Sunday, April 25, 2010

Happy Cancerversary

It's been a little over a year now since Karen's breast cancer diagnosis. We "celebrated" her Cancerversary on April 15th -- a day now marked for us with taxes and cancer. It's hard to imagine two things that are more despised. Despite the dread this date might elicit, I hope that instead it will be a day we embrace for many, many years to come. My hope is that it will forever be a day that marks triumph over fear and hope over despair. In the end, these are the characteristics that Karen -- and many thousands of survivors like her -- embodied as she stood up to cancer: courage, strength, hope. They are words used over and over to describe the qualities of those who battle cancer. I can tell you, they are words never over-used or under-appreciated for those who fight this disease.

We've come full circle since a year ago at this time. The beautiful pink flowers on the azalea bushes are blooming again, just as they were when I took the first picture of Karen for the blog. And although I haven't blogged at all since Karen finished her chemotherapy in November, the "journey" did and has continued.

Chemotherapy was followed by seven weeks of daily radiation that ended in February. While the side effects were few, the lasting effects of the chemo drugs on top of daily radiation wore her down to the point that getting out of bed some days was a real struggle. Harder still was dealing with the expectation that since she was finished with the chemotherapy that she would quickly be back to her "old" self. She learned -- we all learned -- that it would take months before she regained her energy and felt good again. But thankfully, those days have arrived!

Although her toenails have yet to grow back -- her hair has grown back in. There's no sign of the predicted "chemo curl", but she looks right in style with her "pixie". In fact, last week she said goodbye to the gray that highlighted her hair and she's back to a brunette.

The Spring of 2010 may always be a time of change for Karen. Last year, her big news of course, was her cancer diagnosis. This year, she has made a change by accepting an exciting and challenging new job with Deloitte Consulting. It was a tough decision since it meant leaving the friends, colleagues and company that supported her during one of her most difficult years.

To mark Karen's first Cancerversary, I put together a short video that chronicles some of the past year -- particularly the support that she got from friends and family. The theme song for the video is "I Run for Life" by Melissa Etheridge, a cancer survivor, and includes highlights from last year's Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure in Philadelphia in which Karen and the team she joined -- "For Our Girls" -- participated.

The video tells a story of resiliency and hope -- not just Karen's, but that of all women who battle breast cancer and other forms of the disease. Looking back now on the past year, and the photos in the video in particular, throughout it all, Karen's smile remained bright -- a smile so bright, it's as if she swallowed the sun.



42 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for posting this! I have thought about you guys and was wondering how Karen was doing. What an amazing video!! Congrats on the new job!!!

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  2. That is probably the most inspiring video ever. Karen - you are thought of often and loved always!!! Keep up the good fight girl!

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  3. Hi Brian and Karen!
    I am so glad to hear you are doing well. I was glad Brian stopped at the shop so I could meet him a while ago but I would love to meet Karen!
    My wife and I just hit 2 years on April 1st! Thank God she is doing well.
    We are having a big celebration at our shop the second weekend of June to celebrate our 1st year anniversary. Please try to stop out!
    Many blessings, Brian and Laurie at Pink Hands of Hope!

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  4. I just had the time to sit and watch this. What an amazing video for an amazing woman and friend. I am so happy that Karen is doing well and healthy again!

    Kim

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  5. Your positive attitude and positive approach towards life really makes me feel so proud about you. Thanks for sharing your life experiences and struggles here as great posts and creating awareness among people. My best wishes to you.

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  6. I just received my newsletter from the Breast Cancer Coalition and read your article. I'd never heard of triple negative breast cancer. I researched it on the web to find out more information. I'm glad you're doing well and hope your good health continues with no recurrence. I am a 6 year survivor of the "other", hormone receptor cancer.

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  7. The month of October has been declared as the breast cancer awareness month, but the fight against this disease goes on all year. Its indeed considered as one of the cruel diseases that are menacing the world. Learn how we offer Breast Cancer Support for patients and their families at breast cancer society. Also if you want to help us help them have a look into our various Breast Cancer Donation methods.

