Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Miracle isn't that I finished. The Miracle is that I had the courage to start!......I am a MARATHONER!

115Th  Boston Marathon Finisher Medal

Wow, long time that I haven't blogged. I got so focused at work and the rush of almost 400 new crewmembers to train with long days that I didn't even remember to blogged. Unnacepatble! Well, let me bring you all to speed. I did my radioactive treatment back in December and got my full body scan and was told by my doctor that my cancer was in remision! Great news in deed. However for a few weeks after, I had the strangest feeling. I guess I was so focused and tired of batteling the cancer that now I was confused on how to resume my life to normal.How to eat normal, how to get back to do all the things I love. It was amazing to see that all the things I craved where no longer cravings, now I didn't even wanted them and actually felt guilty to even eat them. It was like learning how to read and walk all over. Weird but true, then came the survivors guilt. Yes, I did have it. I started to think why I was so lucky while others aren't. That didn't last long, as many people reminded me why. I was a fighter and wasn't going to give up!

As soon as I felt better, I started to swim, bike an run little by little. More running than anything. It was winter in FL and swimming and biking were second on my list unless you like to be freezing cold. Around the February time frame, my coach and friend Beth invited me to run the Melbourne Half Marathon as a relay. I did and felt very good. I was very excited knowing that I was able to run 6.5 miles and feel good. Then my friend Arlene and I signed up for the Warrior Dash (running through obstacles in mud) and that was a great fun time. I realized that I still had it and just needed to put some effort to get to the point I wanted to be.

Warrior Dash 2011- Florida

So, then I enter a contest with my employer. They are one of the sponsors of the coveted Boston Marathon. They wanted crewmembers to write an essay stating why I should win an entry to the marathon. I wrote about my cancer diagnose and how I had to put my Half Iron on hold while fighting cancer. I also explained that one of the things I said I would conquer after cancer will be to complete my Half Ironman as well as a Marathon and a Ironman by 2012 or 2013 (based on my health). Well, I won! I got the Boston Marathon entry. I was very excited and at the same time very nervous. This is the marathon that every runner in the world tries to qualify for and I am in without qualifying. I got because I got cancer. Interesting ha? Well, I got this opportunity so I need to train and go for it. While I started training a very sad family situation came along. I was mentally, physically and emotionally drained already due to my cancer battle and now one more struggle. I got so sad and depressed that I didn't even had energy to train. I decided I was not going to do the marathon. However, the same day I decided not to I got my race number and wave assigned in the mail. I said "this is a sign and I must keep going". However, the race was just two weeks away. I knew I couldn't do anything at that point training wise. I decided to put it in God's hand and dedicate the race to my family in particular to my brother in law. I made a pact with God, I asked him to help my family through the nightmare we are living and to forgive my brother in law for his mistakes. In return, I will take the pain of running my first marathon ever with no training after just finishing my cancer treatment just a few months back. I was asking myself exactly why should I do it and if I should, I knew in my mind that it was the right choice even though I wasn't ready...really!

26.2 miles and still smiling! :)

I did finish and endured the pain. I am a proud Boston Marathon Finisher! I achieved one of my goals after cancer, having a 26.2 miles under my belt. It was God and his will that gave me the strenght to pull through. He was with me along the way. Many times I wanted to quit, many times I cried due to my legs been cramped. I was in so much pain but I had two reasons to finish......for me and for my brother in law. I had many Angels with me along the way. The firsts named Cristine, Vee and Kristie.....amazing ladies. I learned so much from Cristine in just a weekend. I asked God for direction and he sent me an Angel with great direction. A new friendship was born in Boston.

Cristine- My angel and new friend :)

I also met two amazing gentlemen around mile 23....without them I would not have done it either. I wish I had their names but I do have a picture.

My mile 23 Angles

What can I say, Boston was the expererience of a lifetime. I will not change one single part of my entire trip to Boston. This trip was more than running a marathon, it was a spiritual and religious journey. I found more than what I was looking for. Believe me when I say that the 26.2 miles was not the achievement, it was the different encounters that I had with supporters, stories of encouragement, the humbleness of the Boston Citizens, the amazing stories of so many charities and their runners and the spiritual encounter with God and his Angels. I asked God for direction and I was given an answer. I think there is more to come. Blessings :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Long time no see! - So much has happend that I forgot to blog, But I am back!

Sorry for the long time since no blog. You are probably thinking, what happend to her and where did she go. Well, been working really hard back at work and that kept me very busy!!!! Training Flight Attendants its a long and very demanding schedule. But I am back to flying and also CANCER FREE! Yes, I did get the cancer free news but we still have to do all test again at the one yaer aniversary mark. So many wonderful things had happend but i will blog about each and every one of them separately. I have to. They are amazing and motivating. Please, hang in there while I catch up. Promise it will be an awesome read!



