World Thyroid Day

Today is World #Thyroid Day 2016! Join us in celebrating and supporting the American Thyroid Association, the European Thyroid Association, the Latin American Thyroid Society, and the Asia and Oceania Thyroid Association for continuing to develop key resources on #ThyroidCancer and thyroid disease. #ThyroidAwareness​

Relay for Life Team: All Night for the Fight

Ok yall, it’s time for Relay for Life!!! I couldn’t be more thrilled to have our own team this year and it’s going to be AWESOME!

An introduction to Relay for Life:

I’m going to be completely honest, prior to being diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer, I had remembered hearing about it Relay for Life but had never participated in one. I was asked by my dear friend and neighbor last year to join her team, not truly understanding what it was all about. I can tell you, this experience was life changing. To see so many people coming together to help bring awareness, raise money, and support each other was just an incredible thing – and of course, it was FUN! Please, please, please come and hang out with us! 🙂

What is Relay for Life:

  • It’s an organized, overnight community fundraising walk for ALL cancers
  • Teams of people camp out around a track
  • Members of each team take turns walking around the track
  • Food, games, and activities provide entertainment and build camaraderie
  • Family-friendly environment for the entire community

What makes Relay for Life more awesome?

  • In more than 5,200 communities and 20 countries, Relay for Life events comprise the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, raising more than $400 million dollars.
  • Survivors Lap: All cancer survivors at the event take the first lap around the track, celebrating their victory over cancer while cheered on by other participants who line the track.
  • Luminaria Ceremony: Takes place after dark, so we can remember people we have lost to cancer, honor people who have fought cancer in the past, and support those whose fight continues. Candles are lit inside of personalized bags and are placed around the Relay track as glowing tributes to those who’ve been affected by cancer.
  • Fight Back Ceremony: This emotionally powerful ceremony inspires Relay participants to take action. The Fight Back Ceremony symbolizes the emotional commitment each of us can make in the fight against cancer. The action taken represents what we are willing to do for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for our community to fight cancer year-round and to commit to saving lives.

What to expect at a Relay Event?

  1. Relayers are welcomed in the Opening Ceremony.
  2. Relay starts with the Survivor Lap, when survivors walk to celebrate their victory over cancer.
  3. The Caregiver Lap recognizes those who have given care to cancer patients.
  4. All of the Relay teams are invited to walk together during the Opening Lap.
  5. Luminaria bags and candles are lit during the Luminaria Ceremony to honor loved ones who have passed or are fighting the disease.
  6. Individual Walking is observed throughout the night with Family Games, Activities, and Entertainment.
  7. The Fight Back Ceremony helps close the event. Relayers take a final lap and pledge to take action and spread awareness of cancer research, treatments, and prevention.

How can YOU help?

  • Join our team!! Seriously, it’s going to be a BLAST! Whether you can come for an hour or all night – come hang out, walk a couple laps with us and celebrate those that are fighting and honor those that we have lost.
  • Help raise money – share our team link (see below) to your Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media. It doesn’t matter if you can give back $5 or raise $50, anything helps!!
  • Donate a Luminaria Bag/Torch – You can choose to decorate a bag (see me for details) or you can purchase online and the event will have a bag for you lining the track, including “In Honor Of”, “In Memory Of”, or “In Support Of”.
    • White Luminaria Bag – $10 (or 3 for $25)
    • Blue Luminaria Bag – 3 for $25
    • Tiki Torch of Hope – $30 (or $35 includes a keepsake)
  • Come support us!! Even if you aren’t interested in walking with our team, just come be apart of this fantatic opportunity – come watch the opening ceremony, have a few laughs, etc. Just come, but I’m going to warn you, the energy is contagious and you might not want to leave! 🙂

Event Day Logistics

  • When: Saturday, June 11, 2016 from 6pm to 7am
  • Where: Fauquier High School (702 Waterloo Road, Warrenton, VA)
  • What should I pack? folding chair, a change of clothes, a blanket/pillow, warm clothes (in case it gets chilly), bug spray, and snacks.
  • Where to meet? we have a tent set up – you just have to look for our sign with team name: All Night for the Fight!
  • Are you a Survivor? Make sure you sign up online as one so you can receive the t-shirt. And please come early to receive your complimentary food in the Survivor tent.
  • Food/Drinks? Yes there will be vendors/other teams selling food/drinks and of course, there will be water provided for participants.
  • Bathrooms? There are bathrooms on site – duh! 😉
  • Kids? Of course! You are never too young to Relay! Just make sure you bring all the necessities! And if your child under 18 years of and will be walking, be sure to bring your signed Youth Participant Agreement to the Registration table.
  • Do I have to walk the whole time?? NO! In order to represent the fact that “Cancer never sleeps”, we ask that each team has a representative walking the track at all times. This should not be just one person – team members can take shifts!
  • Want to sleep? You are more than welcome to take a nap in the tent, OR go home, take a name and come back! Participants are not required to stay up all night.

Relay for LIfe

Thank yall for taking the time to read this. I just wanted to answer any questions that you might have about this amazing event and hope to see YOU there! 🙂

Our Team Link: 

http://main.acsevents.org/goto/FauquierAllNightfortheFight 

Better place since you came along….

So I wanted to dedicate this post to my Husband for so many reasons – first and fore most because he is awesome! More importantly, not only has he been there every step of the way in my ThyCa journey – he’s dealt with all 50,000+ emotions that comes with being diagnosed/treated for cancer.

When I was first told I needed to get a biopsy done, I was terrified and inconsolable. My Hubby, Spencer, said over and over that it would be fine – there was no reason to worry. In my opinion he was being insensitive but come to find out, he just had no clue how serious the situation was. It was his mom and sister that finally got through to him that it’s not just an over dramatized response – this is really happening.

I still remember the day that I was upstairs in our bedroom and Spencer came up to talk – he ended up breaking down and crying. It was at that point he told me how helpless he felt and didn’t know what he could do to help. I honestly think it was a turning point in our relationship. We both needed each other and would fight to no end – together!

Once diagnosed, the reality of the situation hit both of us very hard. Expanding our family was once again on hold, the countless doctors appointments we continued to miss work for, figuring out how to break the news of cancer with our kids, and all the stresses that came with the over abundance of bills that were coming our way. I know I was a mess, and that’s putting it lightly. And even through it all, Spencer comforted me, consoled me and the kids, was constantly keeping family in the loop when I couldn’t get through the newest update, and just all around supportive and positive. One of the best things he did, was just to let me vent – because it’s exactly what I needed. He would let me cry on his shoulder as I wondered what was coming next. He never discounted how I felt by saying I shouldn’t worry about it. There were days that he might not have been as patient, hey it’s a tough job to keep up with someone who is on a constant roller coaster – filled with stress, anxiety and negative thoughts. When I came off as positive and always so uplifting in my Facebook posts, it was partly because I already vented to my family and friends, but mostly my husband. Not to say I wasn’t positive, but it definitely takes work to continue to be positive when there was so much back to back bad news.

I have heard so many people who have been diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer that have lost friends, spouses, or just didn’t have the support. And I am so grateful to have so many people on a daily basis that have continued to be there every step of the way.

To my husband: my one, my from now on – thank you! Thank you for your love, support, and constant comfort. I can’t say I wouldn’t have gotten through it without you (only because I’m a fighter) but you made the ride a hell of a lot better. I love you and can’t wait to see what the next couple of years has in store for us!

Rachel Platten says it best – “It’s a better place since you came along!”

And thank you for always reminding me you’ll “Stand by You” (aka me!).