One to Watch

It was New Years Eve, 2010.

I was fragile, frightened and overwhelmed.

You were strong, vivacious, and optimistic.

You told me that this was the hard part, and assured me that once I got passed the information collection stage, I would be out of the eye of the storm.

You assured me that the chaos would eventually calm, and that the newness of it all would eventually quiet. The pricks, the pokes, the hours of continuous chemotherapy-  and the aftermath of it all-would eventually become routine.

This was my new normal.

As the months wore on, and I started to adjust to my new reality- you kept your promise. You continued to hold my hand, continued to navigate the system, and continued to protect me as I continued to head into battle.

You were my shield of protection during the fight of my life.

You were there when I was first hooked up-and you were there to celebrate when I was eventually set free.

You connected me with Ethan, you introduced me to your world, and you accepted me into the community that you had built with your own hands.

Jonny not only are you changing the face of cancer- but you are creating a safe place-a critical space-for those of us living in a new normal.

You are so deserving of this award.

May you continue to go from strength to strength.

To learn more about Jonny Imerman and Imerman Angels go to CNN Heroes.

1500 Tiny Twisters- Start a Commotion!

This past Sunday, I had the honor and privilege of sharing my story and leading 1500 survivors and supporters in the twist. The Lymphoma Research Foundation had their 10th annual walk which raises money and awareness about Lymphoma.

The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) is the nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted exclusively to funding innovative lymphoma research and providing people with lymphoma and healthcare professionals with up-to-date information about this type of cancer. LRF’s mission is to eradicate lymphoma and serve those touched by this disease.

LRF assists members of the lymphoma community by providing comprehensive, disease-specific programs and services to more than 35,000 people each year, including:

  • Clinical Trials Information Service
  • Disease-Specific Publications and Websites
  • In-person Workshops and Educational Forums
  • Lymphoma Helpline
  • Lymphoma Support Network
  • Online Resources, Teleconferences and Webcasts/Podcasts
  • Patient Aid Grants
  • Professional Education
  • Public Policy and Advocacy
  • Volunteer Chapter Network

In the last 10 years, LRF’s Chicago based “Lymphomathons”- are not only the largest and most highly attended in the country- but they have raised upwards of 3 million dollars!

It was a pleasure to be able to be a part of this event. There is nothing quite like seeing a sea of survivors and supporters- twisting out cancer.

 

 

Carrying Tom.

We met over a year ago.

I was cycling in place- finishing treatment, waiting to be untied-unhooked- let go.

I held my hopes and dreams tight-I visualized myself on that lakefront path- and I was brimming with excitement to reenter the world.

As I was getting ready to break free-you were getting ready to let go.

With cancer as the common denominator our paths crossed, our lives intersected, and I am now gratefully surrounded by your wisdom, your spirit, your spark.

Yesterday at my three month checkup, I carried you with me.

Leading up to this day of truth, this day of anticipation, this day of black and white, you comforted me and reminded me that it is not about tomorrow but today.

I carried you through the 2 weeks worth of sleepless nights, improvisational dancing, mindless tv, and countless other methods of distraction.

You helped prevent my thoughts from steering negative, and you reminded me that my friends and loved ones are the reason I am and will always be.

If the doctors were right- ( and I hope they weren’t right) -you may no longer be physically with us.  But what I know for certain, is that the connections you made- in your short 33 years-  will live on in our hearts and minds in the days to come. You are part of the cocoon that protects and surrounds me, and I promise to carry you with me today, tomorrow and always.

As the days pass- as I grow stronger- and as I continue to gratefully receive clean bills of health,- I am reminded of Dear Tom.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jenna-benn/dear-tom_b_937200.html