Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pictures tell the stories....

Greg and I celebrated our 10th Anniversary this year - January 8th!  Here we are at Wakulla Springs!

i was lucky enough to be chosen as a model for an "In the Pink" fundraiser - it was so much fun and an honor!!  photo taken by heather hixon - renaissance healing
Terri and all the amazing yogis and yoginis from Mindful Motion Yoga put together a couple of amazing events for Making Strides and for Team Christina! Thanks to everyone - it was BEAUTIFUL!!  that's me in the middle! 

Shelby - who i have known since she was born!  - came over from Tallahassee with her amazing Mom, Brooke - and ran the Donna Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer in my honor with her awesome friends!
Congratulations to all of you!

What a great shirt!!!! And I got to see her go by right near my house on mile marker 18!  It was so cool to be able to cheer her on and give her a hug!!

An incredible group of ladies from my Queen's Harbour fitness center classes have been supporting me for awhile.  They trained hard for the half Donna Marathon - and were kind enough to add my classes to their training regimen.  They finished with ease and then surprised me at the end of class with an Olympic type ceremony (it was during the olympics!!) where Karen, Judy, Pam and Sue all came up and placed their hard-earned medals around my neck.  It was very moving and emotional - and so surprising.   I was completely touched and felt empowered by their love and support and from all of my amazing friends at QH!  I cannot thank you enough!  p.s. they also gave me that great hat and bag!! 
I had the amazing opportunity to work with Terri at Mindful Motion Yoga on training yoga teachers in february of 2010!  What a blessing they all are - such an inspiring and fun group of friends and yoga teachers!  Jaime, Terri, Valerie, Elaine, Deborah, Hope, Euboea and Chelsea!

my original yoginis who have been with me since the start of my yoga career - and, more importantly stuck with me and watched me grow SO much!!  have also been through this other journey with me - sticking around, suppporting, laughing - being just what i need.  speaking of is a care package for our trip to St.Martin!! beach towels and sunscreen - perfect - can't wait to (safely) soak up some sun!!
The inspiration and support continues from my originals - or now known as my Church yogis and yoginis because we are lucky enough to gather at the First Christian Church of the Beaches for yoga each week!  This beautiful meaningful plaque was signed on the back by everyone (love you guys so much!) and the Sea Turtle mirror just compliments it perfectly....they both came from "In the Pink." Thank you all so much for making me feel special, loved, strong, human and worthy!!  and thanks so much to Greg for hanging them!!
Finally a big thanks to my friends at the Fresh Market for all of their help during my demos - thanks so much Wendy, William, Joanna, Leanne, Maureen, Joe, Marca, Carlos and everyone.  Thank you too for the beautiful Begonia and card!!  A BIG thank you to Rick for making a special trip out just to see if you could help - and you brought me this precious bear and miniature pink rose - you are too much....especially going through this battle yourself...but, you look great and together we will be strong and fight this stuff!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Annual update on health status

As i was revisiting and updating my blog, i realized it has been over a year now that i posted my health status.  There have been lots of changes and hurdles - high highs and low lows - but, all in all i am still surrounded by an amazing community of supportive friends and family - i feel i am so not worthy - but, i am truly - TRULY blessed and blown away everday by all of thank you!!  words cannot express the level of thanks i send out.....

So, on to the update.....we left off in january of last year....gonna try to keep this brief because i am typing one-handed (left) these days.  Continued chemo - Avastin and Abraxane - january through May. May scans showed growth in the right lung lymph node - so we decided to let the new steriotactic radiation machine - Novalis or NTX - have a go at it.  Chemo continued... but, just the abraxane.

july scans showed activity in my left third rib and a lymph node in my sternum area - so, NTX to the rescue again in August.  Stopped chemo since it had clearly run its course.

September, i found out that i had developed a staph infection in my port....luckily no hospital visits, but LOTS of blood cultures.  Finally got that puppy removed in early October.

Scans in november showed growth back in the right lung lymph node, so - Dr. Dees and i decided on Xeloda - a chemo drug in pill form - AWESOME!!

Brain scans in December showed swelling around original brain tumor that was gamma knifed in 12/08.  the tumor is necrotic (dead) but, irritates surrounding tissue in the brain and causes swelling - which hinders use of my right arm, hand, etc.  So, i started on steroids (Decadron) and, by Christmas thought i would go crazy.  i went off the steroids and back is a battle to try to find the right balance between the side effects and the benefits to the use of my right side.

Another brain MRI in January found 7 new little, we gave NTX a try on them.  The MRI in February showed those areas resolved - but, unfortunately a number of new spots.  So, onto Whole brain radiation (WBR) - 17 treatments of a low dose.  Just finished that up March 12th and will wait a month for the next MRI. Lost my hair again....from follicle damage....but, fun new wigs.

Have PET scan planned for the end of March -- so, we will see how my Xeloda is doing.   Still on the steroids for the swelling in the left brain, not loving the moonface and many other side effects - but, hoping my mobility improves and soon!!

i think that is it for the medical - but, let me tell you - the year was full of so many great times and 2010 is shaping up to be another fabulous year!!!

next post will be all about those highlights!!!