Cancer Related Information

Celebrating Mathias: 2nd Annual Team Mathias 5K and Family Fun Run!

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Team Mathias

This past December, Mathias Giordano lost his cancer battle. Tomorrow he would have celebrated his 14th birthday. I have not been able to get him out of my thoughts since first hearing about him and what an amazing young man he was from my friend Gwen. Gwen and I, along with her son and HB ran the 5K this morning to remember him and raise money for childhood cancer research.

It was an amazing feeling to start my day with a 5K run to support Team Mathias in the Team Mathias 5K and Family Fun Run 2015y

 

I was so proud of HB. I thought she was going to back out of coming with me early this morning but no. She stayed true to her commitment and did great. This is now the second race we have done together. I can’t even describe how much it fills my heart with so much love and pride that she is open to tackling the races with me.  I think one of the reasons that I continue to be moved by Mathias is my own kiddos are around the same age – and after seeing how hard Scott’s cancer battle was, I can only imagine how much harder it is for those younger.  During the pre-race speeches, I teared up thinking about him and his family. What an amazing example of faith and perseverance.

 

Partnering with the Team Mathias was Be the Match®, a global leader in bone marrow transplantation. They conduct research to improve transplant outcomes provide support and resources for patients, and partner with a global network

My last 5K was in March for Scope it Out Colon Cancer Awareness and my 5K pace was 9:36. This race I finished with a 8:45 minute pace. So I’m pretty pleased with that improvement. Boxing and Cycling are really helping my overall lung capacity for sure.

11301561_10152972810248741_263347669_nChildhood Cancer Statistics – Important Facts

Each year, the parents of approximately 15,700 kids will hear the words “your child has cancer.” Across all ages, ethnic groups and socio-economics, this disease remains the number one cause of death by disease in children. Despite major advances – from an overall survival rate of 10 percent just fifty years ago to nearly 90 percent today, for many rare cancers, the survival rate is much lower. Furthermore, the number of diagnosed cases annually has not declined in nearly 20 years.

  • Every day, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer.
  • 12% of children diagnosed with cancer do not survive.
  • Children’s cancer affects all ethnic, gender and socio-economic groups.
  • The average age of children diagnosed is six.
  • More than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year.
  • 60% of children who survive cancer suffer late-effects, such as infertility, heart failure and secondary cancers.
  • There are approximately 375,000 adult survivors of children’s cancer in the United States.
    • That equates to 1 in 530 adults ages 20-39.

Team Mathias 5K
Team Mathias

You Are Not Alone

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“We read to know we’re not alone.” ― William Nicholson, Shadowlands

 

This quote, by William Nicholson, in the movie Shadowlands, is one of my all time favorites and I turn to it for perspective often.  Shadowlands, a 1993 movie based on the life and love of C.S. Lewis’s life, is a film I have watched dozens of times throughout the years and each time, it hits me deep. When the young man in the film tells  CS Lewis why he reads so much –we read to know we’re not alone, it said volumes.

cs-lewisIt’s a simple but true thought for just about everyone. The need to know we aren’t alone. There is no discounting the importance and power in knowing that there is someone else out there, in this vast world, who thinks, feels, or has experienced what we are going through.  It has the power to offer comfort, give us strength, calm our anxiety, and motivate and inspire us to change. Sometimes, it’s the one thing that pulls us through a rough time.

Sharing our mistakes, flaws, wounds is hard no matter who you are. The bravery required to open up, be honest,  and show your vulnerabilities is one of the hardest things for any of us to. Imagine then putting pen to paper and sharing these experiences beyond your closest trusted circle.  It’s not a small thing…

The ability to let down our defenses and share what really happens behind the social media filters is important. No one lives a trouble free life.  We all have hardships and successes. We all have flaws and things we love about ourselves. Life is about learning to live your best life in the peaks AND in the valleys and inviting people who make you smile, lift you up, and push you to be better along for the ride.

I am sharing these two stories below as examples of not being alone in our struggle. I know they have helped a few people already. Thank you Naomi and VP Joe Biden for being brave enough to share.

