Tag Archives: Inspiration

All Clear

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Happy Day! All clear cancer screening!

The feeling of walking into my oncologist’s office, sitting and waiting for results so far has not changed for me. It is hard, plain and simple. I often wonder if the feeling will ever change.

When I was waiting today, 01/14/2014, I was looking around the room with a different perspective - that of a survivor. It had me thinking about the fact that I always preach absolute positivity through your cancer journey. The truth is, sitting back and really thinking about it, I don’t know if I have expressed to my readers that it doesn’t always come natural to be positive during cancer. It is a fight to stay positive – just as fighting cancer is. It is not always easy, nothing is, but one thing I feel to be true is: positive thoughts equals positive results. Positive results look different to everyone. Your positive outcome may be an all clear, another persons may be fighting through a recurrence, and so on.  This is true in survivorship as well. Cancer doesn’t end when treatment ends. In my opinion, once you’ve had cancer you need to have a life long dedication to being a survivor, being healthy, being dedicated to your check ups, taking your meds, exercising, eating right, keeping stress levels low and maintaining a positive attitude.

Today was my 18 month check up, which is a milestone for my cancer - ovarian dysgerminoma. At this point 4 out of 5 recurrences happen twelve to eighteen months post-chemo. I am so, so, so happy to say that I am cancer free! I have been dedicated. I have been positive. And I have fought to stay healthy. It is so important to always fight. I have been so blessed to be in contact with floods of wonderful fighters and to all of you I say, it is an honor and privilege to be along with you on your journey. Fight to stay healthy and fight to stay positive in all areas of life. FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!

First Ever Marathon Post Chemo

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It’s the night before the Sunburst marathon and I just picked up my packet! This is going to be AWESOME!! All of my tooth and nail fighting to return to the healthy person I used to be will be tested tomorrow. It is unbelievable I finished chemotherapy one year ago today.

I run to regain strength.

I run to give strength to others to know you can recover after cancer and be STRONGER than ever if you are willing to fight for it.

I run to raise money for cancer research.

I run to show my little girl mommy is okay.

I run to inspire anyone who thinks they can’t do something. I had a baby, major tumor removal surgery, a pulmonary embolism, and aggressive chemotherapy last year. If I can do it anyone can! Never give up! Never, ever, ever give up.

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My First Race Post Baby and Cancer 10k!!

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First race post cancer

Pre-race: What a day!! Perfect running weather! As many of you know I have been training for the Sunburst Marathon on June 1st, 2013, to mark exactly 1 year post the completion of chemotherapy and I am SO EXCITED! I promised Ryan I would attempt one shorter race before attempting a marathon. He worries about me, it’s cute. :) Today is the day! My “prove-I-can-do-it” day. I am running with my sister who is also a cancer survivor! 10 year survivor and going strong!! Woooo Hoooo! You go girl! We are doing the 10k at the 5/3 Riverbank Run in Grand Rapids, MI. Start time: 8:00am!!

It’s go time! Off to the races!!!

Post-race reflections: There is something so special about the running community. It is such a great group of people. It was such an awesome feeling to run this race today. There were people cheering for the runners all along the route and I couldn’t help but smile the whole time I ran. I was so, so happy. At the 4 mile marker there was my hubby and little Gracie. I yelled “MY FAMILY” and Gracie let out a big laugh! :) What a joy it was to show her mommy is okay and doing something that requires good health. The last quarter mile I had tears of joy in my eyes. I was really doing this and it was a piece of cake! Holy Cow! Am I really this okay? It’s been a lot of hard work but I feel like I am very strong again and it hasn’t even been a year post-chemo!

Every time I see someone struggling to begin a journey to health out on my training route I want to yell, “YOU CAN DO IT!!!!”. I just had a baby, surgery, cancer, chemo, and a pulmonary embolism, and I’m doing it. YOU CAN DO IT!! YOU CAN DO IT!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!

ps: Big congrats to my sister for running and completing her longest race ever!

