Dear Family & Friends,
As many of you know, my journey with breast cancer started in June 2014. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer and over the course of 2 years I underwent chemotherapy, radiation, and multiple surgeries. In 2016, although not entirely back to normal, I began getting my life back. I returned to work and started dancing again. In that time I experienced an unexpected career change, and started with a new company. I traveled to many dance festivals and helped fulfill one of my lifelong dreams by creating an international performance dance team in Minneapolis! This opportunity led to the beginning of another goal, Minneapolis hosting our very own Latin dance festival. In May of this year after returning from an amazing dance trip to New York City, I started dealing with "injuries" (or so I thought), that were very painful. These necessitated a trip to the orthopedic emergency room where, through routine MRI imaging, they saw unexpected cancerous lesions in my spine. Immediately, my oncologist ordered additional tests. Unfortunately, the results uncovered multiple cancerous lesions throughout my body, specifically my bones and major joints. This means, once again, I have been officially diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. After an initial round of chemotherapy and radiation, which my body was unable to tolerate, there are no further curative treatment options that I'm able to withstand. Having been through this before, my body and soul can only handle so much. Therefore, I'm choosing to move forward with alternative measures such as lifestyle changes, diet, and checking more items off my bucket list. I need your help. I am currently in a significant amount of pain which requires me to take large doses of pain medication. This causes extreme physical and mental fatigue. It is difficult for me to talk about how I'm feeling, and it causes a lot of post-traumatic stress to re-live this experience. Moving forward, I have created a list of expectations and ask that you honor my wishes: *Confidentiality - I am not ready for the general public to know. I am gradually telling individual friends and family on my own. I ask that you maintain my confidentiality so that I may have the opportunity to reach my loved ones myself. *Support - In the coming days, I will need various things. I plan to use the journal entries on this site to communicate what I need such as help cleaning, walking my dogs, meals, getting me out of the house, activities, etc. But mostly, I need help maintaining normalcy. You are all still my loved ones and I don't want to be kept out of the joys and sorrows of your own lives. Please talk to me like you always would. Not only does it allow me to continue being myself, but it takes the focus off of me. *Understanding - With whatever time I have left it is my intention to live a joyful life to the fullest! I may not be able to make it to every event, or respond to every invitation. If you see me dancing, traveling, or doing things I love, know that it is taking every ounce of energy I have to do so. I simply need your support and encouragement. I love you all dearly and ask for your loving kindness and blessings in this stage of my journey.