Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year's Resolution: Kick Cancer to the Curb

Together, let's join in the fight to kick cancer to the curb! CURES ROCK! Resolve to be a warrior, and make your resolutions to fight cancer now. Here are 9 resolutions for the year '09:

1. Eat right. Add anti-cancer foods to your diets (yup, the broccoli and cauliflower you love so much...ha ha). And, as much as it pains me to write this being the self-confessed steak-lover that I am, cut back on red meat! The LIVESTRONG web site has awesome nutrition information and least check it out by going to:

2. Stop smoking...or never start. I don't think I even have to begin to explain how much this will help your running and reduce your health risk. Take the LIVESTRONG "Dare to" Quit Smoking:

3. Reduce your stress. There is a 100% chance that living will kill you (I know, a shocking statistic), so live each day to the best of your ability. Learn to let go of the "outcomes." Take a chill pill. MEDITATE. EXERCISE. The summer season of "Team in Training" is starting up soon. Join a local team, raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and get some of the best coaching around in exchange. It doesn't matter if you haven't walked 1 mile in your life; there are walk, run, hike and bike teams for every level. For more info, go to:

4. Know your family medical history. If you don't know it, resolve to learn about it, ask questions and pass on what you learn to your family. Early detection can save your life or the life of a loved one.

5. Get examined. I understand that ya'll hate doctor visits and probably drag your feet on this one. You think that "you" won't get cancer because you're too fill-in-the-blank (young/old/smart/healthy/tough). It happens to "other people." Yeah...uh...I thought the same thing to, and that didn't quite work out according to my plan when I heard the words, "You have cancer" in 2006. Have a mammogram, a prostrate exam, get a colonoscopy, have your skin examined. I'm guessing you probably just cringed at all those words, but stop being a big baby and be a warrior! I can tell you this --- what you don't know CAN hurt you.

6. Join an advocacy group. Nobody should fight alone. Join your local LIVESTRONG Army. For more info, go to the San Diego LIVESTRONG Army web site by clicking here.

7. Let your voice be heard. Write to congress. Write to the new president. DEMAND that they make cancer a national priority. IT DOES MATTER. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. The L&L Society's "Toolbox for Advocates" is a great resource.

8. Laugh every day. A recent study published by Harvard Medical School and UCSD showed that HAPPINESS IS CONTAGIOUS. Social networks affect mood --- Happiness is a good virus, and your happiness affects the mood of someone you've never met. Now, go read this news story, and let your beautiful smile, laughter and spirit SHINE ON in '09!

9. Give back. There is nothing better than the feeling of giving back. There are some great organizations doing great work to fight cancer and support patients and their families. Many of you are already heroes because of your involvement with TNT. Have your family and friends check out these organizations, and volunteer or donate while they are there:
The Lance Armstrong Foundation:
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society:
Stand Up to Cancer:

Sunday, December 28, 2008

TNT Run Update - 4 Weeks to go!!!

