This year's Livestrong Challenge will be September 29 & 30. My goal is to raise at least $2500. Please read on...
On April 9, 2007 I will have a routine MRI to see if there are changes in the tumor cavity in my brain. The 9th is significant to me because 3 years ago on that date a neurosurgeon came and visited me in my hospital room to inform me that I had a brain tumor. I would be another month before I knew that it was malignant…cancer.
Since that date I have been thru two surgeries, six weeks of radiation and 12 cycles of oral chemotherapy and many MRIs…too many to count. I have a pretty cool scar – and my hair is thinner than before my surgeries and radiation. Oh and I have fond memories of taking a handful of medications for 5 consecutive days a month every 4 weeks. That was the worst! I spent most treatment weeks not feeling, throwing up all night and not eating well. I still feel a certain amount of fatigue, but overall I guess it was worth it as the tumor is no longer detectable…but I have also learned that there are still abnormal cells that cannot be seen. However, with each passing MRI that is clear the chances of having a recurrent tumor becomes less and less. I am hoping that there will not be a third surgery down the road sometime, but there is always the possibility.
My routine now is that I will continue to have MRIs once a quarter thru the end of September or October. After that I will have an opportunity to cut back the frequency of the scans…maybe once every 4 or 5 months, but that will be for me and my doctor to discuss later this year.
The one thing that I had the hardest time with, was giving up my bike in between my surgeries and during my radiation – that was not cool. I did have a friend come and ride with me on some early mornings – THAT was cool. I rode my bike as much as I was able during my chemotherapy. That was good for my mind to do that; I wasn’t focusing totally on my cancer – just staying healthy. All that riding during my chemo helped me ride the 40 miles for the first LIVESTRONG ride which I did one month after I completed my last chemo treatment. I ride to stay healthy, focused on what is good and for the LIVESTRONG Challenge – which will be September 29 & 30, 2007 in Portland, OR.
My challenge to you would be to consider supporting me financially as I look forward to another 40 miles of riding bliss! The first year I raised over $800 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and over $1000 last year. This year I hope to raise $2500. Please give generously…donations in any amount will be very much appreciated.