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  8. The Breast cancer is a disease that has to be treated with patience and care. The patients along with the regular chemotherapy require an addition of emotional support from the family and the doctors. We at the breast cancer society organisation spread the awareness on how to face breast cancer. We as an organisation along with the help of those who have succesesfully fought breast cancer have deviced various methods for Breast Cancer Support and Breast Cancer Donation . To know more visit our website www.breastcancersociety.org

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  9. Hey there. If you have a moment, I'd like you to take a look at a project I am the designer for. It's a t-shirt I designed to raise money for my co-worker's "Race for the Cure" team. It's really taken off and people love it. Trying to get the word out.

    Check me out at www.helpbustbreastcancer.com

    Thanks!

    Craig

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  10. Best way to get the word out? Have Karen wear it. :-) After all these crazy months, I'm sitting quietly in the kitchen and watched this video for the first time. Brian, your wife didn't swallow the sun, she outshines it. She beams more brightly than any orb. What a beautiful tribute to a year that means so much more than survival, as it always should. Thank you, Karen ...

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  11. Cancer Diet - Minerals

    A cancer diet needs a good balance of minerals because minerals are needed by all cells for proper function. Patients are often found to be mineral deficient, so this is an area of the diet that needs particular attention.

    There are two classes of minerals. Macrominerals, such as the well known calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and phosphorus, and microminerals, such as boron, chromium, copper, iron, iodine, germanium, sulfur, silicon, vanadium, zinc, manganese and molybdenum.

    The good news is we will get most of the minerals we need, provided we are eating a diet based on a wide variety of fruits and veggies, with the addition of nuts, seeds and grains.

    chk my link: http://www.khayyali.000a.biz/cancer/

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Karen and Brian
    My name is Marina and I live in Brazil. Like Karen I am cancer survivor. I had breast cancer in 2002 e now I'm cured. I married and I have a daugther. Thank Brian for tell us about your battle against cancer and congratulation for blog. Husbands never say about yor feelings. God bless you. apologize my horrible english. Marina da Silva.

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  13. Hi Brian,

    What a great blog! We’re wondering if you’d be open to sharing your writing and experience with an even wider audience.

    I work at a social marketing agency that promotes causes for a variety of non-profit agencies and other organizations. Very shortly, we’re launching a new website on behalf of one of our clients intended to address the emotional and social experiences of women with cancer.

    It will offer support and community for women themselves, as well as for anyone connected to women with cancer – such as spouses, friends and family.

    One part of the site will feature blogs from a variety of people, and we hope you would consider being one. For confidentially purposes, we can’t reveal more in this note. But we’d be happy to provide you with more details if you’re interested in learning more.

    Please feel free to contact me at the address below:

    seekingcancerbloggers@gmail.com

    Hope to hear back!
    Alexis

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  14. Please vote for Breast Health and Healing in the PUMA Project Pink contest! You won't regret it! This foundation is devoted to finding out the root causes of breast cancer and to creating the breast cancer vaccine. We need to make breast cancer a thing of the past. http://puma.promo.eprize.com/pink/

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  15. For Karen,
    I noticed your blog and I feel I can help you out. I'm a doctor who treats cancer naturally. My medicine is food not drugs or radiation. Did any of your doctors address food as a cause or treatment? I have a new website up (still a work in progress) if you and your family are interested in seeing what we have to offer. chronicdiseasereversal.com This is not meant as spam, just an honest attempt to help. thank you for your time, dr.gbh

    ReplyDelete
  16. I just found your blog. As a fellow cancer survivor, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Also...Great Blog! You are a credit to the cancer blogging community. I have added you to my blogroll, “Cancer Blogs” with over 1000 other personal cancer blogs at www.beingcancer.net, a cancer networking site featuring a cancer book club, guest blogs, cancer resources, reviews and more.
    If you have not visited before or recently, please stop by. If you agree that the site is a worthwhile resource for those affected by cancer, please consider adding Being Cancer Network to your own blogroll.
    Now that you are listed, you can expect to gain a wider audience for your thoughts and experiences. Being Cancer Network is a place to share and communicate.
    And like bloggers everywhere, I love receiving your comments and ideas.

