It’s been almost 2 months since I last updated you on what’s going on in my life. We’ve been very busy so far this winter making lots of great memories.
PANAMA CRUISE: Firstly, I have to mention that I happen to have the BEST parents in the entire world. For Christmas this year, rather than exchanging gifts with one another, my parents, brother, sister-in-law, Dax, Jack and I all decided to go on a Panama Cruise together (I know – they’re pretty cool people!). We called this our Christmas / it-really-sucks-that-I-got-cancer-so-let’s-take-advantage-of-the-time-off-work-to-do-amazing-things-together trip. It’s been my goal all along to try and fill this time with as many happy memories as possible so that when I am one day NED (positive thinking!), I can look back at this time in my life and instead of dwelling on the negative, remember all of the amazing things I was able to do because this happened.
The 7 of us embarked on a Princess Cruise through the Panama Canal at the beginning of January and had the best time! My mom, Gal (sister-in-law) and I are complete nerds and had “FAMILY VACATION” hats made for our whole family as we sailed out to sea. They were hysterical and well received by all fellow passengers! We had amazing weather, saw some pretty fantastic sights and got to spend serious quality time together. Jack was also an all-star throughout this cruise and made our job as parents the easiest. The minimum age to sail was 6 months and Jack was officially 6 months and 6 days when we boarded so it was safe to say he was the youngest passenger on board. He is such an easy-going baby. I’m not sure how we got so lucky!! Here are a few photos from our 2016 Family Vacation.
SUPER BOWL WEEKEND: Dax and I were also incredibly fortunate to come in 3rd place in Team Draft’s Super Bowl Challenge. Former NFL player, Chris Draft, along with his amazing team hosted us in San Francisco this past weekend to help spread lung cancer awareness. From the moment we arrived until the moment we left, we were completely spoiled and so happy to be able to spread awareness about our cause. Dax and I were also fortunate to meet an amazing couple, Kim and Davin. Kim, a fellow lung cancer survivor, came in 1st place and won tickets to the Super Bowl game. They are the BIGGEST Denver Broncos fans so the fact that the Broncos won and they were able to be there to experience that was perfect.
We attended the Wounded Warriors Football game in San Mateo on Saturday afternoon where we just so happened to meet Snoop Dogg (no big deal). That evening, we attended the Taste of the NFL who rallied the country’s top chefs and former and current NFL players, on Super Bowl Eve, to raise money in support of food banks throughout the United States. Upon arrival, Dax and I were standing on the “red carpet” and standing on either side of us were Nick Lachey and Ludacris (all of my 16 year old dreams came true – haha). We also met Dwight Clark (The Catch!), Matt Light (seen wearing “just breathe” bracelet below), the bakers from Cake Boss and Larry the Cable Guy to name a few! We got to taste some delicious food (my favourite was Cake Boss’s cannoli!) and speak about our cause. Kim and I were able to meet and talk to many former and current NFL players about lung cancer awareness and help to change the face of lung cancer. General Manager of the Denver Broncos, John Elway, knows all too well why we need to #tacklelungcancer. Unfortunately, he lost his twin sister to lung cancer in 2002. People like him, and others that we met throughout the weekend, are able to have their voices heard and help to change the face of lung cancer.
On Sunday, Dax and I attended a Super Bowl watch party with Chris and his team. We enjoyed watching the game on an outdoor big screen directly beside the stadium. It was a beautiful and sunny day which made for a perfect Super Bowl Sunday! On Monday, we visited Alcatraz and Napa Valley. It was a jam-packed 3 day weekend that we are incredibly grateful for.
JUST BREATHE BRACELETS: From the sales of my “just breathe” bracelets and the generous funds raised and donated by my amazing support team, we were able to raise just over $10,000 throughout November and December (AMAZING!!!). Thank you all SO much for your never-ending support!! This total was divided amongst Lung Cancer Canada, Team Draft and the Ottawa General Hospital to help fund their Molecular Oncology Diagnostics Laboratory. Having a laboratory in Ottawa will help make genetic profiling of tumours a standard part of medical care, allowing physicians to determine which medications will work best for a particular patient. This project is obviously something that is near and dear to my heart as it is this type of testing that has allowed me to be able to take a pill from home that attacks my specific cancer.
CANCER UPDATE: I have had lots of tests in the past few weeks. Results from a CT, MRI and a few more will help us to determine the best plan of attack. I will share with you a new-revised game plan soon. Fighting cancer certainly isn’t easy but it’s a battle I fully intend to win.
#fromlizzieslungs xo #LIVINGwithlungcancer
P.S. Thank you all for voting for me in “Healthline’s Best Health Blog of 2015!“. Out of 326 entries I placed in the Top 10! Thank you ALL for your support!
P.P.S. I was contacted on behalf of AbbVie and the Vesta Study which is currently recruiting patients with advanced or metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). I don’t know much about it but if you or someone you know is battling lung cancer feel free to check out the following study link: VESTAstudy.com/LizziesLungs