Life is Good!
I can’t believe it has been 4 months since my last post. Where is the time going? The summer is quickly drawing to a close and it feels like it just started. There is so much to talk about and I’m not sure where to start so here it goes.
UPDATE ON MY STATUS
I had my last scan in June and everything looked good and I appear to continue to be disease free. I saw my doctor on Wednesday and my labs all look good and my CEA(colon cancer indicator) is immeasurable. Needless to say I am ecstatic. My next scan will be in October. The doctor is trying to limit the amount of radiation as I plan on living a very long life. Of course if anything abnormal comes up then I will get in right away but as of today October will be the next big news.
Cancer is such a crazy journey. The emotions are off the chart from anger, disbelief, excitement, happiness, sadness, guilt you name it cancer triggers it. In this past month I have been contacted by four different families whose lives forever changed with the cancer diagnosis of a loved one. I never realized how prevalent cancer really was and now I see it everywhere. There has to be a better way. There has to be a path we can walk that will lead us out of this road to disease. I’m reading this book called Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin. I highly recommend it. As I have learned first hand the mind truly can do amazing things with your body both positive and negative. I hope that my journey will inspire and comfort others as they endure their own battles.
This summer my family and I took a trip to Kauai. We met two other families there and rented a house right across the street from Hanalei Bay. If you have ever been to Kauai you know that as soon as you step off the plane you feel a complete sense of relaxation. Your mind and body slow down. We had the best time. The weather was great and for the most part the rain came and went just according to our beach schedule. We went to a different beach everyday and headed to the Hanalei Pier for jumping in the evenings. It was a dream come true after all the ups and downs, chemo, surgeries, neuropathy of the last year and a half. We jumped off rocks, boogie boarded, hiked to Queens Bath, swam with turtles, explored the Napali Coast, snorkeled, laughed, played cards against humanity and laughed some more, oh and we headed to Oahu for a few days where we swam with galapagos sharks. We were in a cage and it was awesome! It was an amazing start to our summer.
A couple of weeks after we returned from Kauai I received some great news. The proposed Santa Barbara Gang Injunction was denied. Why you ask was this such good news? Well, in March of 2011, I agreed to represent a named defendant and rounded up a number of other criminal defense attorneys to do the same. Without our representation the city would have been able to push this proposal right on through as has happened in so many other cities and counties. Many have asked me why I opposed the gang injunction and why wouldn’t I want an injunction in Santa Barbara well I have way to much to say on the subject for this venue so if you want to chat about it call or email me and I’d be glad to chat but the quick version is law enforcement is doing a good job in Santa Barbara to address the gang issues, the constitutional implications and civil rights issues that arise with an injunction far outweigh any good it might have done and studies have shown that in areas such as Santa Barbara gang injunctions can actually make things worse. The independent did a great article on Judge Sterne’s decision. You can click here for the article: Gang Injunction Denied. Thank you to our amazing defense team and everyone who supported me especially my husband during the trial.
I am back to working out and have joined the Jenny Schatzle Program. A couple of weeks ago I ran my first mile. I was a little weary when she said at the end of the workout you are going to run a mile for time. For time, are you kidding me? I’ve never been a runner and after cancer and chemo and surgeries I certainly haven’t been keeping in shape. I told myself just take it one step at a time and don’t stop, whatever you do, don’t stop. As I was running I started to think of my friend Tucker laying in the hospital fighting for his life and my fear of the mile seemed to fade away. I was so proud of myself I did it and as I told Jenny, It Didn’t Suck!. It can be very frustrating starting over from ground zero, but how lucky am to get the chance to start over from ground zero. When I start to get down on myself for sucking wind so hard I remember how lucky I am to be sucking wind. Thank you Jenny for your crazy, over the top enthusiasm and inspiration.
HELP THE TUCK
An old friend from college, Tucker Heintz, was recently diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer. He has been in and out of the hospital and battling the beast. He has a great support group but has been struggling to embrace the support and love being sent his way. If you have had cancer or been close to someone with cancer you know that fear, anger, sadness and stubbornness can get in the way of accepting the love that is being sent your way. This can be so frustrating to those that are trying to lend their love and support but I want to encourage friends, family, acquaintances to never give up. Everyone’s cancer journey is different and sometimes it changes from moment to moment but know that your love and support is so appreciated by the person battling. They just might not be able to let you know. I’d like to ask all of my supporters to send a prayer or positive thought to Tucker. Last week he ended up in the ICU and then on Thursday he started a new chemo drug. He could use all of our positive healing energy. If you would like to know more about his journey you can check out his website at Help the Tuck.
August 9th a group of awesome kids will be paddling to support Omar Ibarra, a 12 year old boy who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in June 2013 and Kids Helping Kids, a local non profit entirely run by San Marcos High Students.
This year Madison will be paddling. She has raised $575 so far. She left this morning at 8:45 am in the rain to go paddle with her dad and friends to train for the paddle. She didn’t even complain. Love that! If you are able to spare a few bucks and support this cause we would be so grateful. They try to have everything sponsored so all funds raised can go directly to the recipients. It is quite easy to donate, just click on this link and it will take you right to her fundraising page: Madison’s Keiki Paddle Fundraising Page. This amazing group is an offshoot of the Friendship Paddle that brought our family so much support and love. You can learn more about the Keiki Paddle by clicking on this link: Keiki Paddle. I will of course post pictures after the event.
HEATHER TANGER BLACK
My friend Heather recently passed after battling cancer for many years. Her celebration of life will be held this evening. She was a beautiful soul and so full of vibrance. She fought in her own way till the very end because that is just who Heather was. She was a friend to many, a daughter, a wife and an amazing mother. I truly believe you can tell how extraordinary a person is when you look around to their community and the love they are surrounded by and you wouldn’t believe the amazing people Heather had in her life. I only recently got to know Heather and feel so lucky to have been blessed to have her in my life. She was and still is such an inspiration to me as I tread along my cancer journey. I felt a deep connection with her immediately. She sent me the longest, most profound, true to life messages that literally made me stop and think. I remember going back and forth with her about my diet and how I felt so bad that I had cocktails and some dessert. I was kicking myself thinking I totally screwed up and the cancer was now multiplying. She brought me right back to reality. She will be missed by so many but will live on forever in the hearts of those that loved her. We lost a true angel but gained a guardian angel. Rest In Peace Heather.
HAVE HOPE, BE STRONG, LAUGH LOUD, LIVE AND PLAY HARD IN THE MOMENT, SMILE OFTEN BIG, REMEMBER YOU ARE LOVED, AND NEVER EVER GIVE UP
Hugs and Kisses,