I am more than a conqueror…

…yes I AM!  Six years ago, in December 2010, I laid on a table in a lab getting an ultrasound that would change my life forever.  Breast Cancer.  Though not confirmed it was evident. Fast forward to six years later, December 2016, I laid on an MRI table, in that same lab, wondering if my cancer had recurred.  It was an ire feeling walking in there, sitting, waiting, reading vibes, etc.  Yes, for the past six weeks I’ve been living with a secret, shared with only God and two people on this earth, that I may have to go through this all over again.  Had my cancer returned?

 

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Yes, I am more than a conqueror!

Well, I am thanking and praising God on this day that my results came back negative!!!!  Hallelujah!!!!  Although I certainly did not want to travel that road again, I had began preparing myself for what was to come.  This is a wake up call.  I realize I need to focus strengthening myself mentally, physically and emotionally.  More so than before.  I talk a good game in my mind but that doesn’t always translate into action.  Starting now, and not the coming year, I am taking better care of myself.

I would like to thank the two individuals who held on to my secret, praying with and for me, holding my hand until we witnessed the good news of God’s grace.  I love you all and am eternally grateful.  It means more than you could ever know or I could ever express.

As I continue my journey of survival, I know I’ll fight for the rest of my life.  And that’s okay because as long as I’m fighting, I’m here, surviving.  I love my life.  I love God.  I love all that have been, continue to be and are to become a part of this walk with me.  To all my fellow survivors, keep fighting. We are more than conquerors!

Hi ho, hi ho off to the gym…

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…I went!  Yeah I know that doesn’t rhyme but who cares, I FINALLY got back in the gym.  It’s been a while, a long while, over a year since I graced the floors of a gym.  It’s not that I didn’t want to go, I had other financial priorities and a gym membership wasn’t one of them.  Yes, I know that’s no excuse.  I could work out at home, outdoors (not in the summer in Arizona), etc. etc. etc.  I didn’t.  Should I have been, yep.  Was the intention there, yep.  Did I, nope.  Now that I got that out, here’s how it went.

First, let me admit that I signed up for another gym membership over a month ago with the idea that I was going to work out nearly every day during my free month, after all, I have a 30 year class reunion coming up, Go Pirates. That’s what my mouth said.  Didn’t happen.  😕Last night, after having worked, Bible study, and outreach I wanted to go sit and have some wings and drink.  Mind you, my plan that morning was to do all I mentioned except the food/drink, I planned to for the gym to be my final stop.  My bag was in the car and I was headed to go eat, drink and be merry.  I am thankful I got a PUSH I needed.  An encouragement to just go.  Don’t divert, “go workout.”  After stopping at three different stores I reluctantly went.

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I’m back! Baby Workout. Photo snapped at Plant Fitness.

It was a long walk from the parking lot to the inside of the door. I sat and pushed myself to go. The parking lot was full and I thought, “ugh, too many people, I don’t feel like this.”  I kept pushing.  I sat in the car perusing through social media, mentally I kept pushing.  I walked really slow going in, I kept pushing.  I fumbled through my purse to find my member card, I kept pushing.  I momentarily stared at the bucket of Tootsie Rolls on the desk, sheesh – the struggle.  I resisted and kept pushing.  I made it to the locker room, changed and hit the treadmill.  I PUSHED MYSELF!

I did a solid 45 minutes of cardio (not incl cool downs).  I didn’t push too hard on the workout wanting to ease by body through the shock of it all.  I was panting on a 2.0 speed on the treadmill. LOL!  When I paused at 5 min to stretch…ohhhh…my ligaments were so tight, felt like pulling steel.  I gradually increased the speed and incline.  35 min done.  On to the elliptical.  Sweating.  Heart rate up and now I have my mojo back. 18 min done.  I was ready to keep gong but stopped.  I know my body.

