Learn more about our relay…

I apologize in advance if you follow both blogs…this will be a duplicate post.

I didn’t know much about the Relay For Life event and what it symbolizes before I joined. I just wanted to do something more because I’m sick of cancer.

When I read about it, I realized it’s actually pretty amazing and I wanted to share that here, as well as provide the link to the American Cancer Society so you can have the full story (click here).

Relays are anywhere from 6-24 hours in length. They are walked on a course or a track. At least one person from each team is always on the track, representing the ongoing fight against cancer. It starts with a survivor/fighter lap, then a caregiver lap, then the Relay begins. Teams have “campsites” around the track with activities, games, and refreshments that people can enjoy when they’re not walking. At sunset, the Luminarias are lit.

The above image is from the American Cancer Society website (link here). It’s a great, eye-opening visual of the event.

So, local peeps! I’d love it if you’d join us. So far, it’ll be me and Brad walking for 3 hours each, haha (our Relay is 6 hours). We’re going to have some fun stuff at our campsite so you’ll be entertained and well taken care of. It’ll be a great time for a great cause. Join us!!

Join More Than Ribbons (click here).

Relay for Life

So I’ve decided to do a thing and join my local Relay for Life event which is organized by the American Cancer Society. I’m going to work on some fancy and cool fundraising ideas over the next 150 some odd days until the event, so stay tuned!

And, of course, if you’d like to join the team and walk the walk, please do! The more the merrier. My team name for this event is “More Than Ribbons” because we ARE more than ribbons. We are more than cancer. We are people. We’re people who have dealt with or are dealing with more BS than anyone should ever have to experience. Join the team here.

I will be working on and sharing some fun ways to contribute to my fundraising goals, but if you feel like making a straight donation today, I won’t fight you on it. You can make a donation here.

The Relay for Life also has an awesome and beautiful way for you to support fighters and caregivers, honor survivors, and remember those we’ve lost. For $10, you can purchase a luminaria and include a personal message. I plan on purchasing several for those I know who have been affected in one way or another. You can get yours here.

So, the walk itself is April 26th at 6:00pm at Cane Bay High School in Summerville. Join the team so I can see you there!

More info to come, but I ask you, on this Giving Tuesday, to consider making a donation or purchasing a Luminaria.

Also, you can check back on the static blog page for More Than Ribbons for updated information (click here) AND you can also see the amazing logo I designed for the team!

xoxo

Lowcountry Race for the Cure

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This is what the 2018 Team Rack Attack looked like. Just a handful of us who joined up together today to do the Susan G. Komen Lowcountry Race for the Cure.

It was my first event. I would have loved to have participated last year, but I was chemo sick so it just wasn’t in the cards. But it’s all good because I got to do it this year and fundraise for a cause I support – hope for a world without breast cancer.

Team Rack Attack did so well with donations that we earned a tent with breakfast and treats for being within the top five. There were some yummy breakfast burritos and biscuits from Triangle Char & Bar, Starbucks coffee, and cupcakes from Cupcake Down South. So amazing of those sponsors to do all that. I wasn’t expecting any rewards for raising money, so it was a very cool surprise. We got to decorate our special little tent space, and that was fun. (It’s still not too late to donate, you can click the “Race for the Cure” menu tab and follow the instructions.)

We pinked ourselves out and had a great time. I’m looking forward to seeing what next year brings!

On a different note: I’m sick! I started feeling it on Wednesday last week – lots of sneezing and coughing up crud, also a sore throat. That stayed with me for the rest of the week until I woke up feeling horrible Friday. I managed okay today, but was exhausted. After the walk, I went home and napped, and when I woke up the sore throat and body aches were present. I’m hoping it’s just exhaustion from a super busy week, but I’m laying low and drinking tea the rest of tonight and tomorrow.

Why “Rack Attack”?

Some have asked about my team name for the 2018 Race for the Cure. First of all, I’m whacky, so you know I’m not going to have a normal team name.

Again, I consulted Google for names (because while I am whacky, I’m not very creative or original when it comes to naming stuff). So I found a bunch of silly names, some of which I will absolutely utilize in the future.

“Rack Attack” stood out because I was a 90s child! And what TV show was huge in the 90s? That’s right, Saved by the Bell. And what was the band name in Saved by the Bell? Zack Attack! So, it was obvious to me what I should choose for my first goofy team name.

Next year will be something different, as will the year after that, and so on.

