Rising for Research

Yesterday was crash day as expected.


I actually managed to hang up my laundry that has been in baskets in my room for five weeks.

Yay me!

You see, my bucket of energy is always being looked at by me. I save so much for work, and my family. So cleaning and other things have taken a back seat. Clean and orderly houses are overrated anyway. I tried to apply for the housekeeping service everyone tagged me in, the one for cancer patients, but they don’t have any participants near me. To be honest, I’m glad. I would clean before they came anyway.

I’m also spinning my wheels for an exciting day coming up with my district. Instead of spending money on “professionals” to come teach us whatever that person thinks they know we need to learn… “Wait… I’m NOT doing this teaching thing right? I’ve only been doing this for 24 years…. whew! “…they’ve decided to let us share our skills and passion with each other. Let me tell you, we have such talent in riverhead. At first I was all excited to get to go to sessions run by my colleagues.


The whisper happened.

So, after deep breaths and asking over and over for signs if I’m supposed to teach my colleagues that day…. while bald and going through the heaviest chemo they have…. I signed up. It’s not a class on teaching actually. It will be going much deeper, and beyond the classroom walls. I’m calling it, “Manifesting and making magic and miracles in the classroom and in our lives through the breath, our senses, our thoughts and our words.” I’ve got a vision and it keeps forming for this forty five minute session. I’ll teach three different breathwork techniques, hand out oil to enhance the session, have electric mini candles and yoga mats set up, with soft music and some poetry as well. Sounds woo woo, right?

But if you aren’t at peace, you won’t be able to do a thing. You won’t listen or be aware to the needs of those around you. You won’t be able to bring peace and calm and joy to the ones in your path each and every day.

And it all begins with that.

Peace, and joy.

Then the teaching can begin.

I hope people sign up. It’s two days before my last scheduled heavy chemo session and then a petscan to see how it has worked. I’ll need it as much as my colleagues.

Yesterday was October 13, the one day in the whole month of Pinktober that is dedicated to metastatic breast cancer awareness. I should at least be grateful it wasn’t on a Friday, right? My wall was full of pictures of friends and strangers who have passed, as loved ones remember them. Metavivor released a video about the fashion show they had last year which raised $100,000 and showcased some of my friends. At the end of the video, one friend said that stage four treatment is like swinging on vines through the jungle over hot lava, knowing you will run out of vines one day.

The screen cut to black… and it said she entered hospice three weeks after the runway show, and died a week after that.

She was on her eighth vine.

I’m on my seventh.

Which is why i don’t give a crap about pink bows and socks and parties anymore. I care about research, which will give me another vibe to cling to as I swing and burn above the lava.

I have had several fundraisers through Facebook for Metavivor. My friends have held fundraisers in my honor as well. I asked yesterday for a rough idea of how much we’ve all raised this year for Metavivor.

Over $16,000 in one year from all of us on Facebook.

$10,000 funds a lab for one month. We did almost two all by ourselves.

My little army of friends and family.

I’ve decided to switch my focus now.

My oncologist is working her tail off on several studies and trials that will benefit me directly.

Metavivor does a great job choosing studies to fund. But now? I’m taking control again.

Which is why from here on out, I’ll be transferring my fundraising focus to my oncologist. Dr Allison Stopeck is a rockstar. Brilliant. Dry. Hysterical. Compassionate. Passionate. Whenever you mention her name, peoples eyes in the cancer center glaze and they say…”Ooooo, she’s brilliant.”

I’ve been put in contact with someone with Stony Brook and will be discussing this with her today. The Riverhead Running Club set up a fundraiser for me, and we hit the goal in a week. They’ve added to the fundraiser, and next week is the run. As we all cheer on the riverhead varsity colors country girls at their meet, I’ll be handing out ribbons and hopefully raise more money for her research. I spoke with Nick Court’s mom, Tess. He donated a part of his gift from Kaits Angels to me. We’ve decided to pass it on and will add it to the amount I send to stony brook. He will help more than just me.

I’ll keep enough for six months worth of costs for my extra treatments and copays and supplements. My oxygen mask first… but then I’m giving to help me and others.

There may be something exciting happening next week , October 24, on the day I get another chemo, and I’ll keep you posted. Two students held an ice tea fundraiser yesterday and raised $110 for my doctor as pumpkin traffic went by their house.

I’m manifesting seeing me and my doctor and a check on my birthday, where I give HER a gift. It will be my three year anniversary of being told I had cancer, as my birthday is November 16 and I got the call the next day.

“Weeks, months, maybe a year or two.”

I’m at the end of year three. The data shows women survive 24-36 months on average.

Tick tick tick…

My birthday gift will be donating to her so she can find ways to treat me so I can get another birthday and another and many more after that.

Today is the comeback day.

Morgan wants to get jeans, as we haven’t really done school shopping. I’ll throw on my wig and we will have a nice morning. Then I’ll get ready for the day tomorrow and fill out paperwork.

I’ll finally fill out the death form from my union. I’m calling it the snowblower policy, and it’s like a snowblower… I’ll fill it out and it won’t happen, just like buying a snowblower and you get no snow. I’ve also been asked to take part in a research study with Mederi on outcomes with breast cancer patients, so that’s a bunch of forms as well. I’ll try to figure out how to teach a class on manifesting miracles and magic that people will want to come to and stay and begin to breathe again.

God knows we all need it.

I won’t look in any mirrors. Every time I do I want to cry. Although I appreciate all the support, every time I look on the mirror I see a woman who looks like she is dying. That’s not how I feel, and it shocks me every time. So I’m going back to how it was last fall when I was in quarantine in the stony brook burn center for five days, when I was only allowed to have a sponge on a stick for three days and no mirrors because of the shape I was in.

Remember that? Good times…

No mirrors unless I’m drawing on my fleek eyebrows or straightening my hair.

It’s just too hard and painful.

Thank you all for the support, and maybe I’ll be Voldemort, uncle fester, Brittney shears with the umbrella, the lady from doctor strange, or the guy from game of thrones some other Halloween.

May today be a comeback day for anyone who needs it. Control your breath, drink water, and walk in joy.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

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