Today, yes I said today because my bag is in the car, I will go further. Ab work.  By Monday, I’ll have a plan for an upper/lower body routine incorporating weights.  So now I can spit the rhymes…Hi ho, hi ho off to the gym I go!   #SurvivorTales

P.S. I did grab a couple of Tootsie Rolls on my way out.  One step at a time.😏

Follow me on Instagram, Periscope & Twitter: @KAMcKinnor

If it’s not one thing…

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…it’s sure to be something else.  Every time I start to train to run shiggedy happens.  First time I had to stop training due to reconstructive surgery.  The next time it was a meniscus tear (although not fully confirmed but that’s what the ER doctor suggested and I’m standing by it).  This time, I possibly have a slipped disc in my neck.  I say possibly because I’m sitting, as I type, waiting to get x-rayed. (You know these medical imaging offices take forever; I could write my life story right now)  This pain has been going on for over a month.  My entire right arm hurts and my fingers are numb.  I can’t feel the keyboard on my phone.  I have to move my entire upper body to glance over my shoulder.  The right shoulder is 3″ higher than the left having me look like Quasimodo.  My only semi-relief comes when I’m laying down.  This pain…ugh…I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy…even if some come very close to it. IJS 😏

Thus, once again, training is on hold.  What do you do to alleviate discouragement?  Each time I make up my mind to train for that 1/2 marathon something physically prevents it.  I don’t know if my angels are protecting me from passing out during a run or what? Now that I think about it…hmmm… 

This too shall pass, I guess.  In the words of the six million dollar man (yep, I’m dating myself) I will come back better, stronger, faster.  Ha! Let’s hope so.  I’m thinking, if it took six million dollars to build the bionic man in the 1970’s, I wonder what would today’s value be to rebuild me? [to my blockhead brother who will read this “HUSH!” Don’t answer that question – no comments from the peanut gallery]😄

I ran today…

…and it felt good!  Surprisingly, it felt really good!  Now, I only ran from the park in my subdivision to my house, the equivalent of about 1/16th of a mile…hahaha…but hey, you gotta start somewhere!

Needless to say, I was huffing and puffing, and so was my dog, Sampson.  We both walked in the house like “whew.”  I hadn’t intended on running.  We were out for our normal morning stroll.  When I got outside of that gate something just said go!  Run!  And that I did.  Which has me thinking.  We wait, and wait, and wait for the right time to do things, the right time to start exercising, the right time to diet, the right time to run that marathon, the right time to do whatever is on your heart’s desire to do.  Why wait?  Sometimes you just have to start running.  I had on walking sneaks with no socks, so what?  I had a dog leash in one hand and my mail in another hand, so what.  I hadn’t planned it, so what?  It was a very short distance, so what?  SO WHAT?  No matter the circumstances, surroundings or environment, when it’s time, IT’S TIME.

As I’ve committed to getting back to what this blog was initially about, I’ve also recommitted to training for that 1/2 marathon I never ran.  I challenged my brother to join me so, God willing, I’ll be running the Chicago 1/2 marathon in September alongside beautiful Lake Michigan.  Pray for me!  Seriously…

Let’s hear from you?  Tips. Motivation. What do you need to push that GO button?  Cancer Survivors, how’s your journey on the road to good health?

Ready…set…

…wait.  Am I sure I am ready to go?  For my year-end post, as many do, I’d like to reflect a moment.  I’m still here and I thank God as there is a reason for it.  I’m not as healthy as I’d like to be but it’s not as bad as it could be as I have all my faculties.  I didn’t work out like I should have but I can still walk and run, bend and straighten.  I gained a few lbs back, 10 to be exact but remained under a weight I said I’d never hit again.  I shed some tears yet cleansed my soul.  I lost a job and gained another.  I lost friends but are they really friends if you lose them?  Maybe I should say I lost acquaintances because my tried and true friends are ride or dies…with each other until the end.  I learned and acknowledge some hard, ugly truths about myself and commit to change.  I’ve been up more days than I have been down.  I have bad days, many of them, and I have double the amount of fabulous ones.  I’ve had bad attitudes and extended a helping hand.  I’ve hated and I’ve loved.  I’ve envied and I’ve congratulated. I’ve rolled my eyes and I’ve smiled.  I’ve thought and I’ve acted.  I gave up and I’ve started fresh.  I’ve let go and let God.  I’ve feared and have immersed myself in faith.  With that…I’m ready…let’s GO!

Next year I will share my intentions for the new year.  For now, I want to leave you with a song.  I was watching a performance of this song with someone last week and I mentioned how I loved the song.  He asked if I knew who wrote/performed the original.  I couldn’t remember.  He said Nina Simone.  “That’s right!” I said.  Which gets me to thinking, we often forget how we start, we forget the fire we had in the beginning, we forget the reasons why…but let’s always remember, with any and everything, tomorrow, God willing, is a new day…A New Dawn.  Happy New Year!