If you want to walk with Team Rack Attack, or make a donation, or buy a t-shirt, click here! The t-shirt order will close around the first of September, but registrations and donations will be around longer!

Race for the Cure

I mentioned in a previous post that I’m putting a team together for the Lowcountry Race for the Cure. Here are the details:

Why am I racing for the cure? It’s one thing to wear pink ribbons and talk about supporting a cause. It’s another to do something about it. That’s why I decided to show that I’m More Than Pink™ by racing for the cure and raising funds in support of Komen’s vision of a world without breast cancer.

Saturday, September 22, 2018
7:00 Race Village Opens
8:30 Walk Begins

Location:

Riverfront Park
1061 Everglades Ave.
N. Charleston, SC  29405

To join Team Rack Attack or to make a donation, click here.

  • To register: when you click the above link to go to the website, you can choose “register” (pink button at the top) and then “join a team.” The team name is Rack Attack.

To purchase a shirt, click here.

  • I will be placing the shirt order around September 1st, so please place your order before then. The shirts will be delivered to me and I will distribute before or on race day.

Here is the graphic that will be on the back side of the t-shirt. The front will have the team name and date over the left breast pocket.

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Please consider sharing this with your friends and family so we can build our team and raise lots of money for breast cancer support and research!

Chemo Care Package Items

Someone asked if I’d share the list of items for the chemo care packages I am going to work on putting together. This is a rough list, but it contains things that gave me some relief, pleasure, etc. during my chemo treatment. I’m not sure that everything will make it in a donation bag since I’m not independently wealthy, so if anyone wants to donate any items, I would not say no! As I mentioned in a previous post, I plan to donate chemo care packages to chemo patients in the Charleston area.

Also, if you have a loved one going through chemo and want to gift them some items, this is a great starting point.

Chapstick (plain/unscented/unflavored) – My lips were dry and chapped through most of my treatment, even now. I say plain, unscented, and unflavored because smell and taste aversions are a real thing! I was ready to move out of the house when Brad cooked bacon one day, no joke.

Hand lotion (plain/unscented) – My hands peeled and got all crackly. Bonus points for a full body lotion! My entire body was flaky. Attractive, I know. Feet, too. Same scent rules apply.

Nail file (with a fine edge) – My nails got brittle (some chemo drugs cause nails to fall completely off, too), so having a nail file in my purse was a tiny little miracle.

Hand sanitizer (plain/unscented) – You know…germs and all that. Shouldn’t need to explain this one. Scent rules apply.

Biotin Mouth Rinse – This was nice to have. And Listerine (alcohol free). I got horrible cotton mouth, and sometimes I had the absolute worst taste in my mouth and thought I’d lose my mind.

Warm socks – Because who doesn’t like fluffy socks? I’d actually put fluffy socks on during chemo just so I could take off my sneakers and still protect my feet. I mean, you were sometimes spending the entire day there, might as well be comfortable.

Cup-a-Soup – There were days when I couldn’t eat or didn’t want to eat real food, so cup-a-soup was a nice alternative to plain broth. I could actually stomach it.

Tea (caffeine free) – A nice alternative to water. It was soothing for my throat when the dryness got to be too much.

Peppermints/Starlight Mints – Mints sometimes helped with the cotton mouth/bad mouth taste. It also helps during chemo when the nurses inject saline into your port…you can actually taste the saline in your mouth, oddly enough. So if you’re sucking on a peppermint, it masks that taste.

Puzzle book (word find, crossword, etc.) – Not only did puzzle books keep me busy during chemo, but they also helped work my brain while not at chemo. My oncologist actually told me to exercise my brain with crosswords, word finds, and stuff like that when I mentioned chemo brain to him once. So these are great.

Notepad – When chemo brain started affecting my memory, I started writing everything down! Whether it was notes to ask the doctor, a to-do list, or a shopping list, having a small notepad in my purse helped.

Pens/pencils – To use with the notepad and puzzle books, of course.

Deck of cards/card game/travel games – Brad and I played Phase 10 during my first chemo treatment. It was fun for me and him, and it kept our minds off what was happening, even if it was only for seconds at a time. So playing cards or travel games (smaller, portable versions of Checkers, Clue, Yahtzee, etc.) are a great addition to have on chemo day.

