Thursday, October 16, 2014

Say What?!

I am 28 months in REMISSION! 
Lab-free til January, scan-free til June!
{I'm #outofthewoods} ;)

- LISA - 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Times They Are A'Changin

     Hello my friends! How are you? I hope you're summer was amazing & you were able to create lifelong memories. We are now entering my favorite time of year...FALL! College football, changing leaves, & Halloween...oh my!
     One of the things I love most about living in the "dub-V" {better known as West Virginia} is that we truly get to experience every season. We sizzle in the Summer, freeze in the Winter, start to bloom in the Spring, & our hills get even more breath-taking in the Fall. 
Blue skies & country roads forever have my heart.

     Chad & I took advantage of the changing season & snuck-in a date at the WVU Arboretum in Morgantown, WV. The last time I remember being there was circa 1997 when I {graciously} borrowed a few materials for my 7th grade leaf project {totally got an "A" if you're wondering!} so getting to create & share a new memory with my love was so rad. 
...almost heaven...

     Health-wise - on my end {inadvertent rectal cancer pun!} - all seems to be going well. {side-note: I started this post last week & then got hit with a stomach bug...I must have jinxed myself!} I'm still slowly losing my chemo {Xeloda to be specific} weight. The day I hit 139.8 was pretty exciting! Taking into consideration the crazy surgeries I had, my ever-present menopause, hyperthyroidism, & the fact that I topped-off around 185lbs I think I'm moving along - not as quickly as I want but patience has never been one of my greatest traits. To be honest, I'm still incredibly insecure with body but it's something I try to work on everyday, physically & - especially - mentally. My weight was never an issue before I got sick; I had a high metabolism, was always on the go, &, of course, had ovaries & a uterus that helped maintain the natural hormones of a "normal" twenty-something so this whole world of diet, exercise, & body-image issues is tricky navigation for me. Luckily I'm surrounded by incredibly supportive people who keep my spirit motivated & always remind me that maybe I'm being a little too hard-on myself

...the times they are a'changin...

     October, as I'm sure you know, is "Breast Cancer Awareness" month but for me, a "young adult Rectal Cancer Survivor", I like to remind people, especially women, {even more especially younger women}, that colorectal screening is just as important as breast cancer screening. I totally support the "pink campaign" when I feel it's being appropriately used however when stores or companies start slapping on a pink ribbon on something that, very-obviously, has nothing to do with awareness, that is when I get a little frustrated. Number-wise, CRC is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US. And yes, now would be the time I break-out the numbers: 75% of women are up-to-date with breast cancer screening while only 55% of women are in-the-know of their colorectal health. {source} Why is that? Is it the stigma of colonoscopies?  I'm not sure butt 
[;)]  I do know I would not be alive had I not had a colonoscopy; my mom wouldn't be alive had she not had a colonoscopy, & my dad wouldn't be alive had he not had a colonoscopy. 3 out of 3 lives is pretty damn good if you ask me.
     So, fueling my ongoing love for all-things-booty, this month I not only support BCA, but also the Colon Cancer Alliance's "Screen This Too" campaign.

Think pink & stay true to blue!
     Hmm, what else? I've been writing a lot; it's something I try to do's definitely my version of cheap-therapy. Usually my thoughts end-up in my journal in some form or another or I work on my "novel" which is totally overwhelming, daunting, & exciting at the same time. It's something that may never come to fruition but it's also a project & process that I truly adore. It's amazing how I can lose myself, my worries, & my daily stresses within a world that is created entirely from my imagination. That's something I think we unfortunately lose as we "grow-up": the power of our imagination. So I've been consciously allowing myself to daydream &, then, doing my best to develop the ideas that already exist in my mind. Again, it very well may lead to nothing but a girl can dream. :)

October FYI's:
{aka things I'm ridiculously excited for & feel the need to share with you!} 

Alexz Johnson - "Let 'Em Eat Cake"
-Full-length Album
-Headlining Tour
By now you know I'm a HUGE Alexz Johnson fan! I'm so excited to let you know her 2nd, full-length record "Let 'Em Eat Cake" officially comes out Tuesday October 14, 2014! Adding to my excitement is that I will be seeing her LIVE {again! The 2nd time in 6 months} at the end of this month at the Hard Rock Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA! 
AJ debuted her lead single {of the same name} live during the "Say Max" tour over the summer & I'm super-stoked about the final, studio-mix. She is an "artist" in every sense of the word, especially as a songwriter. She's someone who doesn't compromise her integrity or vision when it comes to her music;something that has led her to turn-down what people would consider "major" record-deals to, instead, independently release music her way. 
In her own words: 
"Let ’Em Eat Cake’ feels like my biography up to this point,” Johnson says by email. “It’s an honest album written during a time of overcoming heartbreak and a heartfelt reflection of my journey as an artist in an ever-changing industry.”
Here's a little throwback in celebration of one of my favorite holiday's!

Halloween 2007
Hulk & Linda Hogan (pre-divorce era}
"Whatcha gonna do, brother?!"

See you soon!
- LISA -