Well there’s nothing like posting about your aggressive cancer diagnosis and then leaving people hanging for 2 years, right?! When I checked the blog after being MIA for a long while I noticed how many views the blog posts are still receiving and I was shocked! My thoughts then immediately transitioned to thinking how many people probably thought I passed away when my posts didn’t continue.. oops.
HOWEVER, I am SO happy to report that I am alive and well, and NED (no evidence of disease) currently going on 2 1/2 years CANCER FREE! A lot has happened in two years and I’m grateful to say the majority of it has been positive unlike the preceding years.
Although I had hoped to being doing scans every 6 months by now, my oncologist at MD Anderson in Houston has only approved me ‘graduating’ from every 3 months to every 4 months since my cancer metastasized and the stage I was considered when diagnosed. Even though it’s a baby step, even baby steps are huge wins when it comes to aggressive disease. Stable or improvement- that’s the goal.
Because of another new recent change, I had my last scans at MD Anderson this past spring. I didn’t know that at the time, but my husband and I had to change insurance companies when he changed careers. My local oncologist and cancer center is still covered, but unfortunately they do not cover my Houston team. Of course I believe God has his hand in this impeccable timing like everything else and although I didn’t see that at first, with time I realized the peace I felt in an otherwise stressful transition. Since I am doing so well, my MDA oncologist approved me continuing my scan protocol with my local team and reaching out if anything occurs that I would need to come back for.
As far as that career change, Andy has finally opened his dream business with his friend and business friend, Nick. They opened Rent Eboards Charlotte this August in the rapidly growing Camp Northend and have been incredibly busy ever since with rentals, sales, and service for personal electric vehicles like Onewheels, Escooters, Ebikes, Eboards and more. He has supported me since I met him now almost over 10 years ago, and I’m more than happy to now be able to support him while they embark on this amazing adventure.
One of the most common follow up questions I still receive is if I am still on the COC protocol and how it’s going. Yes, I am still on it! Yes, it is still going well! I do have to be honest and admit I am not always 100% about taking every single pill or doing the regimen perfectly every day. It’s something I intend to be much better about because I know how important it is, but I think sometimes I just get tired of taking so many pills every single day and having to perfectly time my food, water, and caffeine intake. I know the alternative is much worse, so again, it’s something I’m trying to improve on as I fully believe it’s worth it and a major reason I’m stable. With so many herbal supplements I swear by and the COC meds, it can just be a lot sometimes. I recommend COC to every cancer warrior I know and we have seen good results so far in our Clear Cell Sarcoma Family Facebook group. To schedule a free call and receive more information on how to get started, visit https://careoncology.com/. I am not paid or supported (or given free pills- boooo) for providing this info, I just stand by it that much.
Another question I receive a lot is what my complete list of supplements is. I have emailed the same list to so many fellow warriors and I figured I should share the information here as well so more warriors (and non warriors!) can start building their healing arsenal.
Highest CBD available– The Hemp Doctor, Liposomal Vit C– most popular on Amazon, Juice plus trio blend + plant based omegas– juiceplus, Vit D– most popular on Amazon, Visbiome probiotic– Visbiome online, Black Seed Oil– most popular on Amazon, Curcumin– most popular on Amazon, my COC protocol is comprised of Metformin, Statin, and alternating months of Doxycycline and Mebendazole *each COC protocol is personalized to the specific patient and you should only receive these medications under proper medical supervision with regular blood labs*. I would love to feel motivated enough to add exact links and photos, but alas I do not. It took everything in me to bold those words so I hope this can be helpful enough for now. I’m sure you can understand the amount of picture saving, inputting and hyperlinking that takes.
Another life update would be how I have become completely obsessed with Onewheeling and have now competed in events, something I haven’t done since I was in highschool (Competing that is, I wish they had Onewheels then). What started as a physical challenge to just see if I could even do it with my healing, reconstructed foot turned into the most thrilling and beneficial hobby I’ve ever had. Gardening, creating art, metalsmithing- all of those things bring me great joy- but there has been something so incredible about what Onewheel has done for me. It helped me gain so much physical and mental confidence again, it connected me with many incredible people all over the country, and has led me to challenging myself in new ways and getting over my fears with competing. I never thought I would even walk normal again let alone ride a board with a single wheel flying down mountain biking trails at 20mph in the most breathtaking areas of the country, but here I am!
I am still doing real estate brokerage in the Carolinas. Among every other challenge cancer throws your way, building your business back after a throttling diagnosis was certainly one of them. I had to sit by looking at half of my foot, living in pain for months with no income while I saw clients use another broker. Could I blame them? Absolutely not. Did it hurt? Absolutely. To this day, I see the occasional client from years ago go with a ‘big time-real estate-is-life’ broker and it still stings, but I’ve made peace with it. After my diagnosis, my idea of success has been very different. I realized I didn’t want to work 24/7, have the newest land rover, and sell my soul to be a top agent anymore. Now I still serve incredible clients and have even been promoted in my company to being a business development manager for multiple areas, but my priorities have shifted. I have boundaries now. I don’t work 10+ hour days every day. I do not subscribe to the hustle. A huge limiting belief we can tell ourselves is that going 110% is what’s necessary to be great, and I’m here to tell you it certainly is not nor is it worth it. Work did not comfort me in the hospital, my family I didn’t spend enough time with did. My clients did not pick me up when I was down (well some of the amazing ones DID), my closest friends who I put work before did. The awareness I’ve received from the many struggles cancer has thrown my way is one of my biggest blessings. I’m glad that my perspective has changed for the better on so many things, even when it’s not what society approves of.
I think that’s it for major updates. Still on the meds, still trying to live life, still doing scans, still working but with boundaries, fell in love with a new hobby, opened business for said hobby and still trying to continue healing in every way. One of my favorite mantras I’ve recited to myself throughout this whole journey is ‘healed and healing’. I swear to you it was whispered to me when I was crying from pain on one of my worst days and I haven’t forgotten it since. Already healed, always still healing even more. Maybe I will share another blog post soon, maybe it will be another 2 years, but please know even if I pass one day due to cancer, it has given me much more than it has ever tried to take from me. For that, I am eternally thankful.