Inspired – Elly Mayday

I recently had an article shared with me about a Canadian model named Elly Mayday and her battle with Ovarian Cancer. The article talked about how one of the companies she is working with handled it (which I give them a HUGE kudos for) as well as about Elly and how she is facing everything herself. That article can be featured HERE.

I know I sometimes take my time between posts on here, but when something like this comes up, something truly inspirational, I have to drop everything and share it with the rest of you! I know when I was going through treatment and decided to keep working people couldn’t wrap their head around it. It was hard to explain that to me it was a matter of not letting Cancer win, not letting it change my life or my day to day routine. At the time I hadn’t heard much about Ovarian Cancer at all, let alone about others fighting the disease.

Reading this article brought me back to that stage, to those thoughts and to figuring out what was going to work for me through treatment. Elly is an absolutely BEAUTIFUL person inside and out, and I am so happy to see that she’s not letting Cancer hold her back or steal any of that from her! Following along on her Facebook page (HERE) I have had a chance to not only see her beautiful photos, but to see her her smile throughout everything.

She asked on her Facebook page for her fans to write her snailmail if they want to reach out to her right now, and I am going to do that for sure, but I also wanted to put a little shout out on here. Elly Mayday you are an inspriation to many. Thank you for standing up, sharing your story and helping to get the word out on a disease that is WAY too often forgotten about, swept under the rug and ignored!

I should also add before finishing this blog up that I want to give a huge shoutout as well to the company mentioned in the above link, Forever Yours Lingerie who not only has stood by Elly Mayday through this battle, but is doing their own part to put this disease out there to remind everyone that it IS a concern and we SHOULD be aware!

A Few Pictures…

I just wanted to take a moment to share a few pictures as I had promised! We will be holding a fundraising event here including a slideshow so we aren’t releasing a ton of pictures online until after that, but wanted to share a few for now! We will share many more in the future (took over 300)!

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This is the full group of us all ready to go to the Expedition, including our guide Macon!

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Climbing together, making our way up the mountain.

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Almost there, and we can see the top as we climb. So blessed to have the chance to face yet another challenge in life with my best friend by my side! (He was by my side right through my treatment too)

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Reached the summit! Standing at the Uhuru Peak sign with the banner signed by all our supporters. Thank you SO much to everyone that has has supported us financially, mentally, emotionally, etc as we spent nearly a year preparing for this moment! The group is ALMOST at our fundraising goal and with final celebration events being planned I know we’re going to reach it!

Walk of Hope 2013

Alright, I know my blogging has died of quite a bit recently. That’s largely due to the number of things we’ve had going on! On top of getting ourselves organized for the Expedition of Hope and working on fundraising for that, my husband and I are also both on the Walk of Hope committee for our local walk! 

This morning I watched an amazing group of people young and old gather at Malden Park in Windsor for our walk. I watched tears and laughter, hugging and crying, Zumba and memorial photos…. What a rollercoaster of emotions and what an amazing day! Thank you SO much to my fellow committee members, as well as to AM800, especially Lisa Williams for joining me as an emcee this morning. 

I just wanted to take a moment to share a few photos of what today was to me: 

Up at 0’Dark thirty to gather with the rest of our committee and volunteers to get everything set up (Tim Hortons in hand lol)

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Some of the fun we had set up around including decorations, teal photobooth props and our banner which made an appearance for more signatures today: 

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My husband and I during the set up: 

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Emceeing with Lisa Williams from AM800: 

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Also I had brought a little something special of my own. Last Friday was Wear Teal Day. I belong to a group of women that first met while planning our weddings on The Knot with one thing in common, weddings in September 2012. We have since become amazingly close despite living across Canada and the US (and one person even in Greece). For Wear Teal Day these amazing ladies showed their support to me in DROVES posting photos of themselves, their husbands, their children… all wearing Teal! I took these pictures and created a collage to bring with me so that I could bring some of my greatest supporters to walk with me today: 

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What a day to be reminded of just how blessed we are! 

 

September Already…

Wow, its hard to believe that its already September! This month marks so much for me and is going to be SUPER busy but also SUPER exciting! 

The month of September means: 

– My first wedding anniversary (we made it a year already, wow how time flies)

– My second Walk for Hope, first as a member of the planning committee

– The expedition itself (Less than 3 weeks until we’re in Tanzania!)

So many great things going on and yet we’re not quite there yet…. There is still the last week of rushing around for the Walk next weekend, there is still over 2 weeks to fundraise of the expedition and I am still 20 days from my Anniversary. 

This marks the beginning of the final stretch, and I am going to appeal to all of you out there to help me make this final stretch epic… 

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Lets start by just sharing with a couple people and break the silence that is this disease. I checked our Facebook page for the climb, we have over 100 people on there. So if each person told just 5 people about this disease that would be 500 people we could reach! The best way to do this is to do it together…. 

Also if there is anyone still interested in sponsoring the Expedition the donation page is http://tinyurl.com/expofhope

Thank you!

Been Awhile…

Sorry to my more loyal followers in advance, it has been awhile since I posted last! For starters things at work have been pretty crazy, not to mention the fact that I am less than a month away from the climb now! 

