Thursday, December 3, 2015

She Never Saw Me!

My Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Nightmare!

On April 1, 2015 at 4:15 p.m. only three blocks from my home I was hit by car backing out of the drivers driveway.  I was in my power wheelchair walking Dakota.  She never saw me.  How I do not know.  She claimed the back of her car was too high.  I was wearing red and white and decked out like a stop sign.  She just never looked.  

8 months later  I am still dealing with these injuries.  No relief in sight.   Since the accident 8 months ago my ADL (Activities of Daily Life) & leisure activities have been severely limited.  

Now I need HELP

From the MRI results we understand that there is validation for the amount of pain that I am in.  Factor in I need to use my arm all the time to body lift my 105 lb body, transferring from wheelchair to bed, bed to chair, to toilet, to floor, to pool, to benches, etc. My arms are also my legs.   Anybody who has been on my amputation journey with me, knows that I have been completely able to do that hundreds of times a day.  That I could garden, swim, skateboard, climb on the kitchen counters to reach items at the highest level.  I gardened, camped, surfed, and climbed jungle gyms at the park for exercise.  I was evaluated at rehab hospital (2013) when getting my prosthetics and I never even needed one hour of occupational therapy.  There was nothing that I could not do.  With and without prosthetics. 

The accident was April 1st.  The MRI did not happen until end of August.  Follow up with physiatry was September 22nd.  His Rx for guided infiltration cortisone has not happened yet.  Orthopaedic consults have not happened yet.  81/2 months later.

As of my conversation with my SAAQ claims assistant, they thought I was just bruised they had no idea the extent of my injuries, and the impact it had on my ADL.  They did not have my MRI results on file.  I am including them with this list.

Every task I am listing here I was able to do 100% on my own before the MVA  

My biggest disability was the radiation colitis from my cancer treatments.  Being chained to the toilet.  And chronic fatigue. After many APC procedures from my gastroenterologist it still plagues me to this day.   Not my amputations. I thrived post amputation….. I have done more since amputation than I did in many years previous.  And I was OFF ALL pain medication before the accident.  I was suffering from multiple collateral damage post cancer treatment…..Yes.  But I was MOBILE, useful and lived in my new normal world.

Even with ongoing physiotherapy, I have pain when using my arm above 90 degrees. I am right handed.  And now I am dependant on narcotics to move.

My left arm is sore from over use.  My right arm in addition to the initial damage from the m.v.a. has an over use injury dynamic as well. I have sub deltoid bursitis and a torn rotator cuff, and a torn medial tendon (elbow) from the accident, and now even more pain from repetitive stress from me transferring my body multiple times daily.  My shoulder has not had sufficient time to heal or undergo the natural reparative process because it is my dominant arm and doubles as my leg.  

I am now waiting for help and consults with radiology, orthopaedic surgery and occupational therapy.  

I continue physiotherapy exercises and follow-ups with family  medicine and physiatry. 
My physiatrist prescribed my prosthetics, and is very aware of my abilities before accident. 

So what has changed and what is now difficult or impossible since the accident?  

Some things were right from the day I got hit.  Others over time as I keep using my injured side.  Some things are pain related, some consequential and others common sense not to do to make the situation worse until treatment comes.

  1. I cannot push or steer my manual wheelchair.  So dependant on my husband when on outings.   

  1. My power wheelchair that was broken in the accident was replaced by RAMQ.  I am right handed, but the motor controls are now on the left side because the multiple movements needed to drive it all day exasperated the pain in my injured arm/shoulder. 
  2.   It also changes the way I can reach things at home, so changes need to be made to my home environment.   

4.  My drivers license was suspended. I was able to use an adapted vehicle which I own & drive with both my hands which I can no longer drive which is another loss of independence.  I now need my husband to drive, or use paratransit.  Either way I can no longer go where I want when I want.

5. Impossible to use my prosthetics.  The limitations with my arm braced throws me off balance.  Pulling to put the prosthetics on or taking off…requires both arms.  Using crutches requires both arms.  I was walking independently before the m.v.a.  I was supposed to be running by end of summer.  That did not happen.  Thousands of dollars in prosthetics just waiting for me to be able to use them.
6. Cannot brush Dakota, my service dog. Cannot cut Dakota's nails”  I cannot bathe Dakota.  Before I was in total control of his care.  Now I need my husband to do it.

