Sunday, April 26, 2009


Hey Hey! Exciting stuff going on with the blog. I Finally got Kevin to write a little something to all of you. I let him write away and then read it afterwards. It does focus a little too much on me, but now he promised to write again about his point of view. I thought it would be cool for everyone to see his perspective of being the husband with the Stage IV cancer diagnosed wife who writes about it all the time, goes to support groups, plans events to help those groups, does coffee enemas, wheatgrass implants, colonics, juices, makes smoothies, all sorts of weird raw concoctions, get crazy water filters, infrered saunas, goes to Vibe sessions and takes over 50 supplement pills a day. Yeah, I sound like a crazy person. Aren't you curious how he continues to be my knight in shining armor???? Maybe he needs to do some major venting?? Who knows. We'll see next time.

Next blog is on COLON HEALTH. FUN!!!

Take it away Kevin.......

Shannon had asked for me to write a guest blog a few weeks ago and I have been procrastinating pretty effectively. I have been dragging my feet for several reasons. The main reason is that I have some pretty big shoes to fill. Shannon has a way of telling a story, or sharing an experience and making us feel connected. It is almost like we live vicariously through her. Over the past few years her blogs have inspired us to be better people, to do more with our lives, and get the most out of life's precious moments. They have taught us the importance of eating healthier, exercising more frequently, detoxing and cleansing our bodies. They have made us laugh, and on occasion made us shed a tear. She has helped us put things in perspective. She has helped us realize that little things that used to ruin our days, aren't such travesties after all. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that she has helped each and everyone of us improve our lives in some way, shape, or form. She has ultimately helped us all to be become better people.

I cannot promise that my blog is going to have quite the impact on your lives. My only hope is that it will not lull you to sleep.

I do want to impart some wisdom while I am up on the soapbox though. For starters if you are going to go on a long bike ride check the weather channel first. If there is going to be a torrential downpour, hail and 75 mile an hour winds you may want to prolong your bike ride until the storm blows over. Also, if you are going to need to get home in a hurry, it may not be a bad idea to plan your trip so you are working with gravity and not against it on your return route. Last but not least, avoid tree's, transformers and trailer parks during an electrical storm. As you may have guessed Shannon and I got caught in a huge storm this weekend while out riding our bikes. We had made it about 4 miles away from our house when we noticed the dark black clouds closing in on us. We figured that we could make it home before the rain started coming down. We were way wrong!

We started riding back home, up hill, against 75 mile an hour winds straight into the driving rain / hail. When we finally got to the top of the hill we decided to take a short breather, under the cover of some tall trees. We had barely gotten of our bikes when the transformer directly overhead started raining down sparks. We decided that this was a sign to get back on the road. We got back on our bikes and decided to keep going. There were not any sidewalks where we were so we had to ride on the small ribbon strip of gravel (not the best traction). The people in the steady stream of cars passing us by on the road were either laughing at us or shooting us stares that seemed to say, "I am SOOOO glad I am not you!" We finally got home, just as the rain slowed down and came to a stop. We were physically exhausted, soaked to the bone, and ridiculously sore. Not quite the leisurely bike ride that we had set out on.

One last thing before I get ready for bed. It is important to feel good about your life. Right before we go to bed Shannon and I have gotten in the habit of thinking about 5 things that we are grateful for and/or 5 good deeds we did that day. If that does not work and you are still in a bad mood here are three additional things you can do to feel better (1) go to Walmart, or any other 24 hour shopping center at 3 in the me, you will feel better about your life (2) watch re-runs of Jerry Springer, Judge Judy, etc. Once again, your problems will seem very insignificant (3) log onto Youtube and watch "chocolate rain"...I cannot watch the video and not laugh...If you have not checked it out I would strongly recommend it. I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND WATCHING THIS RIGHT BEFORE BED THOUGH OR IT WILL BE STUCK IN YOUR HEAD ALL NIGHT LONG

I have just been told that my guest blog was supposed to be focused more on me and what is going on in my life. It looks like you will be hearing from me again soon.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Austin Trip and Austin Art Bra Show

My trip to Austin was awesome and the Art Bra Show was once again a huge success. This is my good friend Shauna. Co-founder of the Pink Ribbon Cowgirls, art bra model, survivor, and one of the master minds behind this incredible event.