    Take care, Dennis (beingcancer@att.net)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Brian,

    My name is Joe Khoury, and I am the co-founder of LaceBuddy.com, with my cousin Mike.

    We loved your blog, and decided to ask you a favor.

    We have started a business selling shoe charms online (We call them LaceBuddys, small rubber charms that can be attached to shoelaces, perfect for kids...we are releasing many designs and themes) but what we are most excited about is that we are featuring a Pink Ribbon Lace Buddy to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. All profit from each Pink Ribbon purchase will go to 26.2 with Donna and currently working on affiliating with more organizations, and our goal is to raise 1 million dollars to battle this disease.

    Our hope is to have runners and walkers participating in breast cancer awareness events proudly wearing Pink Ribbon Lace Buddys during their walk or run, knowing they are taking another small step toward finding a cure.

    I have lost his mother to breast cancer when I was a child, my dad to pancreatic cancer, and my aunt that raised me is fighting the disease now. And Mike lost his grandmother last winter to breast cancer. We feel very strongly about fighting a disease that threatens to take away the important women in our lives.

    Is it possible for you to mention our site and product on your blog?

    Thank you so much for your support!

    Joe & Mike, founders of LaceBuddy.com

    http://lacebuddy.com/breastcancer
    joe@lacebuddy.com
    mike@lacebuddy.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. i was watching the video and i think it is a best video, i appreciate what you lot doing ,keep it up.i think A cancer diet needs a good balance of minerals because minerals are needed by all cells for proper function.
    portland oregon breast augmentation

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  19. I noticed your blog while surfing for other cancer blogs.

    My girl T goes in for surgery on March 2nd (4 days from now) sooooo scared. I worked in a cancer lab for 10 years and know enough to make me crazy scared.

    She's tough...but the chemo and crazy side effects like neuropathy have taken their toll. Trying to stay strong for her, but starting to break, if you know what I mean.

    Her Cancer had already spread to liver and lungs and lymph nodes, but have all disapeared with chemo except for the lump in the breast and lymph nodes under one arm. Surgery and radiation for those to come

    Peace,
    Kat

    PS - Will you help me get 1 mil. Twitter Followers before March 18th? (T's 45th birthday) Our Twitter Profile is at http://www.twitter.com/cancersucksass .

    If you want you can read my blog at http://cancersucksass.blogspot.com....I'd actually love to hear any comments you might have.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi.. It's long time. Where have you been. I have found good stuffs and links for cancer treatment. Stay in touch and start keep posting dude.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I chanced upon your blog while checking out cancer blogs. I got attracted with Karen's smile. Even with no hair she is still a beauty. Thank you for bringing positivity into the cancer world. I know it has been hard but your light makes things a lot better for those who are in the same shoes.

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  22. I am missing your entries. When are they coming back? How is Karen?

    ReplyDelete
  23. I read about your blog and It inspired me that there must be some cure, still hidden from world and after hours of search on internet and books I finally found a very unique article written on breast cancer which tells me that breast cancer is curable. I found it useful but I believe that it can cure you, at least give it consideration http://stay-healthy-and-energetic.blogspot.com/2011/03/cancer-of-liver-bone-and-breast-cancer.html

    ReplyDelete
  24. You are the most inspiring person i have ever seen. You are a role model for other people. Stay in touch. Keep posting.

    cancer treatment centers of america

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you s o much for this informative blog!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Such a healthy blog from you. I learned a lot from it.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I just read your blog - its like reading our own story. I am so happy that your wife is well, despite the fact that I have no idea who you are.

