Some of my teammates - LiLi's Team - #7 in Fundraising
I was so excited to walk at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer today!
I am so lucky that I was able to get a big team - I have so many wonderful giving and loving friends who were there with me and even more who donated to my walk. I believe in the American Cancer Society and know that with this walk and the money raised (that I helped) goes directly into services and help for my community.
There are people in your life that are there for a season or a reason - some to teach you a lesson and all that mumbo jumbo but the people in my life are the best in the west! I had so many friends new and old walking with me and a few that lagged behind but were there - these are the people who are here for me - my ride or die people. I love them each and everyone and some who were only there in spirit as times are busy for all of us.
When I got sick, I did not realize how many people I had in my corner at first. It hit me over time that some of these folks have been there for me since 1990 when I was upset about my parents divorce or my latest boyfriend and some of them are new from 2012 or 2014 but they are here for me forever and I love them all.
Of course, I cannot forget my mom - she has been there since day 1 obviously and all of this has been so hard for her. Watching me be sick and go bald and see me get stressed and get put through some unnecessary drama well, I cannot imagine as a mom what it must be like to see your kid go through it... She has been amazing and most of my friends love her like she's their idol or their friend.
Some of my besties I met through my mom way back in 1998-1999. These are just some of the people who are there for me and I hope they know I am here for them. Thank you also to all of my Facebook and LinkedIn friends and family who helped me smash my goal - as I said, this organization does so much for local folks and something like 400 women are diagnosed on Staten Island with breast cancer per year. When I took that survivor picture, I felt so in awe - I know I am not even one year out from this crappy plot twist but I feel like I am a survivor and I will do anything in my power to stay that way while praying for those who cannot be cured and those who are newly diagnosed...
Cancer is a bitch, but as we all know, I can be bitchier :)... This is what I do in the time between.
Still cannot believe I was able to raise so much $$$$ Thanks to all who donated! XOXO
LiLi's Team (Missing Some Stragglers) :)
Do you think I had on enough pink?
Team Raised SO Much - #7 out of all the teams :) LUCKY NUMBER 7
One of the pics of the "survivors" who walked - we are all survivors no matter what xoxo
I am so lucky - no really, I am. Even with the Stage 3 Breast Cancer, I am always smiling, joking and laughing - maybe I am just crazy but I think that humor really can be the best medicine. I am always joking about my one-boob, bald head and basic "luck" of having a mammography and sonogram done in April 2016 that showed 99% chance of remaining "benign" growth that by December 2016 was 5.6cm of cancer AND in 5/25 lymph nodes -- with those stats, I started immediately to play the lottery :).
I am most lucky in friends and family, though and this weekend cemented that fact. My best friend and I, who had our first joint birthday party back in 1990, held a joint 40th birthday / fundraiser for St Jude on Saturday night.
For the first time in a long time, I danced the whole night with my girls and my kids - in fact, my son and his friends and cousins really warmed up the dance floor and danced for almost the whole 4 hours! They love to whip and nae nae!
My mom really worked hard on helping us throw this party especially since I was undergoing chemotherapy for the months of planning and was really unable to do much of planning or anything besides work, sleep and repeat every day. We had food donated for the event from Arrochar Food Services and Joe's Lobster House and a candy cart from A Precious Party Rental and a dessert table from Laura Ruiz.
Chris, the DJ from Sound Explosion, was awesome. We had 25 raffle baskets with donated fare such as gift certificates to Jet Set Hair Design, This Is It Hair, Paco's and Michael's Meatballs and Martinis restaurants. Our birthday banner was donated by Ida Art Vinly Graphics and we had knit angels with the breast cancer ribbon knitted by Elaine's Creations.
We also had a number board and a 50/50 and our invites asked for all gifts to be donation to St Jude's Children's Hospital, which I mentioned in a previous post thetimebetweenis.weebly.com/blog/category/doing-good. Thanks to the generosity of our 100 guests, we ultimately raised $4475 for St Jude!
I am truly blessed to have a friend like my co-party host. She and I met back in 1990 as freshman at St John Villa Academy and have been there for each other, one way or another, ever since. She is the kind of friend that years can go by and yet when we get together, it is like we just saw each other at lunch in the Villa cafeteria the day before. As soon as I mentioned to her during a visit she paid me while I was recovering from my mastectomy if she wanted to throw a party with me in June, she was 100% on board and willing to do it! That right there is amazing because I never would have done it on my own.
I am lucky and blessed to have people in my life that are just always there for me- even though I have spent the last decade hyper focused on my children - now I know that you need to live each day and embrace those you love - and I look forward to having the energy to go out dancing more and more in the future! And the "best" part is by having the party 6 months after our actual birthdays, we just made ourselves 6 months younger, too!
Also, if I do say so myself, we looked awesome! For me, this is no small feat as for the last 6+ months, I have been not at all focused on looking or feeling glam. For the party, I got a new wig with hair down to my butt and wore heels for the first time in years (cannot blame the cancer for that, I never liked heels). My feet still hurt from all the dancing!