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As I Return to Blogging Regularly

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Hi all. Back to my weekly Starbucks routine of writing after a long hiatus while traveling. I suppose my travels are a way of still trying to make up for lost one-on-one mommy-time with my dear Gracie at the beginning of her life. As I start to write I find myself once again with coffee in hand and tears in my eyes. It must be the coffee :). I’m fine when I write anywhere else.

The song playing as I begin to write is “Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer. I don’t want to wait on the world to change. I want to change it. There is a whole world of fighters and survivors out there I had NO IDEA about until I got sick. To me it is such a shame that our society doesn’t know how amazing, inspiring, and strong this network of people is. I want to change this.

I often write or talk about the things we are doing for others and the money we are trying to raise. It isn’t for recognition. I could care less if anyone gave an ounce of recognition. Talking about it is an effort to raise awareness, and money for research :), as well as to inspire others to get out and make a difference large or small. We are small, small potatoes in the world of giving back now but we are doing it in a big way. I only hope that someday we become big potatoes giving back in a big way. This world is a learning process. Raising money isn’t easy. Friends will comment and like a post on Facebook in massive quantity regarding a picture of Gracie or our dog Frankie but if I post something about team Joyful Hope there are absolute crickets. We will learn the fundraising process and are very dedicated to doing so. In the meantime we will continue to cook for patients and counsel new moms with cancer or any woman with cancer that just wants to sit and chat over coffee or tea. If you want to chat, check out Coffee and Cancer.

The Corliss family, Ryan, Trish, and Gracie will not sit and wait for the world to change. We are going to do something about it. One day at a time.

Team Joyful Hope Sets a Goal to Raise 100K by 12/25/2015

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When you are diagnosed with cancer, you spend a lot of time fighting for yourself. As a person that has always fought for others this was a difficult task for me. Day in and day out, I would sit at my treatments in a room secluded from the rest of the treatment center because I had a newborn and didn’t want to disturb anyone or jeopardize anything medically. I wanted to be out with everyone, talking to the elderly people that were alone. I wanted to give them companionship because I knew how much it helped having people with me during my treatments. I made a promise to myself that when I made it through this I would make a difference. I would do everything I could to help put an end to this awful disease.

We have been doing many things to give back since getting healthy, blogging to provide a place for other people struggling through this to relate, opening ourselves up for video chatting with people fighting the battle “Coffee and Cancer”, cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the patients at the chemo center to take home with them, baking, making soup, etc. Now we start the next leg of giving back and this leg is very near and dear to our hearts. While I was sick I learned about the StandUp2Cancer foundation. You may have heard of it. They take over all the major networks once a year to raise money. 100% goes to cancer research. We have started team “Joyful Hope” in an effort to raise 100K or more over the next two years. Please join us in making a difference and contribute to our campaign. No amount is too small or too large and your donation is tax deductible. Please spread the word to everyone you know. Your employer may even donate. Click here to join team JOYFUL HOPE today!

We will be doing several events to raise awareness and money. The first one is my very first MARATHON!! This marathon will be exactly a year and a day after my completion of chemotherapy, June 1st, 2013. I will be doing the Sunburst in South Bend, Indiana.

This journey of giving back and fighting this disease will be a part of the rest of our lives. After we hit this goal we will be adopting families struggling financially with the endless costs of cancer and raising money for them. We know from personal experience that cancer can devastate you financially and don’t want it to happen to others.

Click here to join team JOYFUL HOPE today!

Let’s put an end to these situations!!!

NO MORE STRUGGLING SICK IN HOSPITAL BEDS!!

Carrot, Egg, and Coffee

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My mom sent me this story today and I thought it was very fitting to share here. Coffee has always been a passion of mine. It’s given me my most favorite job of all time, my husband, and my best girlfriend. Coffee has been good to me. It’s only fitting that I would consider myself the coffee bean. Life is beautiful! Make the most of your hurdles. Enjoy the read! :)

Carrot, Egg, and Coffee…You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again…

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see. “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?” Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity — boiling water. Each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became
hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial
hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.
The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

-author unknown