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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Stop the Clot!

Ross and I before the walk began
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak at the 4th Annual American Business Women's Association Walk for Blood Clot Awareness Month in Brooklyn. The walk is a collaboration with the National Blood Clot Alliance, and I was their patient speaker. So I shared my story of the massive pulmonary embolism I experienced just a week after Ross and I returned from our honeymoon in Greece.

I was really excited (and a little nervous!) to share my story, so I was so happy that it turned out to be a wonderful event. It was a gorgeous day and several of my close friends came out to support and cheer me on. Since the focus of this event was about blood clots, and not cancer, I wanted to make sure that I spoke about my blood clot experience, but I also explained that cancer was one of the risks for clots.

Gorgeous day in BK with my girls: Tiffany, Nneka and Kamila

Ross was set to tape my speech but unfortunately his iPhone ran out of space in the middle of the speech...but, like the good husband he is...he continued to hold his phone up the entire time so I still believed he was taping and he didn't throw me off, lol! Because he knew that the first thing I would say to him was, "why did you stop taping!" So alas, I only have the very beginning of my speech and it's basically me saying my name, so not really enough to post. But as you can tell from the pics, it was a happy day. Ironically, in the days leading up to my speech I started feeling pain in my legs again and started worrying about clots. As I said in my speech, the blood clot has affected me far worse than the cancer diagnosis, because it was such a terrifying physical incident that I will never forget. So often, on my down-in-the-dumps, crying, sad days, I worry more about clots than cancer. Despite having so many precautions (being on blood thinners and having a filter in my lung), I don't know if I'll ever get over the fear of clots...especially if I feel a pain in my leg! It sucks to be so fearful of what's happening (or not happening) in your own body.

The Oglivie family! Close friends from way back in the day
A doctor who specializes in blood clots also spoke at the event. And in an awful ironic twist, he had a blood clot as well. Despite being a doctor who knew the risks, he still developed one and it just shows you that no one is immune to horrible things. The world is so scary these days with the Boston marathon bombing, the Newtown shooting, the North Korea threats...and then you have to worry about a war going on in your own body...sometimes it's all too much!

A quick cancer update: I just completed the 3rd cycle of the NAE clinical trial and according to the PET/CT scan I had on Friday, the cancer has now decreased by 28%! So although it's not a huge decrease from last time, it's enough for me to stay on the trial. I start cycle 4 next week and the first day of the new cycle is usually the hardest, so I'm hoping with my new pain meds, it won't be too bad. So that's it for now! The hope is that things keep getting smaller and smaller and we continue on a good path!

Celebrating a successful day with brunch in Brooklyn

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