Monday, January 17, 2011

A heart felt thanks

This is a hard post to write as there is so much I want to say and so much to be thankful for and it is hard to find the right words to do the thank you justice.  Also, I have to keep wiping my eyes as the emotional uplifting I had this past week is still with me.

It all started with my husband Todd wanting to run the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon and raise funds for melanoma.  He got the word out and brought 14 other runners together to form the first Team Pale Skin Is In.  Awesome!  Our runners: Todd Sullivan, Cathy Martin, Jon Martin, Jessica Snow, Leslie Carlone, Pete Carlone, Chris Just, Ang Just, Rich Whalen, Mike Norton, Anna Schettino, Dennis Heptig, Amanda Lewis, Mandy Ghetti Chadwick and Joe Landucci.  I am sincerely proud of each runner. You Rock! And I don't just mean Slash and Axle :)

A big THANKS goes out to Gentry Smith (Gentry Smith Designs), who created our logo and designed the shirts. I LOVE the logo and the team looked fabulous. You are amazing!

Thursday, CB dropped by with a gift - a Vita Mix blender!  I have wanted one for so long and I was just starting to save up for one, when knock knock - one arrived at my doorstep via friends. Vita is so awesome and I am so excited about all the things I can make and the nutritional impact it will have - ya know I'm all about healthy food!  Thank you so much to the following families: Martin, Partridge, Valociek, Sutton, Dun, Snow, Just and Carlone. 

Friday was the Pre-Race dinner and the day I picked up the team shirts.  The magnitude of the support hit me on my way home from picking up the shirts.  I had been so busy with my treatment and planning for the event that I think it took the weight of the box of shirts to rock my soul.  All I know is, I was about half way home when I began crying. And I mean really crying.  At first I couldn't figure out what was happening and I thought I was going to have to stop the car.  Then my inner self spoke to me and translated my body's reaction - you are loved by many.  I was finally relaxed enough to feel the enormity of support/love that I have be given. It was a lot to take in all at once, but beautiful.

That night at the Pre-Race Dinner my love fest continued as everyone arrived.  It was the first party we've ever had that I didn't feel stressed about the preparations.  I was on cloud nine just knowing that everyone would be together and enjoyed every minute. It was a fabulous night!

The P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon was yesterday and it was a spectacular day filled with friends, love and laughter. My heart was filled with joy as I saw each runner pass by, as the cheerleaders supported the team along the way, as I walked up to the meeting place and saw all the team together for the first time and then again as I walked into Ruby Tuesday having everyone gathered once again.

I wanted to say something when we were all together either at the pre-race dinner or day of the event, but I didn't think I could have gotten through any type of speech.  I didn't know then nor do I know now how to put into words the enormity of love I felt when I was in the car, at the dinner and then when I walked up to our meeting place and saw 30+ people gathered wearing Pale Skin Is In shirts.  This past week I felt all warm and fuzzy, but when I saw everyone together at the end of the race, it was overwhelming and I felt like my heart exploded out of my chest.  Between the pride I felt for the runners and joy of having so many friends at this event, my soul was filled with warmth as I accepted and took in all the love and support. Thank you everyone!

I want to give a special thanks to Chris, Ang and Kelsey for flying to AZ for the event.  It was awesome that you could be there with all of us.  Although you moved back East, you have remained in all our hearts.  And for the weekend, our group was complete. It was awesome!

Another special thanks to those of you who donated to the team.  As I watch the list of names scroll by; some I know, some I haven't spoken to in years and some I don't know at all.  All of you supporting me and melanoma research and all making a difference.  The choice that everyone of you made to support the team and melanoma adds to my overwhelming sense of joy. Thank you so much!

This was the first Pale Skin Is In fundraising effort and we raised $4580! Wow, that is awesome! Words can't express my gratitude to everyone who supported the team through running, cheering and/or donating. But I sure gave it my best :)

Making a Difference

I just had to share this story of what happened to me today as it is amazing how the little things we do can make an impact on another.  I re-use the plastic produce bags that you get at the grocery store.  I have about 10 that I use along with my re-usable grocery bags.  I reallly want to invest in cloth produce bags, but that would mean throwing away my plastic ones and I just have a hard time doing that. So for now, I re-use what I have. Anyways, I went to Sprouts today and was getting avacados.  I pulled out one of my re-used bags and a lady who was just reaching for a plastic produce bag looked at me with a surprised look and our conversation went something like:

Her: "Wow, good for you!"
Me: "I can't throw them away."
Her: "It's the little things that make a difference."
Me: "I agree.  I have a daughter and I think about her."
Her: "I don't have kids, but I think about all the children and the place they will have to live. Some people just don't care." (I thought - WOW, I like this woman)
Me: "They either don't care about the negative impact plastic bags have on the environment because it isn't physically effecting them now or they don't believe what they can't see."
Her: "Yes, it is sad.  This is the only place we have to live."
Me:  "Yes, so let's take care of it."

Later, I saw her in the store and she came up to me and said "Thanks for opening my eyes today."  To which I responded, "Thanks for noticing!"  What a feeling this was.  It is such a small thing that I am doing and really I don't think that much about it.  But it felt great to have someone notice and maybe she will re-use her plastic produce bags from now on.  I guess we can all be role models and make an impact even with the smallest of things.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Great News!

Now that I have spoken with my mom, I would like to share the good news with all of you.  Remember that lump that I found under my left breast?  Well, it has shrunk to almost nothing!  It was about 2 centimeters by 1 centimeter and now it is the size of a pea.  I can barely feel it!  I have only been on the full treatment for a week and a half and have already seen results. Amazing!!  My CT won't be until early March to look at my insides, but the shrinking of this tumor is a good indication of what we may see.  So happy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Feeling Great

I've been on my full dose treatment for a little over a week now and I am happy to report that I feel great!  So far, I have not experienced any severe side effects. Thank you Lord for guiding me to this treatment and thank you for all the prayers and positive thoughts that are said for me.  I have a wonderful sense of peace and strength that I know not only comes from within me, but comes from all of you and what you do for me.

Thank you very much!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

PF Chang's Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon

I am not a runner, but my husband and a great group of friends is running in Arizona's PF Chang's 1/2 Marathon on January 16th in honor of Team Pale Skin Is In to raise awareness and funds for Melanoma.  Currently, we have 14 runners, but the number seems to be increasing daily. A great friend, Gentry Smith, designed a logo for Pale Skin Is In and T-Shirts which runners and families will be wearing on race day.  We are going to look great!

If you would like to join the running team, let me know and I can get you the details.  Not a runner, like me :), you can still support the team with a donation.  Our fundraising page link is on the right side of my blog.

Thanks and Happy New Year!!