A Mother and her Two Daughters

17 February 2012

Celebrating My Cancerversary!

It’s been months since I’ve posted on this blog.  But today is a special day, so I feel inclined to write an update.

Today I celebrate my two-year CANCERVERSARY.  It was February 17, 2010 that I was given the grim news, found out there was a disease called Inflammatory Breast Cancer.  But since that day, the fight has been on and the news has only been good.  That includes last week’s good news from my brilliant medical team at UAMS:  My tumor markers came back perfect.  No cancer found inside this body!  

And while I continue to battle bone density issues, some leg pain and a few other inconvenient side effects, I can live with all that knowing the medicines I take are successfully fending off the brutal attack of cancer.  The great thing is that Dr. Makhoul doesn't believe I HAVE to live some of these side effects - so in the next few weeks and months, he's looking to make some adjustments with my daily meds.  As I tell him, I'm just a PR chick, you're the doctor.  Tell me what to do and I'll do it.  He's still batting one thousand!  

A lot has been happening with me these past months.  I’m working fulltime again and enjoying every day, every client, and every project.  It feels so good to be back in my creative world, helping clients solve problems, master the power of words and design.  I work with some of the greatest minds in the communications industry and my colleagues inspire me every day. 

In addition to work, I keep busy with my many community projects – Philander Smith College, KIPP Delta Public Schools (I’m now a school board member!), United Methodist Foundation, Arkansas Advanced Initiative for Math & Science, and fostering abandoned dogs for Last Chance Arkansas.  I’ve also joined the board of CARTI (my very trusted radiology clinic) and have been busy working with another PR colleague, Brenda Scisson, as we raise funds for a new patient services initiative at UAMS.  You can read about it here.  They've even named the initiative after my blog - Never Lose Spirit.  How nice!  

And of course, my girls continue to keep me busy and entertained.  Allyson stays busy with her PR position at the Contemporary Art Museum-St. Louis.  She also founded a wonderful fundraiser – Celebrate Style – that supports the breast cancer program at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.  Anna-Lee is finishing semester two of her sophomore year at the University of Arkansas.  She’s majoring in social work, keeps good grades, has retained her scholarship (yeah!), and enjoys college life with a repertoire of new friends.  Both of them are happy and doing well - which is all a mother ever wants.  

I guess I’ve been remiss about writing on this blog.  But it’s only because I've been so busy living life! While I feel guilty about this at times, I stop and remind myself what this blog was really all about - KICKING CANCER'S BUTT.  And since we’ve managed to make that happen, I’m living life and don’t always have the time to write.  My life is so filled with LIFE! 

I will make a better effort to post the occasional update, reminding those who read it that there is life after cancer. It can be a difficult journey back but once you get there it's a pretty amazing place to be!

Many thanks to my family and friends, colleagues and my church family who have helped me stay strong the past two years.  I love you all.  But more importantly than that, I have felt your love, and I do believe that LOVE helps us keep our fighting spirit! 

Here’s to celebrating year two – with hope for many more years ahead! 

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