7.  It was too difficult do my hair reaching over my head, so I cut it off. 

8.  Cannot swim using my right arm.  Enjoy doing physiotherapy for hip flexors in the water.  But cannot get in and out of a wet bathing suit, or the pool now.  I was a swimmer before.

9. Difficulty in getting dressed and undressed.  Need help. 

10.  Difficulty in rolling over in bed.  Almost impossible without help.  I used to reach an overhead rope with my right arm pull up and roll over. Husband aids in rolling over.

11. Difficulty using my laptop.  Only use 10 - 15 minutes at a time as opposed to 10 - 15 hrs a day last winter.  

12.  Cannot vacuum the house on my fly board.  A tool that worked well for me before the accident.

13.  Cannot cut the grass with my wheelchair.  (yes I cut the grass, using my power wheelchair).  

14.  Cannot use any garden tools that require reaching.  My garden is my passion and refuge all summer. 

16.  My right arm restricted in a brace to protect it from further injury which limits the amount of range of motion.  I am right handed, so eating and drinking with my left hand is a challenge.  

17.  Difficulty making the bed with one arm.  Yes, I made the bed with no legs. 

18.  André has had to rearrange the house to accommodate the new wheelchair (controls on opposite side) and my limited reach.  Waiting for approval for OT assessment to see what else we can do.

19.  Difficulty in walking the dog holding the leash.  I cannot hold a dog leash and drive power chair.  Dog is on my injured side now because the controls are on the left side.  Dog has to be tethered to my chair.  

20.  Cannot use rope adapted system installation to climb up and down the stairs making it impossible for me to use the basement, do the laundry, take care of our cat, or access anything I have in storage downstairs.  I used to be able to do that daily.  I have not been able to do it since I was hit.

21.  Cannot body lift onto the kitchen counters to reach things in the higher levels.  The reaching over head and lifting down heavy objects is impossible now.  Easy before I was hit.  I had access to all my things.  Now I need help.

22.  Cannot carry pot of water boiling from the stove to the sink on the opposite side of the kitchen to drain like I could before.

23. Cannot use my physiotherapy trampoline for balance exercise with my prosthetics and weights, etc for continued amputee rehab.  Limited range of motion. 

24.  Cannot do my yoga practices, or exercises.  

25.  Necessary  amputee stretching hip flexors on my stomach is also hell with my shoulder.  More hours in my wheelchair has given me pressure sores.

26.  Difficulty transferring from bed to wheelchair, wheelchair to toilet multiple times during the “colitis emergencies” which still plague my life.  Difficulty to transfer and undress during colitis emergencies when timing is crucial.  Now there are embarrassing accidents which require help.  

27.  Difficulty using cell phone because of brace on right arm.  

28.  Cannot write using a pen with the brace on my right arm.  

29.  Cannot use my sewing machine.  (I alter all my own clothing for my residual limbs)

30.  Cannot pull garbage & recycle bins to road, and put them away again.  

31.  Difficulty transferring from the wheelchair to the passenger side of the car.  The controls are in the way.  Super hard from manual wheelchair. Requires a lot more stump weight bearing.

32.  My husband is exhausted taking care of me.    I was INDEPENDENT in our home and our community.  He now has more on his plate than ever before and he is not used to it.  My sudden limitations are a burden.  He feels he has to “be there”.  

33. Purchased voice to text on laptop, but it only works in quiet surroundings.  So I am even limited when I can use that aid.  No background noise, music,  tv, etc can be on.  

34. I cannot play basketball with my grandchildren.  Yes I have my own basketball net and ball.  It was my reward when graduating at rehab.  Throwing baskets on two long leg prosthetics.  Yup that is on you tube too. When I graduated from rehab in 2013 I could walk unaided, no canes or crutches and throw baskets.  

33.  I cannot dive on the diving board because I have to reach overhead and pull myself up the steps. 

34. I cannot body lift out of the pool, because it is reaching over my shoulder level.  Now I will need help with a wheelchair ramp, which is another loss of independence.

35.  I cannot open or close the lid on the hot tub that I was using daily for physiotherapy and other stretching exercises for my hips post amputation. It was adapted and I had no problem with two arms.

