A Huge Thank You!!

Wow! I think it will take a while to fully recover from this past weekend!

The weekend started out on Friday with the Black Eyed Peas blaring "So tonight's gonna be a good good night" out of my iPod while I drank pink champagne and awaited the arrival of 50+ friends and family, 15 of whom would be shaving their own heads in support of me. It was an unforgettable evening, full of incredible people and lots of fun! Special thank yous go out to Gianna, who shaved 13 heads - that's a lot of hair, people! And Ben, Jen and others, who documented the whole thing with some great photos!! Here are some of my faves... What a night. Truly so special to me. Thank you to all for supporting my crazy idea and making it perfect with your presence, head shaving and just in general not acting like I was insane!!

Then, on Sunday, I had the incredible honor of participating in Race for the Cure, alongside more than 85 people, all of whom came out on a chilly morning to walk in my support. I am truly humbled and forever changed by the experience of seeing you all out there and feeling the enormity of how incredibly loved and supported I am (picture below blows my mind every time I look at it!). Together, we raised more than $8,000, which was among the top 15 teams for all fundraising. Incredible. A huge thank you to Nicole for organizing such a huge undertaking, making 50+ indian headdresses and being the team cheerleader and champion! Adding to the excitement of the morning, just prior to the family walk, my good friend Sonja (who had shaved her head on Friday with me - see picture below of Sonja and my good friend Chris, both shaved on Friday!) won the 5K race and told my story on 9News! We're still awaiting a link to the coverage, but had so many family and friends see the live feed - very cool. She was also asked to guest blog on Mile High Mamas, and that blog was picked up by Susan G. Komen. The PR is piling up folks! :)

Since my diagnosis, I have had several girlfriends request a mammogram/ultrasound from the OBs, telling them my story. I want to say how PROUD I am of you ladies for taking charge of your health. It's a scary thing to do, but well worth it to have the peace of mind. I encourage you all to share my story with your doctor, then make them "find a reason" for a mammogram and/or ultrasound. A good OB will do this for you - if they won't, I would personally find another doctor. I also want to say that, if you do have concerns about a suspicious lump, FORCE your doctor to do something about it, or change doctors. I have heard too many horror stories lately about doctors who dismissed patients' concerns as "too young and healthy" to have breast cancer. My friends, no one knows how quickly and aggressively cancer grows, especially in young people, and literally, waiting a few months can mean the difference between a much more difficult struggle... or worse. On the lightrail ride home from Race for the Cure, I spoke with a group of young people that lost their friend Tessa in June to breast cancer. Last year, Tessa, at 7 months pregnant, told her doctor about a lump she was concerned about. Her concerns were dismissed as "a clogged milk duct". However, days after her C-section to deliver her son Landon, doctors found that it was indeed cancer, and had spread to her bones, liver and lymph nodes, and she was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. (Mine was stage 2 - VERY curable thank goodness, whereas stage 4 not so much). Six months later, Tessa lost her battle with breast cancer, leaving behind her husband and six-month old baby boy. Oh by the way, she was 28 years old when she died. I'm not trying to scare you - but no one ever thinks it will happen to them. Please, do it today. It makes me happy to know that I have already influenced some of you to take charge of their health, and hopefully more to come!!

Thank you again for your presence in my life, and for supporting me and my family on this crazy journey. Stay tuned for more chemo adventures to come beginning next Thursday... Think good positive chemo-battling thoughts...

All our love and thanks,
Amy and Brian and family


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