Thursday, December 20, 2007

Today I had an interview with the Coulee Region Women's Magazine as I was looking for some information I came across these notes.. When I started Cancer my round 2 with Cancer... Know these were done at the time everything was going on so I hope you can understand them..

Training for Ironman 2005 was a great time! I was swimming, biking and running all the time I put in 25 hours a week with training and teaching, I was teaching spinning, total body conditioning, Pilates, basic swimming and running for beginners so I really had an advantage.

It started September 2005, after finishing Ironman WI. I figured I should go to the doctor I was having a hard time swallowing, I was feeling fatigue, and gaining weight which I thought was weird for working out as much as I did for Ironman. I went in for my exam the first thing she did is felt my neck "Yeap" you guessed it there was a lump about the size of a dime then having a ton of them all around the Thyroid.

My doctor wanted to get a second opinion so she brought in someone else to feel my neck; she was right there was a lump. Right away we set an appointment with endocrinology it was set for 1 week after finding the lump. Well during my wait I looked into everything I could about Thyroid Cancer; then of course you scare yourself even more even know it is very curable your mind just thinks the worst. Then I got a call from the hospital saying the doctor had some family issues come up and we had to reschedule, the worrying really set in, so we scheduled another week out so 2 weeks have went by since we found the lump I was sick to my stomach.

Doctor Date was set Friday October 21, 2005 at 1:00. I went to the doctor myself I knew we would have to do a biopsy with the studding I was doing.
Doctor Asp at Gundersen Lutheran had come into the room he felt my lump and called for a biopsy. This was the scariest thing in my life to see a huge needle that was going to take tissue out of your neck as the procedure went on it wasn't as bad as I thought 3 pokes later and we were done.
Doctor Asp talked to me about our next step one including Cancer maybe it was maybe it wasn't however by the way he was talking I had a feeling it could be?? Doctor Asp asked me if he could call me on my phone to give me the results either way and of course I said yes.

It was going on 5:00 and I was at the bike shop (Smith's) where Tyler (my son) and I worked. Landen and I were picking up Tyler from work. My phone rang I have to admit I was scared to answer it, however I said "hello Sunshine" it was Doctor Asp. he said "Danniela can you come into the office"? I said if there is bad news you can tell me on the phone I'm ready he proceeded to tell me that the biopsy came out positive; You have cancer we would need to do surgery right away. Holy Schnickies I was crushed I went outside and cried my oldest son came out after me and asked me if everything was OK I proceeded to tell him yes however your mom has cancer. That was the hardest thing I would have to tell my 15 year old he hugged me and told me he loved me, not to worry we will get through this.. then my youngest son came out of the store he seen mom crying I remember him asking me is everything OK? what is wrong? I had to talk to him about this Landen didn't understand so we sat down and talk about it as much as I could. I then called all my family members and went for a long walk with my brother we had discussed everything that was going to happen. I felt like I was getting control of myself.. What’s the next step I needed to be strong for my boys and I wasn't going to let this bring me down, I had signed up for Ironman 2006 and I'm going to finish it no matter what I was going to go through.

I really had some long nights of crying after the boys went to bed; I needed to be strong for them however I was really alone, my husband at the time was not there for me, we had made the decision that we were going to separate and divorce, this was done before I found out I had cancer. My mom came up from Wyoming and helped me out in the mean time, I decided to open up to my Triathlon friends I sent out a mass e-mail and let them know what was going on I had a over welling response. I then came up with a crazy idea I would have a bike ride starting from my house to Gundersen Lutheran the day of my surgery. This was a great idea it would keep my mind off of the surgery and the Cancer itself. Over the time of two weeks I had gotten 30 e-mails a day wow I couldn't believe it I wasn’t alone I had a huge support group.

Monday October 24th – Went to the doctor with my Aunt Ramona we talked about surgery, medication, what I was going to aspect for the next few months. Then they did another exam they did find 12 more lumps wow I couldn’t hold it back I tried to say as positive as I could but again when I got dropped off at home I cried and cried until my boys were out of school again I was just sick to my stomach. When the boys got home I decided we need to go out of town together. We that Friday we went to Wisconsin Dells to the Great Wolf Lodge I had so much fun watching the boys run around play, I would sit and watch them and things would come to my mind what would I do with out them I love them so very much! I hope they know how lucky I am to have them they are my life. We said every year we would go to the Dells but cancer free..

