Sandra Bishnoi's Journal
Walking for Lives
Written Jan 26, 2013 3:39pm
After long consideration, we have decided that both Sanjay and I will participate in this year's Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Houston on April 20-21, 2013. Though I may get my feathers a bit ruffled by some of the inappropriate behavior of some of the other walkers and their supporters, the funds raised really do so much to help those in our community that suffer from this disease. I have personally met many women during my advocacy activities that have benefited from non-profit organizations such as the Rose during their health crisis. Without the support of organizations such as Avon, these non-profits wouldn’t be able to serve our community. In addition, Avon also contributes grant money to help understand the underlying causes of breast cancer.
If you don’t know much about the walk, it is a 2 Day walk, covering 39.3 miles (26.2 miles on Day 1 and 13.1 miles on Day 2). Sanjay and I have both participated in this event in the past, Sanjay walked in my honor in 2011 while I was going through chemo and I walked last year. It is something that means a lot to us both and we are looking forward to walking together this year. However, we cannot do this alone.
There are three important ways that you can help us reach our goals.
1. We need the support of our friends and family to meet our fundraising goals. We are required to raise a minimum of $1800 per person, but we hope to raise a whole lot more. http://info.avonfoundation.org/site/TR/Walk/Houston?pg=team&fr_id=2180&team_id=113970
2. Walk with us! If you are interested in joining our team “Walking for Lives,” to raise awareness of the approximately 40,000 men and women who die of Metastatic Breast Cancer every year, please let us know, we’d love to have you!
3. Come cheer us on! It is so nice to see a friendly face after a long day of walking!
Sandra and Sanjay Bishnoi
Team Walking for Lives
Written Jan 13, 2013 9:12pmHi Everyone, I hope that everyone has had a wonderful start to the New Year! It has been a busy time for us with visitors from Calgary and the start of two new jobs (for me). I am teaching a freshman chemistry laboratory at the University of Houston Downtown and an analytical chemistry laboratory at Rice University. I am excited to get back into the lab with students. This week includes several important milestones. First, I have to congratulate my parents on their 30th anniversary this Tuesday! They are proof that it is possible to find a life partner, even if it's not your first partner. Second, it was approximately one year ago that I officially resigned from IIT. This was a difficult decision for me, but one that I am now very happy that I made. My ego was seriously bruised in losing the title of "Professor," but I have since found satisfaction in the variety of activities that I have found to fill the void. None have the same level of financial compensation, but they also don't have the same degree of stress and allow much more balance to my life. I really have to thank my Rice colleagues for letting me hang out over the last year and keep a little finger in science! The final anniversary is the one that has truly made a permanent "mark" on my life. Tomorrow is my 2 year "cancer-versary". It is hard to believe that it has been two years, since the surgeon said to me, "Dr. Bishnoi, I can't let you leave this room without knowing that you have cancer." Those words shattered some kind of bubble that I lived in. I couldn't have known then how challenging the road that I was embarking upon would turn out to be, not just physically, but mentally and psychologically. Thanks to the support of my family, friends, neighbors, and the incredible medical staff at NortheShore Hospital and MD Anderson, the physical load has been bearable. Thanks to the love of my family and lots of support from my MD Anderson psychiatrist, I have been able to continue making progress on the psychological and mental levels. I can't stress the importance of having the support of a professional who understands the treatment and field of cancer for being able to help frame the overall experience and keep it in perspective. I am not saying that theis is critical for everyone, but it has helped me tremendously. It is so hard to believe that 2 years have passed. I have been lucky in so many ways. I have remained "stable" for the last 18 months or so with many of my diagnostic tests showing "no evidence of disease." Some of you have asked me whether this means that I am in "remission". I asked one of my nurses this question last week and she said that we don't really use that language with Stage 4 patients, since by definition we continue to be on some type of treatment for the rest of our lives. According to my oncologist, it just means that my current treatment regimen continues to work. When we discussed my MRI results, it was clear that you can still see some activity in the bone tumors but it has significantly decreased since we started taking these measurements two years ago. So bottom line is that "no evidence of disease" does not mean disease-free, but it does mean that we keep moving forward taking one day at a time. I also have to thank all of you for your support over the last two years. I wish you all a very happy new year with much good health!
Blogging with MD Anderson
Written Jan 3, 2013 9:36amOne of my CaringBridge posting has been published on MD Anderson's website today: http://www2.mdanderson.org/cancerwise/2013/01/having-cancer-and-young-children-a-mothers-advice.html
I hope that it can bring comfort to others going through the same journey.
I am excited to start teaching again at Rice and UHD this Spring. It will be interesting to see how well we can balance without Joneide.
Happy New Year to you all. May 2013 bring you good health and much love.