(Pic: TNT Run Team - Winter Season 2008)
First and foremost, I would like to thank all of you that have so generously donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Lance Armstrong Foundation this year. Your commitment to the cause of making cancer a national priority and finding a cure is incredible. I am honored to know each of you, and even more honored that you take the time to read my blog and reach out with your support, whether monitarily, cheerleading, volunteering, etc. Our team has raised over $120,000 so far, and we plan on hitting our goal of $130,000 by the end of our season! This is only possible because of your BIG hearts. THANK YOU!
As you all know, I have been training with "Team in Training" for another full marathon (yup, all 26 miles...and don't forget the .2 miles at the end!), in order to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The San Diego Run Team is enthusiastic, motivated and has truly accomplished so much this season. On Dec 2oth, most of the team ran 20 miles...the longest in their lives...which was so exciting. In one week, the rest of the team faces their 20 miler before the "back down" period that preceeds a marathon. As for myself, I'm still working through pain due to an ankle injury, so I've been out the last month from running. I started back in with short runs this week, but it looks like I'll have to rethink my full marathon (26.2 miles) into a half marathon race (13.1 miles). Still a very respectable distance, but my heart was set on the longer race. "Patience, grasshopper." I am trying to remind myself to focus on this amazing journey, and not the outcome of a race. For now, I'm still planning on racing at the Carlsbad Marathon (or Half Marathon) on January 25th, and you are all invited to join the crowds in cheering on our team.
I am also getting geared up for the annual "Team Julie" reunion season for TNT summer season. That's right! Mike and I will be back raising funds and running together for the 2nd year in the row (ok, he runs about 2 hours ahead of me, but you get the point). If you missed the Women's Running magazine article, Mike and I were both this link. We'll carry on this annual tradition by running the Rock 'N' Roll San Diego Marathon (May 30th) this year to raise funds for a great Cause -- and I'm doing a double-header by following that up with the inaugural Rock 'N' Roll Seattle Marathon one month later (June 27th)!! I will keep pounding the pavement until we have that cure for blood cancers (and all cancers). GO TEAM!

Friday, December 26, 2008

TNT Running Update

A few of you have asked for a running update. I know I've been a little remiss in my Team in Training (TNT) updates through my blog. You can always check out the right side of my blog, and you'll see my "mini Twitter posts" for when I just don't have more than 160 characters to say (which I realize for me is a small miracle...). Also, don't forget to follow "livestrong_sd" on Twitter, as it's our local San Diego LIVESTRONG Army update.
This season for Team in Training has been awesome....and frustrating...and challenging...and amazing... so many things rolled into one. The two things that always provide me with the motivation to lace up those running shoes for a loonnngggg run are the following:
1. Finding a Cure for Cancer:
My number one goal is to raise as much money as possible for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This year, I've raised over $11,000 for LLS across seasons, and our San Diego team has already raised $120,000 this quarter, with a goal of $130,000!!!
2. The TNT Team:
It's the Team that motivates me. Where else to you meet a group of people dedicated to a good cause. They wake up at o-dark-thirty on Saturday mornings (for months) in order to do long runs in preparation for a full or half marathon...not to mention the endless mid-week runs. They raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society while they are training. Some have no personal connections to cancers, and others are survivors like me, or caregivers. No matter what, they seem to always bring their smiles and amazing spirits out there to pound the pavement for a cure. I am inspired by them, and it is their spirit and stories that make me try even harder.
TNT Update: Our San Diego TNT Run team is almost ready for our January marathons, which include the Disney World Marathon, Arizona Rock 'N' Roll Marathon and the Carlsbad Marathon. It's been quite a journey these past few months...sweat...laughter...injuries...great days...tough days... you name it. In August, many of us were strangers, and now we're about to complete some major life milestones together. I just think that ROCKS! I know that just like in my last marathon, I'll be equally touched during my race when I see so many "purple power" teammates out there. I am truly blessed to know that they have raised so much money for leukemia & lymphoma research. They are heroes. I have 4 more weeks to go until my 2nd full marathon --- the Carlsbad Marathon in northern San Diego County, CA. Yup...a full 26.2 miles of sweat and can bet I'll earn every dollar that you have all donated in support of this Mission. You are all welcome to come to the race and cheer. Just leave a "comment" to this post, and I'll contact you with the details of the "Cures Rock!" cheering squad for the San Diego TNT Run Team!
Thank you for all being a part of the process in finding a cure and supporting patients with blood cancers. Someday, when we do find a cure for blood cancers (and all cancers), you will know that you played a role in that discovery. CURES ROCK!!!
(Pic, L to R): Ensley, Julie & Captain Pattie at the TNT Fletcher's Cove 18-mile run.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Global Iniative Video & LIVESTRONG Day Announced!

