Wednesday, June 20, 2018


I got the good news today from my oncologist:

I'm officially cured!

Last Monday I had a head and neck CT scan - I haven't had a scan in about 2 years, so this was just a "one last look" for any tumors.  That was clear!  I also had blood work done as I've had done several times a year over the past 5 years.  All good! So all signs point to continued remission!

With Hodgkin's Lymphoma, after 5 years in remission you're considered cured of the cancer.  That means my chances of getting Hodgkin's are about the same as yours.  I am at a higher risk of getting a secondary cancer as a result of my chemo and radiation, but that's still fairly unlikely considering I had a relatively small amount of treatment.

For those of you who are keeping track, I was diagnosed in July 2013 and finished treatment in November 2013.  So I'm technically about 5 months shy of 5 years in remission.  My oncologist felt comfortable calling this 5 years and cured since I was early Stage I at diagnosis and responded so well to my treatment.  I'm comfortable with it if she is!

If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, please do. I have an important message I want to share with each and every one of you.

After running the Indianapolis Mini Marathon (my 3rd half marathon) in May 2018

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

I Don't Deserve You

To my dear friends and family... you are the ones who kept me going.  I read every single Facebook/blog comment over and over.  I still go back and read those comments every so often.  I drew strength from your support and still do.  Your words and compassion mean the absolute world to me; I don't deserve you.

To the friends who chipped in to hire house cleaners... thank you for helping to keep me healthy when my immune system was so low.  You were so selfless; I don't deserve you.

To the church who brought us meals each week for a few months... while I couldn't always eat them, I know my husband was thankful for those home cooked meals and for one less thing to worry about.  Thank you for the thoughtfulness; I don't deserve you.

To the friend who coordinated with a landscaping company to have our lawn mowed each week... that was so incredibly kind and my husband really appreciated the help; I don't deserve you.

To the friends and family who sent gifts... knowing the thought you put into selecting those gifts made me smile; I don't deserve you.

To everyone who sent a card in the mail... I looked at those cards almost every single day during treatment.  I hung them on a door in the house and then on the wall next to the door when the door filled up!  On days I was feeling particularly bad, I would go over and read all of those cards.  You kept me positive; I don't deserve you.

To the family members who sent us money... while we were never concerned about putting food on the table or paying our mortgage, things were definitely tight.  Over $6,000 in unexpected out of pocket expenses definitely put a strain on the budget!  Your selflessness allowed us to enjoy a quick trip to Florida after my treatment was complete.  That time away, just the two of us, was exactly what we needed; I don't deserve you.

To those friends who were at my side without a second thought... I couldn't have done it without you.  Those of you who came over the night I found out my diagnosis - I will never forget that.  What could have been the hardest day of my life, turned into one of the most fun and memorable.  You came over to keep me company, drove me to appointments, sat with me through hours of chemo in the infusion room, brought us food, and most importantly brought us laughter and a bit of normalcy; I don't deserve you.

To my mom... I know how hard it was to be so far away during all this.  Thank you for rallying so many people to pray for me.  Knowing that many people were thinking of me brought me so much comfort; I don't deserve you.

To my dad... I can't imagine what that felt like watching your child go through cancer.  Having you at one of my chemo treatments and radiation treatments was comforting, and fun, too!!  It reminded me of those days at Paws when we would get in trouble for giggling all day - you've always made things fun.  I'll never forget that day you took me to the hospital for an entire day of tests - I wasn't allowed to eat all day, so you didn't either.  We were both starving by the end!  That was so incredibly sweet; I don't deserve you.

To my brother... you were always there for me when I needed lunch, a ride to an appointment, etc.  Thanks for taking me to get ice cream for lunch!  I love you big brother; I don't deserve you.

To my husband... I can't even find the words.  2 years into marriage, you shouldn't have had to deal with all that you did.  I never once heard you complain.  You took such great care of me and were always positive and supportive.  I honestly don't know how you did it and I often wonder if I could ever be as amazing to you if the tables were turned.  I love you more than anything and most of all, I don't deserve you.

As I reflect back on the last 5+ years, I don't know how I am so fortunate to have all of you in my lives and in my corner.  I am so undeserving of you.  I don't say that in a self-defeating way and I'm not seeking your affirmation (so no need to tell me that I AM deserving); I guess what I mean is I am incredibly grateful and humbled at the support and thoughtfulness of all of you and I will spend the rest of my life trying to re-pay it and pay it forward.

I fully expect to get good news tomorrow as I have my very last oncology appointment where I'll get the results of my final CT scan and blood work.  I fully expect for this chapter of my life to come to an end.  I will never ever forget all of the wonderful people who were there for me when I needed it.  This experience has changed me in so many ways and I truly believe I'm a better and stronger person having been through it.  I love you all; I don't deserve you.