I'm most importantly a daughter, sister, aunt and dependable friend to many. I practice law as a vocation and yoga as an avocation. I'm deeply committed to helping people, as a lawyer and as a yoga instructor. I'm a two-time cancer survivor -- beating breast cancer diagnosed in October 2005 and uterine cancer diagnosed in August 2010. I'm just another ordinary person living an ordinary life, one day at a time.
I made an appointment with my gynecologist, who saw me in late July 2010. She was alarmed by the gigantic mass she saw during my physical exam. That discovery started a three-week regimen of daily tests, inside and outside of MD Anderson, as doctors worked diligently to determine if my breast cancer had metastasized or if something else was wrong with me.
Finally, MD Anderson determined my gynecology surgeon should remove the mass growing inside me and further tests would follow.
When my surgeon shared the lab results with me post-surgery, he was crying. I was too shocked for that as I listened to him explain to me I was in serious trouble. He asked if I had any personal connections at MD Anderson. I reminded him that I was already a patient there and could contact my breast cancer oncologist.
He suggested gently that this was so serious that I really needed to have a personal contact with someone in the gynecological oncology department. Glassy-eyed but already in fight mode, I took out my phone and started emailing all of my contacts in the "gyn-onc" department at MD Anderson -- friends I had made through my work with Sprint for Life.
Within 15 minutes of my emails, the MD Anderson doctor who is one of the founders of Sprint for Life and also now a dear friend, called my cell phone, which I handed to my surgeon. They talked and agreed on an immediate plan of action for me at MD Anderson.
This amazing MD Anderson doctor I met through Sprint for Life became my primary care oncologist, as I was treated for the next 10 months for endometrial/uterine cancer. The details are not important. My treatment was rigorous and really tough at times.
But, I knew I would survive.
I was in good hands at MD Anderson. I also took charge of my own care. I exercised every day. I walked, though sometimes I had to stop several times each mile. I did yoga, though some days I just sat on my mat and breathed. And eventually, I made my way back to cross-fit even as I was getting treated daily for my cancer.
My days were filled with treatments, exercise, rest and gratitude. I even managed to volunteer and assist with the 2011 Sprint for Life -- another amazingly successful event.
Wouldn't have known
Had I not said yes when called upon to volunteer for an event to help survivors of a cancer I knew nothing about, I would not have known who to call for help two years later when I would begin a journey that has changed my life.
I had no idea when I got that call that more would be revealed, or that I was just in the middle of the chapter of the book that is my life. But today, I know that everything happens for a reason and my story -- or at least this chapter of my story -- had a really happy ending.
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