Monday, September 28, 2009

Susan Komen Walk 2009

This past Sunday I participated in the Susan Komen Race for the Cure 5K walk/run in Milwaukee with some sister survivors and friends. Last year at this time I had just undergone some surgery and could not walk. This year I was not going to miss it!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

One Year Cancer Free!

One year ago I underwent a 7 hour surgery to remove both my breasts that were filled with cancer.

Today I am cancer free!

Today I will celebrate!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

One year ago today

One year ago today I was diagnosed with breast cancer! It is hard for me to believe that a whole year has gone by. I clearly remember how overwhelming it is when you first learn you have cancer and you are not in control of the situation. Doctors, surgeons,appointments, biopsies, oncologists, surgery or no surgery?, lumpectomy or mastectomy? and chemotherapy. I have gone through 4 surgeries in the past year, 6 chemo treatments, two of which failed, countless visits to Hotel Froedert, my oncologist and plastic surgeon and weeks of feeling like crap. At the time I had thought time had stood still. I was bald, boobless and feeling pretty ugly. Now it seems somewhat long ago.

Today my health is excellent, probably better than before. I walk, run and have just started biking again. I exercise almost daily! I have lost almost 15 pounds in the past year. I have boobs! I have hair again! My next surgery will be in October when the soft tissue expanders are removed and the real implants are put in.
My days are now filled with work, family, exercise and staying healthy and fighting my now curly hair! And I love it!

My life has changed but for the better. I can truly say that "life is short" don't waste a minute of it. I wouldn't wish this path in the road for anyone. It takes a toll on you both physically and emotionally. You will either play the cards you are dealt with and move on or let cancer overtake you and beat you up. This journey has taught me about true friendship, love and support,hope and faith, patience and motivation.

I believe I am a better person because of having had cancer!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Things have been a bit quiet here on my blog. I am taking some time off and now am headed on vacation until the beginning of July. I am looking forward to some fun and sun!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thoughts for the Day!

Clink on the link below and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


The above photos are my amateur attempt with a macro lens on my Canon Rebel. My brother was in town for several days and he brought along some lenses for me to try.
I loved the 400 mm zoom lens, although it is huge and heavy. I will have to save some pennies but would love to have one in the future.

All is well with me......

I have......
planted some flowers
attended some baseball games
gone to lunch with friends
gone to dinner with friends
bought more flowers to replace the flowers that drowned
replanted flowers that got drowned from the rain
had my boob filled
tried on my swimsuit with my new boobs :)
pondered what to do with my wavvvyyyyy hair
updated my resume and cover letter (yes looking for a full time job other than our business)
cursed this bad weather in Wisconsin
started counting down the days until Florida
laughed hysterically at my dog laying in my lounge chair outside
and....... every day.... thanked my lucky stars that I am healthy!

Sunday, May 31, 2009


My dog is crazy! Pictures say a thousand words...........

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Well the time has come for me to finally start reading my Canon Rebel instruction manual. I have had the camera for a year and never really sat down and looked at all the options available on this camera. I have been using automatic everything for the past year and think I need to try my hand at manual photography. I am investigating a zoom lens right now.
My brother has been an inspiration to me as he takes some awesome photos of which I have posted on my blog before. Below are two of his most recent photos taken with a macro lens. Very cool!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Oriental Pasta Salad

8 oz. vermicelli
4 (half) grilled chicken breasts
2 carrots, julienned
2 scallions,sliced
1/2 pepper (red,yellow,orange or green)

1 tsp. ginger
1/2 c. soy sauce
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1/3 c. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
1 Tbs. sugar

Grill chicken. Cool and shred.
Prepare and drain noodles.
Toast seeds and add remaining dressing ingredients. Stir or whisk.
Combine chicken and noodles,carrots,scallions, pepper and pea pods. Add dressing and refrigerate overnight.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bristo Chicken Salad

Hello! I have been negligent in updating my blog recently. Guess I needed a few days off or I just really had nothing to say. haha
I am feeling great, my hair is growing (and back to my old color thanks to my fabulous hairdresser Kim) and slowly my arm is getting its range of motion back. I have to be diligent in the physical therapy exercises due to the removal of the muscle from my back. My back still gets "tired" by the end of the day. I have been going wigless since my hair was dyed. I do wear baseball caps but I have not put the wig on for several weeks now. The whole wig scene was getting old. I may even be brave enough to post a pic of myself on the blog this week with my new look.

