Komen Cincinnati Race 2013

Aug 30

Hiya!  I’m walking (with stroller and general entourage) the Susan G. Komen “Run Breast Cancer Outta Town” race on Saturday September 14, 2013–it is just two weeks away!  I started a “team” for the event called Do Today Well.  Would you like to join my team?  Every single person who reads my blog is welcome–family, friends, strangers!  (Strangers: make yourself known!)     If you are interested in participating, here is the schedule of events (taken from the komencincinnati.org website): 6:30am 7:00am 7:00am 8:00am 9:00am 9:30am 10:40am 10:55am Race Day Registration Opens Sponsor Expo Opens Kids for the Cure Area Opens 10k Race for the Cure Run 5k Walk/Run Family Fun Walk Kids Fun Run on the Field “Celebration of Hope” Survivor Ceremony and Awards   I’m going to do the 5k Walk/Run with my family.  I would love to see you there.  (If you want my cell phone number so that you can find me on the day of the event, just email me: andersonfamilyzoo (at) gmail (dot) com.  We went last year as a family and it was one of my favorite experiences to date.  It really is a day of hope for a cure.  It is humbling to see so many gather for one cause. If you aren’t interested/able in attending the event, you can donate to our team.  Dr. Wonderful, my oncologist,  points to this charity as one of the best in terms of getting new drugs developed and into the hands of doctors to benefit their patients.  That makes me a supporter too. Whether you want to participate or donate, follow these instructions: -Go to the website: komencincinnati.org -Click the big “Register” button -Click “Join an existing team” -Check “I don’t have a login” and Click “Next step” -Type “Do Today Well” in the team name box.  Click “Search for a team” -Click “Do Today Well” Those clicks should lead you to the team page where you can donate or join the team.  We would love to have you join us. Thank you for your support, your prayers, your donation and/or your...

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The problem with my closet

Aug 30

It’s my surgery anniversary. One year ago I had my double mastectomy. Cheers?  Salu?  I dunno what the right sentiment is, but it seems right to acknowledge the date and raise a glass to a year of living breast-less. Because, really, what else can one do? What I really think about with my surgery is that I put Maren on the school bus for her first two days of kindergarten, and then on day three of kindergarten, I went to the hospital and had a pretty major surgery.  Doing cancer while raising small children is still such a bizarre juxtaposition of events.  SuperGramma took over at my house, while I spent 3+ weeks recovering at my parent’s house.  I didn’t even see fifteen-month-old Greta for the first three weeks after surgery because I could barely walk/sleep/eat, forget caring for a baby.  SuperGramma stayed on for another three weeks after I came home because just about everything I did hurt.  SuperGramma got to spend some amazing quality time with her granddaughters, and I got to be spoilt: I didn’t unload the dishwasher (or do any other housework, either) for six whole weeks!  I know, SuperGramma rocks!  It was a special time in our house. Having end-of-summer surgery meant that I got to transition directly to fall/winter clothes.  Therefore, it was a bit of a shock this spring when the warm weather rolled around and I had to find appropriate, feminine clothing to suit this new body.  And I think challenging is the right word: it’s problematic to be breast-less from a fashion perspective.  Without going into too much detail, I decided pretty quickly that prosthetics were not for me.  I just could not strap several pounds (seriously, they’re heavy) of molded silicon to my front and walk around with a straight face.  (No offense to anyone who feels more comfortable with prosthetics–they were just not for me.)  I work to find clothes that will work with a breastless body; it is challenging, and it is not really fun. So, it was really the summer clothes situation that made me think about reconstruction and what I want to do.  Insurance will cover reconstruction, and Brad and I sat down with my...

