Feb 19, 2017 by Karen Lindauer
On August 11th, 2016 I walked into a Patient First and 24 hours later learned I had cancer. I will never forget the panic I felt when the doctor told me I had a mass in my chest that shouldn’t be there. My mind immediately jumped to thoughts of lung cancer and I just knew I was going to die. I was 36 years old, a wife, mother, daughter, sister, employee, friend, athlete, and good citizen, but none of those titles excused me from having cancer. While I laid in my hospital bed waiting for a biopsy to be done and choking back a panic attack, an Oncologist walked into my room. He said “Without even looking at the biopsy results, I can already tell this is cancerous”. He told me he thought it was either Lymphoma or something worse. Then he looked me straight in the eyes and said “We are dealing with a type of cancer that is curable”. It took six days to get those biopsy results back. Six days where my mind went to some of the darkest places it’s ever visited. When that phone call came and I heard the reassuring voice of my Oncologist, Dr. Lee, tell me that I had a type of Lymphoma that has a high success rate due to a chemotherapy regimen that had recently been developed, I could finally breathe again. If this doctor was telling me I was going to be ok, then I believed him.
That final clear PET scan did not come without a price though. What I had to endure to get rid of that cancer in my body was brutal. It was an experience that I can only describe as traumatic. I’m going to be spending years in therapy to work out that one. Cancer leaves you scarred, not just physically but mentally and emotionally. Find someone who tells you they are the same person they were before they had cancer and I’ll buy you a unicorn.
As happy as I am to be able to tell people I am done with treatments and the final PET scan was good, there is still a tornado of emotions going on inside me. I am equal parts angry, scared, and relieved.
I am relieved that there was a cure for my cancer. I am relieved that there are smart people in this world that figured it out, and that there was money for them to do the research and clinical trials necessary. I am relieved that I was in good, capable hands with Dr. Lee and his team. When Dr. Lee gave me that fatherly side-hug after my good results came in and told me how proud he was of me, it felt pretty darn amazing.
I am scared because I can no longer go through life feeling immune to bad things happening. I can’t take anything for granted any more. I don’t even like saying that I’m done with treatments because I’m scared if I say it too loud, someone might hear me and make the cancer come back. I try to be strong and brave, but I am also human. I know what lurks on the other side of that door and it’s a monster.
Then I am angry. I am angry this happened to me. I am angry that it happens to other people. Cancer is such a horrible, horrible thing and no one should feel it’s wrath. It’s this anger that makes me want to stand up and do something. I’m not smart enough to find a cure but how I wish I was. I’m not strong enough to be a person of support to a community of cancer patients. I am ,however, motivated enough to run a marathon and raise money to help fund research and grants, as well as help other patients afford the medical care they need. This anger inside me that says “ENOUGH!”. Running a marathon is my way of saying "You can't take the best parts of me".
I can not do this alone. My team can not do this alone. We need your help. Please consider donating, you never know how much it can make a difference. It is because of donations made to help fund research, that Oncologists are able to look patients in the eyes and use the word “curable”.
We're up and running (figuratively and literally!)
Feb 19, 2017 by Karen Lindauer
Thanks for clicking on our Team in Training's (TNT) fundraising page for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). Separately, we are Karen L., Kristy, Steve, and Karen P. but together we make up Team “Cancer Better Run”. We are a bunch of happy-go-lucky folks who share the love of a good run, laugh, and beverage (sometimes all at the same time). Each of us has been touched by cancer in some way whether it be the loss of a close friend or family member, knowing someone who has/had cancer, or even being a cancer survivor themselves. As our friend Carla always says, "Turn your scars into stars" so we are trying to do just that. We want to work towards finding a cure for the horrible beast that is cancer. Since none of us are smart enough to come up with this cure ourselves, we’ve decided we can at least help fund research done by the smart people.
The idea to fundraise for the LLS came to Karen L. during one of her many loooong chemotherapy treatments this past fall to treat her diagnosis of Mediastinal Large B Cell Lymphoma. As she sat there sipping her Coca-Cola and coloring her 100th picture, she thought “I want to do something to help others in my shoes”. And so she thought and she thought, until a brilliant idea popped into her head. “Running! I love to run. What if I used running as a way to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society?” Karen didn’t want to run just any old race though. She wanted to run one of the biggest marathons in the country and wanted her favorite running buddies to do it with her. It didn’t take much convincing to talk Kristy and Steve into joining her. Within seconds both had responded with an enthusiastic “YES!!!” to her question: "Want to run the NY marathon with me as part of TNT?". Karen P. joined in when she caught wind of our plan because she also wants to help give ol’ cancer the boot.
We greatly appreciate any donation you would like to offer whether it be $5, $50, or $5000 (ha, just kidding! But seriously, we would skywrite you a “Thank you” if you did.). LLS was able to invest $67.2 million in research in fiscal year 2015 to advance life-saving research because of people’s generous donations. In case you are wondering “Does my donation really go to helping research and patient care?”, here is your answer. This is what donations made possible in 2015:
· invested $49.3 million in research
· provided co-pay assistance to patients
· sponsored scientific conferences around the country
· produced educational materials and videos
Cancer sucks no matter which way you slice it. No one knows that better than our teammate Karen. Thanks to generous donations given to the LLS, it help fund the research conducted by the National Institute of Health to develop the treatment plan that saved Karen’s life. We hope that by raising these funds to benefit the LLS, it will provide some assistance to the many others who will have to walk in her footsteps. Please help us make that happen.
Karen L, Kristy, Steve, and Karen P.
Welcome to Cancer Better Run's Fundraising Page
Jan 27, 2017
As a single member of Team In Training I know you can help me do incredible things like save the lives of blood cancer patients! As part of a team, you can help us do even more like help advance promising therapies into permanent cures; but that takes time and help, your help!
WELCOME TO OUR TEAMS HOMEPAGE!
Across the US TNT participants are training together as teams to prepare for a sports event that will support cures and access to treatments for blood cancer patients!
They will be raising funds to continue The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's funding of the breakthrough development of therapies that have already saved and continues to save thousands of lives. As a team, we are that much stronger, but still need the might of your support.
Please donate now to this TNT team and help us all get closer to a world without blood cancers!