Monday, August 23, 2010

Best.Party.Ever.

Hello all! I have survived my Cancer Free party! I am actually really sad that it is over with it was that much fun! I was so overwhelmed with the amount of people that came to support me. It was awesome! A BIG thank you to everyone who came. It meant a lot to me. The best surprise was my brother surprising the living daylights out of me! I was shocked! I screamed like a little girl and of course, started crying. If you know me, I love surprises and this was the best! I was so happy that he could be here to share the celebration! My Mom was beyond elated that all of her 4 brothers and sisters were there. It was awesome. My Doctor's PA Scott even came too! That was a nice surprise as well! I had a friend of mine Carmen come all the way in from Vegas and my Aunt and Uncle come down from Cottonwood. I love my friends and family. Thank you so much. It was such a fun night and even though I paid for it yesterday it was well worth it!

I am still feeling amazing. It's funny when people ask me, "how are you?" I reply, "amazing." I mean life couldn't get any better, I'm cancer free! Whenever I seem to get mad or crabby I think to myself, "Erin, you just beat cancer...stop it." Life could definitely be worse people. I am so thankful for everything in my life, including all of you.

I have officially graduated from the ChemoAngel program. I really hope I can still keep in touch with all my 3 Angels for the rest of my life. The good news is I applied to be a ChemoAngel and I was accepted! Woo hoo! I find out my person in about 3 to 6 weeks. They want to make sure I get matched correctly. I'm so excited!!

I have been super busy enjoying life lately. Early last week I went down to the border to stay with my Brother for a night. Heidi and Frank were invited as well so we all had a good time. I got stuck in a crappy monsoon on my way home and had to pull over in Casa Grande for about 1/2 hour to wait out the storm, but other than that, we had a blast. The doggies all played, Ry and I went shopping in Nogales, AZ and had great authentic Mexican food at a favorite Border Patrol hangout. Good times!

Now, I'm preparing for my amazing vacation to California. I'm leaving on Sunday to drive to LA, spend the night there, then fly to San Francisco to spend 3 nights with my friend Lindsay from high school, then fly back to LA and drive down to Laguna Beach for Labor Day weekend and to visit my friend Nikki from high school. It will be an awesome trip and I can't wait. I haven't been on a real vacation in a year and we all know how much I deserve this one! So, I probably won't be updating my blog until I get back. I know, sniff...sniff....

So that my friends is the latest! My next Doc appointment is September 14th. Stay safe and remember to have fun. Life is too short.

Till the next time!

Love, Erin

Sunday, August 15, 2010

7 Ways to Slash Cancer Risk...

Hey there everyone...I'm still loving and enjoying life to it's fullest! I'm gearing up for my party on Saturday night, I hope to see a lot of you. It's going to be a blast.

I found some more information on how you can slash your risk of getting cancer. Here is what I found.

1. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day. As well as helping prevent weight gain, research shows that activity itself helps prevent cancer by keeping hormone levels healthy, which is important because having high levels of some hormones can increase cancer risk.

2. Lower your weight to the lower end of the body-mass index for your height. Even more important, banish belly fat, which acts like a ‘hormone pump’ releasing estrogen into the bloodstream as well as raising levels of other hormones. This is strongly linked to colon cancer and probably to cancers of the pancreas and endometrium (lining of the uterus), as well as breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women.

3. Avoid sugary drinks and high-calorie foods. Cutting out foods made from white flour and sugar, such as candy, pastries, and other baked goods that aren’t whole grain, is one of the fastest ways to lose weight, and is also healthier for blood sugar balance.

4. Eat more fruits and vegetables. This one’s been pretty thoroughly covered in a previous post on anti-cancer foods.

5. Eat less red meat and little or no processed meat. Experts say there’s no longer any doubt that eating beef, pork, and other red meats raises the risk of colorectal cancer. Red meat contains heme iron and other substances that damage the colon lining, making way for tumor growth. Processed meat is even worse. When meat is preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or by the addition of preservatives, cancer-causing substances (carcinogens) are formed that damage cells in the body, leading to cancer. While studies show we can eat up to 18 ounces a week of red meat without raising cancer risk, research shows that cancer risk starts to increase with any portion of processed meat.