Special thanks to all who attended and to the local businesses that donated to the party and of course to my mom and best friend who have truly been my rock through all of this and helped me have something BIG to look forward to besides just kicking cancer's ass!
This is what I do in the time between...
The big party is in one day; without a doubt, this came quickly. From sitting on the couch and planning it back post-mastectomy in December to this point, even going through chemotherapy it did kind of fly.
We have so many people to thank for helping us throw this party celebrating life and to give back to the fight for those who are young. Children should not have to get chemotherapy, they should not have to understand the thin line between health and the lack thereof.
The vendors and businesses we would like to thank and single out for helping with this event are in the photo below.
The baskets and raffle information is here:
Raffle Basket TIckets: $20 for Ticket Pack; all sales benefit St Jude’s
Number Board: $10/box and 2 winners for $250/each; $500 to St Jude’s
50/50: $20 for 10 tickets; ½ to the winner and the rest to St Jude’s
Bernie & LiLi’s 40th Birthday Basket Raffle for St Jude Children’s Hospital
1- Martial Arts Basket- gift certificate, CDs, clothing
2- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toy, water guns and octonauts figure
3- Movie Tickets gift certificates and decorative garden supplies
4- $25 Jet Set Hair Design Gift Certificate and decorative garden supplies
5- $30 Spa Certificate and bath and body supplies
6-$35 Wine & Design Gift Certificate and Painting
7-Girl Toys - Diary and Fashion Maker & Makeup
8- Coconut Cups & Lemonade / Ice Container
9- Tequila & Glasses
10- Liquor Basket
11- $50 Gift Certificate to Michael’s Meatballs and Martini’s Restaurant
12- $50 Gift Certificate to Paco’s Restaurant
13- $25 Scratch Off Lotto Basket
14-Summer Fun Basket
15-Summer Fun Basket
16- Summer Toys Water Slide and more
17- Candles Basket
18- Pyrex 10-piece
19-Christman Basket Candles and More
20- $25 Lotto Scratch Off Tickets Basket
21- $25 Lotto Scratch Off Tickets Basket
22- $25 Lotto Scratch Off Tickets Basket
23-$25 Lotto Scratch Off Tickets Basket
24- $50 Lotto Scratch Off Tickets Basket
25-$50 Lotto Scratch Off Tickets Basket
The party is almost here and I cannot wait to report back on how much we have raised. Already, we have $575 raised and the party did not happen yet.
I am looking forward to celebrating life and enjoying the company of my friends and family as we work on helping children with cancer. I also want to enjoy the fact that I am going to beat this - anyway I can but always with a smile on my face.
Cancer sucks. Everyone agrees with that - I do not think anyone would disagree. I have had people in my life who have fought and/or lost their fight to cancer (different types, though, as I mentioned previously I am one of the first people I know with breast cancer - or I was when I was first diagnosed, anyway).
When I was recovering from my mastectomy and lymph node removal surgery, my best friend from high school came to visit. She is definitely on my team. She and I have been celebrating our birthdays together since 1990; this past year was the big 4-0. On my birthday, I got a PETSCAN. It was fun. NOT. However, the results were fun because they were clear, which is all anyone who gets a PETSCAN wants.
I asked her when she was over if she wanted to throw a joint 4-0 birthday party a little later than normal - I ballparked it for June knowing I still had to go through chemotherapy. Just like always, she was in! She and I have been on one another's sides through high school and beyond - we took different paths in life but we never ever forgot one another.
Think about your life - do you still have someone who has been there for you since you were 13? If yes, you are very lucky. My crazy friend was even willing to have a big party with me and not get any birthday gifts from it.
We decided while hatching our scheme to celebrate turning 40 six months late to do it as a fundraiser for St Jude Children's Hospital. My best friend's dad lost a battle with lung cancer and I was feeling the shock of having a diagnosis (as my time between diagnosis and surgery was 17 days - though it felt like an eternity).
The party is coming soon but today, I got to go to a luncheon and accept a donation of $500 for St Jude in my name and as I was introduced (by my mom as she is an active member of this group), I was at first uncomfortable that everyone in attendance would know I had been diagnosed with breast cancer because people do treat you differently knowing you are or have been "sick" but it passed quickly because I realized that without this diagnosis, I would not be there collecting to donate to a hospital that has always tugged on my heartstrings.
I can say first hand that cancer sucks but no matter how much cancer sucks for an adult (and it really, truly sucks) it must be 1 million times worse for a child. To be a child and to have to undergo chemotherapy or surgery and to battle this disease is just absolutely the worst thing, in my opinion.
I have learned a lot through this diagnosis and living with the treatment for the disease - my priorities have changed, my perspective has changed. I went from being very focused on my children, career and self-promotion to just wanting to be healthy again. For me, today, being almost embarrassed by my body's failing has at the same time allowed me to do something small that is good.
I will continue to do small things for good as much as I can - I consider this blog a small way to share with others who are going through this fight or know someone fighting. I hope it helps in the time between...
**If you are interested in donating to St Jude, please do so by going to their website.
Search the blog here: