Bending, Twisting, Moving.

This past saturday, nearly 50 women attended a 90-minute Zumba-thon to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).  As LLS’s honored winter hero I have had the privilege of meeting remarkable individuals who are deeply invested in finding a cure for Blood Cancer. Thank you to all the women that woke up early, checked their shame at the door, and let it all hang out!  This group raised $880 and had a great time doing it.

Because of you, because of your commitment, because of your dedication, one day we will find a cure.

But until then, we will bend, move, and twist

because we can

because we should

because we must.

Thank you for moving with me- I was in turn- deeply moved.

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Stupid Cancer Radio Show

Did you miss tonight’s episode of Stupid Cancer?

If so- not to worry! Check out the latest episode featuring yours truly, Hans Ruffer ( Young Adult Survivor of Stomach Cancer, Celebrity Chef, Next Food Network Star) and Matthew Farber, Director of the Economics and Public Policy Association of Community Cancer Centers.

To listen click here:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stupidcancershow/2011/11/15/stirring-up-trouble

I am featured around  the 11 minute mark.

Thank you Matthew Zachary, Lisa Bernhard and Kenny Kane for the opportunity.

Twist Out Cancer Announces a New Partnership With Noam Carver

TOC is pleased to announce a new partnership with uber-talented jewelry designer Noam Carver.

Noam Carver is a sculptor, designer and goldsmith whose jewelry unites classical and contemporary motifs from around the world with the majesty of regal adornment.

From concept through fabrication, each piece is meticulously hand-crafted with precious metals and rare, one-of-a-kind gemstones.

Noam’s designs have garnered numerous awards including MJSA, Canadian Jeweler, National Jeweler ”Best Of”, and the centurian emerging designer award.

Noam will be creating Twist Out Cancer pieces that will be available online in the next few months. In the meantime check out his website at www.noamcarver.com

On Track for a Cure

On Sunday October 9, 2011- over 400 survivors and their loved ones attended UCLA’s On Track for a Cure (www.ontrackforacure.org) at UCLA’s Drake Stadium to celebrate survivorship and the importance of living life in spite of Cancer.

On Track for a Cure was conceptualized and created by Dr. Pinter Brown and Dr. Timerman, two leading Lymphoma specialists that not only treat patients but are responsible for developing novel immuntherapeutic approaches for Lymphoma and other related Cancer’s at UCLa’s Medical Center. This event aimed and succeeded  in creating a sense of community amongst survivors and supporters, and helped to raise money and awareness for Lymphoma Research.

Following Dr. Pinter Brown and Dr. Timmerman’s keynote address, Michael C. Hall, star of the hit television show Dexter, led the survivors and their loved one’s in a victory lap around Drake Stadium.  Following the walk, Jesse Palter and the Alter Ego (www.palterego.com) graced the stage with incredible energy and talent.  I concluded the event by sharing my story and leading the group in the twist.

It was a day of celebration, and most importantly a day filled with hope.

It was a true privilege to be apart of this event and I look forward to continuing to support  the efforts of the talented UCLA staff and their inspirational community of survivors.

A special thanks to Steve Bartolucci and Jonny Imerman for connecting the dots and making this happen.

And to the Tiny Twisters- thank you for moving with me.

 

Michael C. Hall Leading the Pack!

 

 

Rockstar Survivor Kristin Brown

The Motley Crew- TJ, Adam Siegal, Jesse Palter and Sam Barsh

Twisting into my 3 month checkup

It’s been 3.5 months since my last treatment.

As a survivor I need to be checked by my oncologist Dr. Gordon every 3 months during the 1st two years of survivorship.

I woke up feeling a bit twisty- so I decided to twist it out.

Here’s to having nerves and moving with them, and  through them.

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2 feet, 2 legs, 2 worlds, 2 selves- 1 life.

So here we are- 11 weeks post- treatment, 8 weeks post-infection, 6 weeks post-reconnection with the outside world.

It feels great to be back-but I am not really back.
So where exactly am I? And who exactly is this?

I feel as if I am living in gumby’s over-stretched body.  I have one foot planted in the life that I used to lead, that is familiar, Cancer-free, routine, and safe.  The other foot is planted in a new life- that is unfamiliar, Cancerous, exciting, and frightening.

I am attempting to walk around with mismatched shoes and over-stretched limbs that are being yanked and pulled in opposing directions. I am working hard to get my feet and legs to communicate with one another-but they are both so oppinionated!

The leg and foot that exists in the life that I used to lead has decided to go on a sprint, exploring the roads that are familiar, routine, comfortable and committed to memory.  I run down these paths with a new found urgency and fear that one day I will be robbed of these memories, robbed of this space, robbed of this life.

And then there is the other leg and foot that is planted in this new territory, this new space, this new existance.  This world operates at a slower pace, is filled with new emotions, new feelings, new ideas and a new perspective.  All of my senses are magnified- I see and feel things differently.  I bruise more easily.

2 legs, 2 feet,  2 worlds, 2 selves, that are sprinting and walking in vehemently opposed directions.

How can I really be back, when I am headed in opposite directions? How can I really be back, when part of me is choosing to live in a time before Cancer? How can I really be back when the other part of me is trying to find my footing in a post- treatment world?

As I continue to try to live in both worlds, I am really living in neither.

As I work to find my footing, work to find my balance, work to integrate my 2 feet, my 2 legs, my 2 worlds, my 2 selves, I am still fighting Cancer.

What many do not understand is that while I may not be tied up- I am still fighting. While I may not be awaiting another round of treatment- I am still fighting. While I may not be bound to my bed, mal-nourished and exhausted-I am still fighting.

I fight every day to be here, to be present, to be alive.
I fight every day to live fully, live gratefully, and live mindfully.
I fight every day to hold on to the hope that Cancer will not return, will not reenter my body, will not reenter the life that I am trying to slowly, pragmatically and thoughtfully rebuild.

And perhaps it is that fear that is preventing me from taking these 2 feet, 2 legs, 2 worlds and 2 selves and integrating it into 1 life.