Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wow, I feel honored....

Hello everyone,

I received a really neat email the other day and wanted to share it with you...

"Hi LJ,

I stumbled across your blog and niticed the great content on your site. I am wondering if you allow guest posts because I recently have been researching and writing about how beneficial cancer support networks and also staying physically fit is to people going through treatments, in remission and even family memebers of cancer patients. I believe an article on one of thise two topics would mesh with your blog very well and also benefit your readers tremendously. this is an important message to gt out there so please lket me know if you woul dbe interested in seeing it and sharing it with you readers.

Thank you for all you do in making a difference.


Well David, first I want to thank you for taking the time to read my blog! I read your article and cannot agree more. I had my support staff with me before, during and now after cancer. I know that I would have fought and struggled through my fight with or without my friends, but because of the family and friends I KNEW I had on my side (being in person, on the phone or online) I was able to stay connected with my body and soul through this journey and think everyone needs their angels.

So here is David's article...

Networks of People To Fight Cancer

Cancer can be a frightening experience whether you have been diagnosed, you are close to someone who has it, or you are in remission. The exasperating and stressful experience can leave its mark on anyone. For that reason it's important that you have a
healthy network of people who you can turn to and talk with about how you're feeling. And what you are going through. It doesn't matter if you have a common cancer like breast cancer, a rare aggressive disease like mesothelioma, skin cancer or prostate cancer, you should have some kind of outreach program to help you cope. It will be especially helpful for you to have a network of people who have the same cancer and can relate to how your body is feeling, how they are feeling, and ways that the both of you can cope and overcome. Even programs on the Internet can prove beneficial to cancer patients, although it might not seem like it at first. Search for chat rooms and discussion boards to introduce yourself and what you are experiencing with cancer. Also, don't just read posts you must engage. Even if it doesn't seem like it, your experience with cancer is unlike that of anyone else's. The simple act of connecting with someone and talking with him or her about what's going through your mind can be a truly cathartic experience. As long as patients experience some type of release or relief than it was worth it.Other outreach programs include rides to treatments. This can prove to be especially helpful for cancer patients who are unable to drive themselves to the treatment center, or if their families and friends are not able to help them out. This gives you the opportunity to make new friends and for volunteers to reach out to people. Sometimes in order for cancer patients to receive the best care they have to travel away from home, away from friends, family, familiarity and their routines. This can make an already challenging experience even more so with new emotional and financial strains. There are lodging centers for cancer patients where they can stay in comfort with other patients and medical experts whom they can talk with. Below are a few great online programs, which can help cancer patients immensely and immediately:
Caring Bridge

By: David Haas

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Did you know??

Hey everyone!

I am so excited that the walk is only a few weeks away (6 weeks) and I am working on fundraising for my team (which is now Hope for Hooters), doing my training walks (my last one was 6 miles in the POURING rain), and getting my feet toughend up for the walk (please forgive my bare feet EVERYWHERE).

So what can you do for me? How bout send me some mail while I am at the walk!
Pretty awesome huh?

But you will have to mail it soon, cause it is stored and delivered to me in my pink tent during the walk!

Send letters to:
3-Day for the Cure
ATTN: Laurie Jo Neary
P.O. Box 417
Gore, VA 22637

My love for all of you that supported me whether it be through your words, prayers, or your donations, I could not have done it without you all behind me!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The New Normal

  1. Two years after my diagnosis and I am always asked if things are back to normal.

  2. My answer? It is a new normal. There are days that my husband forgets what we went to, forgets that I had cancer, forgets the fight. I would give anything to have those days.
    Let me explain... This is my bathroom sink.

In the morning I wake up and after I brush my teeth, I have three things to take:
1. Vitamin D (for bone health) I have blood tests every doctor visit to make sure I am taking enough.

2. Calcium

3. Remifemin (right now it is Icool) for the menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, mood swings, sleeplessness)

4. Clariten

When I am getting dressed before and after the shower I am faced with the scar on my breast. It looks fine and faint, but it is still there. In the shower I have to use a special razor with a flat head (AKA my husband's) to shave under my left arm cause the scar causes an indentation that I cannot get with my Schick Quatro. My doctors told me that radiation would cause the hair to not grow. But my doctor was so precise that my hair still grows. :-(

Ater taking a shower I have to put on lotion. A special lotion on my left breast (Intense Moisture) by Avon. It is the only lotion that alleviate the EXTREME dry skin in the radiation areas.

Since my lymph nodes were removed during surgery, I have to be extra vigilant about keeping my left arm unharmed. A paper cut, a insect bite, sun burn,even a hang nail can cause lymphadema.

At night, I have to take more pills.

1. Tamoxifen (to fight any rogue cancer cells still there)

2. Effexor (to combat the side-effects of the Tamoxifen)

3. Vitamin D (again, I am deficient about 2300ml)

4. Xyzal (another anti-histamine, to keep the hives at bay (didn't I mention I was allergic to myself?))

5. Ambien (when I need to sleep in my pot holders)

My pot holders?
Yup, pot holders. Because my lymph nodes were removed (during the cancer surgery) I have some swelling in my left arm and in my left breast. The lymph nodes are our own person trash system, so my trash system is gone and there is no where for the extra fluid in my arm or breast to go and swelling can occur. You can see this in the post entitled "Frankenboob" I had compression sleeves made for me to compresses the areas to keep swelling down, and they way they are sewn will move the fluid up out of my harm and to my other lymph systems. They are bulky, but are a godsent when I feel like I am swelling (or for an insect bite on my left arm)

The only true way to understand is to see them for yourself...

The grey pad wrappes around my under arm (called a swell spot).

I know... Sexy huh?

So this is my normal... My new normal. Is it different? Yes.
Is it horrible? No.
Just... a New Normal :-)

It really isn't so bad. I am still so grateful for my life, for my family and yes... Even for my health.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

This year, I'll be participating in a very special event called the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.

I'll walk 60 miles over the course of three days with thousands of other women and men. Net proceeds from the 3-Day for the Cure fund innovative global breast cancer research and local community programs supporting education, screening and treatment. Virtually every major advance in the fight against breast cancer in the last 28 years has been impacted by a Komen for the Cure grant.

I've agreed to raise at least $2,300 in donations. I've set my personal goal at $2500. So I need your help. Would you please consider making a donation of $100? Keep in mind how far I'm walking - and how hard I'll have to train. You can give online at Just follow the link below to visit my personal fundraising webpage and make a donation. You can also call 800-996-3DAY to donate over the phone.

Two years ago, I received the call that I had breast cancer. I don't want any other woman to get that call....

Somewhere in the world, a woman dies from breast cancer every 69 seconds. That's why I'm walking so far. To do something bold about breast cancer. I hope that you'll share this incredible adventure with me - by supporting me in my fundraising efforts.

Surgery, Chemo, then radiation... 60 miles? I can do that!

Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Laurie Jo
Captain of Team LJ

P.S. Ask your employer if they will double your donation through a matching gift program!

Thank you to Luke for making my Mascot!!! (seen at the top of this post)