And the chorus sings:

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life, For me, And I’m feeling Good.  Nina Simone

In the 9th Month

If you live in the Phoenix area please join us for this dynamic sermon series beginning this Sunday, Dec 6th. For location info visit our website at http://www.wordcentercommunity.org. For an inspiring, spiritual weekly word follow my pastor’s blog.

WORD WHISPERER

To reach the ninth month you have to journey approximately 243 days. If you tried walking across the United States coast to coast you probably could do it with days to spare. Zachary Bonner, a 12-year old advocate for homeless children, did it in about 175 days. If you started a new habit you could have developed at least 8 by now. How many books could you have written or read? How many “I love you’s” could you have said? How many “forgive me’s” would you make and how many “you’re forgiven” could you take?

Mary, the mother of Jesus, had a nine month journey. During this period, she carried a baby within her womb that was not fathered by her husband. When he first got the news he was heartbroken and shattered. But instead of cursing her out, stalking her, keying her car, making a scene at her work…

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I can fit back into a pair of pants…

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…and today I am thankful for that.  Yes I am!  Truly grateful because it wasn’t on purpose.  If you read my past blog posts I have been on a roller coaster weight ride in the past year.  I’m not where I used to be because I swore i’d never cross a certain threshold again; I’ve stayed true to that <insert fist bumps…I thank you>.  But the weight has fluctuated.  I weigh more than I did this time last year (with determination to be back by the end of the year), but I found reason to celebrate.

I have a pair of pants I purchased earlier this year.  Fit me really well.  By summer, my thighs were not having it.  Truth be told, my thighs nor my waist!  So all summer this pair of pants sat in my closet with a smirk on its face.  Buster.  Well look who’s getting the last laugh…Ha!  [Yeah, I talk to myself and to my clothes.  No, I am not crazy – you do have to encourage yourself at times.]  Soon they will be too big, I hope.

Other good news…glucose level is down.  I’m serious about that one.  I will be off the meds in 2016.  And, come Friday, I will begin my marathon training again.  I’m going to take it slow.  Thinking about running the 1/2 marathon in Chicago next year. Help me!  Seriously…somebody help me!!!

The struggle continues to be real!  My road to health has to take a serious path.  God granted me a stay and allowed me to fight a life-threatening, life-altering disease and win!  As a friend shared with me, life is to short to take it for granted.  It’s why he began to take care of his temple, no excuses.  I join in the sentiment.  Life is way too short…and what a wonderful life I am living.  Yes, it will be even more wonderful when i shed a chunk more lbs.

P.S.  Join me in November for my 30 Days of Thanks.  Daily, post what you are thankful for.  Follow me on Instagram & Twitter: @kamckinnor to read mine.  Below is my Instagram pic for today.  Yep, I am so happy to get into those pants.  Plus they are black…makes me look even more slimmer.  LOLOL!

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The Day(s) I saw “The Light”…

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…will be days I never forget.  What does it mean to see “The Light?”  That term is often denoted when we have a “eureka” or “aha” moment.  That point in time when clarity about a thing, person, situation or decision is formed.  I have eureka moments often, but for today’s purpose, I mean the bright, white light that is often seen by those who are about to transcend to the heavens….that light when God begins revelation in one’s life…my life.

Today is October 15th and we are half-way through Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  As I reflect, I am thankful for a lot of things, #1 I’M ALIVE!  My reflection also brings me to a dark time during my cancer journey when I gave up.  The disease and treatment was taking a toll on my body.  I literally gave up – physically, mentally and spiritually.  I asked God to please watch over my child and give my family the means and strength to raise him.  I was done.  As I sat in a wheelchair in a CT room waiting to be scanned I began to drift.  The hustle and bustle of hospital noise became distant yet The Light became brighter and brighter.  In the distance I saw the form of Christ himself standing there with a broken chain in his hand.  He didn’t move nor did He say a word.  My eyes went from Him, to the chain and back to Him.  At that point my eyes popped open and all the hospital noise filled my ear.  Nearly four years ago to the date The Light is just as visible as the day I saw it.   It was then I knew it was not my time and it is now I am reminded of my purpose.