On a more humorous note….  I also wasn’t blogging because I totally forgot my login information! So glad that I just figured it out again! 

25 days until we arrive in Tanzania, 27 days until we begin our climb! Its crazy to think this is getting SO close now ! We have been making final payments, working through our gear list to make sure we have everything, and hitting the gym on the daily. 

Its amazing to think how just a few years ago I was being told I was facing this disease and was questioning how to get through day to day and now I’m planning out something this big with my now husband! How life can change in an instant! 

This coming weekend we are doing a BBQ and information booth at the local Walmart. Fingers crossed that will help us to bring in quite a bit for Ovarian Cancer Canada, and also give me the chance to reach out to women who may already be, or some day may be, touched by this! We also have the walk coming up, for which I have taken on the Media Lead position in our area. Next week on Wednesday I will be on a local talk radio station with another woman talking about the walk, ovarian cancer, etc. LOVE having this chance to reach out and hopefully touch someone! 

Thank you to EVERYONE in our life… for the emotional/mental support, the donations, the volunteering at our events, the opportunities… This kind of thing doesn’t come together just because of one person!!!! Thank you SO much from the bottom of my heart! 

PS for anyone still wanting to donate, you can do so at tinyurl.com/expofhope 

Saying Goodbye

I originally wrote this blog post on Saturday, but debated whether or not to post it. I wasn’t sure if it might be too negative, or if maybe it was too personal. After thinking about it I’ve decided that if there is anyone else out there feeling these same emotions, the best thing I can do is post this and let it be known that you’re not alone… 

Today I said goodbye to a Warrior… A member of a Women’s Cancer Support Group that I belong to who has fought a LONG hard battle against Breast Cancer. I watched her family trying to stay strong as they faced the people who were there, lines of friends/family telling them how sorry they were, and that they were there to give them support. I held the hand of a fellow survivor as we wiped tears from our eyes.

I came home to my somewhat messy little house that we haven’t taken the time to clean, annoyed at myself for letting things slack. After tidying the house for a bit, and starting to make homemade soup I started to cry again.

I was overcome… Overcome with feelings of loss and grief, with sadness, but also with a guilt. Why is it that this beautiful woman, this amazing mother to two children, super woman wife who could keep up with her busy family and keep everything in order, this kind heart, lost her battle where as I have won mine? What makes me special? What do I have to offer that could even BEGIN to make this make sense, to make right the second chance that God has given me.

I stood there, spoon in hand, stirring my homemade soup on the stove distractedly while running through a list in my mind of things in my life I’ve done right, and things I’ve done wrong. I started to weigh out my impact on the world, and what I’ve taken from the world.

I know that I shouldn’t feel guilty, I am in no way responsible for what happened, but the emotions that come with something like this are sometimes SO difficult. I know that with time we’ll make our way through the grieving process, and possibly the hardest thing to accept is that I know that life is going to go on for myself, for that family, for everyone.

I have a lot of days of celebration. I embrace this life, take advantage of every chance I can to live it to its fullest. Some days however, like today, I have to let myself cry as I say goodbye…

Time for a Diet Change…

Between getting ready for the climb and trying to move forward in life I have realized that I REALLY need to start working on what I am eating/drinking! I was shocked when I stopped to look and realized exactly what it was that I was eating… Actually I’m not sure that ‘realize’ is the right choice given the fact I couldn’t even pronounce half the ingredients in the foods I was eating!

Moving forward I am going to do my best to follow a Clean Eating diet! Time to cut out processed foods and junk that I have been putting into my body! Your body can only function as well as the fuel that you put into it… I am going to start by planning meals and sharing some of my favourite clean eating recipes on here for anyone else that’s going down this road! Feel free to share your favourite recipes in the comments on here as well!!!!

I am going to start with a list of some of my favourite snacks:

– Trail  mix made of my favourite nuts/seeds, dried fruits, etc

– Hardboiled eggs

– Fruit balls in coconut milk

– Pickles

– Dehydrated apple slices

– Veggie chips

– Smoked salmon and cucumber slices

– Frozen grapes

My Biggest Gift…

Last night I  attended my first committee meeting for our local OCC Walk of Hope. This sparked a big conversation on the ride to the meeting with my husband about just what our biggest gift is that we have to give the world to help fight this horrible disease. We knew we wanted to volunteer our time where it could be most used… Are we organized? Are we creative? Do we have the ‘right’ connections? What did we have to give?

I realized something in that moment. My biggest gift in this fight against Ovarian Cancer is me… My story, the reality of what it means, how it affects you, the fact it CAN and DOES happen to young women who don’t even know it exists!

What bigger gift do I have to give to those that are fighting, have fought or someday may have to fight this monster then my voice?

So for anyone reading this that may have an experience. Anyone who has fought this monster, is fighting this monster, held the hand of someone as they fought this monster…. Whatever your experience may be – Speak out. Be loud and be proud! Make a difference by making it known.

The biggest obstacle we face, the thing that gives this Cancer its biggest power is that no one knows. Lets turn the tides and take back control of our bodies!