Browsing Category

My Journey

JBH - About My Cause | juliekmccomas.com
Faith, My Battle with Breast Cancer, My Journey

JBH – Breast Cancer & 3-Day Walk

Wondering what JBH stands for?  Well, it is something I just made up or didn’t know about, and am claiming as my own.  Ha!

JBH = Just Being Honest

Maybe I should use LBH, Let’s Be Honest, instead.  Thoughts?  (That means you should tell me which one you would use.)

Today, I am going to share photos from the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure I went to last year, and going to be right up front and honest about being a breast cancer survivor.

Let’s get started shall we?

3DayStart - juliekmccomas.com

3-Day – And we are off!

On August 3, 2016, my friend Margaret and I left for Detroit, Michigan to walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure.  Honestly, I can’t remember how many people were there, but it was a sea of pink.  It was really quite intoxicating.  What was amazing was that every person there was affected by breast cancer in some way.  People were either survivors, or walking for someone they knew.  I didn’t meet one person there that had not been touched by this type of cancer.

3 Day SGK Walk | juliekmccomas.com

Some people were so creative.

If you aren’t familiar with the 3-Day Walk, then let me tell you a little about it.  Thousands of people participate every year, and we just happened to be walking in the 150th walk.  The three days consist of anywhere between 18 and 2oish miles per day, with a few Komen miles thrown in.  Only fellow walkers will really understand that one.  🙂  You sleep in a tent, and take showers in a semi-trailer with 5 or 6 showers inside.  Breakfast and supper are served buffet style, and were delicious.  There’s a kind of party every night, but I was usually in the medical area taking care of my aches and pains.

3 Day Encouragement | juliekmccomas.com

There’s always encouragement along the way!

The people involved in the walk, encouraging us along the way, or volunteering at camp were fantabulous!  Even the people driving past us on the road were encouraging; they honked, waved and gave everyone a thumbs up.  I’m not an emotional person, but it makes me tear up just thinking about it.  It was moving, and still is to this day.  I made friends on this adventure, and I still keep up with them today.  Facebook is good for somethings, I guess.  The photo above is just a little of the encouragement written along the way, and the nice lady in the tutu is my friend Amy.  Amy walked the whole way, and get this…she wasn’t even a year out of fighting her fight with the monster that is breast cancer.  She is an inspiration!

3 Day Potty Line | juliekmccomas.com

These were some long lines!

Porta Potty Row!  These were the cleanest Porta Potties I’ve used, and they even smelled good.  The lines were long, but everyone was friendly.  It was so nice to be around hundreds of people for three days and not hear a bad word said by anyone.  There wasn’t complaining or whining, and there was lots of love.  (See the dude in the white cap with the pink things on his head? His name is Jim, and he walked every single 3-Day event last year. He is pretty tall, so those fluffy pink things on his head were knocked off by tree limbs more times that I could count. We all helped keep track of them for him. That’s just one of the memories. There are many.)

3 Day Oldest | juliekmccomas.com

He’s not 84. He’s only 21 for the 4th time.

The oldest walker of the Detroit, MI 3-Day Walk.  I don’t remember his name, but at one time everyone there knew it.  He was amazing!

One of the truest quotes.

It’s one thing to talk about a cause.  It’s another to do something about it.

This is a quote that can be used for just about anything!  I have recently started thinking about it differently, let me tell you about it.

It’s one thing to talk about a dream.  It’s another to do something about it.  You can change that one word… “cause” …to anything you want.  Dream. Purpose. Job. Chore. Adventure.  You name it, you can throw that word in there to fit your situation.  For me personally, I have a dream or desire to tell people about our Lord, our God, our Father in Heaven.  I went to a speakers/writers conference last year, She Speaks, and came back wondering if I was supposed to be speaking, as well as writing.  It’s been almost a year since that conference, and I have just now put myself out there.  It is a strange and scary feeling, let me tell you!

Here’s the part where I’m just being honest.  I know, that’s the only reason some people will read this.  🙂

I am a Survivor.  I have survived breast cancer.  I have slayed every chemo treatment, shaved my head (that was fun), and I have gotten closer and closer to God along that journey in my life.  Just because I am a survivor doesn’t mean that I want to be a poster child for breast cancer.  I don’t want to only be known as the girl that had cancer.  I don’t want people to see pink every time they look at me.  I walked the walks, I raised money, and I continue to support anyone that has to travel that weary road. I may not walk the walks or raise money for the cause anymore, but I will donate, write, and hopefully speak.  I’ve written as much about my journey as I possibly could in the hopes that I could help just one person.  I want to do things a bit different now.

I want to be a poster child for God!  I want people to see Him, like I saw Him on different journeys in my life.  I want people to see Jesus in me, and I want to help them see Jesus in them too.  During a fight with cancer the patients are called Warriors.  I am still a Warrior, but I am God’s Warrior.  I always will be, and I want you to be one too!

Confessions, My Battle with Breast Cancer

Celebrating Five Years Cancer Free

Celebrating five years cancer free this year, and I hope you will celebrate with me!