6. Limit alcohol to two drinks a day for men, one for women–but none is best of all. Unfortunately for all those of us who like a drink now and then, there’s convincing evidence that alcohol increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and colon. This one got hit with a double-whammy of evidence this week; the National Cancer Institute also reported the results of a huge study detailing the risks of alcohol for women. Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, cancer blogger for the American Cancer Society, spelled it out in black and white: “there is no level of alcohol consumption that could be called safe.” Scientists are still researching how alcohol causes cancer. One theory is that alcohol can directly damage DNA, increasing our risk of cancer. Research shows that alcohol is particularly harmful when combined with smoking.

7. Limit salt intake. Salt and salt-preserved foods are linked to stomach and other digestive cancers; limit salt to 2400 milligrams to be safe.

One last thing; this report did not even address smoking, because experts consider that such a no-brainer at this point. Smokers increase their chances of getting almost all kinds of cancer every time they light up. So the only recommendation is, don’t.

So there is your lesson for the day! Hope you all are doing well! Till the next time...

Love, Erin

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Journey is O-V-E-R....

Hello all! I finally have something to write about! I finally got the final verdict from Dr. Schriber about 2 hours ago! He discussed at lengths with the folks over at MDA and the bias after the discussions was to NOT go forward with the transplant. So that means my journey is OVER! I did it. I just have to hope and pray that this crap will never come back! I was very much anticipating this news and I had a feeling it was going to end up like this, but I was still in shock as I was reading it. I mean, I finally got the word. It's over. I feel relieved, excited, emotional and over the top with joy! I think I have a permi-smile on my face. :) :) :) :) :). Whew, what a relief!

That means my party on the 21st will really be a party. It's a cancer free celebration, but now it's a complete celebration that my journey as I fight NHL is OVER!

So other than that, I have just been living life and loving it. Going out with my friends, working away and being a normal person! It's awesome. I feel great too! I feel like my strength and stamina is back at full force as well. Yippee.

I'm looking forward to going to visit my brother for a night next week, then my party next Saturday and then my much needed vacation at the end of the month to California. I CAN'T WAIT!!!

That's about it from here! I'm going to grill up a celebratory steak dinner. Yum. I deserve it.

Oh, here's the invite to my party...7pm, August 21st at Loco Patron! Hope to see you all there!

Even though my journey is officially over, I am still going to keep up with my blog. I really enjoy writing it! Hope you all will continue to follow it as well. But for now...

THE END.

Love, Erin

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Just livin' life...

Hello all! Just thought I would write a little update even though I really don't have too much to say. I did have a doctor's appointment today with Dr. Nabong and Scott. It went really good. Thankfully there was no bad news and no tears! Yippee! I heard the words "complete remission" again from the both of them so that made me smile. I will never get sick of those words! They both are fine if I don't do the transplant and if I do do the transplant. Dr. Nabong's job is done. He's not done with me yet though. He said he's not ready to set me free. He wants to keep a close eye on me. So, I'm going next month to get lab work done, then to meet with him to see how I'm feeling, what my counts are etc. Then, in October I will get a CT scan. They do CT scans now I guess. I'll get scanned every 3 months for the time being. If there is a red flag on the CT scan they will do a PET. Interesting. I also got my port flushed out today. I have to get that done every 6 weeks. I will ask at my next meeting how long the port will stay in me. It really doesn't matter to me, but once it comes out, it better not ever enter my body again! :)

I am still waiting to hear the final verdict from Dr. Schriber's peeps. As of yesterday he was still waiting to hear back from the head guy at MD Anderson and now my Dad wants me to see if he can contact someone else. As of now, my decision still remains the same. NO. I will be interested to see what the guy at MDA has to say though.

So, even though I'm still not 100% sure what route I will take with this transplant, I do know one thing for sure. I'm cancer free. That deserves a party right? Duh! So, I have made the date. Saturday August 21st at Loco Patron in Scottsdale. I will be sending out e-vites and invites via Facebook, but seriously every single person in the world is invited!! That means you, and you and YOU! I would love to see everyone and share a tasty Miller Lite! Please send me an email at sillee@cox.net if you need to contact me regarding the party but I hope to see everyone there. I can't wait!

Tomorrow it will be 6 months since dooms day. I can't believe it's been 6 months. I can't believe I'm cancer free within 6 months! Simply amazing. So happy and blessed to have the strength, courage, mentality, friends, family and prayers that I do. I love all of you! Thank you!!!

Till the next time...

Love, Erin