About Me

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I'm a Jesus loving girl who is blessed with an amazing husband and two beautiful children. At the age of 23, while pregnant with my firstborn I noticed a dome shaped nodular area on my left hip. It started growing larger and eventually started bleeding. After the birth of my baby girl and my 24th birthday I decided to get the ugly bump checked. The result was Stage III nodular Malignant Melanoma that had extensions into my lymph nodes. I completed a year of Interferon chemotherapy. a year later I became pregnant with my second child. After his birth I developed two more melanoma primary tumors-- stage 1 2010, and stage 2 in 2011. Since then I have made it my mission to advocate and educate to bring about melanoma awareness in hopes that it could save others from this deadly disease. Thankfully, I am very healthy and doing very well! I have No Evidence of Disease and I'm showing Cancer Who's Boss by staying fit and healthy. I plan to blog about my adventures in running over cancer during training for my first Full marathon Fall 2014. Remember to love your skin, protect your skin, and check your skin. Share the love and spread the chemical-free lotion!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tough Mudder KY 2012

Hello Friends,  Just one week ago today I was getting up at 5 am to get ready to take on the Maysville Ky Tough Mudder with my team The Wildwood Warriors.  I was nervous and excited to challenge myself against the 12 miles of steep hills covered in mud and the 21 insane obstacles.   I had a lot of people ask "Why do tough mudder?"  "Don't you get electrically shocked?"  "Isn't it like 12 miles?" "You know you have to sign a Death waiver!" Yes, I knew all those things because I researched Tough Mudder and it seemed like a Big enough challenge that I wanted to take on not to mention all proceeds go to the wounded warrior project.  I wanted to do something Big to Shove it in Cancer's face!  I wanted to do something to show cancer who's Boss!!!  I wanted to do something to represent all the other warriors out there who are fighting to survive!  I wanted to do this for my friend Joe, who would have totally been right there trudging through the mud with me.  You see, God has spared my life...I can't just sit back and do nothing.  I must do something BIG and smear it all in cancers face...because it doesn't have me yet!

I was super pumped when I pulled into the church parking lot, where our team was meeting to carpool.  We had been training for months (since June 2012 after my last surgery) and praying it was enough to get us across the finish line.  I was so anxious I had to make myself eat.  My friend Deb picked me up a coffee and a bagel but I was only able to stomach half of it due to nerves.
Me (wearing black bandana for melanoma), Deb, and Amy
Tough Mudder Maysville took place on an ATV course and since there was 9,000 people taking on the challenge we had to park at the Mason County High School and be bused to the event. My initial concern when I stepped out of the car was how cold it was and I wasn't even wet yet.  It was in the 40's, overcast, and the wind was blowing constantly...Not a great combination with 12 miles of hills, mud, ice, and electric shocks.
Wildwood Warriors--Oh Yeah!!!!

We were in the Saturday 9:20am wave and you had to climb over a berlin wall  before you passed through the starting line.  The announcer did an amazing job getting everyone pumped up before we started as did the national anthem and the American Flag. Here is the link to the  Course Map and obstacle list.  The toughest obstacles for me was the Arctic EnemaElectric EElFire Walker, and Everest. The Arctic Enema was the second obstacle on the list.  You had to jump into a tank filled full of ice cubes and swim under a wooden plank to get to the other side.  I have never been that cold before in my life!!!  It wouldn't have been so bad if you didn't have to completely submerge yourself, head and all under the heavy ice.  The electric eel was more mental than anything.  It was like a huge slip in slide covered in mud and rock.  Above you was barbed wire and electric wires that hung down and shocked you as you army crawled on the bed of mud and rock.  I got shocked about seven times by the electric eel and while it wasn't pleasant, it was definitely not as bad as I expected it to be.  The fire walker obstacle caught me off guard when I jumped over the line of fire into the water, I wasn't expecting it to be so deep.  I couldn't even touch the bottom and it went completely over my head not to mention when I finally took a gasp of air I inhaled massive amounts of smoke. By the time we made it to Everest, we were all borderline Hypothermic.  My body was internally shivering uncontrollably!  My muscles were stiff and my body felt numb.  I wasn't sure how I was going to make it up the half pipe, especially after seeing one of my team members bust his face.  I tried everest 3 times with no success.  The guy behind me said, "give it one more try...run fast...I know you can do it this time."  I gave it one more shot and finally grabbed ahold of my friend Shannon's hand and the rest of my team pulled me over the top.
This was the backside of Everest.
By far the toughest part of Tough Mudder Ky wasn't the obstacles but the terrain and climate itself. There is no way you could "run" through Tough Mudder Ky...You have to climb, crawl, and slide through the steepest mud and rock covered hills you could imagine.  The course was slow, dangerous, and brutal! Even the most in shape muscle bulging guys on the course seemed to be struggling.  Most people got injured on the terrain itself or because of hypothermia.  It was freaking cold!!!!!  I thought I was being smart by wearing cold gear but cold gear only works if you are dry.  I knew I would be getting wet but I didn't realize I would be wet the entire 12 miles.  Next time I'm definitely wearing a wet suit lol!

Boa Constrictor Obstacle--crawling thru frigid muddy water filled tubes
"Thumbs Up"  it was cold!!!!
Electroshock Therapy
Me and Amy packing our wood and covered in mud
Berlin Wall
My team helping me over a Berlin wall
The most important thing I learned during Tough Mudder wasn't how strong I am....I realized how very weak I am...I learned how important it is to work as a team....and that We need each other! Tough Mudder parallels my battle with cancer in so many ways but mostly in the fact that whether you're in the battle or along the side lines you matter in helping me get to the finish line.  My husband and my friends Hattie, Jason, and Lisa didn't sign up to do tough mudder, but they were there on the side of the mountain cheering me up the steep hills and taking pictures of the insane festivities.  A lot of you may not have cancer or been through Tough Mudder but you've been there showing me support.  You'll never know how much that means to me.  The Tough Mudder Pledge says:  As a Tough Mudder I Pledge that.... (1) I understand that tough mudder is not a race but a challenge.  (2) I put teamwork and camaraderie before my course time.  (3) I do not whine-kids whine!  (4) I help my fellow mudders complete the course. and (5) I overcome all fears
Wildwood Warriors After pic-minus a few mudders on our team.
 I'm not the strongest girl out there and my body has been through a lot but Tough Mudder is very mental. Yes, you must train hard but if I can make it through tough mudder as scrawny as I am then anyone can do it if they just set their mind to it.  It's a lot of mind over matter!  There is no way I could have made it to the finish line without each and everyone of my team members and all my friends support!  Praise God WE did it!!!!!!!!!  Now who's signing up with me for next year?
Showing Cancer Who's Boss!!!!!


  1. Wow! Great read of you kicking Melanoma's but! I do not know that I could have finished this course. Love your determination!I especially liked that you gave God the glory! Stay strong and keep fighting.

    Fellow Melanoma Warrior,

    The Cancer SPOT (Donna Piunt)

    1. Thanks so much Donna! God bless you in your fight with this Beast! We are in this together:-)