The Real Face of Depression

“The Real Face of Depression” to bring awareness to the world that depressed people aren’t just those in the corner crying and pulling their hair out like you see in most depictions, although sometimes we may feel that way. Depressed people are everyday people – they are your co-worker, they are your friend, your neighbor, and in my case, a fitness coach. We look happy on the outside, we have big smiles in our pictures that come up on Facebook, we are the new moms smiling and playing with precious little babies, we are top CrossFit athletes at The Games…”

Family losses frame Vice President Biden’s career

“The most successful and happiest people I’ve known understand that a good life, at its core, is about being personal. It’s about being engaged. It’s about being there for a friend or a colleague when they’re injured or in an accident,”  Biden told the Yale crowd, adding: “It all seems to get down to being personal. That’s the stuff that fosters relationships. It’s the only way to breed trust.” 

Kindness: Put More Of It In The World

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if-you-want-more-kindness-in-the-world-put-it-there-zero-deanEvery day you have to make the decision to be happy and approach things with the best of intentions. Some days it’s not easy, especially when you are feeling like things aren’t going the way you imagined. There are lots of examples of true kindness and beauty every day to help remind us to be thankful for all we have.

Cancer sucks! Here’s an amazing story of kindness by high school students who gave up their class trip to donate the money to their principal’s cancer treatment.

Kindness Matters

SELFLESS SACRIFICE: A high school principal was brought to tears when her senior class unanimously decided to give up their class trip to donate nearly $8,000 to her cancer treatment. HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS SACRIFICE CLASS TRIP TO DONATE TO PRINCIPAL’S CANCER CARE

 

2015 Scope It Out 5K – Washington, DC

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Sunday was the 10th Annual Scope it Out 5K.  It was my fifth year running to celebrate my husband being colon cancer free! Seems so long ago now that he was recovering from surgery and chemo. Every year, I run this race as a reminder of how far we have come from those days and to continue to do my part spreading the word about how important it is for anyone with symptoms or at risk for colon cancer get screened. Remember: the treatment for colon cancer is a lot worse than any colonoscopy!!

Scope It Out 5K 2015

Both my kiddos ran this year’s race too! Last year’s 2014 Scope it Out 5K, HB joined us and this year Nate Dogg committed and rocked it!  I could not have been more proud of both of them! Apparently,  Nate loves to talk while he runs and expects a two way conversation, so Scotty had the pleasure of counting cop cars, crowds of people and anything else Nate Dogg wanted to mention during the 3+ miles. Good times!

I still regularly visit blogs created by others battling colon cancer. When I got back from the race, I decided to visit a blog by a young women in Arizona:  Michelle Whitehead Hastings. She had not been updating regularly because the cancer came back and she was undergoing some painful treatments. I wondered how she was doing and was shocked to learn she passed away late last month.  Michelle was a women, wife, mother, daughter – a bright shining person, who tried to give back as she navigated her own treatment. I took a moment last night to say a prayer for her and her family. And although I didn’t know the news at the time – I ran the race in her honor. RIP Michelle.

Race Results

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my time was better this year than 2014 and 2013! Keep in mind that I am not a runner. I had not run since this fall and even then it was no more than sprints. While there is nothing amazing about my pace in the general sense, I am quite pleased with it.  And I came in the top 17% overall. Not too shabby!

  • 2015: 9:36
  • 2014: 10:13
  • 2013: 9:55
  • 2012: 9:03
  • 2011: 9:29

Scope It Out 2015 Results

Read This

2015 Scope it Out 5K Event Photos

Scope it out 5K 2015Scope it out 5K 2015

 

10649662_10152772708013741_6033625574996435756_nScope it out 5K

Scope it out 5K 2015

Scope it out 5K

Know When To Ask For Help

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Clean-eating_thumbI’m not going to sugar coat my struggle – I am really slipping with my overall nutrition and can’t seem to muster the motivation or inspiration to re-focus and get back on track. So, I figured i need some real help. I made an appointment with the director of the weight management and human performance lab at George Washington University for later this week. He is going to do some lab tests after a 4 hour fast and then we can take a look at how to get me to where I want to be. It can’t possibly be this hard to get on track.

My thinking is that fitness is not the issue for me.  I need help figuring out a nutritional approach and he can help me get there. I realized this weekend — I need help, plain and simple. When you need help – ask!

