Power Snatch

October 25, 2012 § 1 Comment

I’ve been doing a lot of cancer blogging the last few days so it’s time to spice things back up with crossfit! I am just starting my third month of crossfit and I am OBSESSED. I love the team style workouts and exercises. It reminds me of the years I spent swimming year round..

I’ve seen significant changes in my body since I started..loosing 10 pounds and watching my bodies composition change. Loosing 8 inches from my belly button doesn’t hurt either.:) Along with crossfit eating paleo has definitely sped things along. I’m so inspired by the crossfit community to stay committed to paleo –I’m hoping that my weight loss will begin to accelerate.

A fellow LHS alum (my high-school) is a crossfitter and I recently came across his amazing story..he has lost 100 lbs doing crossfit and eating paleo. How KICK ASS is that? He is an inspiration for sure. Please follow his blog..


His blog today is about finding your “best”.. I love this because I think we all face this everday. Being the best employee, colleague, wife, friend etc… but it definitely comes into play when your dealing with health and wellness. I share Bob’s sentiments about being happy with your performance athletically. It is easy to look back in our case at a WOD (daily work out) and think you could have done it RX(as prescribed) or faster more gracefully..the list can go on and on. I struggle with diet… am I doing my best by choosing paleo meals  or am I not making the “best” decisions as I possibly could? For example binging on beef jerky because it’s paleo..if I’m still over eating? It’s so hard to find a balance. For me, everyday I can make decisions that are well intentioned and thoughtful. That really the best I can do at this point.   Committing to something is half of my battle, once I’m there I start to taste success.

PS our WOD last night killed me..hand stand push-ups at a deficit and power snatches with running and other fun mingled in between. It was so much fun though, it’s so empowering being a woman and throwing 60 lbs over your head. Here’s a video of power snatch..it’s a killer lift.

PPS I start my chef assisting tonight at Culinaerie..I’m so excited. Cross your fingers it goes well 🙂



October 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

I am so grateful to all of you for your virtual support. I also thank you for the texts, calls and hugs. The amount of support I received yesterday and still today after I shared my great news was completely overwhelming. It’s funny– I almost didn’t even put this up on the blog..but something in me told me to go ahead and do it. I am so glad that I did.  Here’s a screen shot of the link I posted on FB.

Now that is a LOT of likes and comments. I heard from people I haven’t spoken to in years. The support and love shown to me really reminded me of how blessed I am. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I like to tell my story because I think awareness is very important in the fight against cancer. It’s hard for people my age (20’s) to think that they can have cancer. It happens, too often. I was a 21-year-old college senior who was working 2 jobs, going to school full-time and had just completed a triatholon 2 weeks before my stage III hodgkin’s lyphoma diagnosis. I thought I just had gall stones, not a 10cm malignant lymph node floating in my abdomen. Not two other malignant lypmh nodes in my body. But it happened, I was diagnosed with cancer. It sucked..but I survived. I was so lucky to have an amazing medical team who treated and have now cured me.

I wish it was this way with every cancer. It’s not..I’ve lost so many people since I was diagnosed and started working/advocating for cancer survivors and their families. I wish RJ and Pam, Leanna and Sam had heard the words cure.  In this world of cancer survivorship there is this thing called survivors guilt. While I am elated and ecstatic to share the news of my “clean” bill of health after 6 long years..I feel guilty that friends have died and friends and family of my loved ones haven’t survived.

Dealing with this guilt isn’t something that goes away, at least it hasn’t for me. It’s a lot of the reason I have chosen to work in the field of cancer..fundraising and advocacy. It’s my way of giving back. So I share these personal triumphs to inspire people that there is HOPE and that you can beat cancer but that we need to continue to research and raise $$ to support those who are struggling with these diagnoses.

Off my soap box now..:) Thanks again for all of your kind words and love, I am lucky, lucky girl.


Cured, what!? Really!?!

October 22, 2012 § 2 Comments

I am beyond thrilled today. Like happy dancing and smiling kind of happy!! I saw my oncologist this morning for my recent PET scan results and she shared with hubby and I that I am officially CURED. I was actually in shock to hear this, considering I haven’t even heard a doc throw that word around in YEARS. The look on my face must have been priceless..

So what does cured mean(this is for lymphoma patients..not all)?

  • No active cancer in 5 years..(I have had some funny stuff going on on the right side of my neck for about 4 of the past 6 years..so the fact that I no longer have anything of mention there is HUGE! – more to come on that later..)