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Volley for the Cure

Aug 27

Volley for the Cure is an event that happens throughout the fall sports season.  It takes place on the night of a regular season volleyball match between local high schools (Freshman, JV and Varsity all play a match), and it is done to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer charities. It’s a night where everyone wears pink, there is a festival atmosphere, and there is a giant silent auction.  There are lots of games/prizes/activities that are family-friendly–my kids love it.  The entire team of coaches, players, parents, and school community come together to pull this off, and it is truly an extraordinary event.  I would love to see you there if you are available on September 5th.  Games/Fun start at 4:30; there is a survivor ceremony at 7:00, and the Varsity match starts at 7:30.  The games and food stands (for dinner at the event) will be running all evening.  I highly encourage you to come, and please introduce yourself and/or say hello to me if you see me there. It’s a marvelous event run by an amazing army of volunteers. The local press wrote an article about it here.  (My mom and I are pictured too.) If you are survivor and you would like to attend with your family/friends, please email me.  We would love to provide free tickets and tshirts for you and your party.  My email is andersonfamilyzoo (at) gmail (dot) com . This event is special to me for a lot of reasons.  The varsity coach at Lakota West was my volleyball coach when I was in high school.  She was one of the most influential people in my life during those critical teenage years, and I am forever grateful for the positive impact she made on me.  After high school graduation, I coached in her program for three or four years during college and my first few years teaching.  We became friends during those years, and she remains important friend now.  I am so grateful for her dedication to the cause and to me personally.  (Thank you Mastermind!) I hope to see you September 5th at Lakota West High School from 4:30-8:30!...

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Taking a knee

Aug 26

As a coach I learned that when you take a knee, it engages a different part of your brain: one that deals with balance and concentration.  Coaches often have their players take a knee when they want them to listen to the pre-game strategy session.  Some athletes choose to take a knee and pray before they head out to the field.  It’s a moment of quietude, a shifting of the momentum, and a settling of the spirit. I love the analogy of taking a knee as we head into a new school year.  I want to balance my priorities and to concentrate on what matters. Last week I sent Maren off for her first day of first grade.  I might be the only mama out there who thought: whew, we made it.  Last year when I sent her off to school, I didn’t know whether I would ever be cancer-free.  After this year, I live in hopeful expectation of fifteen more years of first days of school while my babies are at home with me.  As those numbers tick down in the coming years: fourteen, thirteen, twelve,… I will be praying gratefully: Thank you Lord for letting me be here to mother them on these days.  On these milestone days, these momentus days, I have to work on that little niggling worry that lingers: what if… “What if…” thoughts are the ones that I immediately cut off.  I choose to ignore the worry, to shove down the fear, to shake off the anxiety.  I acknowledge the fear, the risk, the statistics, and then I take a knee. I ask God to help me to focus on what matters and to live in the present.  I am living cancer free, but also free of those things cancer carries with it: fear, anxiety, dread, worry, blah, blah, blah.  I am winning the physical battle, and I take a knee to honor the mental battle.  The value in my life does not actually come from the fact that there are no cancer cells in me (though I am really, really happy about that).  The value in my life comes from how I honor God, my family, and my friends as I go...

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My big girl

Aug 26

My big girl

This is my favorite back-to-school picture.  Not because of the pose or the cuteness but because it brings me back to the moment.  It’s you, Maren, charging off the bus (after a great first day) and on your way to me.  You took off from the steps of the school bus and started running for me.  You leapt five feet in front of me and jumped into my arms.  (It’s a miracle we didn’t both go down.)  You clung to me like a monkey and I kissed the top of your head and told you how much I missed you all. day. long.  Greta, also thrilled that you were home, danced a little jig beside us and gave you a hug when you finally let go of me. You are uninhibited, you are free, you are gorgeous.  I love you to the moon and back. I’m outed as not-a-Pintrest-mama because I do not have you holding a picture of a sign that says “I’m in First Grade”.  Sorry kiddo.  I did write a note to you and put it in your lunchbox which, as expected, delighted you.  You had a wonderful first day, though it was a loooong day.  You asked if you could skip recess and come home sooner.  Leave it to you to ask to skip recess, of all things. You are antsy to get started on important first grade things and done with the back-to-school procedural stuff.  (I’m with you on that one; I was that was as both a student and as a teacher.)  You are thrilled that Mrs. Heart is your teacher again, and you made a new friend on your second day of school.  I’m so proud of you. We made it monkey Maren… First Grade.  I am so excited to watch you grow.  I pray God gives me the strength to nuture your kind, loving spirit and to give you wings to fly. I love you sweet girl....

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