Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I have taken a little break from this blog. I have been enjoying being healthy, spending time with my family and even finding time to do a little traveling.

On one hand, I want to put cancer behind me. That includes this blog and all that it contains.
I am 3 months away from my last chemo and my final reconstructive surgery. What will I write about after all of that? I barely have enough to write about now.

On the other hand, I am still getting tons of page views from all over from people who need information on breast cancer. I feel like I would be doing a disservice to them if I just stopped. Even though I have so little to share now that I'm N.E.D., I still have more knowledge about cancer than most people. I still want to help.
I'm just torn.

Another thing I feel completely conflicted about is the fact that I left out a very important part of my story and I feel guilty for not sharing that part of me.
At the time, I was so confused. I was in disbelief. I was in shock. I was in awe.
I needed time to process who I had met and what I had witnessed.

Here is my testimony.

Soon after my diagnosis, I was invited by a friend to meet with a "Man of God" named Larry Herlong. He travels the world preaching about God's goodness and is even able to manifest Jesus Christ through his own face.
I had heard what Larry was capable of but was a little skeptical, to say the least.

Within minutes of speaking with Larry, I was in full blown tears. I was at the lowest point in my life and searching for any sign that God really existed. I was tired. I needed a miracle. Larry made me feel safe as he stared into my eyes and told me what God had planned for me.

Larry prayed with me for which felt like only a few minutes, but was really over an hour. As he prayed, I sat frozen staring at him. His face began to distort and Jesus Christ himself stared back at me as clearly as Larry had been just seconds earlier. The area around Larry lit up like the brightest sunlight you could ever imagine. My eyes burned, I couldn't look away. I couldn't shut my tears off as I stared at Jesus. In the midst of Larry's prayers, I could hear him cast out the evil spirits in me that were causing my cancer. He made me repeat after him that I didn't have cancer.

Admittedly, I felt kind of silly yelling, "I don't have cancer!" when I had just been diagnosed weeks earlier.  When I voiced my concerns about getting cancer back in the future, Larry reassured me that God didn't send him to me to perform this miracle just so he could give me cancer again. Larry said I would beat cancer and it would be gone forever.  I hung on to those parting words from Larry and prayed for the best.

As you all know, when I went in for my September chemo, one month after I was diagnosed and 19 days after I met with Larry, my doctors could no longer feel the tumor in my breast that had been unmistakable weeks prior. They also couldn't find or feel the 1-inch area in my lymph node that was cancerous. My stage 2B tumors had somehow disappeared in less than one month.

The doctors were ecstatic. They were amazed that the chemo was working so fast and that I was having such a great response. There was a lot of head shaking going on in the doctor's office. I smiled knowing that we were all witnessing a miracle. I believed in God much more than the medicine.

In January 2012, when my surgeon told me that there were no signs of cancer anywhere in my body, I was so happy, but not entirely surprised.
I had been witnessing so many changes in myself, my life and in the people around me in the past few months that I knew that Larry was the real deal. I knew that I didn't have cancer because he spoke the words.

I vowed to live and love differently since that crazy day in August when I first met Larry. I'm still conflicted as I sit here contemplating whether I should REALLY post this, but I feel such a weight lifted off me for just writing this.

Part of me doesn't want to offend those of you who don't have the same beliefs as me. Part of me doesn't want my cancer-related blog to turn into anything but.

Thankfully, the biggest part of me...the pure part, wants to tell the whole world about the obstacle that God helped me overcome. I beat cancer and I didn't do it alone.
I want to tell people that miracles happen every day. I'm one of them.
God has bigger plans for me and I don't plan to disappoint him.

If anyone ever wants to talk Jesus, email me. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Race Day!

What a wonderful weekend we had!

Our team, Pretty in Pink, consisted of 14 runners and walkers. Together, we raised $3,310.00 for the Susan G. Komen foundation. That amount puts two of our team members on the Pink Fundraising Honor Roll! Woot for yours truly and Sharon! 

A special thanks to Sara Druck for organizing the fundraiser, all of my friends for donating prizes and our wonderful family and friends for purchasing so many raffle tickets.