For me that =’s

  • I only have to see my oncologist 1 a year, unless I find something funny (lump, bump ..etc)


Since I was diagnosed in early November of 2006 the fall has always been a time of uncertainty and anxiety. It just brings back icky memories and feelings.  I often thought to myself, “fall sucks, I hate fall, bad things happen in the fall.”  I’m pretty aware that this isn’t a good way to categorize a whole season..however being rational is easier said than done.  I’ve been working hard to do fun, happy things in the fall to combat this whole “stigma” in my mind. This year I’ve been making a pretty consistent effort to enjoy it. It really is a beautiful time of year! We have been apple picking, pumpkin patching it up and even hiking.

I knew I was going to be anxious going into todays Doctor’s appointment so the hubby and I planned to get away and outside yesterday to clear our heads. We decided to make our first trek to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. It was a beautiful day! We brought our pup, Chaz and hiked almost 8 miles. During that hike we chatted, laughed and groaned at how hard it was. There were also many quiet moments where I just enjoyed breathing fresh air and meditating as my feet hit the ground. I just really enjoyed every moment of being in the woods with my loves and  the awesome autumn colors. Here’s a photo from the Maryland Heights overlook..(that’s Harpers Ferry from up above!)



I’m so glad that we were able to do the hiking yesterday.. it was exactly what I needed going in to this mornings appointment. It is so wonderful to finally feel at peace with my body. It’s been a long 6 years of dealing with this cancer diagnosis.

Finding peace has taken quite a long time, but boy does it feel good to be here.

It’s a FABULOUS day. It gives me so much hope that we are in a world where we can cure cancer and fight it effectively. I am feeling even more passionate about the work I get to do every day now! Thanks to my husband, Mom, Dad, Bec, Nana, best friends and countless aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who have supported me always..oh and puppies too!! I’d be lost without you..
















dealing with injury

October 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last Wednesday I reactivated an old back injury while pushing through a  tough WOD. I think it was it was a combination of using too much weight and pushing myself too hard. I left the gym super warm,not really realizing I was in as much pain as I  was. By the time I  got home and in the shower I was having flashbacks to my debilitating injury from last winter. Needless to say I was sad, disappointed and more than anything else angry. I’ve come so far and really don’t want another injury to set me back. I was able to make it into the office Thursday and to my meeting Friday, lots of advil and Sal Pas (my obsession!). By Sunday I was feeling almost back to normal.. I spent the day with family and even carried my baby cousin around. A true test 🙂

So now it’s Tuesday and I’m debating getting back into the box tonight.. I really am dying to work out but don’t want to go back to soon and set myself back. Trying to balance the pros and cons is difficult when it comes to injury. More than anything I am grateful that this seems to be a slip, and not a serious setback. Thank GOD.

I am a huge fan of everyday paleo, and love Sarah’s blog casts. I found this weeks program super interesting..check it out! (it’s on fat loss!!) It was super informative, after listening to it I am going to cut back on my fruit intake, and not feel guilty about eating a late breakfast.



Exciting things going on — keep your fingers crossed for me and the hubs!


Traveling is a challenge..

October 11, 2012 § 1 Comment

This past weekend the hub, in-laws and I traveled to St. Louis for our friends wedding. It was a beautiful weekend, lots of laughter and love. I love weddings and I also love traveling.. however dealing with these food allergies has made both challenging. I’ve been lucky that 2 of the 3 weddings I’ve been to since my allergies have been really accommodating. This past weekend the hotel chef was nice enough to cook me some plain grilled chicken and steamed asparagus, even baked cod. It made the dinner portion of the wedding much more enjoyable for me, no weird questions from the table-mates! 🙂

I was really prepared for this trip, as you saw in my last post I baked lots of paleo pumkpin bread, and brought some of my stables so I wouldn’t starve. Here’s a pic from our hotel room..

This may have been a bit over board..but boy am I glad I brought it. I was shocked how few food options I had. We went to Sweetie Pie’s (she has the show on OWN) and there was literally NOTHING I could eat. I splurged and had an A&W Root Beer. 🙂 At TGI Fridays I could order the baby back ribs dry and cole slaw..that was it. At IHOP I had 2 eggs hard and bacon. Really chain restaurants!? Do you have anything real on your menus? I was actually disgusted when I saw the nutritional information for TGIFridays. They add MSG to a LOT of there food items, even on the kids menu. I did find a great bar-b-que restraunt on Yelp called Bandanas that was totally gluten free except for their garlic bread. I had coleslaw and baked beans (a paleo cheat) and amazing ribs and pulled pork. Their Chicago Sweet bbq sauce was amazing………i’m still drooling! I must have had some dairy contamination (and to be fair I didn’t ask about dairy..bad me) and I did get hives while on the plane back to DC. Luckily they weren’t too bad.