36. I cannot take oral anti-inflammatory medications post chemo & radiation due to contraindications.  Prescribed anti-inflammatory medication post MVA increases the frequency of colitis, and upsets my stomach.  

37. Overuse injuries secondary to the impact from the car. Pain in the arm/shoulder after physical activity (transferring to the toilet, bed, etc) , pain during activity, without restricting performance, pain during the activity restricts performance, and chronic, unremitting pain even at rest, worse at night.  I am wiped out from the pain.  

38.  My lupus has flared up since the accident.  

39.  Difficulty with winter clothing.  

40.  Psychotherapy for PTSD (approved by SAAQ, on file, and covered already by the SAAQ)  The stress of waiting for treatments, and the pain is just compounding the anger and amplifying the frustration of loss of independance.  I am angry.  I am upset.   I am depressed.

41.  I was given clearance by physiatry to use my skateboard with my left arm.  But I can’t just “go use it”.  I need help getting from my chair to the floor and back up again.  It was my only way along with swimming & prosthetics to achieve some kind of cardio exercise and relieve stress. 

42.  I cannot lift the glass door off the wood burning stove, light and add wood to fire. We heat with wood burning stove to remove the dampness, and cut heating costs.  

There have been financial consequences of the accident as well. The cost of gas to and from medial appointments.  Parking fees at hospitals & clinics.  
Postage for documents.  Adaptations to the house that André has done.  I did not ask for any of that! A burden we cannot afford.

My quality of life has diminished beyond anything I ever imagined possible.  I am sure some would think losing both legs above the knee would diminish your quality of life.  In my case it was freedom.  It opened up a whole new world of sport and exercise.  It got me out of my wheelchair and on the ground, on my skateboard, on my flyboard, in the pool.  
I just want my pre accident life back. 

 I just want my pre accident life back. I never asked for the pain and these multiple limitations  I know the amputee film and the 10K Terry Fox run were awesome achievements given what I was up against.  BUT I was taking strong pain meds, and there was a price to pay afterwards.   There is always a price to pay in pain levels when I do these activities.  But if I were to just sit and rest, then I would not be living at all.  I would be giving up.  I am not giving up.  
I HOPE there is someone out  there who can help fix this mess faster than it is happening.  It is starting to affect my spirits.  SO much I want to do.  
Until then, we do the daily “Hurry up and wait” game.  We rush to get results to the right sources , just to have to wait for approval.  
And the woman who backed over me with her car.   Ya not even a demerit point.  
While using Dr. Google, I did learn one thing.  Do not believe everything you read on the internet.  Because if I did, I never would have skateboarded into a film for a gala dinner honouring my rehab team, or have a certificate that I did 10K and raised even more funds in the fight against cancer.
I have a LIVESTRONG Leader friend who calls me #Bada$$  I like that title.  I want it back.  Like yesterday.   Now I just need… help.  Like yesterday please.  I have a life to go live and this is not how it was supposed to be happy.  Hey I get life can be messy.  I had cancer, remember?  I just don't want to be held up because somebody ELSE was careless.  That is too high of a price for me to pay.  
To those who have stepped up to help along this journey, we thank you.  We appreciate you.  We love you.  And we will be forever grateful.  
*Love* & *Light* 
Kath aka TEAMNANNY aka "Nanny".   

*Love* & *Light* has been my signature for the past 20 years, and may it continue to help lead you when darkness comes.

*Love* & *Light* has been my signature for the past 20 years, and may it continue to help lead you when darkness comes.



@teamnanny on Twitter

Monday, November 2, 2015

We have a brand new look, new logo, and new beginnings!

Well it has been a long time coming, but it is official. TEAMNANNY® is an official Registered Canadian Trademark. 

SO excited to unveil the new TEAMNANNY® logos created by Shu Milne. This logo stands for so much, and took a lot of thought by Shu. I am in awe of her talent. The hands in the center are mine and Isaac's. The yellow hands are all the other team nanny youth, or the others we help with all our community service efforts.   The yellow circle represents our #LIVESTRONG wristbands which is how Isaac created "teamnanny" back in 2006 (His story is linked at the top of blog) and the words are what we live by.  

As outlined under *servivces* for TEAMNANNY ....


