Literally…the greatest honor of my 40 year fitness career. I got to stand on the stage at the world’s largest fitness convention, and accept the 2023 World IDEA Inspiration Award. You can catch my acceptance speech HERE.
In my speech, I also shared what is literally the hardest news I have ever received. My Guru, cancer, has returned. It’s in my lungs, and in my spine. I am going to pick up where I left off back in 2015, with what I am now referring to as “cancer lite”. Tracking the story, as it unfolds here. My hope is that this new adventure will help you go through your hard things, with ease and grace. My hope is that you will stand here with me, again, at the Soft Edge of the Hard Place.
On June 19th, I went to see my oncologist for an annual follow up visit. I told her I had a knot behind my shoulder blade, and it had been around for awhile. She ordered a CT scan. On June 21st, while driving to the prison to teach, I got the call no one ever wants to get. “Your cancer is back.”
Over the past 6 weeks, I have had a Pet Scan, a spine biopsy, and other testing. We now know that this cancer is the same as last time. ER positive, HER2 negative, metastatic breast cancer. We also know that it is Stage 4, and incurable. I get to live with this guru. Key word LIVE.
The treatment plan is this. I will start immediately on estrogen blocker medications for 3 months. Then we’ll do another scan. The hope is that the cancer has shrunk, or at least stayed the same. The side effects are supposedly not as bad as regular chemotherapy, fingers crossed there.
So how am I?
My pat answer right now is “if I didn’t know, I wouldn’t know”. I feel great. My energy is good, I can’t imagine life being any better. I am doing everything I can to stay present, and not get too far ahead of myself. Google is my nemesis, so I am avoiding that. My husband has become an internet cancer expert so I have to shut him and his talk about averages down frequently. And when my thoughts drift to what-ifs and fear based thinking, I use the tools that I teach every day. Take a deep breath, feel your body here, now, find something to be grateful for, and proceed.
I am radically cleaning up my diet and nutrition habits, resting more, and continuing to do what I love, which is teaching, and moving my body. Being out here in life, with you.
Class is in session, the teacher is in the room. Time to learn some new lessons. And breathe.
Lesson #1, just 6 weeks in…I know for certain, the hard things in our lives remind us that at the end of the day, what matters most is that we LOVED. So go out and love, people. Start with yourself, love on those close to you, and especially, love those who are the hardest to love. Don’t wait for the guru to show up.