Birthday Joy & Quick Cancer Update

Happy month of May! I hope you’re enjoying the seasons wherever you are on Planet Earth. I sure am enjoying the pops of so many amazing colors as the trees unfurl their brilliant green leaves and the tulips and lilacs splash their reds, purples, yellows, oranges and so many shades of amazing colors as the flowers burst forth with joy and hope. 

Flourless birthday cake & peonies from Brooke

Today is Mother’s Day and this year it’s also my 59th birthday. I wasn’t born on Mother’s Day, as I was born in 1965 on a Wednesday. Mother’s Day is a complicated day for me, as it is for many people. I am estranged from my mother. I don’t have any children. Granted I do share my life with a wonderful dog, and I do my very best to care for him as I would for a child. And I am fully aware that he is not a human!

I do love birthdays! I enjoy celebrating the birthdays of my friends and it’s one holiday where I get to practice opening my heart and receiving bountiful love. I am working on letting all the love in, as this does seem to be one of the lessons cancer wants most to teach me. 

There is a  continued reminder that we are all interconnected. We all have much to give and receive to and from one another. We are a tribe. We are ALL part of the beautiful collective. 

For many of us who have complicated relationships with health – be it any chronic illness we might live with, or any trauma we have survived, giving and receiving can become fraught with confusion. Being vulnerable takes courage and for me, giving puts me in control. Receiving is vulnerable. It scares me. 

I had another ultrasound on my chest wall on Friday, May 10th. They give me the results immediately after they perform the ultrasound. The good news is good. Of the three nodules on my right chest wall, all of them are embedded in the tissues of my chest, thus this third cancer is considered metastatic because the chest is not breast tissue. The aromatase inhibitor, letrozole, that I am taking, is doing its job. One of the nodules, the smallest of the three, is no longer visible or detectable. That is VERY good! The other two nodules continue to shrink. They are NOT GROWING. That too is VERY good. 

The bad news is that they are not shrinking very much or very quickly. 

This means that choices will again be put before me. Choices I will consider and debate and meditate on how or if I will act upon. I meet with my oncologist on May 15th. I will ask her a variety of questions about these options and choices, most of which I know about from the many visits I’ve already had with Dr. Jocelin Huang. 

Long run (13.7 miles for me!) on Saturday, May 11th with Run Minnesota

In the meantime, I feel pretty darn good. I ran 13.7 miles yesterday. Today I ran 4 miles. I continue to run four days a week. I’ve cleaned up my bike and started riding again. I continue to walk my dog two or three times a day. I swim at least once a week and I lift weights twice a week, plus do my mobility physical therapy exercises daily. I continue to eat well. I’m making my salad jars later today. Salad season has begun again! I prioritize daily meditation. My sits are longer than they’ve been, as I need more time to commune with my breath and the quiet and hear the messages of my Guides and Guardian Angels. I touch at least one tree every day for support and help with releasing the cancer from my body. 

Last night, many of my friends gathered to laugh and celebrate this 59th spin around the sun. I wore my transformation snake pants! We hugged each other and they each gave me a wish or two. I repeatedly visualized my heart opening and allowing all the love into my heart and soul. It was a beautiful evening of so much love and connection and support. 

In just a few weeks, I will bike in another Tour de Cure bike ride. I’ve ridden in too many to count Tour de Cure bike rides over the years. These are rides to raise money for the American Diabetes Association, which does very good work for those of us who live with any type of diabetes. 

This year, I will ride 25 miles. I’m raising money, as I do every year. If you’d like to support my effort, it means the world! Here’s the link to donate: https://tour-diabetes.donordrive.com/participant/mariruddy2024

Thank you for helping me become a Champion another year! As I ride those 25 miles, I think of all the people I know with diabetes and how collectively we all keep making the effort to live life to the fullest. 

That’s what I am doing. Showing up. Listening to my soul. Connecting with people. Smiling and caring and trusting that even with cancer and diabetes, it all makes sense. Even when it doesn’t make sense.

Profoundly grateful you read to the end here! Know I love you and I for one believe in you. 

With love,

Mari

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