Public service specifically in the form of providing inspirational coaching, speaking engagements and workshops for cancer survivors, amputees, and the people that care about them; Fundraising services; specifically for cancer, Lupus or amputees.

Once again.... Thank you to Shu "shu milne creative" for the effort that went into this logo as we begin a new chapter moving forward!

My mission is to support and inspire other survivors with my motto; "Never live a life less than you are capable of". It says it all. I try to be the best I can be despite which way this journey twists and turns.  Nobody ever promised it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it! 

My aim is to be a positive inspiring influence to all the children who call me Nanny, and to cancer survivors, and those living with an invisible illness everywhere.


Nanny to Marilou, Sophie, Alex, Isaac, Joshua, Cassidy, and honorary Nanny to Parker, Mckenzie, Sam, Jesse, Serena and Matthew! With them and all the little children who call me "Nanny" - my best days are the ones when they are in it.

I am a BAK (Bilatral Above Knee Amputee), 9yr UPSC Cancer Survivor living with SLE ( Lupus).

*Love* & *Light* has been my signature for the past 20 years, and may it continue to help lead you when darkness comes.

*Love* & *Light* has been my signature for the past 20 years, and may it continue to help lead you when darkness comes.



@teamnanny on Twitter

Logos created by :  shu milne creative    

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

#ChronicallyHappyPathologicallyPositive :)

A good ATTITUDE is believing that anything is POSSIBLE if you believe.   I like living life at the end of my comfort zone. I was doing that years before it became a catch phrase.   I am not a daredevil, but I like to grow.  I like to grow physically, spiritually, and emotionally.  And you can’t do that by sitting around doing nothing.   I am determined that my health challenges are the one thing that will keep me positive.  It is the ability within the word disability that I prefer to focus on.  I am not my medical history. I am not the accident that happened.  I am not “Ooops it happened again_________”.  It is by living through my challenges that I have met some of the most positive, most loving, most giving people on the planet.  I am not what happened to me.  I am me period.  What you see is what you get.  Through illness I have already looked death in the face a few times and said, no.  Not now. I’m not ready.  I still have more living and giving to do.  I am NOT DONE!  I have miraculously survived against all odds, and I have every intention of making it count.     

This blog was supposed to be something I would do on a regular basis, almost like a journal that I can look back on to see just how far I’ve come.  Well the last time I wrote was in May.    Somewhere along the summer I was supposed to write a thank you to all the people who donated in my TEAMNANNY benefitting LIVESTRONG grassroots cancer walk.  I am grateful that this year those donations that came in know that their thank you will reach them, as the weather changes.  Thank you for the opportunity to keep doing what I love the best.  LIVING strong.  My dream of being a leader was at the top of my bucket list so far.  SO much work to still do, that I am grateful to be on the team.  

I am thankful for my life.  I have seen so much suffering in our world.  War, disease, people who are just never happy no matter what they have, and children with no worldly possessions drinking dirty water, smiling, living in the moment.  I truly hope the planet becomes a kinder place for my grandchildren.  I want them to have the blessed childhood and life that I have had.  I want them to enjoy God’s beautiful planet earth.  Praying that we can pull off world peace and bring our ecosystems back to life before they are all gone.  I know it is a long shot.  I’m hopeful.  

My life has been full of both physical and psychological challenges, often going hand in hand.  But my parents gave me the greatest gift when I was very young, to young to appreciate it for sure.  I was given the gift to understand that I had a choice to be happy.  What a gift that was. 

My mom had already had a lifetime of pain and suffering before ever adopting me.  She is a war bride.  My dad was a WWII veteran.  They married in England, and settled back here in Canada after the war.  My mom never really had a family of her own, until she had my dad and us.  But you NEVER heard her complain.  Mom never had security.  She despite all the horrible things that happened to her during her childhood, chose to live a life of gratitude and kindness.  She could have been bitter and angry.  She had every right to.  But she showed me when I was very little that living a life of happiness, gratitude, and faith was a happy life.  That it was a  CHOICE.  I never knew the hardships she & my dad had as children.  They had very difficult childhoods.  They had every right to be bitter and angry.  But they never were. 

