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Warrior

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Ahhhhh Life is Good!

Hi all,

My updates are getting more infrequent and that’s a good thing, so when you don’t hear from me, know that all is good.  I am doing GREAT!  I’ve recovered from the reversal surgery well, other than some lingering bathroom issues, but I can deal with that.  I feel like my journey through cancer has come to an end and life is returning to normal ... just a new normal.  I have no signs of cancer in me and my cancer markers are next to nothing!  Yeah!  I tell people that I feel normal, almost like I never went through all that I went through.  But my belly shows otherwise with the roadmap of scars and my psyche is filled with more gratitude.  It’s amazing how an extremely hard circumstance like cancer can fill you with more joy and appreciation, but it does.  Not that I’d wish hard circumstances on anyone.  Some of you are going through cancer treatments right now (or other tough circumstances), and I have to say “fight hard and keep the faith”. It can get better!  It does get better!  There is always HOPE!  My journey was very difficult at times and I had an ever present heightened awareness of my mortality.  I don’t think that will go away entirely, and maybe that’s a good thing.  It gives me reason to be joyful right now ... today, in this moment.  And to celebrate my return to good health and all those around me (you)!  I’m fully aware that Ovarian Cancer has a high rate of reoccurrence and if that happens to me, I know I will resume the fight.  My prayer is that I won’t have to.  There are so many new treatments and I feel like I had the best care team.  I truly credit Johns Hopkins and MD Oncology with saving my life ... all through the grace of God!  

I have a few more minor procedures to go through, will start a maintenance drug which I will need to stay on the rest of my life, and obviously will need routine scans.  But the heavy lifting part of the cancer treatments are all behind me now.  

I am back to work full time now.  I’ve reinstated my membership at the YMCA and need to work on rebuilding some muscle tone.  Staying active, spending time in nature, and renewing my faith every day are important parts of my non-work hours.  My family and I just came back from a week in Canada.  We were off the grid at a cabin owned by lifelong friends on a lake 3 hours north of Toronto (the same place where I spent time as a child).  Talk about refreshing and soul nourishing!  Here are a few pictures!  

I’m still waiting for my hair to grow back (it’s about 1/2” long right now). But my eyebrows and eyelashes are back!  You women will understand how great that feels.  When my hair is long enough, I’ll look very different from what my normal hairstyle had been as I’ll have super short hair and lots of gray!  I’m planning to embrace it!  

Again my thoughts always come back to appreciating all of you and the wonderful encouragement you have given me .... which strengthened me throughout this journey.  I couldn’t have done it without all of you!  I will be eternally grateful!  

So I don’t know when I will write again!  Just know that I am doing well, that I beat my cancer, and that I’m out doing what Tim McGraw says in his song “Live Like You Were Dying”. 

Love you all .... and forever grateful!

Julie 

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