Friday, February 19, 2010

Eat Up Life with a Big Spoon

Someone said something to me today that made me stop. I mean, I was so dumbfounded by their words, I secretly wondered if I was on the same planet. I've decided since then that I *do* mentally live on a different one.

An individual told me that perhaps I kept getting cancer because I wasn't "getting the hint." (For the record, I'm cancer-free.) Wow. I mean, I admit, I do think there are some lessons to be learned and that although cancer itself isn't a "gift," the experience has taught me so much I am grateful to Eternity every day. This person proceeded to explain to me that perhaps I was meant to die, but just wasn't "getting the hint." Looking back on that conversation, I have to laugh. I mean - sheesh - if that's the case, between all the near-misses on the freeway commute, times I've dodged cars on my long marathon training runs and moments my klutzy nature has landed me in precarious situations -- I guess I'm wayyyy behind getting the hint.

Interestingly enough, I think I *have* gotten the "hint." Hearing that I had cancer the first time shocked me into a parallel universe. I can't explain how, but I know that in that instant, I knew I would die -- someday. (I mean, there is, after all, a 100% chance that living will kill a person.) The difference is that at the age of 31, I understood that every minute...every second...of every day mattered. It didn't matter if I spent it at work, having a glass of wine with a close friend or traveling the world --- it just mattered that in every waking second, I did my best to be happier and brighter in every moment and tried to give back.

Today, I'd like to pass on some comments from a TeamLIVESTRONG teammate that shared her experience, and they sum up how I feel, too:

"Cancer knows no age limit. It crosses all barriers and leaves devastation in its wake. However, I am not a victim. I am not a statistic. Today, I stand strong…against all odds. While cancer has spread and I am now medically described as "terminal," I feel more alive than ever. Oddly, cancer offers many "silver linings" if you are willing to search for them. Live and love every minute gifted. Live in the moment for today. I refuse to waste my cancer. I work hard to eat life with a big spoon and have so many goals for 2010. ...There is nothing like feeling alive and being a part of something bigger than you. - Michelle"

I love that. I love the comment about eating life with a big spoon, and we should all consider ourselves lucky to know cancer warriors like Michelle. I am grateful she shared her story on a day when, for a moment, I wondered what universe I lived in. In truth, it's clear that Michelle and I actually *do* live in a different world -- it's one many of you also live in (or you probably wouldn't be reading this blog) -- a world where possibilities are endless, and being grateful & living in the present is not only possible, but required. :)

Thanks, LAF, Team LIVESTRONG & Michelle! CURES ROCK! Let's all eat life with a big ol' spoon this weekend!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Go Team USA!

It's here!! I admit it. I am a huge goober when it comes to the Olympics. As a cancer survivor and marathon runner, I know how tough training and trials can be in our lives. I think those of us that have crushed cancer, also tend to carry huge respect for these athletes as we can imagine how much focus, warrior training and mental strength it takes to not only get on the US Olympic Team, but to win the gold. I am very proud of all our athletes, have loved reading their posts on Twitter as they've pushed through their training, and I know look forward to seeing them ROCK the Olympic Games!! ROCK ON, Team USA! We are all cheering for you!

If you'd like to join me as a "groupie" of these extraordinary athletes and show your support, register on the Team USA web site for access to the lastest information and receive exclusive updates: Also, feel free to posts comments to Cures Rock! on Twitter/Facebook, or here on the blog.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

World Cancer Day

It’s World Cancer Day, and we're joining the team at LIVESTRONG to spread the word about the global cancer crisis and the simple things we can do to protect ourselves.

So here’s the message:

Know your risks. Call your doctor….What are you waiting for??!!

Learning about your family history and talking to a doctor about your daily habits can give you valuable insight into the steps you need to take, right now. It’s true – talking to your doctor about cancer can be scary, and many of us just forget to bring it up. But your health is important to me and that’s why I'm asking you to start the conversation now.

I'm a cancer survivor and know firsthand, as many of you do, that an early diagnosis is often the difference between life and death. It’s so simple, but everywhere I go I hear that people don’t learn about their risks or want to do that yearly check-up exam —because they're busy, because they’re scared or because they just forget. If you think you're "too busy" then think of the loved ones in your life, family and friends...and do it for them.

All of us can take some simple steps, like this one, to fight cancer. Prevention is one of those steps (and 40% of cancers are preventable!) For help in taking that first step, go to DARE YOU TO CALL YOUR DOCTOR and go for that yearly check-up:

On that note, I'll make a shameless plug for Team in Training, an amazing organization that trains endurance athletes while raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Our San Diego TNT season just started so come join us! Ping me for more info, or click here to find a TNT chapter near your city. Let's all meet at the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon!!

If you'd rather cheer me on as I train and raise funds, you can donate to the Cures Rock! fundraising campaign to benefit LLS at:

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

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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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