I was sick almost all my life.  Never knowing what was going to happen next.  Orthopaedic surgeries, illnesses.  My parents through their example showed me how to live a happy life no matter what happened to me. I learned to deal with pain and suffering at a very young age, and it has served me well though out my life. 

I learned the rewards of volunteering at a very young age.  I learned that we gain more happiness by helping others.  It was the way we lived.  It was taught by example.  Not in books. You cannot teach kindness, compassion, and empathy from books.  You teach by example and my parents were a shining example.  I am proud of the way I was raised.  Those moments when I was a hard headed rebellious teen are pail in comparison to all I have done as an adult.

No matter what the struggle was, I was reminded I was not alone.  I was never alone.  I had family and friends that loved me and accepted me just the way I was.  Mom always said that worry and complaining changes nothing.  She was right.  She was almost alway right.  
Spending today complaining about yesterday won’t make tomorrow any brighter. Actions speak louder than words.  Use whatever challenge that comes my way to make me stronger.   I touch the past but embrace the future.  Life is not a dress rehearsal.  If I don’t do what I am passionate about now, I may never get the chance.  So I will take every opportunity to be humble, and kind.  We are how we treat each other and nothing more.  I never live a life less than I am capable of.

True happiness for me lies in my gratitude list.  Even at my worst state of health, I usually was able to cope with being grateful for who I have in my life, because let’s face it.  I am more blessed than most.   Somehow this year after the accident because of the pain I had forgot that it was my gratitude list that had kept me grounded all these years.  It was my happiness meter.  It was running on low.  That was not me.  So I went asking for help.  My hope dangling by a string, I need to cope with the suffering to make me well.   I needed someone to help put me on my feet.  Someone who did not know me.  Who did not know my “whole” story.  I needed to be grounded.  Harry did that for me.  He gave me “homework” to do.  And filled my toolbox with meditations, hope and coping skills.  My homework was…. yup…. my gratitude list.  It was right in front of me the whole time!  I was blinded by the pain.  I was angry that my summer was ruined.  Or was it?  Harry’s early intervention of catching me before I fall was enough for me to kickstart my ass back into gear.  

Then there is Dr. Joe.  He was my angel in a white coat.  He was the brains behind getting me physically back into shape.  He does this every day.  It is his job.  He by profession is a PM &R doc.  He did not however have to coach and encourage me to get back up, brush myself off, and thrive within new limits.  He did not have to “work” in his leisure time.  But he did.  He is one of the most compassionate humans I have ever had the honour of meeting.  He kept me safe from myself.  (Well someone had to ;) )  He was part of the survivor summit group that climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro benefiting the LIVESTRONG Foundation last winter.  He found me through mutual LIVESTRONG friends.  We bonded over hockey, & sports, me wanting to run, and LIVESTRONG. We chatted through hockey games, and during dog walks.   And then I got hit by the car.  Nothing prepared me for what it would do to my body.  I was thrown a curve ball, but I was not wearing a mitt.  I thought I would be well in a few days, week tops.   I had questions, but as our medical system works here, no one to answer them.  I still have not been seen here by a specialist and it is more than five months since the accident.  I just wanted to live.  Doc Joe taught me how to stay safe.  I just wanted to help myself but had nobody with the expertise to tell me if what I was doing was right or wrong.  Doc Joe gifted that to me.  He is a humble man with an adorable dog.  He simply gave me guidelines.  All he could go with were my symptoms, (or my whine list lol).  I listened.  I learned.  I executed.  And when I would accomplish a goal, it was videotaped, passed by him for his blessing, and then I kept doing it over and over.   I had not healed the injury.  I had mastered how to live with the injury.  Treating the injury is up to the doctors here.  That may be months.  Years.  For the pain I am taking narcotics.  Nothing else touches the pain.  I needed help in the here and now to cope, or my summer was going to be gone.  I am forever grateful of the gift to take my life back, in the pool, on my skateboard, in the gym.  I am learning to be a pretty cool lefty.  I am doing the best with what I have.  #KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.  He empowered me to be the best me I could be with the injury to my arm and shoulder.  Thanks Joe.  You are topping the grattitude list, with Harry. :) This one's for you--- I'm a one arm bandit! :) 

