February 17, 2016 my life and those closest to me changed forever. I was scheduled for my post-op appointment for a surgery that I had 2 weeks ago. The surgery was more of a comfort thing than something concerning going on with my body. Imagine my surprise when my Dr. told me that we needed to discuss my Pathology report. Between November and January I had a biopsy and a minor surgery that turned out fine and was of no concern. They removed a 6 cm mass from my vulva and discovered that my margins were positive for Sarcoma. Confusion flooded my mind and I didn't know if I should scream, cry, or pass out. I had cancer!
My team in Great Falls did all that they could do here and I was referred to Salt Lake City to see a specialist. 3 weeks later I was prepping for another surgery and bracing myself for what’s to come. I had a Partial Radical Vulvectomy done to remove part of my vulva and hopefully the remaining cancer. One thing I learned with cancer is there is no time to be shy, especially when my type of cancer only affects 5,000 woman a year. Also, there is no perfect time to stop your life for cancer. Anthony was left in charge of his store and there was no other owner in the region that could come down last minute to cover it. Thank God for friends that become family. Brittany and Cheyenne (her 7 year old daughter) flew from Colorado to be by my side and ensure that I was not alone.
Fast forward to now, there was no evidence of disease with my 3rd Pathology report and I am on close surveillance for the next 5 years. There is not a day that goes by that I am not reminded about how life changes in a blink of an eye. Dealing with this has gotten easier with the support of my team that has always been in my corner, but also the amazing supportive group of other Young Adult Cancer survivors. I stumbled upon Stupid Cancer one night, which was a very emotional night for me. I was able to see what they have done for this movement and I was even able to meet them at a meetup in Billings, MT. They were on their Road Trip to CancerCon 2016 which unites cancer survivors, caregivers, and advocates in Denver, Colorado. I was blown away by what they do for the 72,000 new diagnosis that happen each year. Through their website I found resources for a camp that could help me deal with my diagnosis in my state and help me embrace my new normal.
I have shared my story and now I need your help. Team Stupid Cancer has helped to raise over $180,000 in support of our mission to empower young adults affected by cancer. I am joining Team Stupid Cancer in September to run the Tough Mudder in Seattle. I enjoyed running before cancer and even though I am not where I once was, I am coming back stronger than ever. This is your chance to help me reach/exceed my goal of $2,000 to ensure that no young adult affected by cancer goes unaware of the age-appropriate resources they are entitled to so they can get busy living! Whether you donate $1.00 or $100 anything helps and is greatly appreciated. If you can't donate, help spread the word and bring attention to this cause and the young adult cancer movement.
https://vimeo.com/165351736 4:22 has my fav. I am stupid cancer member