Wednesday, February 8, 2012

You never know what kids are thinking at any age. Remember back to your childhood about some of the perceptions that you had? I didn't realize that my 15 year old daughter, Alexa, had any fears about cancer until recently. Of course, when I was first diagnosed there was a lot of fear, but then we got through the tough times and healed and life seems mostly normal again. This winter Alexa had an extremely sore throat like she had never experienced before. She was feeling her neck and felt swollen lymph nodes. She confessed to me that she was extremely worried -- upon inquiry why, I learned that she feared she had cancer. I told her it was most certainly not cancer and asked her why she would think that. She said, "mom, it is everywhere. Your mom, you, so many of our friends and even Emma. Why wouldn't I be afraid it could be me too?" Emma, for those of you who don't know is the daughter of the Treasurer of the Tough Warrior Princesses. Emma is 8 years old and fighting Neuroblastoma. I was so shocked that Alexa saw things as she did - yes, I understand why she does, but she always seems oblivious and happy and I never would have guessed her fears. The good news in this story is that we brought her to the pediatrician who declared .... Strep Throat!! Alexa was so happy she bounced out of the Dr.s office.

I have mentioned before on this blog that Alexa is planning to do the Komen 3-Day walk with our team this year. She will be 16 this summer and officially old enough to participate in the walk! She is officially a Tough Warrior Princess! I can vouch for the part where she is a Princess, I will have to provide updates on whether she really is a Tough Warrior... You do have to be tough and committed to raise the minimum $2,300 and do the training! Sure, she is in great shape, but walking 60 miles if your body is not used to walking long distance can be painful. A lot of walking is required just to harden off your feet so you are less suseptible to blisters. We'll see if she can handle the early morning training walks....
What she has impressed me with thus far are her fundraising efforts. Last week she painted the Amesbury High School Pink!!! She and a group of friends in the Peer Leaders group organized and did a bake sale, sold bracelets and candy. She is also selling pink ribbons to write an honor or/memory of name on them. She will walk the 60 miles with all of those ribbons. I am so proud of the work and commitment she has shown to this cause. She doesn't have final totals but it looks like $600 was raised after expenses. I know she will get to her $2,300 goal and easily surpass it!! Go ALEXA!!! 

The Tough Warrior Princesses have been very busy! The Komen firestorm has been troubling. I just don't want to see decisions made politically. I personally didn't care either way that a small amount of funding wasn't being sent to Planned Parenthood - only because they don't do mammograms anyways. I just want to see the money going to research. I have personally experienced as have so many of my friends the life saving trials and benefits of research. But we need so much more. For that reason, I will continue to walk for Komen each year. When you have Stage IV metastatic breast cancer, every bit of research counts.

But, that leads me up to the importance of our non-profit organization - The Tough Warrior Princesses. I'm not sure how many actually realize that we are an official non-profit. Our mission is not to fund research -- as obviously we don't have the means for such huge endeavors at this point. We just want to make a difference locally in the life of women and their families battling any type of cancer. Whether it is financial help for those in need, funding treatments or emotional help. Small things can make a huge difference in the life of someone battling cancer.
The Princesses have also been meeting to plan our fundraising efforts for the year.
Please mark your calendars for our 3rd Annual Dance Like a Princess Silent Auction on May 19th at the St. Joseph's hall in Amesbury. If you have or know of anyone that could donate items for the auction, it would be greatly appreciated! Businesses willing to make a contribution will be highlighted in our brochure for the evening, on our website and on our Facebook page.  
Lastly, check out We are now selling Tough Warrior Princess memberships. Becoming a member can be nothing more than a show of support.  It is your choice. You can use your talents to help make someone's journey easier -- cooking meals, rides to chemo, fundraising, etc.  We want to build a network of funds and people to really make a difference.  

And for me the best news of all -- Tomorrow I am celebrating 3 Years Cancer Free!!!    It is a gift that I don't take for granted.  

Determined to keep moving on!