My scars are symbols of my strength.  A tattoo of triumph. Tattoos I did not ask for.  I like good *ink*, but tattoos for radiation were not the ink I had wanted.  I am determined to be an example of strength and courage for my children and my grandchildren.  So many times, I had made dreams, only to have them shattered by illness or circumstance.  My life has always been about the journey.  So when plans are changed, because of finances, or illness, or whatever road block gets in the way, I gladly take the detour and find a different way to fill that time with joy and happiness.  There are a thousand things on my bucket list.  No a MILLION things I want to do while I am still living.  Some are very cool, some are very interesting, and some are very silly.  But it is that list that reminds me I still have one hell of a lot of living to do. So even if I am not accomplishing goals within the imaginary time frame I had set for myself, I am still accomplishing being happy.  Each and every day I can tell myself, I may be in pain, I may be a spoonie, and I may have a mountain of challenges in front of me, but by the grace of God I am still moving forward, and climing those mountains. Some of the mountains even look like skate park ramps! ;) 

I am living life the best way I know how.  In my story I am chronically happy and pathologically positive.  We all know that the children on TEAMNANNY and their friends has a lot to do with my happiness.  But even when they are not available because of school, or activities, I am finding ways to to enjoy those empty hours.  And if I really miss them, well that is what all those videos all summer were for! So I can watch them like a good movie all winter!  This summer I saw Cassidy dive for the first time, and learn to skateboard like a star.  Isaac has grown so much he towers over me, swam, learned to flip on the tramp, but still knows "I love you more"..... and Josh, my all round athlete, soccer, hockey, swimming.  I was there for his first flip off the diving board.  I was there, captured it all for their parents on video.  I was PRESENT.  #grateful #blessed 

I am human.  There are moments of frustration at times.  For sure.  There are times I butt heads with those I love the most.  I have a hard head.  But as the sun sets, I can close my eyes, thank God for another day of life, and promise myself that the only person I have to be tomorrow is better than the person I was today.  During my hardest times in my life I was taught my most important lessons. There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong.   I never quit because I know whatever situation I am in it is not permanent.  Change is the only constant.  Especially living with Lupus.  No two days are the same.  We learn to live with the symptoms, but they are always changing.  So learn to like change. 

My mom taught me yes, life has tough moments, but I am tougher. Find the strength to laugh every day. Find the courage be okay by being different.   Find it in my heart to make others smile too.  God gave me two hands, one to help myself, and the other to help others.  I stress of stupid stuff that should not even be in my “story”.  Stuff that I cannot change.  And I always have André to keep me grounded.  To reassure me on the darkest nights, the sun will come up tomorrow.

And then finally there was that “moment” that “bleep” in the pool.  I was unexpectedly taken down, and under the water.  What was moments seemed like a lifetime.  I was out of air, but I knew enough to fight the urge to breath in.  I knew it was my only chance.  Within seconds Michala, a lifeguard at our pool, was there, saving me.  I did not have time to process the fear, or the pain of having my shoulder wrenched by the grab of a man twice my size.  Before I could, it was all over and I witnessed our awesome staff at their best.  Their training kicked right in, and everyone was safe.  There is always some thing to learn from accidents.  My life was saved to be grateful for and not to be wasted.  So I will not waste it.  I have never ever said, “why me”.  I have said, “Why not me”?  Life is not what happens to you.  Life is what you do with your story.  

I love music.  All the time.  Music is a must have in my life.  I am grateful for the lyric writers who keep giving me a new theme song to get through the next battle.  My song, my story, is still being written.   I decided recently while sharing hope and friendship and music with a loved one who has been battling lymphoma for the past year or more, that I was going to create a new hashtag.  Something greater than the #LiveLovePlay one I had used all summer.  I told her that I was chronically happy, and she added one she had heard from a friend, “pathologically positive”! So we decided that #ChronicallyHappyPatholigicallyPositive was just perfect.  And every time I use it, I wonder…  
and came out of it with an

Friday, May 15, 2015



by Katherine Kilcullen aka "TEAMNANNY"

I am Katherine Kilcullen, & known online as #TEAMNANNY, created by my grandson Isaac who when just 6yrs old put our LIVESTRONG wristbands together & had me promise that we would always be a "team".  Little did he know that his dream of our team would help to inspire so many more to join us on this journey.  This is my story.......