My friend Catie's dad made this metal bra. People were raving over it all night.

Me, my old oncologist who I loved, Dr Hellerstedt, and my good friend Runi (also Dr H's patient)

Tim and Michele who let me stay at their house and Rhonda love to attend the art bra show every year. I was happy to not be a model this year so I could actually spend some time with them (when I wasn't hugging and catching up with one of the Pink Ribbon Cowgirls)

Some of the hot models they had this year. Totally sexy to be a survivor.

Okay, I'll finally start the blog and stop with the pictures for a second.

My trip to Austin was a blast. 1 million times better than the last one when I got so sick I couldn’t enjoy a moment of it. The first day I stayed with my friends Aaron and Brianna Mottaghi. We went to the bar straight from the airport and I got to see some other Austin friends. I drank water until 2am and didn’t go to sleep until 3. I actually felt hung over.

Saturday I went to the Graphic Art Bra Show (the one I am modeling my art bra show in Michigan after) for the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Austin. They did sell out of tickets with 500 being sold. It was a huge success. I got to see all my Pink Ribbon Cowgirls (my network group in Austin for young women with breast cancer). I miss them so much. It was kind of weird just being at the event and not being an art bra model this time. Then again, it was great because I got to visit with everyone so much more and actually watch and enjoy the show. The art bras this year were amazing and the models looked hot. OMG. Austin has some really good looking breast cancer survivors. This event is truly magical. You get to see these amazing people celebrating their struggles and triumphs together. At this event it is pretty bad ass to be a cancer survivor (not that it isn’t all the time, but at the event you’re more like a celebrity)

My friend’s Rhonda, Michelle and Tim went to the show with me and we went out after. (totally killing the daily routine of liquid until noon/yoga/sauna/enema/meditation/affirmations/get to bed at a reasonable hour) Oh well, on vacation. I still took all my supplements, drank powdered green drink, made one fresh green juice, ate reasonably good (had some salmon) exercised a little. I did what I could, but I am tired and I think it's because I got out of my routine.

Anyway, I got to hang out with the old Riata friends from our old apartment complex. It was great catching up with everyone. I went to Scott and Cindy’s to see their new baby girl who was tiny, and I then went to see my friend Trena’s baby twins that were smaller than the first baby combined. They were premature and are in the NICU, but they are doing great. So cute. Little identical twin girls. That evening a bunch of friends got together for dinner at my favorite place in Austin, Z-Tejas. We goofed around and went to the bar afterward where yes, more water was consumed…and yes, some alcohol for the rest of the group.

Riata crew below. I still remember when we met them all out on the volleyball courts at our apartment complex and how we would spend every Monday night in the hot tub after volleyball.

Monday I went to visit Heaven.....I mean Whole Foods Headquarters. That place is amazing. I wish I lived inside there with access to all this wonderful fresh organic food all the time. They even have a raw foods station with all sorts of creations. Rebecca would appreciate this….I got a pound of sunflower sprouts for $3 at Central Market. I wish I would have had time to go get some to smuggle back to Michigan. That much would cost me about $25 or more in Michigan. I love Austin for that. I have a wonderful Whole Foods really close to my house here in Michigan so I am lucky, but the variety of veggies at Whole Foods and Central Market in Austin is unbelievable.

All in all the trip was wonderful. I think I did pretty good balancing visits with everyone and not making myself go crazy and get run down by doing too much. Usually I try to do too much and then get myself all tired out. I am on the plane while I am writing this, but it will be posted way later. It was sunny and 95 degrees in Austin when I left Kevin called me and told me he got hailed on today. I also heard that it is supposed to snow tonight???? Then, in a couple days it’s supposed to go back to 77 degrees. Oh well. That’s Michigan weather for you.