Fast forward to today.  I’ve seen The Light again.  Not the bright, white light, but The Light of God’s love.  God saying to me “this is the will I have for you, now do it.”  I don’t take that love for granted.  Now it’s time to do it.  “Do what?” you ask.  Thanks for asking.  As the saying goes, I’m doing me.  Doing me is His will for me.  It’s time to clean house (literally and I hate housework).  All this stuff I’ve been holding on to that no longer has relevance in my life is soon to be gone.  It’s time to work in my passion and work God’s given talent.  Be on the lookout for my books and speaking engagements.  May my works and words inspire, educate and motivate.  Watch my physical transformation. Yeah, I’ve been saying this for a while.  I’m just going to seek prayers for me on that one. LOL! The struggle continues to be real, especially since we’ve entered the holiday season.  Man…why did I have to be addicted to sweets and junk food and resistant to exercise.  HA!  I need a motivational partner in the exercise realm.  I do good for a while then tumble off that wagon. Sheesh…  (I still have grandiose desires of running that 1/2 marathon)

Shameless plug:  Follow me on Twitter & Periscope @KAMcKinnor

To my Survivor Sisters, I STAND WITH YOU.  To my sisters currently fighting the fight, I SUPPORT YOU.  To those that have succumbed to cancer I HONOR YOU.  To the caregivers, I ADMIRE YOU.

Motivation, Motivation…

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…where for art thou Motivation?  Oy, where do I begin.  Or should I say where has my motivation gone?  I was doing so well discovering myself, working out, eating decent.  I’m still fulfilling the first of those three but the latter two, I don’t know what happened.  Every day I get up with the intent on it being the day I get it together.  Then every night I say “tomorrow.”  With that said…TODAY will be the day.  For real.  Again. For real, for real.

Discovering myself:  Exciting news is coming on this front.  As soon as I am released to reveal it, you all will be the first to know.  Ooh, I can’t wait to share the good news!

Working out:  Since I’m not working I had to let go of my gym membership, for now.  And, given that it is hot as hades in Phoenix right now, outdoor workouts for this girl is out of the question.  Out of the question I say.  Thus, I need indoor, at home workouts that will be fun and keep my attention.  Suggestions please.  (I need a trainer, but since I can’t afford one, it’s just me and my rottie).  BTW, I still dream of running that 1/2 marathon one day.

Eating decent:  I say decent because I don’t think I have the desire to eat healthy all day every day.  That’s boring to me.  I’ve shifted in my eating whereby I rarely eat breakfast, not eating until lunch time or after.  I know I need to change that.  I do believe eating breakfast and lunch and a light dinner was the right combo for me.  Again, I’m back on it.

Breast Cancer Awareness month is coming up!  Show some love by signing up for a walk, hold a fundraiser to donate to finding a cure or volunteer to help a survivor or caretaker in need.  No deed is ever to small.  I will always be grateful for those that took care of me: family, friends, co-workers, pastors, medical staff and strangers.

I just found my motivation.  If I don’t do it for me, I at least need to do it for those who cared enough to make me comfortable and not want to see me suffer nor leave this earth.  Thank you Holy Spirit for pouring that into me!

Total Transformation

Hello World!

I’ve been quiet to say the least. My last blog was on 12/31/14 where one of my resolutions was to blog once every two weeks. Well…that didn’t happen…yet. I can, and will, do it for the last half of this year. Let me correct myself. I can do it for the first half of the new transformation in my life part of the year (if that makes sense, LOL, it does to me).

Where do I begin. I started the year off in good physical shape. But not so much in other areas of my life. I was working a job I despised and my kid was testing me beyond the limits. In the past six months I’ve laughed, cried, celebrated, worried, panicked, lost my job, loved and UGH…gained weight back…ARGH! But not all of it. 😉 With all of this, I have learned that your emotional and spiritual shape is just as important as the physical. They all feed off one another.

So, I was fired from my job back in March. Yep, no sugar-coating it. And no hiding the fact that I wanted them to. I knew it was coming and by noon the day it happened I was sipping champagne! Why, because I was down right miserable. Why was I miserable? Well, I was waiting on God to provide that answer. And yesterday, I finally got it. I needed to rest! I needed to emotionally rest.

Ever since my battle with cancer in 2011 I have not emotionally rested. I worked while going through chemo treatments, worked while receiving radiation, worked through my surgeries. I came down with pneumonia and had to return to work before I was totally healed. Returned to work well before I should have after my hysterectomy last year. Work…work…work… I worked two jobs for the first 10 years of my son’s life (three at one point). I don’t stop. It was time for me to STOP! Why, because I need to be prepared for this next journey. And it all comes together. My spiritual well-being dictates my emotional well-being which dictates my physical well-being. This may not be news to most, but for me, I finally get it.

Now that I’m rested, today, God began to reveal it to me. Thank you Lord!