We *ALL*  know somebody affected by this disease!  I had it, my mother had it, my father, my niece, my BEST friends..... too many to keep count anymore!  Cancer has already taken too many of our loved ones from us too soon!
My story has been shared online on my blog, you-tube channel and Facebook – because I believe that knowledge is power and had I been diagnosed earlier I would have had a different outcome. The fact that I even survived surpassed all statistics and my prognosis was grim, outcome I was told was dismal.  I feel that sharing this hope, that if you don't give up on your dreams because of cancer, then you will be stronger for the journey it brings you on.  I am me.  I am not my cancer.  And cancer cannot destroy love and hope.  I respect those who want to keep their cancer story private.  It is a difficult journey and it is not easy to wear your heart out on your sleeve.  But I have learned from other survivors stories that by sharing my story, I will help reduce the stigma associated with cancer, add my face to the 32 million people worldwide, and let people know that you are a not a statistic.  Each person’s treatment plan is personalized, and that we all have the right to patient centered care.  And every survivor needs #HOPE!

In January 2006 I was diagnosed with stage IIIC Uterine Papillary Serous Carcinoma: a rare and highly malignant form of endometrial adenocarcinoma.  My treatment began with a radical hysterectomy, a bilateral aslpingo-oophorectomy, debulking as much tumor as possible, followed my adjuctive therapy which consisted of six cycles of chemotherapy treatments with combined drugs carboplatin (Paraplatin) with paclitaxel (Taxol), followed by thirty five abdo-pelvic radiation treatments, and brachytherapy.  I remember the whole time wondering just how bad this was when everyone treating me was in hazmat suits, protecting themselves from the POISON they were administering to me to kill my cancer cells.  I was about to find out.......
If only it killed just the cancer cells...... I have since had major lupus flares following my cancer treatment, and have life long side effects causing  collateral damage post cancer ..... that will be with me forever.

Chemo damaged my small intestine, radiation damaged my colon and I had four amputations! 
I made educated choices in my treatment plan.  I got the facts on what was the best treatment plan for the type of cancer I had.  I wanted to LIVE at any cost to my future quality of life.  I feel that because the support I received from LIVESTRONG empowered me to be my own advocate, it made a huge difference in my outcome.  I was inspired by other survivor stories, found out what worked for them, and took what I needed from that information and applied it to my own fight. It was a crash course in survival skills 101.  Thank God for the support I received from LIVESTRONG.  You just reach out to them and suddenly you have an army of people who are wanting to help. 
I continue to fight the collateral damage of cancer treatments every single day.  But I am still alive to make a difference! Too many of our loved ones have ran out of time!  Through these heartbreaks we should be inspired to honor the memory of those we have lost and those warriors still fighting by our volunteer work and fundraising efforts!  The LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION was there the moment I was diagnosed until this very day..... I say “Let the yellow shine” on those affected by cancer!  And YOU can help me pay it forward to our loved ones diagnosed today.
*Unity is strength*
 *Knowledge is power*
 *Attitude is everything*
The LIVESTRONG Foundation serves people affected by cancer NOW from the minute of diagnosis and empowers them to take action against this disease that is now the world's leading cause of death. LIVESTRONG has become a symbol of hope and inspiration to people affected by cancer around the world.  
Today is LIVESTRONG DAY!! ‪#‎ILIVESTRONGFOR‬ our terrific Global Livestrong Leaders supporting the mission, fighting to improve the lives of those affected with cancer with their efforts in their local communities in the US and Worldwide.  And for all the supporters of TEAMNANNY's efforts to support the foundation! 

It was my dream to survive the cancer and gain enough health, and do what I could to become a LIVESTRONG leader.  In 2014 my dream became reality!  "UNITY IS STRENGTH" is the truth. Please, join me and #TEAMNANNY, united and help me support the LIVESTRONG Foundation.   I am #STILLSTRONG......  Thanks to my loved ones, and my "yellow family" @LIVESTRONG!  My motto is "Never Live A Life Less Than You Are Capable Of"

Follow us online! We are sharing hope online! Just use the hashtag #teamnanny.  

*Love* & *Light* has been my signature for the past 20 years, and may it continue to help lead you when darkness comes.

*Love* & *Light* has been my signature for the past 20 years, and may it continue to help lead you when darkness comes.