We also received an amazing donation from Rustic Charm in the amount of $300.00, which were the proceeds from the HOPE necklace Mandi sells.

The day of the walk was amazing. The weather was perfect and spirits were high. It was so great to see all of the survivors and their friends and families. 

This will surely become a yearly event for us. I was shockingly interviewed by Kare 11 news during the walk and a small blurb of me showed up at the 2 minute mark. 
I also showed up at the end of the news shaking my pom poms with my friend, Jamie. I can't find that clip though. Rest assured, we looked awesome! :)

Following the race, we went to the Survivor Circle in the Mall of America. It was great to sit among all the pink shirts. We were given flowers and had a group picture taken. They had people stand if they had been diagnosed 40 years ago..., 30 years ago....., all the way down to the 1 year or less. 
I shed some tears as I stood while everyone clapped for us newbies. 

To feel so supported and loved by complete strangers was an amazing feeling. It also gave me such hope that I will be one of the people standing up at the 40 year mark some day. 
I'm not going to let this disease beat me.....although according to my friend Stacy's sign, it already has!
In memory of?? Come on now!

This is the part of our team that had no interest in running the 5k. A Minnesota Vikings cheerleader took this picture for us. 

L to R: Eric, Jean, Jamie, Jill, Me, Stacy, Jen, Deb, Josh, Palmer, Megan

The support for this event was amazing. Minnesota has one of the largest Komen walks in the U.S. 
It was truly an amazing thing to be a part of.

Me and my love. 
He had SUCH a hard time with this day. It took an emotional toll on him that I did NOT expect. It was hard to see.

We finished the race, but our job is not done. We will continue to walk, fundraise and preach to the masses about early detection of breast cancer until there is a cure for breast cancer.

I WILL live to see a cure for breast cancer. 
Thanks for your support!

Friday, May 11, 2012

If I'm well enough to volunteer, I will.

I like to volunteer and I have a fun t-shirt collection to prove it. Last night was my first time manning the Susan G. Komen shirt pick up station at the Mall of America. I had a blast and met some great ladies. I can't wait to do it again next year.

The energy levels of the teams picking up their gear was amazing. It was so fun to see how pumped everyone is to be participating.

The Minnesota Susan G. Komen festivities start this weekend. Our big walk is on Sunday.
I'm so excited to be a part of it!!

Thanks again for your support! Coming soon will be donation totals and race pictures. Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Test Results

My skin biopsy came back as benign. Yay!

My bone density also came back as GOOD.
No osteoporosis for this girl! :)

I love good test result days!

My Odd Tissue Expanders

I sometimes check my blog traffic to see what exactly people google to end up on my blog.
I see a ton of "tissue expanders"and "what will I look like after my mastectomy?" traffic.
I'm not surprised. That's exactly what I googled when I was first diagnosed. I found very little.

To make this blog work to it's fullest potential, I will show you what I look like. I hope it helps you to see that they're odd little buggers....but temporary.
It doesn't mean this is what you will look like, but it's a good starting point.

I have a serious love/hate relationships with my expanders.
I like them because they make me appear to have boobs....really large boobs, actually.
For someone like me, who had virtually NO boobs prior, I kind of enjoy them.

In the middle of the night when I can't get comfortable because they're poking me- and I feel like my ribs are breaking, I'm not such a fan.
It all evens out. Temporary, temporary!

Here's the good part to my story.....Dr. Migliori said that since my skin responded insanely well after radiation, I don't have to wait the full six months to have my exchange surgery.
I will be getting my new boobs on August 30th. Woo hoo!

This is pretty fabulous news.
Here are some pics of my crazy boobs now. The whole process of boobs, cancerous boob, no boobs, small boobs to big boobs is truly amazing.

Since my mastectomy on January 3rd, I have been inflated 500 ccs on the left and 540 ccs on the right.
The expanders were put in wide because of my need for radiation through the middle of my chest.
I have not worn a bra since January 3rd. I can run with these bad boys and they don't move an inch.
I should run more. :)

The last picture shows a dot in the middle of my ribs. That's one of my radiation tattoos. I have (I think) four of them. They're permanent.