Friday, December 17, 2010

Radiation Therapy is finally here!

It's been long again that I blogged, but the last few weeks been life changing in so many ways. I was getting myself ready for my radioactive treatment by doing the infamous low iodine diet, last saturday I got removed from my hormone therapy and this last wednesday I was given the infamous radioactive pill. What these 20 days have been!!!

My low iodine diet was easy for me in a few ways. I love to cook, so I modified a few of my own recipes and made them low iodine. However, giving up all milk products and sea food was very hard for me. I was able to manage through it. I can see how hard this could be for someone who doesn't enjoy cooking as you must prepare your own meals.

Last saturday, I had to stop taking my hormone replacement therapy (Synthroid). This is the pill that provides me with my T3 hormone that I cant produce on my own because I have no thyroid gland no more. This was hard. I had multiple headaches and mood swings...go figure!!! Then this past Monday and Tuesday I was given my Thyrogen shots. This is a medicine they use now to increase my levels of Thyrogoblyn without having to go Hypo for 6 weeks. I am glad they invinted this medicine because only one week been Hypo was enough for me. I could not imagine all those people years ago that had to go hypo for so long. Medicine has evolved and I am happy it was during my times. Thank you God for helping all doctors and scientist to come with better ways to help people like me.

And the big day was last wednesday! I got to Florida Hospital to finally get my Radioactive Iodine Ablation and what an experience that was. Firts, I get pregnancy test after pregnancy test. They have to make sure that I am not expecting before giving me the pill. I told my doctor that if the test comes out positive to call the church as soon as possible because Jesus is coming and I am the selected one! There where no chances whatsoever that I was pregnant but protocol is protocol. So, there I sat in the tiny room whating for results to come in and facing a box that not even a bomb would be able to open. Then, results are in and of course I am not pregnant!! Daaah. So it's time to open the box. Inside the box there was this 30 pound led capsule that contained the pill. As soon as they opened the capsule, alarms start going off detecting the radiation. All I hear next is "Take it and swallow it now". No time to think or to step back! So I took it in my hands, swallowed it and there where still alarms. Then the next thing I hear is "Grab your stuff and leave now, doctor will escort you out maintaining at least 6 feet from you". I felt like a lepperd! I never thought how different you feel and how marked you become.

I got in my car drove home a little nauseous but was able to handle it. Now it was time for isolation to begin, locked up in my house until saturday. Today is friday...I am going to be FREE tomorrow!!! Well, a little free. I will still have to maintain a 3 feet distance from pregnant woman and chikdren until wednesday but at least I can step out of house and get NORMAL FOOD!!! Do I hear BURGER WITH CHEESE, YOGURT, my beloved ICED LATTE!!! Wooo hooo!!! The little things that will make you so happy. They will make me for sure.

As far as of side effects, I have the dry mouth, itchy throat and a little neck pain. Other than that I am doing great!!! Stay tuned for more and for when I start training again...Happy Holidays!!



Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's been so long since I post on my blog!

Hi followers,

Sorry I haven't been blogging lately. I have been very busy at work, traveling visiting family, doctor appointments you name it! Well, let 's bring you all to speed. I did my Low Iodine Diet 2 times just to get it cancel. A little frustrated (Hint Hint).  Firs, because Thyrogen was not available and second time becaused it conflicted with the doctor schedule. Well, I am back on now and ready to get radiated on Dec. 15. I know! During the Holidays :( , but at least I was able to spend a great Iodized Thanksgiving Dinner/ Birthday meal. Yes...I had Turkey! But not any kind, puertorrican turkey (Ummmmm) full of flavor. I put holes in the turkey and inject the holes with a mix of rosemary, oregano, cilantro, pepper, salt, garlic and oilive oil. Yes, yes! Full of Iodine and I loved it! To top it off, thanksgiving was my actual birthday so we also had cake the real kind full of iodine :). My sister came from out of town with her boyfriend, my friends Allison, Don, Greg, Chris and Beth also tag along. I had a great thanksgiving holiday. Thank yo guys for making it a special one.

