Saturday, February 23, 2013

Butterfly in the sky....

The way the words hit you when you hear "I'm sorry, it's cancer" is hard, the emotions that come after- hard, the hurt in your families face- hard, the surgeries/procedures/treatment- all hard. But the aftermath that cancer leaves is devastating. The change mentally is draining. I have major survivor guilt. How come I got out alive but Cindi was put to rest this week, it doesn't seem right. I am no better than any other warrior battling cancer, yet here I sit. This week I went out for the first time by myself, just to Target, but I was so excited. It was so strange, I was a nervous wreck. I didn't want to see anyone, I didn't even want to shop! wtf I am an extrovert, I will really be pissed if cancer changed me into an introvert!
Sex, well that is a joke right now. I know you are reading this saying TMI but the reality is that this is a common issue with cancer survivors. I will not go into full detail lets just say its unchartered water that needs boating lessons.....
The truth is all that is easy,  the physical change can leave you filled with hate. I have days when I can not stand this body. It makes me sick. I have gained weight, if one more person tells me they are doing TRX I'm gonna drop kick them. I want to be that badass work out bitch I was 6 months ago, damn Gina remember how much I was squatting?? I feel so incredibly weak it makes me feel deflated. I know it will take time but this has got to stop.
 The scars are just, well, they are there. Sometimes I'm all badass and hardcore like "ya my scars show I kicked cancers ass, I rock!". Then other days I just want them gone. I don't want to feel the scar tissue build up, the way my body keloids, the way my breasts are inanimate objects that mean NOTHING now. I want to actually have feeling in my chest!
This isn't a whine or a "woe is me cry", it is the truth. How I deal is by having events that raise money and awareness to stupid dumb breast cancer, and cancer in general. I want to make cancer awareness  a loud yell,  not a whisper. I want it heard, seen, understood, treated and CURED! The only way for this to happen is to keep talking about it. Just cause you are told are cancer free or your chemo ends or you are 3 years out of radiation doesn't mean you just go on with life. Cancer changes you to the core: physically, mentally, emotionally!
 This is my favorite quote and why on Tuesday I start the tattooing of my chest with a butterfly. No no no I didn't get cancer just to get more ink, it is just a cancer perk!

Sunday, February 17, 2013



RACE MODE activate! For the past 7 years I have been a part of the CNY Race for a Cure and loved every minute. The last 4 years we have been the biggest, badest team on the block rocking the private party pavilion, I am so not ready to relinquish that title, at least not this year. For 2 years we were the biggest fund raiser to boot. This team has been built on family and friends who just want to be supportive in the fight against breast cancer. The team has ALWAYS been a celebration of life- the lives battling, the lives surviving and the lives lost. I wanted women, young girls, men and young boys to walk away from the pink sea of survivors and feel the empowerment of what surviving meant. I know that I have always been moved by the survivor parade, the pink mass on stage and hearing the names called as they crossed the finish line.

Last year, I stood there with this lump in my breast wondering what the heck was going to happen! I was scared because my gut was telling me breast cancer. BUT as I stood there and watched the survivors, I turned to MC and said “No matter what I am wearing that pink next year”. The lumpectomy and the pathology report came back less then a  month after the race, frigging stupid dumb breast cancer. Making “taking two for the team” have even more meaning.

This year to date, we have raised just about $15,000.00 and are 169 members strong. There are 291 people total registered and we are 169 of them, cool right? Yes, but I want 500 people! Seriously I do, this year means so much to me. It is almost like a coming full circle. I want everyone to feel the incredible support that I have felt through this. I want this team to say “Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer, nice try but Princess Ann Marie is still here”. Please stop what you are doing and register (well finish reading then register!). It does not matter if you are in California, South Carolina, Canada or East Egypt, you can join us. I have plans for my out of towners!

So you are sitting there and thinking “UGH Komen”. Let us just put it right out there. My CNY Komen is what I am committed to, my Kate, Deb, Jess, Livvy and all the others that work so hard on the 75% of what is raised for our community. There are caring, resourceful, educated on breast health and committed to helping. They are what I stand for. If you look deep into every big organization you will find something you do not agree with, it is just a fact. Komen started out grassroots, and just like all those other fabulous organizations, they just got bigger. I think that says enough.

Come join my biggest party evah! Join the 169 that have already registered, come for the friendship and leave with pure inspiration. Don’t run? HAHAHA, come for the mimosas before the race and take a fabulous walk with your friends around the Fair. Women and girls over 13 celebrate with us at Twin Trees, I know you men want in, so sure! BUT you MUST wear a bra over your shirt and it HAS to be stuffed, I have been known to take mine off. Did I mention Elana’s famous jello shots?? Come and see just what it means to support, empower, inspire and SURVIVE!! If for no other reason, join me as I walk in the survivor parade with my sisters, stand on stage with my warriors, and cross that finish line with my family and friends as a SURVIOR!!!  Stop telling me you will register and DO IT.Watch the slide show and tell me who else has a team like us…CURE OR BUST BABY!!!