Cures Rock! -- and, as the Leader of the LIVESTRONG Army of San Diego, the local Army and I will be making sure the world knows it as the LIVESTRONG initiative goes global. Check out the recent 3 min YouTube video on the Global Initiative of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I connected with one of the first international army leaders today...Sandy...who is starting up the first LIVESTRONG Army "Down Under" (that's Australia to most of you). And, I can't forget the trooper, Henrike, in Germany, who continues to inspire me (Hi, Henrike!). We had the last LIVESTRONG Army Leader call of 2008 this past week, and it turned into an amazing recap of all the wonderful work that has been accomplished this past year. We'll post an article on the San Diego LIVESTRONG Army web site later this week.

For now...mark your calendars! LIVESTRONG Day of 2009 has been announced! It will be held on October 2, 2009. For more information, see the blog post at the LIVESTRONG web site. 10//2 is the date that Lance Armstrong was first diagnosed with cancer -- and the date he says he finally started to "live." The day started years ago as the LAF’s effort to influence public policy in Washington, D.C. by bringing advocates from across the country to our nation’s capitol. We'll celebrate it together, as we work to make cancer a National Priority and help change the stigma of this disease around the world!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Music for Cancer Treatments

I have been asked often what kind of music I listened to during my treatments, and if I chose to use mental imagery while getting "poisoned" -- errr -- I mean, "treated" with chemotherapy. Personally, meditation is my pain and chemo drug of choice, and call it what you will. Finding a way to silence your inner demons, finding balance in chaos, having faith that transcends any circumstance and seeing the humor in life is pretty critical. I can assure you that it's much easier said than done, so I did find that utilizing images and music certainly helped. No...I did not use a picture of a cute, baby koala (although I have a link to ZooBorns on my blog if that does it for you). Instead, I looked through sales catalogs of yachts. Afterall, the $9 million yacht pictured in the catalog was cheaper than the $25 million beach home I had my eye on after my recovery, so it was a steal in comparison. LOL. Hey -- you know --- one can dream up anything to get through sitting in a room with freezing saline and chemo surging through your body. Some choose baby zoo animal pictures, and I happened to choose the idea of sailing to a remote island, and sipping drinks with colorful, little umbrellas in them. Which, now leads me to my choice in music for my cancer treatments. Some of my favorite music during treatments was Bob Marley (especially "Everythings Going to be Alright"), Jack Johnson and Israel “Izzy” Kamakawiwoole. Trust me, you'll be picturing that green or red “chemo” dripping through your IV as a tropical, *magical* elixir to get well in no time.

My iPod was a lifeline of sorts during treatments. It is also why one of the latest blogs on the Lance Armstrong Foundation's (LAF) web site completely intrigued me. Using Twitter, the online social network tool, LAF asked their LIVESTRONG fans what their favorite music was during treatment...and the list was great to review. If you are going through treatment, I encourage you to visit the blog post to see what your fellow cancer warriors used as "power songs" to get them through their battles: Listen --- and LIVESTRONG!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

LIVESTRONG: End of Year Video

Take 3 mins. Watch the End of Year video for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The Lance Armstrong Foundation unites people to fight cancer believing that unity is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything.

Three Ways to Give: Thanks to generous supporters like you, 2008 has been an amazing year. The LAF has even more exciting plans for 2009. So please watch the video and consider giving to the LAF this holiday season by making a donation, using their discount code to shop at the LAF store (watch video to get it!) or by forwarding this video to family and friends. Watch the video.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Running Magazine Article on "Team Julie" & Team in Training

The inaugural issue of Women's Running Magazine, formerly Her Sport Fitness, has a great article called, "Run for a Good Cause" by Jen Murphy in their new January issue. As part of an awesome highlight on the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training (TNT) Program, the "Team Julie" story was mentioned. Pick up a copy of this magazine at your local fitness store, and read about all the great charity running programs out there. Since I know you may not subscribe yet, click here for the full (.pdf) article. I'm currently involved with Team in Training for my 2nd season as a Mentor, and I'm training for my 2nd marathon --- the Carlsbad Marathon in January 2009. I also am planning on mentoring for the '09 Summer Season of TNT to train for the double-header marathons of the Rock N Roll San Diego Marathon and the Rock N Roll Seattle Marathon.

