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Mohican 4 Life Challenge will be held Saturday, September 30, 2017. M4LC is a way for Larry and I to raise monies to give others hope. It is a way for others to Challenge themselves in a fun group setting while raising monies for cancer research. Last year, with your help, we were able to raise $8,127.
This year we will be raising monies for Cleveland Clinic Foundation Cancer Therapy Fund lead by Dr Abazeed. His work is revolutionary. He is using Patient Avators to test and predict the best treatment for individual patients. He is using a tumor sample from my June surgery in hopes of not only finding better treatments for me but for all those who have cancer. I am excited to be part of his research. 100% of monies raised will go to this research.
Above is a video of part of our cancer journey filmed in November 2016 by the Clevelanc Clinic Foundation and shown at the grand opening of the new Taussig Cancer Center.
I was looking forward to 2014. I was starting a new job and was training for a 350 mile MTB race. I was having some minor health issues but was totally taken off guard when I was diagnosed with a rare cancer, cholangiocarcinoma or bile duct cancer. The day I was diagnosed, Tuesday, July 8, 2014 started out like a normal day. I was up and on the bicycle trainer by 5:15am and then off to work. I got a call from my doctors office to come in for some test results. I asked if Larry needed to be there with me and was told no. So I leave work early and off to the doctor I go. My GI doc is on vacation so I'm directed to another GI doctor who I have never met. I'm introduced and told I have cancer. That is all I heard. I have no idea what he said after that but I knew my husband wasn't with me. Initially I'm more upset Larry isn't with me then I am with the diagnosis. They get Larry on the phone and they bring a women into the room for support. They show me pictures on the computer and talk with Larry via the phone but I don't understand any of it. I'm just trying to digest the words, I have cancer. I leave the office and head for the stairwell vs the elevator because health conscious people take the stairs. I try to keep myself together but I want to sit down but I'm afraid if I sit down I won't leave the stairwell. I make it to my car and the tears come in floods. Larry offers to come get me but I ask if he can go get me some ice cream. Some how he makes it home with ice cream before I get home. We eat our ice cream between hugs, tears and prayers. That is the start of our cancer journey.
After my initial surgery and chemo, I was in remission for 14 months. I was training for the Lumberjack 100 when we found out the cancer was back and had metastizied to the peritoneal cavity. Despite being on chemo, I started the race but was only able to complete 33 miles of the race. This round of treatment was much more harsh on me and I was unable to work but I was determined to continue to ride my bike or hike as much as I was able. Luckily Larry and my friends were willing to join me at my speed. They adjusted to my change in abilities much better then I did. I had a lot of difficulties accepting my decrease in strength and endurance. I missed the long rides and challenging trails. The treatments went well. The tumors were shrinking and I was able to take a short break from treatment the beginning of this year but then the tumors came back with a vengeance and in a few months I was having trouble just going for walks let alone riding my bike or hiking. I had my 3rd surgery in June 2017. A 3 lb tumor and a smaller less dense tumor were removed. These tumors will be part of the Avatar study, the study that the M4LC is raising monies for, and hopefully will shed light on better treatment options for those dx with cholangiocarcinoma and other cancers.
Two weeks after surgery I was able to ride a cruiser bike to get ice cream and boy did that feel good. We don't know what will happen next in this journey but we do know we will continue to Live Each Day!! We will continue to tackle the challenges that come. We hope you are inspired to take on the Mohican 4 Life Challenge and help us to raise funds to help find better treatment options for cancer patients.
Please see my Team Page for event details by clicking on the blue Mohican 4 Life Challenge 2017 on the right hand side of this page.
If you are not able to attend on September 30th or you are not a mountain biker, please still consider making a donation. 100% of proceeds go to cancer research!!