Surgery was set for November 3, 2005 at 6:30 so everyone would have to be at my house at by 4:30 we would need to leave by 5:00. Steve one of my friends came over at 4:00 made coffee for everyone it was so nice! It was a cold November day I would have to say it was in the Thirties (Yeah I did type 30) it was cold. My son Tyler whom has never road a bike said he’s going to ride with us that was the best time ever. As we were riding our bikes to Gundersen some of my running partners were on the trail they wish me luck as we went by I just cried I couldn’t believe it. We road into Gundersen on the way there we were greeted the lady at the front desk she was amazed of all the bikers whom came in there were 23 of us my mom and step dad who drove and others I know I should have taken a picture of it. My Friend Tracie H. took my bike to Smith’s they made sure that I wouldn’t get it back until the doctor gave the ok because I would ride it any chance I got on my trainer; so to keep from the temptation they kept it. DARN IT!

Surgery went really well I remember them telling me I might not be able to talk right away so the first words I said to the nurses “Hello Sunshine’s” yeap that was the first thing I said when I woke up just to make sure I could talk, as some of you know me I’m just not a quiet person “In a good way”. I went to my room and wow I had so many visitors, cards, flowers and the two most important things in my life my boys they were the first ones in the room; I gave them huge hugs. Everything is going to be great I said to them we have a long road ahead of us but nothing we can’t get through together. My room was filled within minutes.

Come to find out they had removed my whole Thyroid and 12 lymph notes I had a nice size scare on my neck WOW it was black BIG. I have to tell you it didn’t look to hot but that’s how it goes.

Over the next few days in the hospital I was ready to get out and get back into the swing of things “so I thought”. Doctor Brecky and Doctor Asp had talked to me about taking it slow I wasn’t going to have the energy I had before right away and don’t be disappointed it will come back.

3 day’s after surgery wow was I feeling like crap! But I did get up to go for a walk with my friend Chad we went to the trail I was really, really dizzy we could only walk 1 mile if that, if you can imagine being able to do Ironman in September and then not even walking a mile wow that hit home I cried when Chad left my mom was staying with me and she knew I was having a hard time I laid in bed my boys were always there for me mom can I get you anything change the channel for you they were so good I’m so lucky I thank god for them everyday.

Day 4 went for another walk I was determined to walk 2 miles I wasn’t able to do it yet
However on day 6 I was able to walk 2 and ½ miles “wow” that was a start. I cried when I got home but I need to stay positive I’m going to get through this I kept thinking

As time went on I was on my new Thyroid medication just to get me through the next few weeks until I was able to do radiation we didn’t do radiation right away because Christmas was just around the corner and I wanted to know what was going on at all times see when you go off your Thyroid medication you loose some memory, your brain waves don’t work as well, you have headaches, you gain weight “what all women love to do”, you get really tired and sleep a lot so much fun.

Saturday November 12th – Decided to ride my bike up S on of the biggest hills around Onalaksa area- I talked to one of my Friends Tracie Happle she was willing to ride up it with me. Rode to the top and got really, really sick after that we rode 20 miles I made it. However I laid in bed very, very sick I was in so much pain my head hurt, my body hurt but I made it..

Saturday November 19th – Did the Turkey Trot 5K here is la Crosse Chad ran with me my heart rate was so high the whole time it was in the 190-193 but I didn’t want to back it off I kept going again I felt like crap afterwards.

My dear sister"I love her so much" when she found out I had cancer her mind was going what can I do to help my sister? So she came up with a benefit she had contacted my friends and family members they organized a benefit and a run/walk.

November 20th Surprise Cancer Benefit
I couldn’t believe it I had over 250 people there people were bidding on things we had a dance, food and drinks “wow” it was like having a wedding reception what fun. I was so thankful for my sister my friends whom helped her organize it and those whom came to my benefit I didn’t know how to thank them I was so thankful and I really hope they know that. If there was anything I could do for them to pay them back I would and some day I will be able to.

