Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I am not even sure how to begin this blog, there does that work!? I removed myself from blogging for a year to feel normal again. So much of my life for years was wrapped up in my cancer and treatment, it felt like that was the sole part of my identity. Almost immediately after our wedding (one week) I went through my last round of chemo. 

I had to include a fake laugh photo
It was not originally supposed to be the last, but I suffered incredibly uncharacteristic mood changes and yet again walked around in a complete fog due to all the mixes of medications. I remember calling one of my best friends crying because I felt so low like someone else's brain had taken over me. I wouldn't remember doing things or going somewhere, which rightfully scared the hell out Mike when I'd try to argue that that I drove somewhere weeks ago when it was just a day prior. I am sure coming off the happiest time in my life back to a harsh reality of pills, headaches and the expected fogginess also did not help. I didn't think my mental health and general forgetfulness was worth risking for an additional round of pills so I told my doc I was DONE-ZO! And I haven't looked back or regretted that decision.

It has been a welcomed release to be with friends, eat, drink, be merry, be lazy! I still embrace what I went through but it's not the primary focus of my life anymore. I feel a tad guilty about it too because so many people still deal with it. 

So what is new?
In January I went back to work full time which has been going very well. For the first time in 3 years I got my mental stride back. 

Took our delayed honeymoon (due to chemo/Mike's work schedule). Christmas in Costa Rica!
Why do I like jumping photos so much?
Turned 30 years old - I welcomed it! Maybe because  my mom always reminisced as being 30 positively. Thanks Mom, for that little gift!
Weeeee!!! Happy Sweet 16....oh shit, wait.
 My niece was born! This has by far been the highlight of the year/my life. Life makes sense when you witness the birth and growth of a child. It's so special and I'm totally thrilled she's here with us all. It is also a total mind trip to see your sibling have a kid. I mean what happened to the sister who used to get into the dresser and grab a pair of underwear and put it on her head and run around the house to make you laugh?! And that was just last week, JK!
Hello Miss Viv!
Volunteering. I still sit on the Patient and Family Advisory Council. I got the opportunity to be the key speaker at a health and wellness fair for adolescents and young adults with cancer. 
Matt Foley Protege
    Originally they were going to pay a young cancer survivor who wrote a book to come and speak, but then they realized I'm cheap free! So that worked out well for them. I told my story which was a surreal/awesome experience! I really felt proud of myself for the first time in a while about what I had gone through. A group of my best friends came to watch and I got chance to meet new and old patient buddies.

Now that I have taken you on a visual experience of my life the past 10 months, which no doubt has blown your mind. I have other exciting news to share. We are hiking to the base of Mt. Everest next year.
Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!
Gahhh! I am still in a tad bit of shock we're actually doing it! I am going to complete the biggest bucket list itemI have ever thought of! I jumped up and down all over my living room when I put the deposit down on the trip. Now that would have been a great jumping photo to capture. 

The Mt. Everest trip is the main reason I am reviving my Girl With The Swirl blog, so I can share training and general thought updates over the next year as I prepare for this trip. It's kind of nice to think of this blog could serve another purpose too. 

Life after cancer - It's pretty swell!


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Happy Day

I have been up for a couple hours feeling gross going through my 7th maintenance round of ATRA. This is the second to last, forever! Happy dance.

At any rate I am happy to share we finally got hitched! I was a spectacular day. The weather was unreal and family/friends flew from all over in for an intimate ceremony. The food was amazing - eggs, bacon ...hello, delish! And of course my husband was the star of my day.

We have some unreal professional photos on their way. Here is a candid shot for now.

Thanks for sticking by me during all the crazy. The tide has been turning for greatness!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I'm Feat in Women's Running magazine!

I have been waiting 5 months or so to share that I am featured in the new July issue of Women's Running magazine in a section called Women Who Move. It's a couple pages that feature women who accomplish goals and inspire through their love of running. My story is about how running helped me through my father's cancer years ago and then through my own. Here is the cover and a small snippet of the page.

Me and my amazing friend Shanna when I was rockin' that Gucci!
I have talked a bit about running on here. I do not run as much as I used to but I still love it. So it's my hobby you could say. I suppose I feel a little sheepish being written about when I have not seriously run in over 2 years. Much of my confidence in believing in myself has come through running and being active. It has been a great therapy when I deal with hard times, even when I couldn't run.

I hope you check it out while you're at the grocery store on your next trip. Mike can't believe he's engaged to such a big star! ;o)