On November 11th, I am participating in the So Cal MK5K and One Mile Fun Run event in support of a great organization - The Mary Kay Foundation. The Mary Kay Foundation supports two very important causes, cancers that affect women and violence against women.
These are important causes to me and I hope you will help by sponsoring me. You can click on the "Support Me" button to make an online donation now. Or better yet, why don't you join me at the event - you can register by clicking on the "REGISTER" link at the top of this page.
Click on the About link at the top of this page to learn more about the event and how you can get involved.
In 2010, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The cancer found me actually. I'd had a mammogram, did my monthly exams, and was in good health. One summer morning I woke up bleeding. It was early stage cancer but because of the location the only way to remove the cancer and have clear margins was to have a mastectomy. I requested both breasts be removed as a precaution. On November 2, 2010 (which was the anniversary of my mother's passing from cancer), I had a double mastectomy. It turned out my decision to also remove the "good" breast was smart because a different kind of cancer had started there too. I decided to have reconstruction and that took several more surgeries over a few years.
I was blessed, and I am grateful to God every day. Gene testing showed I did not carry the "breast cancer gene" in spite of it running rampant in my family. Since it was caught early, I had the double mastectomy, and the lymph nodes were clear, I did not need treatments. Healing from the mastectomy was painful and laborious with all the drains. I couldn't reach up. I had to stay quiet. Yes it was challenging but every day I thought of the countless women who not only were going through the pain of recovery from surgery but they were starting treatments. I have no idea why I was spared the latter, I just was. I used my time to get closer to God and to my family and friends. My favorite memory is of my husband lovingly taking care of me with a big smile. Nothing I needed or asked of him was too much to remove his smile. Amazing! Yes, I received such an outpouring of love and help that as I reflect on that time, I do so with my own smile. I may have been down but it was a very meaningful time.
Recently in August I had a thyroidectomy and goiter removal. As large as it was, it was not cancerous! Still, I experienced complications that I'm now dealing with. But knowing I was walking in the MK5K pushed me forwards and two weeks after surgery I walked a mile (OK, very slowly!) A few days later, I walked nearly 2 miles with a scarf around my neck to hide the bandages. I am committed to see the end of breast cancer as well as other female cancers and I know the Mary Kay Foundation has and continues to support the researchers who are resolute in making that happen quickly.
Won't you join me in this quest so that one day soon, no woman has to hear the words "it's cancer."
Thanks and I'll keep you posted of my progress.