Now, I started LID again for radiation treatment. I am not working out as much as I want since the weather is changing and it's too cold. I am afraid I might get sick and then radiation have to be cancelled one more time. I want to get this over with so I can have my life back. I want a brand new me for the brand new year to come. Happy Holidays and will keep you all updated. Got to go...baking banana nut muffins low iodine for my breakfast ;)



Thursday, November 4, 2010

Good News and Not so good news....ohhh and the "lovely Low Iodine Diet"

Ohhh well, the infamous "Low Iodine Diet" has started.  It's been 2 days since the diet started to get me ready for radiation and if I dont lose any weight with it...NOTHING WILL! lol...It's so difficult to eat. The reason they place you in a low iodine diet is because the Thryroid cells absorb high amounts of iodine so they give you the radiation on an iodine pill so radioactive material will attack those cells killing them ALL. (Hopefully) However, the difficult part is that you cant consume regular iodize salt or sea salt which means that every product out there that says in its label that salt is an ingredient I can't buy. That leaves me with NOTHING! I was at the supermarket today and every can, every box, everything has salt!!!! I can eat salt, just the one that is Kosher. Since the labels don't specify which kind of salt they use and restaurants either, I can't eat anything with salt unless I prepare it with non iodize salt. Ohhh but wait, that's not all. I can't have any dairy, soy so that means that my beloved Dunking Donuts Iced Latte that I drink everyday has turned into the disgusting Iced Coffee with NO MILK!!!!! :(....   Wow do I cope? Knowing this is just temporary. I need to stay positive even though is very tough!

On the other side, my doctor informed me that Thyrogen (the medication to increase my TSH levels two days before radiation) is on a shortage worldwide. In the past they used to make you go Hypothyroid for 6 weeks by removing you from your thryroid medication 6 weeks before radiation to increase your TSH levels naturaly.  Now they keep you with your Thyroid medication until 2 days before RAI (radioactive iodine) and give you two shots of Thyrogen to artificially increase your TSH levels for RAI. Well, a family doctor just told me that Thyrogen is on shortage becuase FDA has some safety concerns with it. So, I have made the tough decision to go HYPO for 6 weeks. That means I am going to be miserable for 6 weeks, but I am going for it so I can have my life back to normal as soon as possible. I also dont want to develop any other nodules while I wait. So let's get it done!



Sunday, October 31, 2010

What else?

It's been a week since my last post and so many things transpired during this week. I am gaining a lot of weight and rapidly. It's very frustrating and causing me to be a little depressed. Gaining weight for us woman is so difficult to understand. You see, society says that you must be super thin in order to be consider beautiful. That is what you see on TV, Magazines, pretty much everywhere you go. Don't get me wrong, I was never super thin but was in very good physical condition and I loved my 150 lbs weight. Yes! I am very happy at 150 pounds. Now I am at 175 and feeling it in every clothing I wear. I am very frustrated and not knowing if this will continue. In the meantime I am trying my best to exercise when I can. I am so depressed with the rapid weight gain that I am finding difficult to get any motivation to exercise, so today I went and got myself a new pair of running shoes so I can find more motivation. Also, I signed up with Team In Training to raise funds towards cancer and in return I am getting trained for the St. Anthony's Triathlon in May 1, 2011.  That will keep me in balance and motivated. Hopefully, this will all stop soon.

In 3 more days I am starting my "awesome" Low Iodine Diet to get me ready for Radiation Therapy on November 17.  What a great way to spend my birthday ha!!

I wish I could have better things to say, but I honestly just want all this to go away and I want my life back on track.

To make matters worst, now I am also having hives in my back and belly...where they come from i steh new question so I am heading to doctor tomorro wto find out why I am having hives.

Hopefully, next time I blog I am in better spirits and with better news.



Sunday, October 24, 2010

A very positive day.....I tackled the Masters Triathlon.

So today I woke up at 0530, made pancakes for Don, Allison and myself. We headed to the Masters Triathlon at Moss Park where I decided I to compete on my first triathlon since I had surgery a month and 3 weeks ago. I was very nervous for various reasons. The week before the race I was not feeling well at all. I was having really bad joint pain plus I had not swim for 3 months and I was about to do an open water swim. Open water swimming is not easy, is not like swimming on a pool. In open water, you have nothing to hold on to. In order to get out of the water...well you must swim out of it or wave at a lifeguard to come get you with the kayak and that is definately not a choice for me. LOL.

This triathlon is of great significance for me. I can believe I finished it even thou I was not secure I would get out of that water but with a positive attitude I was able to make it happen. No matter how many times I have done a Tri, I was still very nervous!!!!

Today, I learned I got what it takes. Once again, the power of the mind is so strong. Something to take from all this.....If life gives you lemons, well.....make MARGARITAS!!!

A big thanks to Coach Beth, Allison, Don, Tracy and other team vortex members who believed in me and supported me to finish..ohh and I also got first place!!!! Bam!