http://www.ncsd.org/about-us

National Cancer Survivors Day is an annual, treasured Celebration of Life that is held in hundreds of communities nationwide and around the world. It is a CELEBRATION for those who have survived, an INSPIRATION for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of SUPPORT for families, and an OUTREACH to the community. Participants unite in a symbolic event to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be meaningful, productive, and even inspiring.

It is a day for everyone, whether you’re a cancer survivor, a family member, friend, or medical professional. This day provides an opportunity for all people living with a history of cancer – including America’s nearly 14 million cancer survivors – to connect with each other, celebrate milestones, and recognize those who have supported them along the way. Anyone can host an NCSD event. Get started with our 7 simple steps to organize your event.
When is National Cancer Survivors Day?  National Cancer Survivors Day is traditionally observed on the first Sunday in June. However, some communities choose a different day for their local celebration.
What does the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation do?  The nonprofit National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation provides free guidance, education, and networking to hundreds of hospitals, support groups, and other cancer-related organizations that host NCSD events in their communities. Through National Cancer Survivors Day, the Foundation works to improve the quality of life for cancer survivors by educating the public on the issues of survivorship.
Who is a cancer survivor?  The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation defines a “survivor” as anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life. National Cancer Survivors Day is an opportunity for your community to demonstrate that it has an active, productive cancer survivor population.
        We hope you will join us in celebrating National Cancer Survivors Day. To locate an event near you, contact your local cancer treatment center, hospital, or American Cancer Society office. If your community doesn’t currently hold an NCSD celebration, you can help organize one. Click here to find out how.
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Drowning

Memories are strong

Reminding me how

Weak I am

At times they feel

Like a lifetime away

Tiny pieces of myself

Suspended in the

Dulling haze of

Time

Other times they reach out

And grab on to me

With the desperation

Of one helpless and

Drowning

Holding on for fear

Of disappearing

Without a sound

I try to run away

But the more I resist

The stronger their hold

On me

Until I am the one

Left helpless and

Drowning

Reaching out in desperation

For fear of disappearing

Without a sound

For fear of disappearing

Forever

(witten in 1985)

Photo Credit: http://somepeacelovinchick.tumblr.com/

Photo Credit: http://somepeacelovinchick.tumblr.com/

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A Truly Tasteless Tale

One of the most annoying side effects of my chemo was how it affected my sense of taste – I don’t mean my taste in clothes or music, I mean my actual ability to taste food and beverages (although my taste in books, movies and art did change, but that’s for another post).  Things would either taste horrible, with a strange metallic tinge to them, or I couldn’t taste anything altogether. There was a small window of time in between my treatments when I could taste things almost normally again, but usually just for a few days.  Then, toward the end of my treatments, my immune system was so shot, that I kept catching colds and couldn’t taste anything even during my small window of opportunity.  The worst was when my family and I went to Key Largo for a little weekend get- away.  I had no taste buds and a cold on top of it.  We went to a little hotel that was right on a sandy little beach to relax and get away from all the craziness for a few days.  It was so nice being there, watching the girls have fun in the water and looking for shells in the sand, not a care in the world.  I couldn’t taste anything the entire trip.  We went to some awesome (or so I’m told) restaurants, and sat on the beach at night with a bottle of wine, watching the sunset and playing Uno with the girls.  I could only imagine that what I was eating and drinking tasted fantastic.  At least it didn’t taste weird or terrible – it just didn’t have any taste at all.  Plus, what could be better than being with the ones you love, in a place that you love? It was a wonderful trip despite the not so wonderful circumstances.

This summer, we’re going back to the Keys and I plan on re-visiting some of those restaurants for a taste of what I missed.  I’ll savor every bite, watch my girls play in the sand, and have a glass of wine while watching the sunset – and this time, my taste buds will be ready.

* For more info on taste changes due to chemotherapy, you can visit: http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/side-effects/taste-changes.aspx

 

Journal entry: July 24th, 2011 (part 2)

Friends have been keeping in touch and coming by. I’m grateful for the support. One day, my friend Apryl came by and dropped off water and chicken soup, then my sister-in-law, Janet, picked up Jada from summer camp – then, my neighbor came by and gave us a lasagna dinner – then, my friend Helen picked up Kayla from day care and stayed until Zetti got home from work around 8:30 pm. She helped entertain the girls and got them dinner. I’m lucky to have so many people care and want to help.

Emotionally I’m doing pretty darn good – I’m positive and just taking things one step at a time. I’m actually pretty impressed with myself 🙂  It’s just weird that I’m working so hard to get through this chemo with the end goal of having my boobs cut off – seems like a strange goal to be working toward, doesn’t it? I know it needs to be done. Apryl told me about t-shirt she saw that said “Yes, these are fake – my real ones were trying to kill me” – I thought that was funny. Maybe if I start thinking of my boobs as the enemy, it will be easier to let them go.  I never thought I was particularly attached to them until people started talking about cutting them off. Well I’ll do what I have to do.  I want o be around to see my children grow up and celebrate 50 years with Zetti.

* I had chemo prior to my mastectomy to shrink the tumors  (also referred to as neoadjuvant chemotherapy)

Journal entry: July 24th, 2011 (part 1)

Had my 3rd chemo Monday. Side effects started sooner and were a little worse than previous. I’m getting nauseous now -the pills help a lot, thank goodness.  Been tired and wiped out, achey and alternate between being constipated and the opposite.  The sleeping pills have been helping, but I usually can’t sleep past 5 am. At least I’m pretty much sleeping through the night now.  Was real shakey the first couple of days – like there was way too much medicine running through my little body. Oh, that’s right – there is! 

Jada’s birthday is coming up – she’ll be 6 years old.  She told me the other day that she had bad dreams about me and Zetti – that she’d never see us again.  She started crying during a movie because she was afraid I would leave her like someone in the movie left their family.  I think she’s really scared about me being sick and I wish there was more I could do to make her feel better. I wonder how this experience is going to affect her in the long run – how it will – or won’t – impact her life.   I hope she can learn good things from it and how to be a strong and positive child/person.

http://www.the3day.org/site/PageServer?pagename=learn_about_what_is_the_3Day#more

http://www.the3day.org/site/PageServer?pagename=learn_about_what_is_the_3Day#more

It’s a 3-Day, 60-mile event.
Starting on Friday, you will walk approximately 20 miles each day until you reach the Closing Ceremony on Sunday afternoon. To learn more about training for the 3-Day, click here.

It’s a community.
At the end of each day, you’ll be welcomed home to the 3-Day camp, complete with a dining tent, hot showers, pink sleeping tents, evening entertainment and various other activities and helpful resources along camp’s “Main Street”! Those of you who are not comfortable camping out for two nights can elect to stay at a hotel at your own expense (our host hotels will have special room rates available for 3-Day participants).

It’s a fundraising event.
Each participant is required to raise at least $2,300 to participate. That might feel like a big obstacle, but we are here to help you every step of the way with tips and tools. The money raised helps fund community education and outreach programs in your community. To learn more about fundraising for the 3-Day, click here.

It’s a celebration.
While the reason we all get together might be serious, our walkers and crew like to have a lot of fun on the event as well. From bold, pink outfits to tent decorations and themed pit stops along the route, you’ll leave the event weekend feeling happy and celebrated.

It’s bold.
No other breast cancer event in the country asks you to walk as far or raise as much money as the 3-Day. It is simply the boldest thing you can do in the fight to end breast cancer

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