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Friday, July 25, 2014

Well it has been a very long time since I have written a blog....5 months to be exact.

While in training for my Ironman competition this year, a routine colonoscopy revealed that I had a very rare tumour in the muscle of my lower intestine. My last blog left off tell everyone about all the wonderful tests I had to get as I had just turned 50 in Dec of 2013. I didn't have my colonoscopy until mid April and by the beginning of May I was told that I had a small 1.5 cm Carcenoid tumour which occurs in less than 1 % of the population and that as I had no symptoms other than the white spot (not a tumour, not a polyp just a white round spot) and that it was encapsulated, the doctors felt they had caught it very early. Yet there were 5 different tests that I needed to take over a six week period to determine if this tumour was anywhere else in my body...it is a hormone based tumour which if it had spread would go to my liver first. After a battery of tests, it was evident the cancer was no where else in my body but I would need surgery to remove a section of my small intestine and bowel....which was scheduled for June 26th, 2014 a mere 4 days after my Ironman race in Mont Tremblant!

So where does my Ironman competition come in? Well I had been training since October of 2013 for my race on June 22nd. The doctors said to keep training and to do the race as it was the best thing for my body to keep the stress away. Yet they knew I was competing with severe OA (osteoarthritis) of my hip which required surgery in the Fall. I told them that training kept my hip limber and I had lived and run with the pain for this long, it wouldn't make my hip worse.

Long story short, with a total hip replacement looming in September combined with cancer surgery 4 days after my Ironman Race, I told my family that cancer had picked had picked the wrong bitch and I was going to prove it by completing the race I trained so hard for during the last 7 months.....

I raced the entire month of June to see how the months of training had affected my cardio and strength. In June I completed :

An Olympic distance triathlon
A 170 KM bike race
A complete run through (except the run) of the swim and bike course at the cutlass course in 14 degree celcius water and the pouring rain.

I was more than ready for Race day and anything it brought. When the day came., I kicked that courses butt! I was greeted at the finish by my husbands tears and praise for my accomplishment! That in itself was better than the medal around my neck. My husband is my rock, my soft place to land, my best friend and believes I can do anything! I kept remembering his words in my head during the very difficult run....remember up until the race the most I had run is 6 km as I did not want my arthritis to flare up. He gave me my mantra....good enough, strong enough, fast enough and I repeated phrase that through every km and aid station...

Although cancer scared the living crap out of me when I was told the diagnosis, It has also brought many new positives to my life such as a better relationship with my Mom, shown me that I have the greatest friends even though a small number, not to sweat the small stuff and that what goes around comes around...it's all karma.

I have lived my life treating others as I wanted to be treated, always there to help when needed and be the best person I could be while I lived on this earth! You know what.......all of that good karma was returned to me tenfold........I am cancer free and only need to be monitored for the next 5 years. I was diagnosed with a rare cancer that isn't usually found until it has travelled to the liver, I accomplished my Ironman goal, my family is stronger and tighter than ever and I got a date for my hip surgery 18 months earlier than planned.....

I love my life and count my blessings everyday!!!!! I can do anything! Cannot wait to get back to triathlons but have to be patient....so very happy that I have that opportunity.

UPDATE: Sunday July 27 -- Going for my first 20 km bike ride today since surgery....have to take it easy though......
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    i am also trying to lead a healthier more active life, especially considering cancer has visited both my parents lives. i applaud your courage and determination. well done. you ARE an INSPIRATION!
    1972 days ago
    Cheryl I love that mantra, good enough, strong enough, fast enough. You pushed way beyond your expectations and all this good karma and determination got you through a very stressful year. I am so happy for you. I hope you enjoy some "down" time to enjoy the glow of what you have done. It is so inspiring. You are amazing! Congratulations and thank you for sharing this part of your journey! Justyna
    2029 days ago
    What a great attitude. How you've handled life's problems is something to be admired. Can't wait to hear about everything you'll conquer in the future.
    2031 days ago
  • GOGIRL_93
    This blog was incredible! I am happy for you and your accomplishment. As someone who will work in the cancer field in about a years time, this truly is inspirational to me. Congrats on all your accomplishments this year, and the many more to come! :)
    2032 days ago
    Way to go!!!!!!!!!!
    2032 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4199227
    Wow I feel awful for whining about my little aches and pains...... you are my hero
    2033 days ago
    Awesome blog! Congrats on the race and being cancer-free. Totally agree with karma!
    2033 days ago
    Thank you for sharing :) You are a miracle woman and full of such positive energy and LOVE. Thank you.
    2033 days ago
    You are a champion! What a heroic accomplishment. I'm blessed to know you!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2034 days ago
    AWESOME Blog. Incredible achievement. Love your attitude; love your spirit. Thanks so much for leading the way. Congrats on being cancer-free and on all your accomplishments!!
    2034 days ago
    emoticon emoticon

    You Rock Cheryl!!! Love you!!!
    2035 days ago
    Cheryl - You don't need to enter and win any race to determine that you are truly an IRON WOMAN! What an ordeal you've been through and just like always - you came out a winner!
    I am so grateful!!! emoticon emoticon
    2035 days ago
    Super blog -- so glad glad glad that you completed your Ironman AND are cancer free!!

    I can feel your exhilaration and joy and marvellous sense of accomplishment (and yup, I'm a cancer survivor too, so have an inkling of what you went through).

    Aren't we glad we get all those tests (no, a colonoscopy isn't fun, but still): that early dx made the difference.

    And YOU made the difference by keeping right on keeping on with the training.

    KUDOS to your husband too: it's tougher on them than us isn't it?
    2035 days ago
    You are emoticon , and blessed, and among my heroes! emoticon on your race, and you are so right... cancer picked on the wrong person, here! YOU are an Ironman!

    2035 days ago
    WOW! I am speechless. Amazing!
    2035 days ago
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