I AM BAAAAACKKK!

I sort of don’t know where to start. I have taken a blog hiatus to say the least. When I created this blog I had just been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. This blog was a way to tell all my friends and family how I was feeling and what I was thinking throughout my journey. I didn’t hold back. I said anything I felt at the time weather it was good or bad. I needed an outlet to project all the thoughts going through my head. The feedback I received was incredible. Women could relate to what I was feeling and share their experiences with me and vice versa. The blog was my therapy. It connected me to so many young survivors walking in similar shoes as mine. I made some good friends through Fighting Fancy and some friends I will have for the rest of my life. People were contacting me on the phone, email, social media, etc. I was living a “happy” cancer life. I felt protected and educated about what was going on around me. Soon I began seeing on Social Media girls like me passing away. Girls I spoke to weekly. Or I would receive an email from a mom letting me know she got my email but Magaen would no longer be with us. My joy and positivity went down a little. And then it would happen again. These strong young women with similar backgrounds and diagnosis were all of a sudden sick again or dying. Something we all thought was behind.

I pressed on and continued to promote Fighting Fancy. I spent the majority of my time working on our biggest fund raiser, Rock the Runway. It is a New York Inspired runway show showcasing 17 local stores and 17 cancer survivors. The money raised goes to Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute and Fighting Fancy. All my time went to making that event happen and I let the blog fall behind. I still regularly distributed bags and reached out to other survivors going through the same thing. Fighting Fancy is always around me, even if I am not always talking about it. On June 6, a week before the event, my very best Chemo Friend, Mrs. Corrie Gross Bechtellheimer, lost her battle with Breast Cancer. My world froze. I didn’t know if I was supposed to keep going or cancel Rock the Runway. I knew she would kick my ass if I cancelled it, so I made Corrie the honorary chair. The night was amazing and I think it was purely because we had an angel cheering us on from above. She was there and I felt it.

After Rock the Runway I crashed. Physically and emotionally. I was given time to grieve and rest after months of planning. I thought I was ready to go back to blogging and then I read my email… There were two different emails telling me sister or mother had passed away and she appreciated me talking them through the process. Then I got an email that one of my chemo besties was no longer in remission and would be starting chemo again soon. But why? These girls are just like me. How did I get so lucky? Am I so lucky? Is this going to be me?

It gave me huge anxiety to even check my email. I took social media off my phone. And I went back to responding to girls through the gift bags I send them. That way I was able to be involved with them but I did not want to form a relationship with them in fear that I may lose them again. My heart was bruised and beaten. I needed some time to separate myself from the blog.

I had some pretty significant health issues arise that I have been dealing with for the past six months. Some non-cancer related, some 100% related to chemo. These are things I am ready to now share with you. I think this outlet is the best way for me to reach the fellow survivors who come across my blog daily. I want to be able to tell you how I am feeling, get medical advice, show you the cool thinks Fighting Fancy is up to and highlight some amazing Chemo Girls who continue to give me strength through their own stories.

Xoxox,

heather

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IN HONOR OF CINCO DE MAYO….

We will have this villa in Mexico up for auction again at Rock the Runway! It’s over 10,000 sqft on the hillside of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Five bedrooms, three stories, infinity pool, a maid, butler and chef! I got the opportunity to go last year and it’s unbelievable!! So get your friends together and be prepared to bid on this bad boy on June 19. It’s an awesome vacation, money goes to charity and you can write it off! Sounds like a win win to me!

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TWO YEARS AGO TODAY

May 5, 2012 I was getting ready for surgery to get a lump removed from my right breast. I was completely calm. Doctors told me I had nothing to worry about. All I could think about was where we should get margaritas from later. This lump was not getting in the way of my cinco de mayo celebration!

It wasn’t until days later when I got the phone call with bad news. I still think about those couple of days leading up to that call. I was oblivious. I was normal heather. I’m trying to look back today and remember I am still normal heather. God gave me my health and life back. Time to celebrate! Cinco de mayo here I come!

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ROCK THE RUNWAY

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It’s that time again… ROCK THE RUNWAY! Last year we were able to raise $80,000 for Fighting Fancy and the Winthrop P. Rockefeller UAMS Cancer Institute. Lets do it again!