I will be sharing the experience with you so we can all learn from it…

scope it outDon’t forget that March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month! I am running the Scope it Out 5K Washington DC Presented by Chris4Life on Team Hoagie’s Heroes to celebrate my hubby’s 6+ years colon cancer free. Will you join us on Sunday March 22 or donate to the cause? Scope it Out 5K Washington DC Presented by Chris4Life 

Read This

Watch This

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Brilliant way to highlight our country’s serious infrastructure problem: America’s crumbling infrastructure: It’s not a sexy problem, but it is a scary one.

Be Inspired

Look fear in the face

Workout

  • Saturday: Cycle Scene 1 hour
  • Monday: 1 mile walk
  • Tuesday: Boxing 1hour

10th Annual Scope It Out 5K

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scope it out Spring is almost here and for the fifth year in a row, my family is running in the Scope it Out 5K Washington DC Presented by Chris4Life

Are you busy Sunday, March 22nd?  Want to do a 5K with me in DC?

I am running with Team Hoagie’s Heroes to raise awareness and money for colon cancer research. My silver fox of a husband Scott Hoaglund is now six+ years colon cancer free and I can’t think of a better reason to run and celebrate!

Here’s a link to the blog I kept during his diagnosis and treatment: Colon C: A Family’s Journey

If you can’t make the run with us, would you consider donating? https://fundraising.active.com/fundraiser/Hoagie_sHeroes

Watch This

Recognize people in this video?

scope 2015

Twenty Years Ago

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Us 20 years agoMe, a recent University of Arizona grad starting a new job – scared and excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

You, an Arizona native, who had started a few months earlier thanks to your Pops, who left an application on the shop’s chain link fence.

We had both been on our own for many years – navigating our twenties without any sort of plan or guidance.

Ryan introduced us – in the break room.  I remember the warmth you gave off when you smiled. I remember feeling attraction, giddiness, and curiosity.

Our first date Feb 4, 1995– Chinese food, then dancing and drinks. We found out about each other.  I can’t remember a time after that where I didn’t feel special around you.

You ‘got’ me. I ‘got’ you. Our life began to flow.

We moved to VA. Got married in Vegas. Bought the house. Adopted Scully, the dog.

Three years into our marriage, we found out we were having a baby. Neither of us had been around babies growing up. Shocked by the news, we had no idea what to expect. Our family and friends were supportive and excited for us. It was such a fun and happy time.

Hannah Bea came into this world right on her due date. Our lives would never be the same. We became parents. Two years and one month later, Nathaniel Ryan was born. A girl, a boy; our family was complete.

HoaglundsWe became increasingly busy and had more demands put on us. Family, work, and life responsibilities constantly colliding – we began to lose track of time and failed to appreciate how preciously short life can be.

We got a big wake-up call, didn’t we? Cancer reared its ugly head. We quickly shifted the gears of life and put all of our power and energy into getting you well. As with most challenges you have faced, you stepped up with determination, humor and quiet strength.  It wasn’t easy, but you did it. Cancer Free.

Our life began to flow again. A bit different than before the big ‘C’, of course, but strong and steady all the same.  We moved forward with the gift of perspective.

Today, far from perfect, we are happy. We have a sincere affection for each other, rooted in love, laughter and security. There is no one else in this world I trust more or who makes me feel more at home than you.

Twenty years ago today, a wonderful adventure began…

Hoaglunds

Hoaglunds

 

F#CK Cancer

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Last week, Scotty’s car had issues and today, my engine light came on. Should be interesting to find out what’s causing the issue, but in perspective – it’s not that big of a deal. Life certainly doesn’t slow down or stop for anyone, does it?

Which brings me to a topic on my mind lately…

The Christmas and New Year holidays bring out a lot of emotions for everyone, including me. I have been reading about long term mental and emotional effects of cancer among those who are cured from cancer and the caretakers who were affected by the experience. I have been somewhat off kilter since learning of Mathias Giordano’s death. 

Fuck Cancer - livefitandsore.comJust because the Cancer is gone, the CANCER isn’t gone.

“Cancer is the gift that keeps on giving. Even if your lucky enough to be told “You’re cured. Go home.”, that is rarely the end of the story. Survivors are often unprepared to handle long-term mental health effects can last a lifetime.” I would also add that caretakers and families are forever changed as well.  The boards over at Stupid Cancer reflect a growing group that needs attention.

