Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy 1st Remission "Re-Birthday"!

So, this is my remission “re-birthday” post continued. It seems my thoughts are often drawn towards my 1 year of remission these days. I've been thinking about it for weeks, and I'm still thinking about it. So, instead of keeping my thoughts to myself, I thought I’d write them on my blog, so others can understand what it’s like to go through this process.

It’s hard to believe that in Fall 2006, I was originally told I may not have a long life because my cancer was so aggressive, and they were having trouble getting rid of the cells in my spinal fluid. Did I mention that was in 2006?! And did I mention that I'm leukemia-free?! They apparently don’t account for stubborn, fiery souls like me. (CURES ROCK.)
Honestly, cancer may be the best thing that ever happened to me (might be). The air smells sweeter, the ocean looks bluer, the sun shines brighter, etc. It’s nice not to take things for granted and to have the priorities reset in my life. If ya’ll haven’t done it, I strongly recommend it. When I go running, I don’t think the entire time I'm out there about only the final step I’ll take at the final finish line. If I did, I’d probably trip on that rock on the trail or run right into a pole on the sidewalk. The point being, the race isn’t just about the running. It’s the proverbial “journey” that matters.

Yes, I beat cancer. Totally kicked it’s bootie. I hope that gives many young adults my age hope. But, I also hope that people realize there is a 100% chance that living will kill you (it’s true…statistics are shocking). Wow. It is strange that after all my writing about cancer, it still feels awkward to write about death. Kicking the bucket. Sleeping the big sleep. Tumbling in the ocean (I made that up). It feels like I’m being rude or talking about something that shouldn’t be talked about...that’s how little we talk about it these days. There is something really valuable in realizing how short life is, and how fragile it all is. There’s something good in feeling life desperately flash by. There’s a part that I personally like about feeling like you should get off you’re bootie and do something with yourself, or for others, before you die. Perhaps my story will motivate someone reading it to do something they’ve been meaning to do---whether that’s living, loving, doing something for someone else---just get on with it!

So, happy 1st Remission re-birthday to me. I’m 33 years old. I’m probably going to live for quite a while longer. I can’t wait to do something extra with this time I’ve been gifted, which is why I’m involved with LLS Team in Training and the San Diego LIVESTRONG Army. Yesterday, my Team in Training Run Team surprised me with a remission celebration at our morning practice. They had cupcake cakes (yum!) and a TNT shirt that the whole team had signed that said, "(RE)MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!" This team is out there fundraising to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Mission and to run on behalf of all those patients and survivors who cannot – they are doing something for others – they are making their life count. This team has become a local family to me, and it is inspiring to know that my story is just one of so many as they work to raise money to help people just like me. Here’s a YouTube Video Asst Coach Happy made for me to remember the day (2mins): As if the day wasn't awesome enough, we also celebrated with my twin sister and her hubby for dinner up in Orange County...and the four of us had a grand ol' time (Yes, I am a twin, and that's her in the picture.) For such “UN-REMARKABLE” lab tests declaring me cancer-free at this one year mark this week, it was great to have such a REMARKABLE day. *smile* Thank you, everyone!! May we have many more years celebrating cures! CURES ROCK!


  1. We had such a great time celebrating your Re-birthday! Congratulations, Julie! To the first of many!!!

  2. My Special Friend, Congrats on such an achievement. I am so proud of you for not onlyaccomplishing your goal, but for doing it with such an amazingly positive attitude. I love you!

  3. Congratulations on an important milestone. My wife is an nine year survivor of leukemia, and I'm a coach for TNT. Great blog and great story! Keep it up. And GO TEAM!


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