That's all for now. But coming soon..... (very soon) I have a treat for you. Next couple blogs will be one on colon health and then we have a guest blogger. I'll leave you in suspense wondering who it is, but I'll give you a hint. His name starts with Kev and ends with in.

Peace out Austin

Shannon : )

Happy belated Earth Day.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chloe the Purina Cat Model and My Hero

We're working on some different hair looks for Chloe's cat modeling portfolio. lol. No really, when Chloe is asleep she's out, and Kevin and I can goof around and make little spikes all over her hair without her waking up. Edgy huh??
We thought she looked funny here sleeping in her cat climber with her arm stretched out .

Close up of my little miniature lion Chloe. She has such a pretty face and eyes.
Chloe does this all the time when I do yoga and get the mat out. She sneaks under the mat and makes a little tunnel and then if you dare walk by her, you might get attacked by surprise. Sneaky kitty.
Here are a few pics I took of the filming/photo shoot we went on for Purina in St Louis. Here is the awesome hotel room we stayed in. Since I was with Chloe I didn't leave the room all night, so we hung out in there together for a long time.
Chloe HATES being in her cage and she looked at me with sad eyes and cried the entire time we traveled. It breaks my heart. Once I let her out in the hotel room she was totally happy and make herself at home. Purina gave us food and water bowls but Chloe prefers MY glass of water always.
Purina also hooked us up with a litter box, litter, food (Purina of course, which Chloe actually liked a lot), and a bunch of cat toys. Chloe has a new favorite from all of those that she now carries around the entire house. Here she is resting after playing with all her toys in the room. She still behaves like a kitten.

Everyone wanted to know how the photo shoot went with Chloe so I'll tell you. Purina is getting involved in breast cancer awareness month by donating $$$$$$ to Susan Komen. Their packaging is going pink during October too. Part of the program is focusing on breast cancer survivors who had cats that were very helpful and comforting through treatment. They had three survivors do the filming where we told our stories on our diagnosis, treatment and precious cats that were by our side the entire time we went through treatment. Those videos will be online and I will post as soon as it is ready. Additionally, they are trying to get other people (doesn't have to be a survivor) to upload their pictures of themselves and their cats. For every picture uploaded, they will donate $1 to Komen.

So, how did the travel and shoot go with Chloe??? Well, travel with a cat is never a walk in the park. Chloe peed in her cage on the plane and then rolled around in it (I think it's a way of acting out or because she is scared). Fun. When we got to the hotel I scrubbed the cage in the shower and then had to wash Chloe. That's always fun. The next day for the shoot we were a one of the survivor's lovely houses, but she had two cats and a dog that Chloe could smell. (she was not happy). They wanted me to bring Chloe out on the set in the family room to tell my story while holding her. Problem is there were about 10 people out there in a big new room (I had her staying in the bedroom), with video and regular cameras, lighting everywhere and a big microphone above our heads and all this stuff was operated by men (Chloe prefers women strangers over men) Needless to say, she freaked out, hissed, scratched me as I tried to hold on to her, and finally ran away from the set. 

We tried a couple times and it was looking like it was a waste of an effort for me to bring Chloe all the way out to St Louis. Once she went back to the bedroom, she calmed down and was totally happy. I told them that just one camera and one interviewer in the BEDROOM, might be the only way Chloe doesn't freak out. We tried this and I managed to do the entire interview while petting Chloe and she layed there purring and rolling on her back. Once we did it HER way, everything went smooth and Queen Chloe was happy.

I think I did okay as well. I was a little stressed because of Chloe and I was tired, but I tried to stay positive and focused. I had a pound of makeup on, but they assured me I would look natural on screen. I think I did good telling my story. We had a couple scripted things we were supposed to say. I think I make scripted talking sound well...scripted (not an actress). I'm hoping they only show me telling my story and have one of the other girls when they did the scripted talk.

