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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!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013~New Opportunities~New Challenges

Hello Friends,

Sorry it's been so long since I last posted.  I have been busy working and spending quality time with my friends and family.  Life has been good!!!

I traveled to Nashville, TN for an ultrasound of the remaining lymph nodes in my bilateral inguinal region in Mid December.  I didn't get to see my oncologist at the time because he had to be out of town and we rescheduled to meet on January 14, 2013.  My report states that I have multiple enlarged inguinal lymph nodes however, the appearance is most likely inflammatory type.  The largest is in the left groin and measures 2.6 cm in greatest dimension.  Overall I feel good about the report and hopefully these nodes are just related to inflammation.  I see two doctors when I go to Vandy in January for a full body skin exam and to see my oncologist.  I'm looking up and hoping for good news!

This was in December during my trip to Vandy.  We took a little horse and carriage ride through downtown Nashville.
This is Pete the horse that took us around downtown Nashville
I've had another minor health issue going on for a while now cause anemia.  BOYS, if you are reading SKIP to the next Paragraph!  I'm having a D&C, endometrial ablation, and sterilization procedure on January 29, 2013.  Hopefully this will help with my anemia that is caused by 28 days of menstruation.  It's a very easy, minor procedure but It does require anesthesia so I appreciate your prayers.

We had a great Christmas vacation with our little family!  We don't go overboard on gift buying because Christmas means more about celebrating our hope in Jesus and sharing love with one another than spending money.  Andrew's favorite gift was his toy car and Livi loved her Merida Doll!  My greatest gift was getting the week off from work to spend every moment with my little family.

Andrew loves his car!  Livi loves her Merida Doll!

Andrew, Me, and Livi at Great Wolfe Lodge over Christmas vacation.
I have done a lot of reflecting about 2012 this past week and while there was some very trying times with walking my dear friend Joe through the dying process and finding the words to describe such an honorable person as he asked me to write/speak his eulogy-- my blessings far outweigh the bad. It was through my friend Joe that I found the courage to start running again and to sign up and complete Tough Mudder KY (some consider this the Toughest event on the planet) and to start back doing gymnastics (which I haven't done in YEARS).  God has been so good to me and blessed my family far more than we deserve.  I find that if I ever have a moment of feeling down and out, If I just start counting my blessings I realize they outnumber anything bad that has happened.

2013 will bring about new opportunities and Challenges to each of us.  It's how we respond to those things we face that will determine our outcome.  I personally pray for wisdom and for understanding as we face what 2013 brings to the plate.  I invite God to search me and cleans me from anything that will hold me back from bringing glory to Him.  God also gives us free will to make choices.  He gave us this life and it's up to us to do good with it.  I choose to run my little heart out and to do everything in my power to be as healthy as possible.  I'm signing up to run my first ever half marathon which is 13.1 miles on March 30, 2013 in Lexington, KY.  I'm also teaching gymnastics for a local school for Autism in January!

I saw this little quote on one of my friends fb page that said "You know all those things you've always wanted to do?  You should go Do Them."  It's called a "Bucket list".  So get a pen and piece of paper and start writing down all those things you want to do.  Surround yourself with people who will support you, start a blog, and do it for you!  Do it for your family!  Get out there and do all those things You want to do.  Life is short- Life is precious-Your life matters, so Make it Count!

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."  Isaiah 43:19

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