MVPCourage | MVP Cancer Courage

Tamoxifen.

Nov 17, 2013 by

No one talks much about it.  Probably because after surgeries and various treatment plans such as chemo or radiation, Tamoxifen seems like the light at the end of the tunnel for a breast cancer patient.  In a way, it is…….but don’t be fooled into thinking its a “walk in the park”.  I’ve been on it for four months now and it has NOT been easy.  The first thing that hits you is the hot flashes and the night sweats, then you add in weight gain, fatigue, headaches and joint pain.  When I started feeling these side effects, especially the joint pain, I was worried.  I knew that this drug blocks your estrogen and throws you into early menopause, but the aching joints really alarmed me.   I went in to see the oncologist and she put...

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Yoga for a Cure!

Nov 10, 2013 by

Coming Up: Yoga for the Cure, Oct. 20 17 Oct, 2013 By Polly Kreisman submitted by  Laurie Wolk We’ve heard it said  “it takes a village,” but until someone faces a situation that requires the support of friends, family and strangers, one doesn’t truly know what this means. Mary Olson Menzel knows.  Nearly 9 months ago, Mary was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer. The diagnosis took Mary completely by surprise. As a working mom with an amazing toddler boy at home, two terrific step children and a husband she adores, Mary was unprepared for the enormity of all the decisions, doctor appointments, treatments and special care it would take to get her healthy again.  She was also taken aback by how tired she would feel all the time.  Friends, family and neighbors sprung...

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Work.

Nov 10, 2013 by

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your  life. – Confucius Aside from amazing Doctors, wonderful family and friends……..my work was another thing that kept me going through the tough days. I am lucky enough to have an amazing business partner and wonderful co-workers who helped me along every step of the way.  It was nice to be able to take some of the focus off of what I was going through and be productive with my team and with my clients.  I never stopped working, some days I worked a lot less than others but I worked through it all.  I remember being on a client call – on painkillers after my second surgery and not missing a beat. Last year my dear friend from business school,...

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Dan.

Oct 1, 2013 by

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply  gives you courage.” –  Lao Tzu When I married Dan almost five years ago, I married him because he was funny, smart and one of the most caring men I had ever met.  I already knew he was a great father and a kind man, but this year he really proved what a strong, devoted and loving man he is. From the moment of my diagnosis, Dan has been by my side.  Unwavering, and full of love. In previous posts, I’ve thanked family, friends – many people, including my husband.  This one is all for you Dan.  Thank you. Throughout the past eight months my amazing husband has been my shoulder to cry on, my nursemaid and my cheerleader.  He has picked...

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Changing of seasons.

Sep 28, 2013 by

Autumn, that beautiful time of year when the sun shines brightly on the East Coast,  the days get cooler and nature’s colors start to pop in brilliant hues of orange, yellow and red.  There is no better place to be at this time of year. I love Autumn.  Its definitely one of my favorite seasons, especially as an adult. To me, in so many ways, fall is a time of transition.  The end of summer, the kids going back to school, a new routine, crisp clear sunny days, sweaters and boots, apple picking and pumpkins.  It’s the harvest season, a time of giving thanks for the abundance in our life. As we transition into the new season, sometimes people get the feeling of being a bit “off”.  It’s in this space of transition, we sometimes take the gifts...

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Slow and Steady.

Aug 30, 2013 by

Two months out of treatment.  Every day, a little better……but the progress “feels” too slow for me.  I know –  I’ve been through a lot, but I’m still impatient at times and frustrated with my progress. I had an appointment with Dr.  J last week and she said all that I’m feeling is extremely normal and to be expected after what my body has endured in the past seven months.  She said my progress is great, better than most, she even added – which was encouraging.  Leave it to Dr. J to make me feel better, even at a routine check up.  She’s amazing. Regardless, there are still days that I just get so frustrated with my body.  How could this have happened to me??  How does this happen to others who take such good care of...