I was so happy I made it hive free until the flight home! It did take a lot of effort– but the effort was well worth the peace of mind to know I can still travel!!

St. Louis was a lot of fun, made new friends, danced and laughed a lot. I even made it almost hive free!!

TGIF! Pumpkin time!

October 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

So yesterday I blogged a bit about what spurred this new lifestyle.. the answer to dealing with these horrendous food allergies has been living a 100% gluten free/dairy free life. Taking it one step further I have made the decision to follow the Paleo diet. (Paleo is a meat, veg, fruit, nut based diet– no gluten, no dairy, no grains & no legumes!) I did it for 6 weeks in June, and just started up again last week. I feel better than ever when I’m on Paleo and even though some people see it as restrictive, for me it gives me a sense of community.Eating Paleo is common among people doing Crossfit. I’ve been doing Crossfit since July. The two kind of go hand in hand..

Before finding this community I felt very alone dealing with these scary food issues. Now I don’t really have to explain myself saying, “yeah I could really harm myself by eating that”, I can just say…”I eat Paleo!”  🙂 Crossfit is awesome, and I balance it with a Yoga practice. This isn’t a weight-loss/diet blog..but so far I’ve lost more than 12 inches and 16 pounds. A lot of symptoms I’ve dealt with my entire life have disappeared. I am completely off ALL of my prescription medication– even asthma meds which I was on for 24 years.

I love cooking, love, love, love it. It really is my favorite thing to do! So cooking with this new plan has been really fun. Lot’s of new recipes to explore, and build on.

Here’s a picture of Paleo Pumpkin Bread courtesy of the amazing Elana’s pantry!


Also exciting today at crossfit I beat my press PR (personal record) pressing 70lbs!! (yipeee!!!!!!)

We are off to our close friends wedding in St. Louis this weekend! We are so excited! I hope you all have an amazing weekend too– enjoy this beautiful Friday.

Thanks to my dear friend for puppysitting Chaz. Love ya HG!

What’s going on in my world

October 4, 2012 § 2 Comments

Notice the new theme for the blog…I hope you love it. I love it!

Like I said in my last blog, it’s time to redefine this blog. I love writing, and i’ve had a lot going on over the past year that has brought me to realize I am NEEDED in the blogoshpere. There are plenty of resources out there, but at times they are few and far between. I hope to bring to light all the research, new things and really just stuff I am learning day to day, with hopes that somebody out there will be helped! 🙂

So what am I hinting at? Well in February of 2012 I started getting hives, very strangely somewhat sudden onset on Ash Wednesday. Weird, was this some extreme form of Catholic guilt for not going to church except on these holy days? I had just left church and my head was itching so bad, hives all over. They were moving down my forehead..ugh! Well that day sparked what turned out to be a 4 week journey with chronic, escalating hives. I was seen my my internist, allergist and oncologist. All thought I had “contact dermatitis”. I was on a anti-histamine cock-tail of allegra, zyrtect, zantac and prendisone. A topical steriod cream.. nothing. NOTHING helped. Benadryl was making the hives spread…like seriously WTF? I started to notice some discoloration on my arm and hands as well. I was itchy and frustrated!

Lucky for me my best friend is in Naturopathic medical school (she’s brilliant and huge supporter of my health) and we were chatting and she mentioned that maybe this was a food allergy? I quickly put together a few things- the hives would go away over night..when I wasn’t eating. AH HAH!

March 17th Carlton, our friend Jeff and I left DC for a “homecoming” trip to Boston for St. Patricks day. At this point I’d been kind of avoiding gluten and dairy for about a week. On the trip I did my best to avoid gluten but not so much dairy. We had lunch in Fenway –I got hives. I had eaten Clam Chowder. We went to my favorite restaurant in the North End..I ordered Rissotto (normally gluten free) and within 20 minutes was in the ER at Mass General. I had widespread hives and my airway was closing, anaphylaxsis. I received 2 shots of epinephrine, and IV benadryl. (despite me telling the resident benadryl hadn’t been helping) My airway opened but hives got worse.

I left AMA (against medical advice) at 3am because they couldn’t do anything for me. They wanted to admit me….but nothing they could do was helping. I opted for sleep and hydration.. I left armed with epi pens and prendisone. (never took the steriods) Since that day I have been gluten free, and since have become dairy free because my dairy allergies has escalated as well.

So that’s all I’m saying for today. It’s a mouthful and too much to digest..even for me:)

More to come! (Spoiler alert: I’m alive and well ;0))

Where Am I?

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