Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Melanoma Walkathon

In 10 days I will be walking in the Safe from the Sun Walkathon for Melanoma in Tucson, AZ. I created a team - Pale Skin Is In, of course :) - and I am deeply touched that friends have joined and will be walking beside me and my family.

It has been just over a year since my lung surgery and 6 months since my last melanoma. I am happy to be walking in this event as a cancer free survivor and in honor of those that have lost their battle. I have been battling this beast for 3 years now and so much has changed in my life since. I used to love the sun. I would put some 8 SPF (seriously what was the point) on and lay out baking for hours. It never crossed my mind even once that I may be putting my health or more importantly my life at risk. I now do not go out in the sun without sun protection, either lotion or clothing and I now look for the shade. My daughter Teya also does not go out in the sun without protection. Every morning before school I put lotion on her and I have bought her sun protection clothing. I am going to do what I can to educate her how to be safe while having fun in the sun.

This walk means a lot to me for many reasons, but one is that awareness of melanoma is low. I wasn't really sure what it was when I was originally diagnosed and I was quick to learn that others were as naive as me. I was sadden when my cancer returned that friends of mine still did not understand melanoma to be life threatening. I heard too many "I thought you just had skin cancer" statements. I thought I had educated those close to me, but I realized that I had failed in some cases. Everyone should know the importance of sun safety and getting their skin checked regularly by a dermatologist - not your medical doctor. The money raised by this walk will not only go to much needed research for better treatment, but also to spread the word for prevention and early detection. Melanoma is about 90% curable if caught early, however, there is lack of effective treatment for later stages.

Please let me know if you will be in the Tucson, AZ area or would like to travel down with me to this event. If you cannot join the team, but would like to make a donation, you can do so by clicking on the title of this blog entry or the "My Fundraising Page" link on the top right side of my blog.

If you are reading this via my Facebook feed, you can go to http://www.safefromthesun.org/ and join or donate to my team.

Thanks for your support!

Monday, September 21, 2009

August Events

I know we are late in September, but August was a big month for Teya and I have finally gotten around to writing about it. Not only did she turn 5, she also began Kindergarten. Teya had a double birthday with 2 parties in the same day. It was tiring, but Teya enjoyed herself. Her first party was with 5 of her girlfriends from her pre-school. They played some party games and decorated cupcakes.

Her second party of the day was with our group of friends/AZ Family. We swam, grilled and had a pinata. Fun was had by all!

The Monday following her party, Teya began Kindergarten. Teya was a bit nervous, as was I, but she did great her first day and has loved it ever since.

Teya having breakfast with Kitty

Teya in front of her school
Teya with Daddy
She found her cubby and name tag

Her seat

Me at her seat

Friday, September 18, 2009

In Loving Memory of Mikasa

It is with a sadden heart and teary eyes that I write this today. Our cat, Mikasa, passed away Wednesday evening. It was sudden with no signs. Todd came home from vollyball Wednesday night at 11pm to a cheerful "Meow" (hello in cat) from Mikasa. Todd let Marley outside and heard a strange meow from the kitchen. He went in and found Mikasa laying on the floor. Todd rushed back to the bedroom and woke me up. He was limp and I couldn't fine a pulse at that time. Todd rushed him to the Animal Hospital around the corner from our house. They were unable to revive him. We are not sure what make this happen, but we do know that his bladder was hard and he had fluid on his lungs. The dr.'s think his heart stopped. All I do know is that he wasn't in pain and I try to take comfort in that. In all of the days leading up to this, he was his normal self and gave no signs that anything was wrong. Even just minutes before it happened.

Our pets are like family and each one of them are considered one of our kids. For those of you that also feel this way about your pets, I'm sure you can understand the hole in our hearts and the absence in our home. We deeply miss him and will never forget.

Here are a few more pictures.

He loved sitting in the sink.

Posing with Teya

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Walkathon for Melanoma Awareness

I am excited to participate in this year's Safe from the Sun - Walk for Melanoma in Tucson, AZ. Todd, Teya, I and possibly Marley (yes, dogs are welcome) will be heading down to Tucson on Saturday, October 10th. The event is from 3-6pm. There is a 2 mile walk with a Health & Wellness Expo that includes free skin cancer screenings.

I have created a fundraising page and if you are interested in joining my team or donating to the cause, click on the title of this post.

Thanks for your support!

Friday, September 4, 2009


I got my results for both my CT Scan (organs) and MRI (of brain) and both came back as No evidence of disease - meaning Clean & Clear! Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!