With the long Memorial Day weekend I had some time to cook, which I like to do when I have the time. I made 2 salads that I absolutely love. I hate lunch! I just hate finding something to eat for lunch, but salads always interest me and the recipe below is one of my favorites. I will post the other salad recipe tomorrow.

2 cups cooked penne pasta
1 package (4 oz) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 c. fat free Italian dressing
1.3 c. lightly packed fresh basil cut into strips
1/4 c. chopped red onion
1/4 c. chopped sun dried tomatoes
grape tomatoes halved
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts grilled or broiled cut into thin slices

Toss all ingredients together except cheese. Top salad with cheese but do not mix in until serving.
Serve warm or chilled
Makes 4 sevings
290 calories
9 g fat
4 g fiber
6 WW points per serving

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Quote of the Day!

There is only one person who could ever make you happy, and that person is you.
~David Burns, Intimate Connections~

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Reduce your risk of breast cancer

Click here to view a slideshow of 5 ways to reduce your chances of getting breast cancer. Take charge of your life now!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Enjoy the Ride

click on the link above.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Two Weeks Postop Update!

Yesterday I was 2 weeks postop from my lat flap reconstruction surgery. My drains and bandages have all been removed and I am healing well! After looking at the 15 inch incision running across my back after the bandages came off I now know why my back has been bothering me. I have a tight burning sensation in that area of my incision. I was able to go walking yesterday, so that made me feel much better. I am still on a 10 pound weight restriction and advised "not to do anything crazy" (did he refer to me swinging a golf club perhaps!) I will go back to see Dr. Hijjawi in three weeks to begin filling the new boob! Now that is progress!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Funny for the Day!

Just to let you know I'm thinking of you today.

No matter what situations life throws at you...

No matter how long and treacherous your journey may seem..

Remember ~~ there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

thanks to my friend Connie for making me smile!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Today's post is totally not related to me but one of my nieces. Jess lives in Nasheville with her husband, Mathew Turner, and ADORABLE baby Elias. She is an avid blogger and is Southwest Airlines Mommy blogger. Please check out her first blog about traveling with a baby. Aren't they adorable???? Don't forget to scroll down about halfway, click on the link and see her video.

Go to her blog and see how you can win four 4 tickets through Southwest Airlines. Nice!

Great job Jess, I am proud of you!!!! xxoo

Friday, May 8, 2009

Quote of the Day

Do not go where the path may lead,
go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Random poll

42 things.
1. Do you like blue cheese? Hate it! Love feta though.

2. Have you ever smoked? Ummm....

3. Do you own a gun? Yes..

4. What flavor of Kool Aid was your favorite? Anything red.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Hahaha NO!

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Love them! With yellow mustard, catsup and relish. I can eat two in one sitting.

7. Favorite Christmas movie? Holiday Inn.

8.Favorite thing to drink in the morning? Coffee with hazelnut or french vanilla creamer.

9. Can you do pushups? No not currrently.

10. Favorite piece of jewelry? Diamond earrings.

11. Favorite hobby? golf, photography, blogging,reading.

12. Do you have A.D.D.? No, but I have brain farts.

13. What is one trait you hate about yourself? The around the waist middle age thing going on. It's better since I lost some weight.

14. Middle name? Marie.

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? Beautiful day, hate being here at work, vacation.

16. Name 3 drinks: pomegranite martini, lemonade, Blue Moon

17. Current Worry: Finances.

18. Current hate right now? Men.

19. One of your favorite places to be? Anywhere near the water.

20. How did you bring in the New Year? I was in bed at midnight.

21. Where would you like to go? Anywhere warm

22. Name three people who might complete this. ?

23. Do you own slippers? No, does slipper socks count.

24. What shirt are you wearing? Black.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? I am not sure.

26. Can you whistle? No.

27. Favorite color? Red

28. Would you be a pirate? Sure.

29. What songs do you sing in the AM? None. I am not a morning person.

30. Favorite girl's name? Natalie.

31 Favorite boy's name? Billy.

32. What's in your pocket right now? Tylenol

33. Last thing that made you laugh? A text from someone.

34. What vehicle do you drive? Jeep Liberty.

35. Worst injury you have ever had? Never been injured.

36. Do you love where you live? Love my house, hate the weather.

3 7. How many TV's do you have in your house? 5

38. Who is your loudest friend? Hmmm. Not sure.

39. Do you have any pets? Yes – 1 cat and a dog.

40.Does someone have a crush on you? Ha! I wish!

