Self determination

Pink Ink…

Editor’s note: This is a repost from today’s

Heart Walk 2013 finish line

Heart Walk 2013 finish line

Heart Month has come and gone! Did it impact you in any way?  What did YOU do to challenge yourself or others to be heart healthy?  It was a tough month, but I made it!

My goal, as motivated by Star Jones, was to do 28 days of fitness!  I mapped out my plan, got a calendar, some weights, saw a trainer and got to work.  It was harder than I expected!  Who wants to exercise for 28 days straight?  Not me!  But I was determined to try.  If Stuart Scott could work out right after chemo, I could at least try!  It got a little complicated when I started getting transfusions…often!  But despite a February of 6 transfusions, and 3 chemo treatments, I finished!

I completed 24 of 28 days of exercise!

It may not seem like a lot, but it required commitment and determination.  There were days that I lifted light weights before being hooked up to a machine.  Other days when I rolled out of bed, walked, then, rolled right back into bed!

Why did I do it?

  • Most times, I felt better after exercising.  Isn’t that what all the doctors tell you will happen?
  • I have metastasized cancer in my lungs.  I need to increase my “lung strength” through exercise.
  • I wanted to set a good example for my daughter, and prove to myself that I could do it.
  • Heart disease KILLS!

The best thing to come out of this, is that I continue to exercise!  However,  I have scaled back my ambition.  I now work toward 5 days a week of exercise. That is still tough!  But the doctors say that is a good goal and possible to maintain.

Just because Heart Month is officially over, doesn’t mean you should go back to old habits!  The 1st part of this month had me in the hospital 3x in 1 week getting transfusions. I was worn out! Over it!  But, this weekend I participated in the local Heart Walk! Determination!  It was great to see FAMILIES walking together. My daughter is in her 3rd week of trying to be a vegetarian! A 10 year old who is willing, albeit begrudgingly, to try new veggies! I couldn’t be happier!

What else can you do?

If you are in the Phoenix area, join me and other Go Red Ambassadors at the 2013 Red Dress Cocktail Party on April 3, 2013.  Check out  for more details.

Not in Arizona? No problem! Contact your local American Heart Association and help us continue to educate others about heart disease.

Or, just eat right, and work out! You can do it!

Remember, it’s an exercise in…SELF determination!

Best medicine

Pink ink…


Two girls from different parts of the country head off to the same college. They instantly connect, and promptly try to kick another girl out of her room so they could take it over, and then be roomies. (who DOES that?)  Over the next 20 years they pledge the same sorority, have adventures, fight, make up, share crazy stories, and jokes.  Turns out, the joke’s on them. They also share…breast cancer! (sick joke)


I’m back!

It’s been almost a month.  In the last 72 hours I have gotten several calls, and texts from people saying “Where are you”, “Are you ok” “You haven’t posted in a while” etc.  But it took a call from AC that made me realize I had indeed fallen off for a while.  You see, it has been a helluva month!  In fact, too much to really recount.  Here are the medical highlights.

  • I only have 1 in 4 weeks off from chemo. The actual treatment remains pretty consistent, with few complications while receiving the drugs.
  • BUT, I get transfusions anywhere from 1-3 times a week.  The docs have changed my prescription for chemo yet again, because it continues to affect my platelet count…resulting in transfusions. One of the worst side effects is “drunk talk” when I can’t match my words to what is coming out of my mouth, and the dizziness that comes with “low blood”.  The 1st week of March I spent 3 days in the hospital trying to refill my body with platelets and blood. Worst. Week. Ever.



  • I’ve been in chemo for 4 months. No end in sight for chemo.
  • No. End. In. Sight.

Despite it all, I try and power on. I try and keep up all my activities, keep up with my Bs, not complain.  I try not to constantly download on Red Ink or my family…because they have their own stuff!  Most times, that is easy to do.  After all, I am still alive.  I’ve got hair! I can still do stuff…when I am not at the hospital.

But when I got that call from my former roomie who also has breast cancer and her own issues, it was like I could download it all in a way to someone whose reaction wouldn’t be to “feel sorry” for me.  We could make jokes about our crooked, jacked up boobs.  We could share jokes about folks who “still don’t get it”. We could joke about the ridiculous weight that we are gaining thanks to the meds etc.

Side note: I gained 8 pounds in 10 days!  I burst into tears when I stepped on the scale at the doctor! WTH?!  I learned it is due to the chemo and the STEROIDS that accompany my transfusions. Could they have told me that? Not that it would have helped.  Talk about a CRUEL joke!  Ironic, since the same girl we tried to kick out of the dorm room once called my mom and said she thought I was anorexic. (Umm, black girls aren’t anorexic…at least not last century! LOL)  It is a cruel joke that the thing I almost hate the most right now, (other than my lack of control over my schedule) is that I am turning into a fat girl, with flabby arms.  Is there no end to breast cancer fallout?  I am working out, eating right, and have wine only on rare occasions!  This is cancerrealtalk! Gaining weight sucks!  Yes, it’s vain! I’m not asking for sympathy.  Just sharing my reality. #CANCERREALTALK  (Yeah, still doing the bikini. It was 90 degrees & I wasn’t at Mayo! Don’t judge me! HA!)

Flabby belly & thigh! #cancerealtalk

Flabby belly & thigh! #cancerealtalk

But back to our convo.  We talked a little over an hour.  We questioned in a serious way, how we ended up in the Cancer Lane. (Was it stress? Earlier life issues? Environmental?) In a way, it was also sad.  I desperately want the two of us to get together.  Because of our medical restrictions…and the fact that we are 2000 miles apart, planning is a little difficult.  Until then, we will continue to LAUGH and virtually walk this journey together.  Thanks AC!  Good times!

Another episode of “Is this a joke?”


Aesthetician: (trying to wax my eyebrows) This is so hard! Your hair is so fine.  That is so weird, since your hair on your head is so COARSE! So I’m going to get in there.

Me: (Crickets)


Are you serious?  The last thing my hair could be described as right now, is coarse. This was the 1st and last time I will use her!


Well-meaning “friend” at a gala this weekend: “I just want to say, you look great!  It really seems like you are holding…even GAINING weight! (pointing to my stomach)

Me: (squinting eyes) Umm, thanks! You’re kind…


This is my life!  And I’m still living it.  I’ve got a lot to share.  So stay tuned.  And if you have a good joke you want to share, please do. (Thanks TM for your Chemo Monday jokes!)

After all, laughter is the…best medicine!