Alex McComas | juliekmccomas.com

On June 23, 2011, I was sitting in the chemo chair for the first time. Fast Forward five years. On June 23, 2016, I was sitting next to a pretty special pup on the porch enjoying the summer morning.

Flyin' High | juliekmccomas.com

This year was going to be all about celebration!

I’ve been told that the five-year cancer-free mark is a pretty big deal among us survivors, so I wanted to celebrate in a big way. I wanted to do the Susan G. Komen 3-Day! Are you familiar with it?  Long story of my “celebration” short. Raised $2300.00, flew to Detroit, walked the walk, slept in a tent on a concrete floor, lost two toenails, made several new friends, and hobbled home.

If you google the 3-Day walk it will probably say something nice about how all the nice people raise all this money that goes toward research to find a cure for breast cancer. (If you have something bad to say about SGK and how they spend the money, yada yada, then just know that my comment section is not the place for it. Thank you very much.) I, on the other hand, will tell you that the 3-Day is a bunch of crazy people walking for 3 days (60 miles) wearing lots of pink, crazy bras and tutus to raise money for research. I will also tell you that I have marked it off my non-existent bucket list, and I will not be doing that again.

One and done.

I was blessed and honored to have my friend Margaret go with me. We had a lot of fun, but I think we will both stick to donating from here on out. I love you, Margaret!

Julie & Margaret 2016 | juliekmccomas.com

In all honesty, this was quite an adventure! I loved almost every minute of it! I am so thankful to each and everyone of you that donated/supported this wild hair idea of mine to fly to Detroit so I could walk 60 miles in a sea of pink. So I could help raise awareness and funds for the possibility to find a cure.

Confessions, My Battle with Breast Cancer

Team Julie – 2015

Saturday, October 17, 2015, my wonderful friends joined me for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

We Race Because…

  • One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
  • Because every minute, somewhere in the world, someone dies from breast cancer.
  • And because, breast cancer knows no boundaries- be it age, gender, socio-economic status or geographic location.
  • We continue to Race because at the current rate, 13 million breast cancer deaths around the world will occur in the next 25 years. (from centralwesternok.info-komen.org/)

Team Julie at Race for Cure 2015

Alison (left) and Margaret (right) are two of my biggest supporters and encouragers. They are my running and workout buddies, and I don’t know what I would do without them.

We finished our race, and started wandering through the vendor booths.  I glanced up in front of us, and I see my best friend since the eighth grade walking toward me. What a splendid surprise! She and her handsome husband, Tim, stayed and watched the Survivor walk, and ceremony.

GinJulie2015Ginger, I cannot thank you enough for that surprise! I am uber blessed to have you in my life! Thank you, thank you!

I didn’t get photos of everyone there. My biggest supporter, my husband, was there. Margaret’s man, Gene aka Big Daddy, was there too! I cannot put into words how special everyone made me feel!

I love all of you guys!!

Thanks again!

1JulieSig

Confessions, My Battle with Breast Cancer

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 2013

AllieJulieRace
I wanted to share a few photos from the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure OKC 2013 with you along with some of my thoughts about this past race day.

The photo above is pretty stinkin' special to me, and yes I am going to tell you why. That is my amazing friend Ali with me, and I don't know what I would do without her in my life! Seriously! If Ali is your friend then you are blessed! She was by my side every step of the way through my battle with breast cancer, and now she is by my side again as I celebrate life and try to help raise money to find a cure. I couldn't have done the 5k without her, I would have given up but she is such an encourager that I found the umph to do it.

BJRaceThis is me and my McD! I cannot put into words how much I love this man!

I told him that Ali and I were going to be doing the timed 5k, and asked if he wanted to join us or walk with my family. He was just going to walk, and I was fine with that. But then there was a snag in the plan, a jog in the road, a speed bump ahead that we weren't aware of – it seems that no one else was going to be walking or running with us.  I just assumed that he would just wait for us at the finish line, cheer us on, or something because he hasn't ran in about twenty-five years, he had a knee replaced, and his doctors say that running on it isn't the best thing to do.  He told me to sign him up for the timed 5k, I did and he ran that thing in thirty-six minutes!

You read that right. Hasn't run in 25 years, and finished 3.1 miles in 36 minutes. I was impressed!! Still am! I've been training, and I won't even tell you my time. He beat me, let's leave it at that.

Myriadgardens
This was my first time going to the Myriad Gardens in Oklahoma City. I do plan to go back, but I loved how we were welcomed with all the pink. This cell phone photo doesn't do it justice, but it was spectacular!

That wasn't the only thing I found to be spectacular.

The turn out for the day was amazing! There were three of us and we were up at 4am, on the road by 4:30am. I know we weren't the only ones who had to drive a ways to get there, and people did it!  People went to bed early the night before to be able to get up and drive a few hours to get there.

I realize that a lot of the people there have been touched by cancer in some way, whether they are fighting it now, survivors, or family members of those fighters we lost, fighting it now, and survivors. There were tons of people there that haven't been touched by this horrible disease, and for them to take the time to raise money to support this cause just amazes me. 