41. What is your favorite book? Memoirs of a Geisha.

42. Do you collect anything? Dust in my house.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day Seven Arizona

Sadly, this was our last day in Arizona. We had a late flight out so we just layed around the house today. I was up early and went for my daily 3 mile walk, came back, got my swim suit on and headed out to the pool for some reading. I wanted to bask in every spare minute of sun I had for I knew I was headed back to crappy Wisconsin.
Here is the gorgeous house we would be leaving soon.

The flight was uneventful, we grabbed our luggage (thank you Midwest we had no lost bags) and headed over to pick up our pup. She was beyond thrilled to see us, although she had a great time with her two sets of babysitters while we were gone. It was a long day. Why is traveling so tiring?
I so looked forward to a vacation after the last 6 months, and I enjoyed every minute I was there (except the damn car ride to Sedona). Back to reality slaps you hard in the face the day after a vacation and this was no exception. The weather was horrible, I was back and work,had no food in the house and laundry piled high. Get the picture?? My next trip is coming soon. Yep! Another trip.... and this time to Florida with my best friend Cathy at the end of June for a week. We are escaping the world of children, husbands and responsibilities of life to enjoy some time to ourselves. I can't wait! There is nothing better than a girls only vacation.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Boob update

I had an appointment with Dr. Hijjawi this morning and everything looks great. Three of my four drains have been removed. Whooohooooo! The other one may come out later this week depending on the fluid output. And.... in about three weeks we can start expanding! YES!!! There is light at the end of the tunnel!

Day Six Arizona

Today we headed to Sedona again for the Pink Jeep Tour. The road to sedona heads north through the mountains and it is snakey and the speed limit is 75 and it winds through the mountains and I have a fear of heights while traveling on this snaky windy road at 75 mph.

This sign makes me feel much better!!!!! John thought he was in the Indy 500 and several times I had to tell him to PLEASE SLOW DOWN, YOU ARE MAKING ME NERVOUS!

The pink jeeps are open air, the windshields even are moveable and come down. Each jeep holds up to 9 passengers. Our guide was Cindy and she had traveled this route for the past 11 years, thank goodness.

As we got off the beaten path we headed up... you are kidding me right? That is the way we are going????? She assured us it was the ONLY way to see Sedona.
The mountains and views are breathtaking. Pictures do not even do them justice.

The tour takes about 2 hours total, traveling the rocks and making several stops along the way. Cindy was very knowledgeable about the native trees and plants and you could tell she had great fun being a guide. The trail ended and now we headed down.......and I will tell you our jeep was vertical!!!!!! I wanted to jump out to get a photo but that was not possible,so you will just have to believe me and see that Natalie is hanging on as we go down.

We ended up in downtown Sedona where we had lunch and I got a few pics of the mountains from the city.

We headed home after lunch down the windy, snakey mountainous road again. I think I will just close my eyes for the ride.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Day Five Arizona

Today we headed west to the Sunridge Canyon Golf Course in Fountain Hills. This was a desert golf course and we felt like we were in the desert. It was 100 degrees today with a slight breeze, and I mean slight. Our tee time was at 1 pm, of course the hottest part of the day. We actually did not mind the weather. It really did not feel as if it was that hot out. The course is carved out of a canyon with lots of cactus, native desert plants, elevated greens and tees and lots of trouble if your shot goes astray. This was my second favorite golf course. The course was very challenging, beautiful and fun. It seemed as if we were the only ones on this course today and when I asked the caddy who cleaned my clubs where everyone was he said "maam it's a little too hot for the regulars to come out today." Although our GPS system in our golf cart alerted us to the $39.00 replay special (who in their right mind would play again when it was 100 degrees) we opted to head home to the pool. And that is exactly what I did. I headed out for a swim to cool down and have a few cocktails by the pool before dinner.

Tomorrow..... the Pink Jeep Tour in Sedona.

It was so hot I went bald today!