Anyway, I included the short story I gave Purina about Chloe and how much she helped me through treatment. It's hard to explain where I think people would REALLY get it how important she is to my life as I have had her at my side all through my cancer treatment.


Chloe Story for Purina (this would be good for those of you who didn't start following my blog when I was diagnosed the first time)

         Before starting treatment (first diagnosis) all I could really think about was chemo and my fear of all the known side effects. I was scared and I could not think about anything else. Kevin knew how bad I felt since being diagnosed and he would do anything to make me happy again and take away my fear.

Kevin never wanted a cat since he was allergic. Everything changed dramatically when one day a doctor said to me “you have breast cancer and you will need chemotherapy and radiation.”  Now I had some leverage! Thinking about getting a kitten was the only thing that seemed to put a smile on my face. Kevin started to consider it and I knew there was a chance. I promised that if he was really allergic we could bring the cat back. I said I would brush the cat twice a day, give it weekly baths, and that our bedroom would be off limits for the cat. The cancer card turned out to be pretty powerful, and he finally agreed to go kitty shopping with me.

We must have gone to about 7 pet stores that day. There were two of the cutest kittens at the last Petsmart we went to. They were tiny, not even 7 weeks old. They were the last two from a group of 15 rescue kittys. We took out the cute little girl that almost looked like a baby lion. She sat on our laps and was very calm, which was very important to Kevin. I was so happy and she was ours. Our little Chloe. Thanks Cancer!!!

Chloe and I spent every minute through my treatment together. I slept all the time and she slept right by my side being especially attentive on the days I really felt bad. I have heard that cats can sense when humans feel bad and I am convinced that it is so true. She would even lay down on areas of my body that were particularly hurting me. Amazing. When I had to go for Chemo or scans I would bring a picture of Chloe as a bookmark to remind myself to smile and think about her. We would play together and I talked to her all the time. She is so comfortable with me that she can sleep on my lap and if I need to get up I can pick her up in my arms and she will stay sleeping, curled up in a little ball and let me pass her on to my husband without waking up. I can trim her claws while she's out that’s how soundly she sleeps.

She made me smile, played with me and gave me company while I was going through cancer treatment alone at home. Any time I would feel bad she was my magic weapon where all I had to do was think of her and I would smile. Even at the times of my greatest despair when Kevin didn’t know what to do or say, he would get Chloe and put her in my arms and it always made me feel better. I always have to smile around her. There is something about a cat’s unconditional love and grace. Something that translates to you when you really tune into how your cat can live in the moment and suddenly worrying seems silly. I know my cat loves me. 

      Chloe is a very important part of our family. She is always around with the two of us when we are home. She's on our laps if we're on the couch, she's in the sink if we are in the bathroom, she's laying outside the shower if I'm in there, she's in front of the computer screen if we are on the computer (practically every post I write Chloe is in the way sitting in front of the screen or laying on my lap), she's on our bed every night, she's in the kitchen if we are cooking, and she's outside the sauna doors begging us to come in the entire time we are in the sauna scratching at the door knob trying to get the door open. 

Kevin has absolutely ZERO allergies to her. As for the promises I made to get her (brushing her and keeping her out of the bedroom etc etc..)…she sleeps on our bed every night, she does not like to get brushed so I don’t even attempt it and Chloe is good enough at bathing herself, so I refrain from that chore as well. I keep Chloe away from bathing in the tub (unless she wants to drink water from the bottom of it) : ) Kevin loves her just as much as I do. She shows us her love for us by bringing us a mouse toy every single night before she jumps in bed with us. We truly love her.

