Run 2 Your Own Beat

Run 2 Your Own Beat

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I’m back for good this time, I promise! [Vegas Recap]

May 28, 2014 | 1 Comment

(Apologies in advance – this post is a little long!)

Hello to those of you still checking back up on my blog! The last month or so has been a little busy trying to finish up the spring semester on a good note. The good news is I am now finished with my associates degree!! I’m in the process of applying for the Master Nutrition Therapist (MNT) program from the Nutrition Therapy Institute and I have been working full time at a children’s fitness academy teaching dance and gymnastics. I’m completely loving it there!!

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I went to Las Vegas for the OMG Cancer Summit 2014, hosted by StupidCancer.org. It’s hard to believe it’s already been a month since I went! I had an amazing experience. I laughed, I cried, I did something a little crazy (helloo tattoo!) and I just let loose. Here’s a photo-recap of my experience:

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View from the plane

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View to the right from the hotel room

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View to the left from the hotel room

The next morning I utilized the hotel’s fitness center

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Panorama of the cardio center located within the spa at Palms Place

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Other half of the cardio center

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Part of the fitness center in Palms Place (different from cardio center)

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Fitness center in palms place

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Fresh citrus water, yum! Each cardio machine in the fitness center was equipped with a mini water bottle and a towel as well

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Player’s club indicates that I raised at least $500 for Stupid Cancer! WOO!

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The resort/casino where I stayed

After my workout thursday morning (a real good one..I’ll put it in another post!!), I went to a seminar about the progress, promise, and prospects of blood cancer research. I learned a lot about how far we’ve come and what we have to look forward to that I had no idea about! Later in the day, I headed to the Stupid Cancer pool party to relax with other attendees.

 

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View of the pool from my room

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That night, I went out with 4 girls I met (and made great friends with) to see O.A.R. for FREE thanks to the Love Hope Strength foundation. They do free cheek swabs at concerts to be entered into a database as a bone marrow donor.

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They were AWESOME!

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Later on in the evening, we went to Tao at the Venetian and this was the view from the balcony

The following morning on Friday, we had a 5k Fun run/walk for Stupid Cancer around the Hotel. The distance around it was 1 mile, so we ran that loop 3 times. It was great to be with other survivors/patients taking steps towards a healthy lifestyle!

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Pre-5K in my new StupidCancer tank top! It was so windy out – my hat blew off twice!

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I tried to eat the greek salad (pictured with the lid on) but the hangover sort of hit me AFTER the 5k..so all I felt like eating was this tasty flourless cookie and coconut water!!

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Later Friday afternoon at Wet Republic relaxing with my new friend!

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Wet Republic

The Survivor Glam Squad was at the event each day to do makeovers! They had tons of make up, press-on nails, and even styled our hair!

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I felt pretty ‘fierce!’ :)


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Saturday evening I went out to eat at Julian Serrano at the Aria

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Ceiling at the Aria

Sunday was a reallly fun day..we concluded the conference, then shortly after, the closing keynote speaker, Dan Shapiro, (who happens to dabble in photography) came with my friend and I to get tattoos! (I promise, it was a sober decision!!) While waiting for our appointment, we got to see the Strip a little bit:

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Ceiling at the Bellaggio

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Bellaggio gardens

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Paris Hotel

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The big moment!

The next four photos were taken by Dan Shapiro, who wrote the book Mom’s Marijuana about his cancer experience:

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My friend and I’s matching tattoos! She had ovarian (the teal in the ribbon) and I had lymphoma (the lime green in the ribbon)

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Two my other cancer sisters!!

 It’s sometimes difficult to do that when you want to live a healthy (cancer-free) lifestyle. I exercised the first two days I was there, and then didn’t exercise the rest of the time. I kind of just had to let myself enjoy my life and ‘live a little’. I met survivors and patients that were in much worse scenarios than me, so I did not want to stop myself from being happy or having fun because of all the calories in the food and drinks I consumed. I knew that I didn’t live my life like this at home on a normal basis, so what better time to just celebrate life and how far I and everyone else have come?

However, even after I got home..I still didn’t exercise for a few days! I felt like I was STILL exhausted. I had a Vegas hangover!! Eventually I got back on the horse and I’m still working on giving myself a regular bedtime and getting up early. Even if I don’t wake up super early, I make sure that I get active somehow every day.

Cancer update:

I had  a PET scan shortly after my return and all is clear! I’m in remission for about 6-7 months now (something like that..haha)

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Obviously I need to recap all the food I’ve been eating! Here is a pictographic summary of my diet:

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Still attempting to eat healthy at the airport

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Quinoa salad with chicken, berries, nuts, etc

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Kale salad at Julian Serrano – yummy!

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BEST STEAK EVER. 8 oz sirloid – well done yet so deliciously moist. At Nine Steakhouse in the Palms Hotel

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Broccoli and cauliflower gratin at Nine Steakhouse

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So there was a crepery called Chocolat in the hotel that I passed everytime I went to the elevators..How could I not. Strawberry & chocolate crepe with vanilla and dark chocolate gelato!

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Grilled steak, roasted cauliflower, and sauteed rainbow carrots

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Cinco de mayo! Woo! Lettuce tacos

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Italian quinoa balls and roasted cauliflower!

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Chile-lime kebabs with chicken, zucchini, green peppers, and turkey bacon interwoven on the skewers. All cooked on the grill

 

What I’ve learned:

Overall, OMG Summit 2014 was most certainly a life-changing experience. Being around other people who’ve been through similar situations makes you almost feel ‘normal’ – whatever normal actually is. I haven’t decided yet how I’m going to use these experiences in the future, but I know that I want to advocate more for cancer research and AYA (adolescent and young adult) cancer care. I want to help people to increase their awareness of their bodies and respect them for the gift that they are through regular exercise, a balanced diet, and necessary medical care.

The future of my blog:

I’ve been a bad blogger lately (in my opinion, at least) – not posting often and not really having any sense of direction. I think that I’m going to spend the next month or two re-discovering my voice now that I’ve been in remission for almost 7 months and I have been living a healthy lifestyle for just over a year. When first making those changes and discoveries, it all seemed so new and exciting to me. I don’t want to get bored with it or bore you guys (the readers) by reiterating the same thing over and over again.

In a way, I feel like I’m waiting to exhale. I’m in between educational endeavors and I feel a tad lost. There are several factors postponing my progression into the nutrition therapy program, so I am doing my best to busy myself in the mean time.

Stay tuned for the next post – I think I’ll be posting a recipe or a workout! We’ll see ;) Hope you all had a lovely memorial day weekend!!

Questions for you:

Have you ever felt at a stand-still creatively or professionally?

How did you re-discover your sense of purpose and direction?

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