Ride, skate and LiveSTRONG

Cindi is a 2 year cancer survivor, a competitive bike racer and speed skater. This blog is dedicated to promoting a "LiveSTRONG" lifestyle.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

An Anniversary to remember!

On May 19th, I received a phone call on my cell phone. It was from a woman who identified herself as Kathy Sellers, from the United States Olympic Committee.

In February, I had been named "Volunteer coach of the year" by US Speed Skating, and they then submitted my nomination, along with all the other "coaches of the year" from the other Olympic sports to the Olympic committee for the overall coach of the year.

On April 22nd, (the day of the Indianapolis "Race for the Cure") I received a letter from the US Olympic Committee informing me that my name was in the top 5 candidates for the coach of the year award. I was very honored just to have been named coach of the year for speed skating... and to be named top 5 was a huge honor in itself.

So when Kathy Sellers identified herself, I was expecting to hear that I was a runner up.... but she congratulated me, and I was still ready to hear the words that someone else had been named. She congratulated me, as I had been named "US Olympic Committee Volunteer Coach of the year". I had to sit down. My hands where pale and trembling.

After our phone conversation, I was floating, no, bouncing through the hallway at work. I told my Paul (my boss) and Mary (HR) that I was worthless for the rest of the day and I was going home. I told them why and they said "no problem".

It took all the strength and restraint I could muster, not to call my Husband Ken and blurt the news out to him. When I saw him for lunch I ran straight to him and jumped into his arms and hugged him as tight as I could. His response was "Good news?"

I told him and I cried and laughed and jumped up and down. What an awesome day.I did not return to work, but went on a bike ride. (of course)

upon returning from the ride, there was a message on my home answering machine. I listened as the woman on the machine identified herself as being from the IU Cancer Center. There had been a drawing of cancer patient's names. 50 names drawn for 2 tickets to the Indianapolis 500 race, and 5 tickets drawn for 2 tickets each for a black tie dinner / fundraiser with Lance Armstrong as featured speaker.

The voice on the machine informed me that I needed to call her. Of course I returned the call as soon as I could and the news was that my name had been the first name drawn for the black tie dinner. FANTASTIC!!! And on top of that, it was to be held on May 27th. Our 16th Wedding Anniversary!What a way to celebrate.

I called my Mother and shared with her my day. She told me I should buy a lottery ticket (which I didn't... should have!) and that I should circle this date on the calendar and remember this date as a lucky day!When I did look at the calendar, it suddenly struck me that this date was already circled. Not only was it my sister-in-laws birthday, but it was exactly 2 years ago to the day that I received another phone call. This call was from my friend and physician telling me that I had cancer. 2 years ago on this date I was asking “Lord, what did I do wrong to deserve this?”. Now I am asking “Lord, what did I do right?”

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

May 17th, LiveSTRONG Day!

Hello Blogging world!

This is my very first post. Motivated by the fact that this is LiveSTRONG day! May 17th!

Why am I so motivated? Well, I am a 2 year breast cancer survivor, and this date in particular, May 17th is the 2 year anniversary of the end of my old normal life and the beginning of my new life. My life as a cancer survivor.

You see, 2 years ago today, probably RIGHT NOW, I had my very first, and my very last mammogram ever. I had found 2 lumps in my breast, and had put off doing anything about it for about a month, till my Mother found out and hounded me to get a Mammogram.

I went. And I guess it was a good thing I did (See... Mother's do know best!) as I was diagnosed with an agressive and invasive form of Ductile Carcinoma. Breast cancer.

And why does this day mean more to me TODAY?? Because this has been proclaimed as "LiveStrong" day, where 2 survivor representatives from each state are going to Washington DC to lobby on our behalf, to encourage, pursuade and insist that congress grant more support to cancer research.

Why, you may also ask, is this important to me, as I have already been diagnosed and treated? How will the research tomorrow help what happened to me 2 years ago?

First of all, I don't want anyone to have to go through what I went through. Being diagnosed with cancer is one of the most frightening, humiliating, de-humanizing, traumatic, un-nerving, maddening, frustrating, helpless experiences anyone can experience. The only thing worse than being diagnosed would be having someone you love diagnosed. Then you REALLY feel helpless. I don't want my daughter or husband or Mother to ever have to experience this as a patient. So, on behalf of my daughter, and on behalf of YOU, I am now more driven than I would have ever imagined to make sure that everything I can do to help make this dreaded disease history gets done.

So today, I write in support of those advocates venturing to DC to speak on our behalf, and I want to give them all the support I can.

Today I write in support of the thousands of people around the world who will hear the words today: "I'm sorry to tell you this, but you have cancer".

No one wants to hear these words, and as a cancer survivor, I can tell you that I never want to hear the words "I'm sorry, but your cancer has come back"!

Please join me and the 10 million other cancer survivors who want to put an end to these sentences and replace them with: " I am happy to inform you that we have completely erradicated all forms of cancer and we will all live, cancer free"!

Wanting to live, without pain and without fear. Is this so much to ask?

So please help us spread the word that we not only want to live, but we want to live STRONG.
And we will, as long as it is in our power.