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No ovaries, no Avon walk

Hello to all of my wonderful friends and family,
Thanks for all of your sympathy, I am feeling much better.  The pain has now subsided in my back, I got my second Zoladex (ovary suppressor) shot, and I am now scheduled for surgery on March 5th.  The surgery (oophorectomy) will remove my ovaries and reduce the overall estrogen level in my body, helping to reduce cancer growth.  My life is temporarily back to normal for the time being.  

Unfortunately, I can't do the Avon Walk this year.  My doctor strongly advised against it, between the radiation and the surgery, and work has made it challenging to train for it properly anyway.  I had really hoped to walk in Carla's honor, but I am sure that she would support the somewhat sane decision to sit this one out.  Assuming that I am back to normal this summer, I will aim to do another fund-raising activity later this year.  I would like to find something that specifically benefits those living / dealing with metastatic breast cancer.

I must admit that I am reaching a bit of an emotional cancer-fatigue.  I find myself not really wanting to get too close to others going through the same experience. I have witnessed so much loss this year that it is sometimes hard to keep a positive outlook. I appreciate everyone's sentiments of support, but cancer is a crappy disease and so much of it right now is still up to luck, not faith or "outlook".  Too many young women (and men) (who were full of faith and positivity) are being lost to cancer and I feel so helpless in the face of it all. I am not sure that walks, runs, or bike-a-thons can change the course of this sneaky disease.  Instead, I find some solace in work.  Right now the research group that I belong to at Rice University is focused on developing nanoparticles that can be used to treat metastatic cancer. I now get paid to think about cancer all day long, but it less about my own experience (or those that I love) and more about the disease as a separate entity.  It is reassuring to be surrounded by so many bright young people and I hope that our research might one day make a dent in this crazy disease.

Thank you for all of your support.  Your prayers and happy thoughts have meant the world to me.  May you all find the love that you need to keep moving forward in your own lives.

Sandra