Shannon Watson

*** I will post the professional photos from the shoot when I get them as well as the video***

***Health/Environment tip*** I went to Target, because yes, I AM now caught up and slightly obsessed in the Twilight book series. I had to buy the next one, Eclipse. Anyway I saw that Target has organic cotton sheet sets for about $40 for a queen bed. That's a great deal and they are VERY soft. They also have organic cotton decorative pillows, towels of all types, bath rugs and more. All very cheap. All very soft and they are all cute too. 

Think about this. Cotton uses the most chemicals to grow out of any plant in the country. Getting organic cotton can really impact the environment.

Healthy Easter Treats For All of You!!!! Recipes!!! Good Ones!!!

Here is my new Orange Julius recipe. Sooo good. 
Below are incredible recipes so please read because you wouldn't want to miss out on these healthy and VERY YUMMY treats.
Here is a great Martha Stewart-like creation? Fruit kabobs. My sister Stacie (Stewart : )) made these for Easter. Get kabob sticks and put fruit on them. You can get little cookie cutters and make cheese and melons into cute little shapes too. That's what we did. They are fun to eat and these were a huge hit. My kind of treat (as I gave away my pieces of cheese)
My sister Marina, my grandma Arlen and I were getting competitive about who could make the best looking kabob.
What made me incredibly thankful this Easter was the effort my family made to be healthier. I hope this was not just for me and they all understood how being healthy will benefit their lives as well. It does make my life so much easier though, so thank you to my family for the wonderful Easter.

Even my nephew Drew kicked in with his "I love Broccoli" bib. He does love broccoli and he likes my green juice too.
My nephew Miles and I kicked it on the couch for a while. He helps me remember to relax.
My grandma even made an all organic salad. Yummy. Nothing is better than loads of options for salad toppings with Tom's homemade dressing of lemon, olive oil, garlic and herbs. Yum.
Do I have a treat for you. Recipes. But not just any health recipe. These are freaking awesome. They are sweet and delicious. Honestly!!!!

It all started when I had lunch with my friend Rebecca and she told me about a better way to consume my cottage cheese and flax oil which is part of this protocol for cancer by Dr Budwig. There is supposed to be this amazing anti-cancer effect from the combination of the cottage cheese and flax oil. Anyway, I was mixing 6tbs of cottage cheese and 3tbs of flax oil and eating it. It's actually not that bad once you get used to it, but nothing to be excited about.
Rebecca told me to blend them (they are supposed to be blended very well in order to achieve maximum results), add some vanilla almond milk (unsweetened) and then add Stevia to make it sweet. She said it kind of tastes like cake batter and it does.

Then, I decided to get a little creative. I added ice to make it a blended frozen drink and two frozen strawberries. Holy crap!! Yummy!!!! Strawberry shake.
Then, I really got crazy and did the cottage cheese, flax, almond milk, vanilla extract (alcohol free), Stevia, ice and fresh squeezed juice from an orange and it tasted like an orange julius!!! Haaaaaaaaleighluia!!! (that's me singing) I'm sure you can add just about any fruit you like and it will be delicious.
Honestly, it tasted so good I was convinced it was bad. I went over the list of ingredients and make sure they were all good for me to consume...

Here's your recipe:
6 tbs Cottage Cheese - okay because it is part of the cottage cheese/flax oil protocol
20 drops Stevia - really good for you
1/2 cup Almond Milk - good
bunch of Ice - good
1 tbs Vanilla extract - good
Frozen fruit of fresh juice - alright in moderation. Honestly a little goes a long way, so I won't need to add much and it does taste good without any fruit. I've even added cinnamon and made it thicker and it was like ice cream.

