Attitude is a Choice

I came across the following phrase, a good reminder. 

“Your attitude can take you forward or your attitude can take you down. The choice is always yours!”

-Jimmy Catherine P.

 

Battle Mode – Round 2

I took a break from writing on the blog because I wanted to take some time off after the treatment and the intense but fun projects I have been involved at work. But I am back to share with you our favorite recipes and the adventures and feelings of the new battle I have to fight. This is round 2.

For Thanksgiving we traveled to Bloomington, IL. We spent a day in Chicago – what a great city, – it was almost 18 years ago since last time I visited the windy city. We had such a fabulous.

A great day n Chicago
A great day in Chicago

I had a CT scan which showed an increase in the size of a lymph node on my neck. The fear of having the Lymphoma back was quite evident.

And yes, unfortunately the Lymphoma is back and not only back but it seems that I have a combination of two types of Lymphoma (Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkins). This combination is known as the “Grey Zone Lymphoma” a rare type of the disease discovered in 1998 that affects a very small percentage of patients. Definitely, I am going to buy several lottery tickets, perhaps I will have the same luck.

I had a partial biopsy of the lymph node, but yesterday I had a full surgery to remove three big nodes on my neck. I am doing well just tired and sore but feeling better.

On mid-December I will start chemotherapy again, it seems that the treatment is intense and concludes with a “stem or bone marrow” transplant, but let’s see….. I am quite disappointed and angry this time (but I will get over it). My hair was growing back and I was starting to recover my strength.

I have no choice, I am in round 2 of a battle that I know I am going to win. This time I am thinking about cutting my hair to be ready for this crazy battle. I  like Charlize Theron’s haircut for the role she performed in the soon-to-be-released movie Mad Max.

Thank you to my family and friends that have been praying and thinking about Dave and I.

I am strong believer that love, a positive attitude, and a warrior spirit can get you through the most adverse and difficult circumstances.

I am ready….

Cancer in Reimission – Running for the Cure

Dear friends and family,

Many weeks have passed since I published an update on my blog. This summer has been quite busy: I completed 12 rounds of chemoteraphy and I had a CT scan that revealed that the cancer is in remission!! (This mean that the cancer cells are no longer growing = great thing). One of the side effect from the chemo is that my lungs need to recover and I am under treatment, but this is nothing compared with what I went through the last six months.

Immediately after receiving this great news, I traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico to spend almost 4 weeks implementing the program I created: ArtFest12 – a summer program sponsored by Laureate for students in the art, design and architecture fields. The first edition of the program was very successful and gathered 230 students from around the world. You can imagine it was a lot of work; but fulfilling and creative work.  

Also, Dave and I celebrated our first anniversary. Certainly this was a challenging year for us, but we are blessed, we love each other and we have the support of great friends and our loving families.

To celebrate that my cancer is in remission and to run for the cure, I have signed up with Team in Training for a post-cancer half marathon that will take place in San Antonio, TX on January 27, 2013. The name of the race is Hero-Thon. My commitment means also to fundraise to support the mission of the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society (LLS). To donate go to:Team in Training.

I am really blessed and thank you for your encouragement during this crazy journey. Cancer took some of my energy and changed my life forever; yet cancer couldn’t take away my desire to live and the love of people around me. Love beats cancer!!!

The Fight

A great view of the aqueduct in Segovia, Spain during our honeymoon.

In our lives we face different challenges; some of those challenges mean that we have to fight. The fight is present at work, at home, or with ourselves.  Most of the time, we have the opportunity of choosing the fight; yet, some fights are unexpected defying our will power, our beliefs, and our entire being. Although I didn’t choose this fight, I have chosen to beat cancer. I know that I cannot give up and I am aware that some days I will be stronger than others, but I have to keep fighting with all the resources and tools I have been blessed with. 

In recent days, I joined a facebook group called the Lymphoma and Hodgkin’s Survivors and Awareness Club. Ann, a survivor wrote the following paragraph about fighting and never giving up:

“We decide the first day of our cancer diagnosis whether we are going to be a victim or a survivor. We decide to muster up all are strength to fight and win. We decide to stay positive and not let cancer define us completely. We decide how we are going to handle each day that we are fighting cancer. Yes, there are bad days and good days, but your attitude determines your every day. Hold on to your hopes, dreams, faith, support system and your determination to win because in the fight against cancer we cannot give up”

Tomorrow Friday I have my second chemo and I am ready for it, I feel strong and I have been feeling well in the last weeks.

I am a very lucky girl for having my incredible husband David on my side. Dave makes this fight a fun adventure. I love you, mi amor!

Thank you for your prayers and positive thoughts!!!