May was a very busy month for me. Some work, some play and a lot in between. (this blog is a little long!)

My husband came home from work after 10 weeks!! We only had about 36 hours together before I had to leave, but we get a week together before he leaves again.

Then, I attended my 3rd National Hope Summit in Washington D.C. This is an amazing lung cancer survivor conference put together by the LUNGevity Foundation. The first one I attended was so inspiring and hopeful being able to meet so many other survivors in one room. LUNGevity gets top doctors and experts to give us wonderful, useful information to make our lives easier and they change it up every year.

This year there were about 300 of us (200+ survivors and 100ish caregivers)! I always leave feeling energized and excited about new ways I can raise awareness and help others. I enjoyed spending time with old friends and made many new ones. I’m also so happy my mom gets to attend this conference with me.

Then, straight from D.C. my mom and I flew to Orlando. Along with 2 other survivors, I had the honor of sharing my story and patient perspective to 200 sales reps at Pfizer. We received Rock-star attention afterwards and got great feedback and even questions on how they could do their jobs more effectively. It was a pleasure spending time with the dedicated team at Pfizer and I made many great connections to further our cause.

I also met a new friend, AJ, who has a beautiful heart and made me look deeper into my soul. I look forward to meeting his wife and family one day. I feel like I’ve made another life-long friend. I had a blast hanging out with Juanita and her husband Steve too. We went to the gym, hung out at the pool, went out to eat (several times) and got trapped in a Florida downpour. They’re a special couple that I’m so glad I got to spend time with.

pfizer team

We got home just in time to celebrate Mother’s day and my 45th birthday. We went out to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant with my parents, then they left for Florida for 2 weeks. We spent Mother’s day with Joe’s family at Game Works. Being a mom has been the greatest gift in my life and I had a wonderful mom as a teacher.

I spent my birthday at the butterfly habitat at Spring’s Preserve. Then we went out for sushi and relaxed at home. I tried to soak up as much Joe-attention as possible in his short stay with us. But this time he’ll only be gone for 3 weeks.

I had lunch with a few great friends and accompanied a few other survivors to their dr’s appointments. I had my quarterly CT scan and biannual brain MRI. Thankfully those were both negative for any cancer and I remain in remission for 3 years now. I used to expect bad news at my appointments – because we all know my cancer will develop resistance to my drug eventually- but I don’t anymore. Thinking negative is not beneficial and worrying only makes it worse. So I choose to enjoy every day with as little fear as possible. I’ve gotten pretty good at it. People often ask how I avoid the anxiety – I really wish I could explain it. All I can say is I refuse to let cancer steal any more of my joy.

My daughter is taking finals and in just a few days will go to her last day of her sophomore year. Two more years of high school!?! Where has the time gone? My first goal I set after diagnosis was to see her graduate high school (she was 11). I feel pretty confident that I will make it to that glorious day.

We attending the grand opening of Veteran’s Memorial park in Las Vegas and hung out with my high school friend Alicia and her family. We also went to a free Joan Jett concert on Fremont Street. It was a great weekend!

I have been busy organizing things (not quite packing) for our next trip. My daughter and I are spending 9 days in Italy. We are crossing places off our bucket list (this is actually on her list). I’m so grateful we get to take this amazing trip to make memories and see a new culture. I plan on eating gelato and drinking espresso every day and she looks forward to fresh Italian pasta and pizza. We have a tour planned for almost every day also. Please pray for travel mercies (and patience on our 14 hours of flying).

Although it’s beyond hot here in Vegas, I do love the summers. We hang out in our pool a lot and go on several trips. Coming up I have a quick conference in Minneapolis, vacation on the beach in Florida (at mom’s condo), a conference in Denver, a lung cancer walk in San Diego, and probably another trip to CA to visit my son.

Hubby comes home in 2 days! He’s going to take care of the dogs while we’re gone then we get a few weeks together. We are definitely learning to enjoy quality time since our quantity is more limited but he’s making a great sacrifice to better his and our future.      I’m so blessed to have such an amazing man love and encourage me.

 Remember:Every day is gift and growing old is privilege not everyone gets to enjoy.