Seriously, give it a try. This is my #1 recipe recommendation.
I made it for my family on Easter and they all loved it. I accidentally got vanilla with alcohol and it tasted different and I know that was why. Alcohol free vanilla extract is very important. Kevin and I have been going Orange Julius crazy lately. I honestly need to tame myself down and stop adding so much fruit and fruit juice all the time for myself, because this is part of my supplements and not desert every day. I did go from not looking forward to the cottage cheese, to getting excited hours before I make it. (you can spot the sugar/desert deprived people from a mile away)

Another recipe is a desert as well. It's a chocolate mouse made out of avocado. I actually got it from my sister's deceptively delicious cookbook (a lot of good ideas in there). I made one change to it and that was adding Stevia over a cup of sugar. I don't measure at all so you have to keep adding stuff until you like it. Blend an avocado until it is a puree. Add raw unsweetened cocoa powder, Stevia, some corn starch, almond milk or water....hmmm I think that's all. I cut up strawberries to dip in it. The avocado is a great consistency to make it a mouse and it is healthy loaded with good omega fats (beware of the calories though and don't over do it.)

Last one is cauliflower mashed potatoes. You can do this a few ways, but the idea is to puree, blend or mash the cauliflower and eat it. Kevin is a picky eater because of texture and he hates cauliflower because of the weird texture. I blended it and he had no problem eating it. You can cook it before or consume it raw like I do so I can get all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes out of it (when you cook it you cook that stuff away for the most part) I did straight up raw cauliflower blended with some butter and salt (so Kevin would eat it the first time I tried it) and i heated it on the stove top to make it warm, but not to cook it. I loved it. (Garlic is nice to add too). You can do the same but cook it. You can also mix it with mashed potatoes to hide the good veggies on your family members you are cooking for. Always try to sneak the veggie in. Or, serve the veggies first.

Here's to healthy eating and I'll tell you all soon how Chloe's photo shoot went. I'm getting behind on blogging lately.

Off to Austin tomorrow. Yeah!! Warm weather here I come. If you make any of these recipes, I would love to hear what you think.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Austin - St Louis - Chloe the cat model - Health Status - MSU game

Very exciting news - I am flying out to Austin right after that for a visit and to attend the Graphic Art Bra Show (the original art bra show that inspired me to do one here in Michigan) I'll be attending as a guest and taking it all in. No art bra modeling for me this time. The show is Saturday April 18th for Austin people interested. Go to (not .com) to buy tickets online. ****I was told there are only 50 tickets left. None will be sold at the door as they are expecting to sell out by next Tuesday so get you tickets NOW**** I fly out Friday the 17th night and fly back to Michigan the following Tuesday. I cannot wait to see everyone, be warm in the Austin weather and be inspired to throw a fabulous show here in Michigan just life the Pink Ribbon Cowgirls and the Breast Cancer Resource Center have done for three years now in Austin.

My friend from Hippocrates, Debbi, was in town a while back and we shared a wheatgrass shot. I forgot to make Jason (another freind from Hippocrates) take a wheatgrass show with me while he was over and get a picture. Then, we could send the pictures to Hippocrates so they could be proud of us for keeping the diet up.
Other news (very exciting news) Chloe is going to be a cat model. We were selected to be in an ad for Purina where breast cancer survivors had cats that were important to their healing and happiness through treatment. Sounds like something right up our alley huh? My friend Rebecca found me the opportunity. Thanks Rebecca!! We fly to St. Louis April 14th and come back the 15th. Chloe is practicing all of her cat poses. Sniffing, looking in the distance, crazy "I''m going to attack you" face, blue steel...yeah she knows them all.

This is her, bad cat pose where we tell her to get down and then wash all our glasses.
Well, Monday's State game was hard to watch. A couple things amazed me. People were not mad as they left Ford Field and neither was I. It wouldn't have amazed me if they lost a close game (and people didn't get mad), but they were killed. I think people overall are looking to be more positive and that's awesome. The common attitude towards MSU basketball is "Awesome run through the tournament State" rather than being upset by them getting killed by a team with basicly 7 NBA players. I'll NEVER forget how much fun the Final 4 game was.

