on my next test this week.
In other really happy, super exciting news, we got an offer on our house. The offer came on the same day we were planning on dropping the price. How is that for good timing? We don’t want to get too excited yet. Really hoping everything goes through. This guy really loves our house.
Here is the answer to the most popular question asked lately…. Kevin moves in 8 days, Nov 20th and I plan to move Dec 14th. Chloe gets to drive up with me. She’s really excited to be in a car for 23 hours. ; )
Okay, now I want to tell everyone about my cancer posse here in Austin Texas. The Pink Ribbon Cowgirls (don’t judge by the name). This is a group for young breast cancer survivors. The group is run through the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Austin. I found them as I was going through radiation during my first diagnosis. They were founded by 3 very close friends of mine (Michele Burton, Shauna Martin and Audra Outlaw) who saw the need for a support group for young women with breast cancer since there are many different issues young women face with breast cancer. The group did not exist when I started my first treatment. By the time I was in radiation though they had founded the PRCGs. There is a Yahoo group that we can all email on, ask questions, share stories, and give advice. It was like I could take all that I learned from the endless hours of research I did and multiply it by 100 now. We started meeting for lunches, and eventually started doing a few social events.
I got very involved with everything they were doing and was soon asked to be on the board for the group (we were growing fast). The group started with 3 and within 1 ½ years there are now 60 members. We started talking about doing more social events, fundraisers, and public relations. We planned and held the first annual Graphic Art Bra event. This was an art show with an emphasis on art bras. Artists, survivors and survivors friends and family made bras into art. Some you could wear and some you couldn’t. Survivors from the Pink Ribbon Cowgirls modeled these bras for a calendar and also modeled them at the art show. The bras were then live auctioned at the show. I was a model for the calendar (Miss March and December) and for the show. I did have a couple “What the hell am I doing???” moments, but I kept telling myself that is was for a good cause. All of us survivors had such a good time throwing the event. It was one day where you felt like a celebrity to be a cancer survivor. I was really sad when the event was over. I plan on flying out to Austin next year to attend again.
Our group now has meetings where we have speakers come and discuss certain topics. So far we have had a speaker on sexuality, exercise and nutrition. Other speakers we plan to have will be on disability, estate planning, hormone therapy and many other topics. We have been doing a lot of advocating as well. I’ve been on the news a few times already. In October I saw an interview of someone in our group it seemed almost every other day. Kevin had a pretty lengthy interview as well. He deserved all the good credit. He has to put up with crazy cancer girl all the time. Yes, I can be crazy, moody and mean at times. Hard to imagine huh? It happens when you have a lot to stress about. I’m usually good at dealing with it, but occasionally I have meltdowns. I love Kevin so much. He is the one person I feel comfortable melting down in front of. I guess it’s a good thing that we are so close, but I’m sure Kevin has moments when he would love to be somewhere else. He is so kind and patient with me. I honestly don’t know how he does it.
I am selling the art bra calendars we made. (Not because I want everyone to have a picture of me in a bra on their wall, but because it raises money for the one organization that has helped me get through all of this twice) I can’t tell you what the BCRC (Breast Cancer Resource Center) and PRCGs (Pink Ribbon Cowgirls) mean to me. I have made so many wonderful friends who can relate to living in cancer world. It’s amazing how quickly you can get so close with these women in my group because they really understand what you are dealing with. Bonds develop fast. I truly love them. I am going to have a very hard time leaving them when I move. Hopefully I can find a group that is a fraction as great as they are.
I’ll be posting again soon, but I wanted to get this out and see if anyone wanted to buy calendars. Please email me if you want to buy one at firstname.lastname@example.org (yes, there are 3 Zs in my email address because my last name was taken). They are $15 each and the proceeds go to the BCRC. If you are in Austin, I will work with you to get one to you. If you are in Michigan I can work with Kevin, my mother or father to get you one. Please, juts contact me and I will keep track of all of the orders. My dad and mom already started getting orders from some people. If that is you, no need to contact anyone, we already have those ready. Just make sure you pay my mom or dad.
Okay everyone. Thanks for all your support and for keeping up with my story by reading my journal. Keep on keeping on.