Thursday, July 23, 2015


How does 3 years go so fast and so slow at the same time? I can still picture myself- sitting in my office- when my phone rang and I knew at that moment that I had cancer. Some days I think- how did this happen to me. I call them my Nancy Kerrigan moments- why me? why now? I feel a little guilty in those moments because then I always think- why not me. Who else should this have happened to if not me?

I wish this never happened to me. That's obvious. But it did. And although sometimes the emotions of it are right at the surface mostly it's just a little blip in my life that happened 3 years ago. Someone asked me the other day how I handled emotionally being told I had cancer. And I answered like I've answered it for the last 3 years- I have no idea. You just do. There is no choice. You push through it until it's over.

I realized this morning that it was the 23rd (although I've been preparing for it all week) and I just kept thinking about like going to chemo, getting radiation and everything that went along with having cancer and I just started crying. Then I'm thinking- don't cry before work! You're going I ruin your makeup! Haha whatever makes the crying stop I guess. But I realized that July 23 has really turned into a day of celebration. And as it should I think. It's been 3 years but I'm here and I'm happy and healthy and that's most important! 

I picked Mackenzie up and we went to Crystal City and had dinner at Ted's Montana Grill and then got milkshakes at Cold Stone (just like we did last year). We took our milkshakes to Gravelly Point and watched the airplanes. Although it's so loud every couple of minutes while the airplanes land or take off it is so peaceful there. There's water and fields and it's just such a calm place to be. And tonight the sky was SO blue and not a cloud in the sky! 

It's been a crazy ride the last 3 years. I've learned a lot of medical things I never wanted to learn but I've also learned a lot about myself. I wish I could have learned all of these lessons another way but I know today that I am I better person than I was 3 years ago. And I know that I have the best friends and family in the whole world. 

In 2 days we are having my THIRD annual Fund It Forward and I'm so excited! I love that from this experience I have gained a ton of friends and experiences that I never would have of I wasn't diagnosed. I hope you can come but if not I hope you will donate. The III B's Foundation and Good Wishes Scarves does such great work for so many men and women diagnosed with cancer. The link to donate is on the sidebar of this blog. 

As always I could have never gotten through this without all of your support! Thanks for sticking by me for the last 3 years! 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Fund It Forward 2015

I'm so excited we are having our THIRD annual Fund It Forward event on July 25! I cannot believe this will be the 3rd one. I remember trying to plan the first one and just hoping that someone would show up or donate ANY money at all! It's daunting to tell a charity you are raising money for them. But you all showed up- in a big way. And again last year as well.

So of course I want this year to be even more successful than ever before! That's why I want to explain why this event and these 2 charities are so important to me.

Almost 3 years ago I was a 28 year old wife and mother of a 2.5 year old, enjoying the summer. We were so busy with work and raising our child and keeping our house together and play dates (for us and Mackenzie!) and everything that comes with being a working parent- or just an adult really. But we knew that we were ready to expand our family so because Mackenzie was premature without a reason we decided I should get a physical done. I was so terrified of having my blood drawn (that still makes me laugh- I can't count how many times I've had my blood drawn since) and that's all I was thinking about in the days leading up to July 11th.

But then my world came crashing down. I'm not sure many of you really understand how earth shattering this really was. I know that everyone goes through moments in their life that are challenging and that feel really hard- and I know they are- I've been through plenty. But people die from cancer every single day. And on July 23rd (well from July 11-October when I had my scans done) I thought I might be one of those people. I mean if we are being honest I still could.

Then during that time when your whole world is torn apart, when it feels like nothing will ever be right again people step up. People you love and who love you, new friends, old friends and strangers. No one at The III B's Foundation knew who I was when they dropped off baskets at Virginia Hospital Center. No one at Good Wishes knew who I was as they were ordering fabrics and sewing beautiful scarves together. But all of these people surrounded us and got us through this horrible ordeal. Without us having to say a word. All of these wonderful things just happened.

Even though I had cancer. And had body parts amputated. And put poison in my body. And had my skin burned off. I will NEVER EVER forget those moments when people who loved me and strangers came to my side and carried me through it.

I can't tell you how surprised I was when the staff from the hospital walked into my pre-op room on September 18th with a GIANT basket full of goodies. I couldn't even see how many items were in there because there was just SO much. And there are a lot of items I still use (the stuffed bear still helps me sleep) and a lot of things I didn't think to get (a loofah with a long handle because I couldn't raise my arms). I'm sure when Carolyn started The III B's Foundation she thought about those moments when her family and friends carried her through.

I found Good Wishes through my search of free stuff for cancer patients. To be honest I didn't really know if they would send me anything or not. I applied and picked the scarf I wanted and waited. I applied for a lot of free hats and I never heard back from any others. I received my scarf in December when I was all ready bald. To my surprise the package not only held my scarf but also a card that was signed by EVERY member of the office. And it was personalized. And not only that, every scarf they send out they put the persons name that is receiving the scarf on their wall in the office so they can remember all the scarves sent out.

Since last year's Fund It Forward I was invited by Good Wishes to travel to NYC to film a news segment talking about Good Wishes to CBS which was a lot of fun. And in February my husband and I attended The III B's Pink Tie Charity Ball where I received an award for my fundraising. Being able to meet other women on different stages of this journey but who are brought together because of the these 2 charities has been incredible.

To me- Fund It Forward is and never was about any recognition for myself- but only to get The III B's Foundation and Good Wishes Scarves more recognition (and MONEY!!). I wish that neither of these organizations had to exist. I wish they could figure this cancer thing out and no one else would ever be diagnosed- but until that day both of these organizations will keep lifting peoples spirits- one basket and one scarf at a time.

I hope you all can make it! And if you can't make it I hope you will consider a donation CLICK HERE TO DONATE (or click on the link on the top right). Every tiny bit counts and even $5 is $5 more than we would have without your donation. If this money we raise can just help a couple women to feel a little loved while going through treatment then we have had a successful fundraiser!