Quick health update - since my blood test went up we decided to do an ultrasound to look in my abdomen and at the liver. Well, they found some very small new spots on my liver. At the same time, the large liver lessions I have had for years shrunk a decent amount. One shrunk from 2.8cm to 2.1cm. That's a big difference where I would be jumping on my couch with my shoes on about the news, if I wasn't thinking about these new spots. Don't know how to feel. Guess I'll pick happy. I will stay on the hormone therapy and get another blood test soon and see how things are going. The spots are very small so they could have been missed on a CT scan so they might have been there for a while. That is what I am going to convince myself of because I think something must be going right if the larger ones are shrinking.

I feel great so that's what matters.
Anyway, have a great Easter if you celebrate it. I cannot wait to get together with the family and the take off to go cat model with Chloe.

Lots of love and daffodils blooming (I just bought some)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Michigan State to the Rescue

If you have read my blog for a while, you know I am a sports fan. I love watching sports and I am a Michigan State grad. So, you must know how exciting these basketball games have been for me.
Me and Chloe celebrating after the elite 8 game win against Louisville
I kind of stopped writing about sports for a while because I needed a focus for my blog so I chose health and my life living with my diagnosis. Not that people wouldn't benefit from hearing what I think about sports, but I think more people would benefit from health hints I have learned as well as how someone learned how to enjoy life with such a diagnosis as stage IV breast cancer.

Well these past few weeks have proved that sports are a part in making my life happy while living with my diagnosis. I haven't given anyone a "Shannon health update" in a while. It doesn't mean things have been good or bad, it just means I haven't felt like talking about it. Honestly, sometimes I feel like I would do anything to live ONE DAY without thinking about cancer. Since diagnosis in October 13th 2005, there has not been a day I haven't thought about it once. NOT ONE DAY. Crazy huh?? I don't obsess about it, but there is always some reminder. My lack of hair, eyelashes, eyebrows. Now, even though my hair is back, I would prefer to pull it in a ponytail, which I cannot. My eyelashes still randomly fall out on me (frustrating) even though it has been a year since I have stopped chemotherapy. I still have dark spots on my face from chemo (I cleverly cover up). Of course I have my lovely infected port scar and a couple more from breast surgeries. Those are just the reminders I get when I look in the mirror.

How about when I have a doctors appointment and have to get infusion for my bones? Or when I have to get the tumor marker blood test and I torture myself before calling wondering if I am mentally ready for the results. Even worse when I get a scan and they are actually taking pictures of what is going on inside my body. Think I want to call for those results and it doesn't weigh on my mind every day??

Then, there are times that I cannot avoid or complain about because it is a reminder that people love me. When they ask how are YOU???? or How ARE you????? They all want to hear that I just went to the doctor and that there is no longer a trace of cancer in my body. Or they just want to know how I am doing and my warped mind has to make everything about cancer. It can make a person go crazy and I have had many crazy days. I read about cancer - not focusing on cancer, but how people have brought their bodies back to health. I think about it with every food choice I make. "Is this food on the good side or the bad side?" If I choose something from the bad side I even find it hard to enjoy because I might later beat myself up for eating it.

Now is where I have to give you all my health update.........I had a blood test come back higher (which is not good). It was almost 100 points higher (moving faster than we would like) I started the hormone therapy and sometimes it can cause a spike before the drop it is supposed to, but the spike in the test was a little higher than we planned for. Nothing too terrible. Then, lately I have started to have some aches and pains. At first I was really scared since these came at the same time my blood test came back so you know where my mind was. Every little pain came with the fear that there was a new tumor in my body. Luckily, I just read that the hormone therapy I am on, Femara, comes with a major side effect of pain in bones and muscles. Wouldn't you know it, once I figured this out, some of my pains lessened. Seriously, how much of this is in my head?????

With all of this going on my mental health has been a little off. Another slump and a big one. They never last long, but they suck. I have had my crying spells and negativity spells. If you could hear the way I talk when I am really depressed and scared, you wouldn't believe it is the same author of this blog. Kevin knows. He is there for the good the bad and the ugly. He has also gotten really good at understanding what helps me through these times.... Distractions.

