I’m back for good this time, I promise! [Vegas Recap]

(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:


View from the plane



View to the right from the hotel room


View to the left from the hotel room

The next morning I utilized the hotel’s fitness center


Panorama of the cardio center located within the spa at Palms Place


Other half of the cardio center


Part of the fitness center in Palms Place (different from cardio center)


Fitness center in palms place


Fresh citrus water, yum! Each cardio machine in the fitness center was equipped with a mini water bottle and a towel as well


Player’s club indicates that I raised at least $500 for Stupid Cancer! WOO!


The resort/casino where I stayed

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.



View of the pool from my room


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.




They were AWESOME!


Later on in the evening, we went to Tao at the Venetian and this was the view from the balcony

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!


Pre-5K in my new StupidCancer tank top! It was so windy out – my hat blew off twice!


I tried to eat the greek salad (pictured with the lid on) but the hangover sort of hit me AFTER the 5k..so all I felt like eating was this tasty flourless cookie and coconut water!!


Later Friday afternoon at Wet Republic relaxing with my new friend!


Wet Republic

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!


I felt pretty ‘fierce!’ 🙂


Saturday evening I went out to eat at Julian Serrano at the Aria


Ceiling 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:


Ceiling at the Bellaggio


Bellaggio gardens


Paris Hotel


The big moment!

The next four photos were taken by Dan Shapiro, who wrote the book Mom’s Marijuana about his cancer experience:





My friend and I’s matching tattoos! She had ovarian (the teal in the ribbon) and I had lymphoma (the lime green in the ribbon)


Two my other cancer sisters!!

 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.

Cancer update:

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:


Still attempting to eat healthy at the airport


Quinoa salad with chicken, berries, nuts, etc


Kale salad at Julian Serrano – yummy!


BEST STEAK EVER. 8 oz sirloid – well done yet so deliciously moist. At Nine Steakhouse in the Palms Hotel


Broccoli and cauliflower gratin at Nine Steakhouse


So there was a crepery called Chocolat in the hotel that I passed everytime I went to the elevators..How could I not. Strawberry & chocolate crepe with vanilla and dark chocolate gelato!


Grilled steak, roasted cauliflower, and sauteed rainbow carrots


Cinco de mayo! Woo! Lettuce tacos


Italian quinoa balls and roasted cauliflower!


Chile-lime kebabs with chicken, zucchini, green peppers, and turkey bacon interwoven on the skewers. All cooked on the grill


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?


One response to “I’m back for good this time, I promise! [Vegas Recap]

  1. Pingback: I'm back for good this time, I promise! [Vegas Recap]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s