Sandra Bishnoi's Journal
Written Mar 26, 2013 12:45pmHi everyone,I really want to thank you all for your support of Sanjay and me as we get close to the deadline for the Avon Walk. As of today, we have raised $4939.60! This is a wonderful achievement and I am sure that we will get to at least $5000 in the next 25 days. I just received a wonderful donation of $20 from a sophomore in college whose mother died of breast cancer. Though she hasn't donated the most amount of money, her contribution means so much to me, given her limited resources. If you still want to give (no matter how small an amount), please click on the link below:On other fronts, it has been a very busy semester. I have to say that it has almost been too busy but it will soon grind to a halt. By this time next month, both of my classes will be over, the walk will be over, and WUES Science Night will be over!! I will have a month to breathe before Rajesh finishes kindergarten. It is amazing that even when you enjoy teaching, there is this relief when all of the grades are submitted.I have decided that as much as I enjoy being busy, I over did it this semester. I am suffering from my second wicked cold of the season and feel generally run down. In fact, I am not sure how I would have made it through the last three weeks without my mother-in-law's help. They have to return to Calgary tomorrow and their presence in the house will be sorely missed. It has been fun to listen to Mommy-ma and Daddy-da put the kids to bed at night and read them books. The kids have enjoyed the extra attention a lot. I am sure that Mom and Dad will be happy to get back to their routine in the wintry north, but the house will feel empty without them.I think that is it for now. I wish you all good health and plenty of hugs!Best wishes,SandraP.S. If you would like me to walk in memory or honor of someone special in your life that has been affected by breast cancer, please send me a note with their name.
Walking, walking, walking...
Written Mar 5, 2013 10:38amHi everyone,I am truly a lucky woman. I have the flexibility in my work schedule and the physical ability to get out there and walk to prepare for the 2013 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer on April 20 - 21st. I also have a supportive network that has helped me raise $1600 towards my $2500 goal ($1800 minimum required to walk). (Sanjay has already raised over $2200! so proud of him). To get my body ready for the big event, I spent 4 hours last Wednesday walking 12 miles. I was joined by Anya for 30 minutes and my neighbor Virginia for 2 hours of the walk. It was nice to spend time with a friend and luckily it was a beautiful day to tour the West University area.If you would like and have the means to support me in my goal, please click on this link and click on the "Donate Now" button. http://info.avonfoundation.org/site/TR?px=6351731&fr_id=2180&pg=personal. No amount is too small!So, I have to let you know (and remind myself) the other major reason that I am lucky, even though I had a minor pity party for myself yesterday. I have been participating in a clinical trial since last June to look at Zometa dosing (here's an interview I did for the Houston Chronicle: http://www.chron.com/news/health/article/Clinical-trials-remain-key-to-medical-4293676.php?fb_action_ids=511174002255073&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582#src=fb)When I went in yesterday for my checkin and Zometa dosing, I was talking to my research nurse and he brought up the fact that I am the only one in the trial that he's managing that is currently NED (no evidence of disease). He has one other patient that was NED for over 20 years, but her metastasis has reoccurred and she is having to start chemo. I feel for her. 20 years seems like a miracle to me right now, but I'm sure that it is heartbreaking to see that streak end. So for now, I will count my lucky stars and get my feet back into my walking shoes tomorrow morning to head out for a 14 mile walk. Hopefully the weather will be good, but no matter what I will hold in my heart all of those who are still out there taking one day at a time and putting one foot in front of another.As I tell my students and myself, there is no point in feeling sorry for yourself because there is always someone out there that has it worse off than you do.I hope that you will all continue seeing the good that is in your lives and putting one foot in front of the other.Many blessings, virtual hugs and happy thoughts to you all!Sandra
The smallest of victories
Written Feb 7, 2013 9:26pmHello everyone,I have found that I have finally filled my plate this semester! I was a bit greedy when I decided that I needed to teach two classes, co-chair Science Night at Rajesh's school, participate in a steering committee for the Breast Health Summit Houston, blog for MD Anderson, and do the Avon Walk in addition to still being a cancer patient, mom, and wife!!!! For better or worse, four of these activities will come to an end in April so if I can just hang on to my hat until then I will possibly learn from my current over-eager mistake. Though I seriously shouldn't complain, I have two healthy, lovely children, managed to squeeze in ~5 hrs of walking this week, as well as grading copious numbers of lab reports. I have also been blessed to visit with three lovely ladies this week to share stories of motherhood and cancer.So to get to the point that I wanted to share in my title. My precious little Anya is going to get to graduate from her toddler class at Southampton Montessori to a "big girl" class at the end of this month! When I got the news this week, it was all I could do to not to start crying (and actually I must admit that I did shed a few tears). So for some moms, this will not seem like a strange thing, but I was a bit taken aback by my own reaction. For one, I just am not normally this sentimental about these types of milestones. After pondering for a few days, I finally figured out one of the sources of my emotion in this area. You see, when Anya first started coming to Southampton she was this tiny little 18 mos old toddler who had never really had a lot of time away from a few trusted caregivers (me, Nini, and my mother-in-law). We chose to send her to Southampton upon moving to Houston because the fact-of-the-matter was that I was just too sick to take care of the kids myself. We needed for them both to be in a safe environment where they would get the right kind of attention. It was around this time that I was also given the task to develop a "two year plan" by one of my oncologists. I was honestly floored by this task and finally found it too challenging to undertake. I decided at that time that I would just take each day as it came with little planning for the future, but I held this two year watermark in my mind (and my heart). So here we come to today, approximately two years have passed and my little girl is ready to move forward through her own little milestone. I feel so blessed to be able to see her make this transition from "toddler" to "preschooler". I pray that I will get to see her make many more transitions, but I have learned from this experience not to take anything for granted and to hold on in your heart to the smallest of victories.May you all have plenty of your own little victories this week. Wishing you all good health and much happiness!Best,Sandra