First thing he does is get Chloe and plops her on my lap. He tells me to list things I do have that I am grateful for. He understands that distractions help me a lot. A majority of my burden is that I just want to forget about it all, but I never can. Every day has its reminders and it's struggles.
These games did come at a good time and my brother-in-law came to the rescue yet again with some well needed Spartan Final 4 and Championship basketball tickets. What a perfect distraction.

My friend Todd, got Kevin and I tickets to the slam dunk contest for Thursday night. I had my last break down about my stress and my situation on the way there and that was the last of it. I wiped my eyes before we met up with Todd, and had a great time. Smiles the rest of the night. The next day I went to the Spartan's open practice at Ford Field (with 25,000 other fans) and had a great time all by myself. Then, we got to go out with my friend Jason to Canada where we gambled with some college coaches until 1am.

Saturday of course I lost my voice screaming out of excitement at the MSU game. I was jumping out of my seat the whole night. Everyone had the biggest smiles and Ford Field was filled with happy MSU fans. NOT ONCE DID I THINK ABOUT CANCER. Not once. I told you earlier that there isn't a day I don't think about it. Honestly I would not want to do the study where I find out how long of intervals I can go without thinking about it. They wouldn't be long. So, these 5-6 hours I was wrapped up in the Spartan game were a well needed rest from things.

Kevin, me, my brother-in-law, Kevin and friend Chris all enjoying ourselves at the final 4 game
The scoreboard right before MSU had the victory in the history books.

Thank you Michigan State Basketball. (One of the things I listed that I am grateful for)

Thank you to all of you as well. Every single personal interaction is helpful to me. Maybe I cannot be left alone to my own thoughts?? I work hard on my thoughts and keeping them positive. One thing I noticed is that when I am around other people my thoughts are always positive and I am always smiling. If I'm smiling, you know I am not thinking about cancer.

Please do not think of this as an un-invitation to ask me about my health and how I am doing or for advice or anything. I love helping others and I love knowing that people care about me. Do what you want to do, say what you want to say, and contact me whenever you want to. Thoughts about cancer would be on my mind whether if people ask me how I am doing or not. It is my mind and what I choose to think.
90% of the time I am thinking good thoughts and everything is well. 5% of the time I am thinking about cancer, but not is a negative way. I am thinking if I am doing something to make my body healthy so I can live a long life. The other 5% of the time I am worried about cancer; if I am doing enough, if my test will be good or bad, if I'll make it past the predicted 2 years, if this pain in my abdomen is a tumor growing or if it's being surrounded by white blood cells trying to wipe it out. Maybe I can consider it a blessing that this 5% usually gets clumped together into a few days. I can get it all out and then get on with life.

Anyway, I want to propose a toast. Here's to the Michigan State Basketball team. May we all get inspiration from them doing what the sports analysts said they COULDN'T do and to doing that three times now. (Kansas, Louisville, and UConn. And some crazy people even said they couldn't beat USC) Here's to them playing for the state of Michigan (almost like this run is dedicated to Michiganders). Here is to the sea of green we saw Saturday and the sea of white we will see tonight for the big white out. Here is to high fives being really cool for one more night. Here's to watching the news and it being a positive experience. Here's to making 70,000 people jump out of their seat and scream out of excitement in one place. Here's to bringing smiles to so many people from Michigan (not forgetting my spartan friends in Texas). Here's to bringing some well needed money to our economy. And here is to well needed positive distractions for everyone.

Go State!!

Now let's raise our glasses whith whatever you have to drink (I have wheatgrass : p and drink to Michigan State Basketball) Why not really celebrate the positive moments in life?

(my friend Jason wrote an article about me and how this experience has been for me. He kind of opened my eyes and really made me notice how things like this can make a huge difference in my life. It gave me the idea to write about my apreciation for what is happening with these games and how I went from feeling like a zero to on top of the world at the game. Thanks Jason)

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