Although Scotty has been cancer free for 6+ years, he still has lingering effects. His sleeping patterns have not been the same since his diagnosis, his immune system is weakened and you can imagine what having half a colon does to his daily habits. And although he doesn’t really talk about it, I know mentally there are things that creep up from time to time.

Our kids still get nervous and anxious whenever Scott mentions he’s not feeling well – even for a common cold.  There are news events and others’ experiences (like Mathias’s passing) that quickly remind me of what we went through and immediately take me back to that time including the emotions of it all.  Both Scott and I get nervous every time he has to see a doctor – nothing is routine anymore when it comes to his health.

So, what’s my point in sharing this?  I guess it’s more to remind people that cancer is a forever changing disease – and while those that become cancer free are free from the actual disease, they will never be the same. Friends and family shouldn’t act like it never happened once it’s over, because it’s never really over.

RIP Joe Cocker – who died today from his cancer battle at age 70.

Fitness

Boxing session

Boxing is great - livefitandsore.com

Rest in Peace Mathias

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Hours after I published my last post, I saw the post that crushed my heart…

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that our hearts shattered into a million pieces as of 5:00 pm , Sunday night. December 7th will be the date that our beautiful, handsome , strong, brave, athletic , smart, loving , caring, incredible , perfect…MVP decided to be cancer free & leave this earth. He was surrounded by love , as Chris , Troy & I were holding his hands & telling him how much we love him . #MathiasStrong

I wish the family healing, peace and love while they grieve and learn to live their new normal…

Mathias - Rest in Peace

I’m on Team Mathias

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Zumba with Friends - Live Fit and SoreA few weeks ago, I tried Zumba. According to Wikipedia, Zumba is an aerobic fitness program featuring movements inspired by various styles of Latin American dance and performed primarily to Latin American dance music.

I went with a few of my boxing buddies and we had a blast. After the first class, I realized it had been way too long since I did something totally outside of my norm and laughed.  I am no dancer and after the first song or so, it didn’t even matter. It’s just about moving – and dancing for an hour or so.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to replace my strength and conditioning work but I am going to add it weekly for now. As a way to just go a bit crazy, dance and laugh for an hour.

This past Saturday, after my boxing session, I went to a 2 hour Zumba charity event, where proceeds went to the St Judes Children’s Hospital.  I was able to dance for a hour and half before I just couldn’t do anymore. When I got home, I was spent. Boxing and then dancing for 1.5 hours can take it out of you.

Even though I was tired on Saturday, it was worth it to help raise money for St. Judes. I’ve been feeling rather sad about a local boy’s cancer battle…

Mathias Giordano is a 13 year old boy in Leesburg who was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, cancer of the bone, in July of 2012. Over the past 28 months, he has endured biopsies, port placement, 30+ rounds of high dose chemo, 3 major lung surgeries, an amputation of his right leg below the knee, and 27 rounds of radiation. Not to mention a few clinical trials.

Needless to say, Mathias is a strong warrior who has fought with so much grace and dignity. His courage and spirit inspire everyone who is lucky enough to meet him. His smile lights up the room and his positive outlook is truly amazing.

Mathias continues to battle the ugly beast of cancer with poise. Taking one day at a time and trying to live life at its fullest. While he is fighting for his life he is determined to make a difference and spread awareness for pediatric cancer in our community. He wants people to know that kids get cancer too and that they can’t fight alone.

A recent update from Momastary:

Mathias’s family fought and fought but now they have been told that the only thing to do is keep Mathias comfortable. They have decided to do a hell of a lot more than that.    

From personal experience with my husband’s colon cancer treatment, I know how horrible cancer is, but when it involves children – it really hits me harder.  My heart is breaking for Mathias and his family.  I am not a deeply religious person, but I have been sending prayers and good thoughts to them each day – and I did buy a raffle ticket to lend some support to cause. If you want to keep updated on Mathias you can join his facebook page: Team Mathias 

Life so short and precious which is why I decided this month was the month of giving and FORGIVING. I refuse to waste any more time holding onto anger and resentment. It’s not worth it when there are brave, little souls battling bigger issues in life…

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