You might think I'm being silly, or easily amazed, but that's not the case. I'll be honest here, and I will tell you that during chemo you can kind of start feeling like you are alone in your fight. And that morning, I was having myself a pity party. I don't have them often, but my feelings were hurt. People that I care about the most were not interested in participating in something very near and dear to my heart. It wasn't important to them, and I took it personally.

When I got to the race, there was a sea of pink! There were people every where! It was 6:45 am and people were laughing, chatting, ready to celebrate the survivors, ready to run or walk in memory of loved ones, and they were happy to be there! People weren't complaining about the cold, or upset when someone bumped into them because we were there for a cause and that is what was important.

When I crossed the finish line, I saw my best friend, my husband, my McD waiting on me and I heard the announcer say, "Here comes Julie! This is who you are supporting here today, folks!" My pity party was over.  I had two very important people in my life there, and I was blessed!  And it didn't hurt that they gave me flowers as I crossed the finish line.

Ribbon20Race
The timed 5k started at 7:30am so, we missed being able to go to the Survivor's Pink Cafe. We made our way down there, not knowing they were closed and were greeted with several lovely ladies cleaning up. They welcomed us in, and told us to help ourselves to the goodies. McD made a b-line to the coffee. 🙂 And I just stood there admiring all the decorations, the photo above is of the ice sculpture with a pink ribbon inside with the 20 year anniversary carved into it. It's kind of amazing too!

I know I haven't blogged in a while, besides book reviews, but I really wanted to share my thoughts from a survivors point of view. Maybe I'm being too mushy, but I was touched at the outpouring of love that day!

I felt special that day, and I'm not ashamed to say that I liked it!

Mission Trips, Travel

Thankful Thursday – Jan. 10, 2013

Hondo12Team
Last month, December 2012, I went on my very first mission trip and this is a photo of our team. Let me introduce you to everyone. From the top, left to right: Trey, me, Amber, Jessica, Stephanie, Granny, Vanessa. Middle, left to right: Daryl, Bob, Jeff, Rob, Grant. Bottom, left to right: John, Shawn, Grant, Ronnie, Bob, Danny, Cory.

I feel bad because I can't recall where everyone is from, but I can tell you that our team represents at least four states. We were all brought together by God, to do work in His name. I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of this team.

I went for weeks thinking that the next mission trip I could go on would be in July, and the timing of that one just isn't right for me this year. It would take a lot of sacrifice on my part, and I am praying about that. But then last week, Trey posted on Facebook that there is a trip this month, and it just so happened that there was at least one person that ended up not being able to go. I immediately sent him a message telling him that I was very interested in going.

Fast forward a few days. I spoke to Trey, got the details on the trip, and told him that I would have to talk to McD, but that I would get back with him. He gave me twenty-four hours. Six hours later, I told him that I was going!

I am so thankful for this opportunity to go and serve our Lord!

It is a new team, and I will only know one person (Trey) going. So, I will get to meet new people too!

If you don't mind, please keep me and the rest of our team in your prayers as we go to Mexico City.

Now, what are you thankful for today?

My Battle with Breast Cancer

How Should I Celebrate My Last Cancer Treatment?

Today is my last Herceptin treatment!!  Take a minute to do a happy dance with me! 

Now, sit down because I'm out of breath! Ha!

My question for you is…

How should I celebrate my last cancer treatment?

Another question…

If you are a cancer survivor, how did you celebrate?  Or did you?

Throw some ideas out there, because McD and I really need some help here!

And if you would, at 2 pm CST today, say a prayer of thanksgiving!  I am so thankful that God helped me through this!

Don't forget – group prayer at 2 pm CST!!

Prayers, hugs and ladybugs to all of you!!

XO

My Battle with Breast Cancer

Let Me Clear A Few Things Up

ACR_9499
I have to say that this photo has nothing to do with this post.  I just like it. :) 

Yesterday, I posted a photo and asked you guys to guess my location.  You all guessed correctly, but I think I need to explain what I was doing there.

Yes, I was getting a treatment.

Yes, I am finished with chemo.

Part of my treatment plan is receiving a years worth of Herceptin treatments.  Let me tell you a little bit about the Herceptin treatments.  After reading this, I hope you will have a better idea what this step is for, and what it is like for me.

Herceptin treats breast cancer that is Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2 positive (+), otherwise known as HER2+.  Herceptin is a targeted treatment, and is designed to target cells with the HER2 receptors, which may help cancer from growing.

My Herceptin treatments are every three weeks, and are administered just like the chemo treatments.  They use my port to give me these treatments, and the actual treatment lasts approximately 90 minutes. 

The nice thing about the Herceptin is that it doesn't have the side effects that the chemo did.  I don't have to worry about my cell count going down, my hair falling out, or everything tasting like metal.

So, when I mention that I am going in for a treatment you will know that it is just a Herceptin treatment. 

Thanks for all of your nice emails, and comments of concern.  I am doing great!  Later this week I plan on showing you what the first step of the expanders looks like.