    You know, since my wife finished treatment in July, I havent shed a tear but somehow I just shed a load in happiness for you all. Strange.

    Somjai, my wife was diagnosed and it was like a nuclear bomb hitting me - I wish I had found this blog and its fantastic narration before.

    Keep smiling and best wishes from the UK

    adamrobinson1974@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love visiting your blog and reading old posts. well why you stop writing on this blog. Its so good to read it. i will wait till you post some thing new on this beautiful blog. and best wishes for your life.

      Delete
  28. Hey Karen, I really enjoyed reading your blog and your journey. My organization would love to contribute a guest post to help continue spreading awareness. If you are interested please contact me at marvin@asbestos.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. Nice, they should also celebrate a cancer awareness month wherein many people will know everything about cancer and learn some Alternative cancer treatments to educate them further. Thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks for this post.

    I would like to inform your readers about simple online tool that can help them to estimate a risk of developing breast cancer..

    Breast Cancer Online Risk Tool is designed by scientists at the National Cancer Institute and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, to estimate a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.

    Inform yourself about your risk - Breast Cancer Online Risk Tool

    All the best,
    M.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Please keep this blog going if you can. Your family has meant so much to all of us for so long. We love all of you.Cancer


    Thank



    Deb Millar

    ReplyDelete
  32. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Dress in Pink Competition has already started! Wear Pink with your friends/family/colleagues and take a picture! Let's have a crazy and colourful month! Cheese! Read more about the competition here: http://bit.ly/DressInPink and join our event here: http://bit.ly/DressInPinkEvent

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hello, Came across your blog this day, six years after my wife's initial BC diagnosis. I sincerely hope your wife is healthy and well. This past week my wife had her yearly mammogram which showed something suspicious. She went in for a second reading this morning which turned up nothing. I am a very grateful man. We have much to be thankful for. She is my life and I am so grateful she is healthy.

    ReplyDelete
  34. We are beautiful! I was diagnosed two years ago- on New Year's Eve day. Stage 1- had 2 surgeries- six weeks of Radiation.
    The one thing I hated about the day to day radiation treatments- was that I felt as if my spark, my shine was being taken away. So I invented something- an alternative gown to be worn during treatment. Here's my website: theradiantwrap.com. Since we went public- over 400 women nationwide are wearing it during treatments- and from waht they are telling me- they feel just a bit better- just a bit brighter! Thanks for letting me share!

    ReplyDelete
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  39. tracy.rose@healthline.comOctober 12, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Hi Brian,

    Healthline is interested in contributing a guest post to mywifewithcancer.blogspot.com. We would be open to contributing any blog that would be of interest to your readers. Healthline bloggers have been featured on a variety of sites including:

    Washington Times: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/tango-mind-and-emotion/2012/aug/10/how-healthy-choices-easy/
    Natural News: http://www.naturalnews.com/036515_diabetes_strawberries_prevention.html
    Patch.com: http://strongsville.patch.com/blog_posts/where-and-what-to-eat-in-cleveland-to-beat-the-winter-blues

    Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

    Warm Regards,
    Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  40. maggie.danhakl@healthline.comApril 8, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    Hi,

    Healthline just designed a virtual guide of the effects of chemotherapy on the body. You can see the infographic here: http://www.healthline.com/health/cancer/effects-on-body

    This is valuable med-reviewed information that can help a person understand the side effects they are experiencing from their chemo treatment. I thought this would be of interest to your audience, and I’m writing to see if you would include this as a resource on your page: http://mywifewithcancer.blogspot.com/2009/09/worst-is-overbut-your-tongue-may-turn.html

    If you do not believe this would be a good fit for a resource on your site, even sharing this on your social communities would be a great alternative to help get the word out.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to review. Please let me know your thoughts and if I can answer any questions for you.

    All the best,
    Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager
    p: 415-281-3124 f: 415-281-3199

    Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
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    ReplyDelete