It has been an incredibly rewarding experience and an honor, to meet and run with an extraordinary team of people who are running for a great Cause --- fighting to find a cure for blood cancer. Our current TNT San Diego/Hawaii Chapter Run Team (Winter Season) has already raised over $110,000 for the LLS Mission, and we're not done yet! Click here if you'd like to find out more about TNT, and make a difference by donating to my TNT fundraising account (or use the link on my blog). CURES ROCK!
(P.S. Click on the pics for a larger size.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Captain Cure Premiere

Ask and you shall receive. Here are photos from the Captain Cure Premiere in Ty's hometown, which was also coordinated with the local LiveStrong Army. Yes, happy readers, we'll be having a premiere party in Southern California in the beginning of 2009. It's one thing to see the concept's another to see the final comic book. They rock.

"Though there is no cure - LOVE, HOPE AND FAITH ALWAYS PREVAIL." ~ Captain Cure & MetRex, Captain Cure Comic Book

Pic #1: Ty, the artist, standing between the characters, MetRex and Captain Cure
Pic #2: Girl coloring Captain Cure sheets

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Redemption Song

"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; None but ourselves can free our minds."

~ Bob Marley

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Shine on, super-stars!

A recent study by Harvard Medical School and UCSD shows that HAPPINESS IS CONTAGIOUS. (Social networks affect mood.) Which means, happiness is a good virus, and your happiness affects the mood of someone you've never met. Now, go read the story, and let your beautiful smile, happiness and spirit SHINE ON!

Feel like spreading a cheerful spirit through color? Pantone, which provides color standards to design industries, picked "mimosa," a vibrant shade of yellow illustrated by the flowers of some mimosa trees (as well as the brunch-favorite cocktail), as its top shade of the new year. It believes the public will embrace optimistic colors of yellow in 2009. Read all about it in Yahoo News.

Color yellow is a great way to add a dose of sunny optimism to our nation and to let our spirits shine. Wear yellow to show your support in standing up in the fight against cancer and making cancer a national priority. This holiday season, Give 100%.

You can also sign up for our San Diego LIVESTRONG Army. Our Registration Drive has been extended to December 17th. Register at: (Note: Select the "SAN DIEGO" Army in the drop-down list.) Read more in my November 30th blog post.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Curing All Blood Disorders - World Aids Day

Today is World Aids Day. It has me mindful about our need to cure all blood-related disorders, like leukemia and HIV/AIDS. It's always been on my mind that perhaps a cure for one, would open up research to find the cure for the other. I stumbled across this article in the Wall Street Journal from earlier this month, regarding a doctor, a mutation...and a potential cure for Aids: In short, a bone marrow transplant that was meant to treat a patient's leukemia, also gave him virus-resistant cells. The patient is still recovering from his leukemia therapy, but he appears to have won his battle with AIDS. And sure, while this could just be one of those once-in-a-million cures that isn't viable beyond theory, as the WSJ reported, it "is stirring new hope that gene-therapy strategies on the far edges of AIDS research might someday cure the disease."
Like I always say, folks -- CURES ROCK!

Lance Armstrong's "Tour de France" Dedication to Julie

A great reminder that I had armies of support beside me in my fight. (Thanks, Lance!) Even with the recent media, this video isn't about the bike...but the fight against cancer. LIVESTRONG!

Stage 2 Dedication: Julie Westcott -- powered by

Guinness World Record Broken to Fight Cancer

We *Heart* Our Fans

Cures Rock! on Facebook

Donate & fight to kick cancer to the curb!

500 Miles. 17 days. 2 States. 1 Mission to Cure Cancer.

500 Miles. 17 days. 2 States. 1 Mission to Cure Cancer.
January 1 - 17, 2010
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