December – I was starting to loose some of my hair do to the medication I was on that was hard I have long hair and all the sudden I would brush my hair and it would come up in a lump sum. I would run my fingers through it and it would just come out I couldn’t believe this. Both of my boys said they would cut their hair for me so I wouldn’t be the only one without hair, I talked to my Aunt Ramona about this she had bought me some Nioxin this helped I think after a few weeks.

December 5th – Did another race I did the Jingle Bell run I again I was really sick afterwards however I finished it.

December 25th Christmas – Watch the boys open their gifts what a great day I knew the next day I was going off my medication.

December 26th Went off the medication again really didn’t feel anything I was told that I could only eat cretin things with low iodine in them Wow it is hard I couldn’t have gummy bears, licorice, banana’s and so many other things I love to eat.

January 6th – Went in for my first dose of Radiation it wasn’t bad at all I was taken to a small room explained what was going to happen; Took then pill and I was off in 1 hour I was going to be radio active to everyone that means I couldn’t give hugs and kisses to my kids that was going to be the worst.

Things I had to do when I was radioactive: I had to make sure I had junkie sheets, pillow cases, blankets clothes, I couldn’t go to the gym because I couldn’t touch anything with my sweat, I couldn’t eat off my own plates, silverware, couldn’t drink out of my cups I had to have plastic I had to flush the toilet 2 times, get a different tooth brush, have my own soap, could only use white towels in the house I picked this color because the boys couldn’t use them, I had to wash my cloths separate from everyone else’s, that was all easy compared to not being able to give Landen and Tyler hugs and Kisses.. I was starting to get week and headaches and just didn't want to do to much.

January 8th – Body Scan - Went in for a body scan to see if there was any more cancer in my body. This was so interesting I had to lay down under a huge ½ tube with this board just 1 inch from my nose if you were claustrophobic you wouldn’t like it. I did bring some head sets and Metallica helped me get though the 1 hour body scan. When I was finished they decided to do a larger dose of radiation his is when they decided that I needed to have a larger dose of radiation just to make sure the cancer was gone and this would also help determine if there was any more Cancer anywhere else. At this time Doctor Asp had sat in the room with me, my mom and dad and told me that he didn’t feel I would have the strength or the endurance to do the Ironman in September and I should rethink this event, it takes people over 6 to 12 months to recover from this and we had to do 2 more rounds of radiation. I listen and cried but in my head I knew I was going to do it and that I would finish it no matter how I felt I was determined someone said “I couldn’t do something and I knew I could”. I wanted to show my boys that when you have terrible times in your life you need to stay positive and get through them and press on with your life and with your goals.

January 23rd – Second dose of Radiation

Know at this time I was gaining weight 21 pounds to be exact, I couldn’t fit into some of my clothes I hated it I tried to walk as much as I could but the water weight just kept packing on it was fun.. Yea right! At this time I was walking in the mall Chad would pick me up at the house to go mall walking at 6:00 am Steve would meet us there I couldn’t be around anyone well they could handle it but I couldn’t sweat on anything or anyone… I hate this

Friday February 3rd - Next body scan this one is going to be an hour and a half. I again brought my head phones and it went forever.

I had received the results right away no specks of cancer, but I would have to go home and take my time getting back into it.

I started riding my bike in the basement I could only ride 5 min and I would have to get off and cry because my head hurt so bad. I would try and walk/run a block and couldn’t do it however I just stayed positive and took it one day at a time I had to get into bed as soon as I could I was so weak, I would make the boys supper, read a book and get my little one into bed. I was done the next morning I was up at 5:00 am riding my trainer, I would try this for 10 min. and have to get off my heart rate was so high we needed to get my medicine regulated this was going to take time.

March 2nd my Birthday – I was going to be strong day I’m going to start my 2006 Ironman training and I’m going to finish my time from last year, and show my boys you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.

Like I say "Live, Love Life, You only have one"! and Never, Never Give UP!

I want to thank everyone whom helped me get through this, I will forever be thankful for all of you!