(Apologies in advance – this post is a little long!)
Hello to those of you still checking back up on my blog! The last month or so has been a little busy trying to finish up the spring semester on a good note. The good news is I am now finished with my associates degree!! I’m in the process of applying for the Master Nutrition Therapist (MNT) program from the Nutrition Therapy Institute and I have been working full time at a children’s fitness academy teaching dance and gymnastics. I’m completely loving it there!!
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I went to Las Vegas for the OMG Cancer Summit 2014, hosted by StupidCancer.org. It’s hard to believe it’s already been a month since I went! I had an amazing experience. I laughed, I cried, I did something a little crazy (helloo tattoo!) and I just let loose. Here’s a photo-recap of my experience:
The next morning I utilized the hotel’s fitness center
After my workout thursday morning (a real good one..I’ll put it in another post!!), I went to a seminar about the progress, promise, and prospects of blood cancer research. I learned a lot about how far we’ve come and what we have to look forward to that I had no idea about! Later in the day, I headed to the Stupid Cancer pool party to relax with other attendees.
That night, I went out with 4 girls I met (and made great friends with) to see O.A.R. for FREE thanks to the Love Hope Strength foundation. They do free cheek swabs at concerts to be entered into a database as a bone marrow donor.
The following morning on Friday, we had a 5k Fun run/walk for Stupid Cancer around the Hotel. The distance around it was 1 mile, so we ran that loop 3 times. It was great to be with other survivors/patients taking steps towards a healthy lifestyle!
The Survivor Glam Squad was at the event each day to do makeovers! They had tons of make up, press-on nails, and even styled our hair!
Saturday evening I went out to eat at Julian Serrano at the Aria
Sunday was a reallly fun day..we concluded the conference, then shortly after, the closing keynote speaker, Dan Shapiro, (who happens to dabble in photography) came with my friend and I to get tattoos! (I promise, it was a sober decision!!) While waiting for our appointment, we got to see the Strip a little bit:
The next four photos were taken by Dan Shapiro, who wrote the book Mom’s Marijuana about his cancer experience:
It’s sometimes difficult to do that when you want to live a healthy (cancer-free) lifestyle. I exercised the first two days I was there, and then didn’t exercise the rest of the time. I kind of just had to let myself enjoy my life and ‘live a little’. I met survivors and patients that were in much worse scenarios than me, so I did not want to stop myself from being happy or having fun because of all the calories in the food and drinks I consumed. I knew that I didn’t live my life like this at home on a normal basis, so what better time to just celebrate life and how far I and everyone else have come?
However, even after I got home..I still didn’t exercise for a few days! I felt like I was STILL exhausted. I had a Vegas hangover!! Eventually I got back on the horse and I’m still working on giving myself a regular bedtime and getting up early. Even if I don’t wake up super early, I make sure that I get active somehow every day.
I had a PET scan shortly after my return and all is clear! I’m in remission for about 6-7 months now (something like that..haha)
Obviously I need to recap all the food I’ve been eating! Here is a pictographic summary of my diet:
What I’ve learned:
Overall, OMG Summit 2014 was most certainly a life-changing experience. Being around other people who’ve been through similar situations makes you almost feel ‘normal’ – whatever normal actually is. I haven’t decided yet how I’m going to use these experiences in the future, but I know that I want to advocate more for cancer research and AYA (adolescent and young adult) cancer care. I want to help people to increase their awareness of their bodies and respect them for the gift that they are through regular exercise, a balanced diet, and necessary medical care.
The future of my blog:
I’ve been a bad blogger lately (in my opinion, at least) – not posting often and not really having any sense of direction. I think that I’m going to spend the next month or two re-discovering my voice now that I’ve been in remission for almost 7 months and I have been living a healthy lifestyle for just over a year. When first making those changes and discoveries, it all seemed so new and exciting to me. I don’t want to get bored with it or bore you guys (the readers) by reiterating the same thing over and over again.
In a way, I feel like I’m waiting to exhale. I’m in between educational endeavors and I feel a tad lost. There are several factors postponing my progression into the nutrition therapy program, so I am doing my best to busy myself in the mean time.
Stay tuned for the next post – I think I’ll be posting a recipe or a workout! We’ll see 😉 Hope you all had a lovely memorial day weekend!!
Questions for you:
Have you ever felt at a stand-still creatively or professionally?
How did you re-discover your sense of purpose and direction?