Adult coloring books – These are probably a take-it or leave-it for most folks. I liked my adult coloring books. I liked variety. I am an avid reader, I love to read, but I couldn’t focus enough (tired, chemo brain, etc.) to read books, so having lots of non-reading alternatives, was great. The adult coloring books just gave me one more activity to choose from.

Colored pencils/markers/crayons – For the adult coloring books. I went all out and bought myself this ridiculous package of 100+ gel, sparkly, metallic, and milky pen set. But seriously, a small set of colored pencils or crayons would do. I’m a little extra.

Bag to put it all in – The size bag depends on the quantity/size of the stuff you get. I had a few different tote bags, and I think totes were the best. And not necessarily anything fancy, like a reusable grocery bag style is perfect. I have one that had a breast cancer design, and another that says “Warrior.”

Refillable water bottle – Optional, since most people already have plenty of these. But I would get super thirsty while there and always brought a water bottle.

Blanket – Another optional item. I brought a blanket a few times, but often the clinics have them, too. So if you find a really nice one, I’m sure the recipient will love it. Otherwise, it’s not a big deal.

What not to gift…

Scented anything. Unless someone specifically requests something, I’d go with unscented everything. I was gifted a lotion that was plain, but it had a very distinct scent that made me so nauseated.

I would avoid food or snacks unless you’ve spoken to this person and they request something specific. Certain flavors and smells can be a total turnoff, even with beverages, so just be careful.

Books. I hate saying that because I LOVE BOOKS, but if anyone has the chemo brain concentration problem I had, books might be upsetting if they can’t read them. Again, if you’ve spoken to someone and they can read/want to read, gift them books!!

 

If I think of anything else, I’ll add them to the lists, but for now, this is a huge start. And please keep in mind, these are all based on my opinion, my experience, and everyone’s experiences are a little bit different. I’d like to say the items on the “do” list are pretty universal, but you never know. There are some people who may break out in hives at the sight of a crossword puzzle…

Post-Vacation Blues

I had a great time on vacation. Getting to spend some time with Brad without work and doctors and having to adult was wonderful.

I ate three burgers (one of the restaurants at the resort has the best burgers I’ve ever had in my life, no lie) over the course of the week. That’s about two more burgers than I’ve had so far this year. They’re so good. If you find yourself at Orange Lake Resort in Kissimmee, hit up Legacy Grill for a Smokehouse Burger. Ah-mazing.

I also ate way too much chips and salsa at Chuy’s, and let’s not forget the margaritas. Yum. I had bought Malibu rum because that’s sort of my go-to alcoholic beverage – I like it in Diet Coke or fruit juice. But I had a margarita at Chuy’s, then cheap margaritas at the resort during happy hour, and I fell in love. I think tequila does that to you. Well, I guess it’s a love/hate thing since tequila kicks some people’s butts.

I read, was totally lazy, and drove the cart while Brad golfed one day. It was a nice time.

So I’m home and this week is back to reality! I’m happy to be home with my pup, she missed us and we missed her. I think our best vacation ever was when we went to the Outer Banks and were able to take her with us. Pets deserve vacations, too.

I had an oncologist appointment this morning, got my Herceptin and Lupron. Nothing new to report there. Everything is “normal” there.

I’m returning to work today for real. I’ve got a few line therapy sessions this week, and I’m looking forward to that.

So I’m feeling good and healthy. I’ll be thankful when the rest of the soreness is gone. I’ll also be thankful when I can start exercising again and lose this ache I’ve got in my joints again. I hate that I went steps forward and then steps backward in regards to activity, but I know that extra strength I built up before surgery has helped me a lot over the last several weeks.

Being at the oncologist now is weird. I remember going and dreading what I knew was to follow. I don’t have that anymore, which is great – not complaining over here! It’s just weird because I’m in and out of there, and I used to see some of the same faces, but now there’s often new faces in various stages of treatment, and it’s weird. I want to say something, something motivating, because I was where they were, but I don’t know their story. I don’t know if they’ll be where I am now one day, or if their situation is more dire. So I don’t want to pull something straight off one of those top-ten-not-to-do lists for cancer patients. So I just keep to myself and smile.

But I want to do more. One day I was there and someone had put together little comfort packages and handed them out to all the chemo patients. I think I’m going to do something like that. Put together a list of things that truly gave me some comfort during my chemo and make little care packages to hand out. There are other, grander things I’d like to do, but for now this might just do. Little things mean a lot, at least they did to me. So maybe these care packages will brighten someone’s day.