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My Mom and My Big Sis.

Aug 30, 2013 by

My mom and my sister Sandy came for a visit last week.  I’m so thankful to Sandy for getting on a plane in Wichita, KS where she lives, flying to Chicago and then flying with my mom to NY to spend time with me.  I know it took a lot of effort on her part in many ways, but they made it here together and it was a wonderful visit! When I met them at the airport I was in tears, there was my big sister and my mom.  As a child, often, its your mother who soothes your tears, your fears and your pain.  As an adult, there’s always a bit of that inner child, who, when faced with something like cancer……just wants their mom to give them a kiss and make it “all...

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Life Lessons…..and hot flashes....

Aug 4, 2013 by

“Life is full of beauty.  Notice it.  Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces.  Smell the rain, and feel the wind.  Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”  ~Ashley Smith  It’s been six weeks since my last radiation treatment.  My doctors are happy with how I am healing.  I am very slowly, but very surely getting my energy back.  Back to working longer hours, enjoying more activities with the kids and embracing the warm summer days.  My brain is feeling sharper as the days go on.  The radiation “fog” as they call it, is definitely lifting.  I am listening to my body and resting when needed – or at least trying to. The biggest reminders of what I have been through, other than the scars...

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My Dad.

Jul 22, 2013 by

As I sit here in my kitchen this morning with my husband and my son, I’m missing my dad. We are having a nice low key morning, listening to music and sitting in our kitchen.  Christopher is playing and dancing and Dan is making us breakfast (such a great husband I have!)  I am very content sitting here with my boys, but yet, feeling quite melancholy. If you’ve been reading along with me on my journey here, you know that my father passed away several years ago.  Today is his birthday.  July 21st, 1926…..he would have been 87. I miss him.  I’m sure that feeling never goes away.  I was lucky enough to have two wonderful parents who raised me well – and became my dear friends in my adult life.  I used to...

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Rainbows

Jul 22, 2013 by

“Gratitude is the real treasure God wants us to find, because it isn’t the pot of gold but the rainbow that colors our world.” —Richelle E. Goodrich ” And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” –Gilbert K. Chesterton “Prepare yourself so that you can be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.’ —Maya Angelou FINALLY……..Dan, Christopher and I were able to get away for a much needed almost six days of relaxation in Florida. It was exactly what the doctor ordered! We saw at least seven or eight rainbows in the six days we were gone.  I took that as a beautiful sign from God that the “storm was over”.  Amen!  Eight rainbows, seriously! I truly believe that we all have to...

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Fourth of July – Independence Day!...

Jul 4, 2013 by

As you might know by now, this is the day of my favorite holiday!  🙂 Independence Day for our beautiful country.  A country that we are so blessed to live in.  A special “Independence Day” for me too. Freedom for all Americans – and for me, freedom from cancer, freedom from surgeries and radiation treatments and finally……freedom to let my body heal itself. This morning, we went down to Flint Park for the races, a wonderful Larchmont tradition.  Christopher and Connor both won first place blue ribbons and several others!  Sam and Christopher did the sibling three legged race and also won first place!  Go TEAM MENZEL! I was happy to be feeling a little less tired and sore for the festivities, but the extreme heat and humidity got to me.  I had to leave before the event was over and...

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Fireworks!

Jul 4, 2013 by

On Saturday night we joined our friends the Firesteins  and many others at Bonnie Briar for a BBQ and poolside fireworks.  It was so much fun and so nice to just be out celebrating!  Thank you so much Ben and Val! For so many months now, I have kept my eye on the Fourth of July. It has been my “goal date”  for many reasons.  My vision, of a healthy me, celebrating my favorite holiday. The Fourth of July has been my favorite holiday since I was a young child.  Because my birthday is on December 24th, my grandparents and parents always celebrated my “half birthday” on the Fourth of July with a big party.  And of course  – fireworks, which, as a child, I thought were especially for me! I know,  I know, they...

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