Wednesday June 5, 2013

It's been a busy week for us, and it's only Wednesday!  Busy is good, so I'm not complaining.  The events of this week will include:  two trips to the Twin Cities, one doctor's appointment, a golf tournament, a book reading, and trying out Zumba for the first time.  Uff da.

Let's start with Zumba.  Erin has been wanting to check out this Latin dance/exercise class.  So, Sunday we headed to the RAC to give it a try.  Now, I have to confess:  I have been working at the RAC on and off for 19 years, and this is the first group exercise class I have ever done.  Just goes to show we will do anything for our kids!

Erin liked it, and I did, too.  The only drawback is the giant mirror that covers two walls.  You see, I feel like I'm doing the moves exactly like the instructor until I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  Yikes.  It's a good thing our minds treat us kindly, because the mirror tells a different story... but, it didn't scare me off, and Erin and I went back again last night for our second ever group fitness class.

My doctor's appointment yesterday was my first post-radiation return visit to the Breast Clinic.  This will be something I do every 6 months for the next 5 years.  No scan was done yesterday as things are still healing from the radiation therapy.  My next scan will be in November or December.  Dr. Pruthi is wonderful, and we discussed the status of things.  I still have some swelling, so I'm headed back for some PT to get the lymph system working more efficiently.  I will begin taking Tamoxifen, an anti-cancer drug, after we return from Europe.  I didn't want to mess with a new drug that will change my hormone balance before our big trip, so it will wait until July.

With all that is going on in our lives, I sometimes forget I had breast cancer.  I have to admit, talking about it yesterday was sobering.  When Dr. Pruthi pulled up my medical record, well, that stat sheet is pretty full over the last 18 months.  She was looking for a pathology report and had to dig through dozens of other appointments (gynecology, dental specialties, psychology).  Since Shannon's passing, my body has betrayed me over and over.  It's time for that to stop...

Monday, Dan and I played in the St. Jude Tournament of Hope golf event in Bloomington.  We connected with many St. Jude supporters who will also be a part of the Fall Festival where we will be speaking and sharing Determined to Matter.  It is wonderful to see these people open their hearts - and wallets - to help the cause of fighting childhood cancer.  There were two St. Jude families there, and both of us had lost our children to brain tumors.  There was supposed to be a third family present, but they were unable to attend as their daughter was put on hospice this week.  She will lose her battle soon against the same type of tumor that took Shannon's life.  Needless to say, we've had plenty of reminders this week that funding and research still need to be the focus so that things can change in the future.

To that end, we will keep sharing our story and our book in the hopes of helping that funding.  Tonight, Dan, Erin and I will be in St. Paul at Micawber's Books for a book discussion, reading, and signing.  We hope our Twin Cities friends can come join us.  Luckily, lots of O'Haras live in the vicinity, so at least we know we won't be playing to an empty room...