This years fashion show will be at Cache on June 19. We are looking for sponsors!! If you are interested in joining our fight to give back to young women with cancer, please join us! Tickets are $50-100 and sponsorships range from $1000-20,000 for presenting sponsor. For more information on how to be a sponsor and what all that includes click HERE for a sponsor packet. For more information on the event and to see pictures from last year you can check out our website at www.rocktherunwaylr.com.

Much more info to come! If you would like to help with the event email me at heather@georgiajamescreative.com.

xoxo,

heather

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SURGERY…..oh, Thursday.

I went to the doctor today for my monthly check up. I was expecting the same routine…. feel up my chest, check my heart beat, ask any concerns… Check up done. Instead he started with “do you still have your port???” Which I still do so I replied, “yep.”

His eyes got wide and he said “well that’s long overdue. We need to remove that. This week.”

I know you all think I’m silly but Ellen has had her own identity. She is helpful and powerful to me. It’s what has gotten me through today and I’m ever so grateful. But my treatments are up and it’s time for Ellen to go. I can do this without her. The next chapter of cancer is closed.
I love you Ellen.

Xoxoxo

Heather

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NEW YEARS RESOLUTION

New Years resolutions are funny. People vow to loose weight, stop drinking, eat right… All things that sound good January one and go out the window by the first weekend.

I told myself last New Years that 2013 would be my come back year. A year to turn tragedy into triumph. A year to rebuild myself. So I built a house, opened a store, raised $100,000 for Fighting Fancy and most importantly I was declared Cancer Free.

2013 was successful. check.

I’m so thankful and blessed for the year I had, however this year my resolution remains the opposite of last year. Instead of a come back, I want to “go back.” Last year, I was so focused on proving I was more than my cancer that I lost a bit of myself in the process. I let some important friendships get away from me, neglected my healthy lifestyle, let deadlines pass and the store I always dreamed of became just another item on my long list of to dos for the day. I spread myself too thin. Lost the personal touch of those reaching out to Fighting Fancy and started looking at design jobs as a burden instead of my passion.

Everyday, people ask me how I’m doing. My answer is always, “good, busy. Stressed.” I don’t want to be that person. I want to make this year not about cancer and how it’s effected me, but how I’m going to be the person I was before cancer. Still determined and passionate but instead of feeling like I have to take on every opportunity, I’m going to grow the ones I have before me and enjoy the ride.

No change happens overnight so forgive me when I tell you how busy I am. Just know, I’m working on it. Friends and family, be patient with me. I know you are all ready for me to not bring up cancer on a daily basis but I’m just not there yet. Not a minute goes by that I don’t think about it. The way I look, the way I feel, the hot flashes, the daily chemo…all reminders of where I have been the last two years. I promise the word “cancer” won’t always be a part of my daily vocabulary. But for now, I am working on it.

This year I’m working on me. Not a new version but finding the old one I loved so many things about. Simple old Heather. She is still there, just have to find her.

Cheers to 2014 and to just being ourselves!

Xoxo

Heather

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SIX MONTH SCANS

Tomorrow I have my six month cancer scans. Starting at 9 I get a head, breast and pelvis CT, a brain scan, MRI, pet scan, blah blah blah…. I really don’t know exactly how many test I have tomorrow but its a lot. I just do what they tell me.

There is a silver lining in my day tomorrow: Corrie Bechtelheimer. Corrie and I started chemo together at the same time in the same lab. Even though Corrie and I are at different stages of our battle, we have remained friends throughout the past year and a half. I text Corrie a couple nights ago to see what she was doing for Christmas and she replied: “Scans Friday. Merry Christmas to me.” To which I replied: “Me tooooo!!! Party Time!!! “

So tomorrow it’s Corrie and I back where it all began…. and we are going to turn this day into our bitch. I’m actually looking forward to getting poked and pushed around tomorrow because I’ll be with Corrie and that, ladies and gentlemen, is always a good time.

October 2012 Corrie and I in chemo / 2012 Race for the Cure / 2013 Race for the Cure

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See you tomorrow my friend!

xoxo,

heather

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