6 years cancer free, please donate $6 to the Lance Armstrong Foundation!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bike, run....relax!

Today I got a reaction back from the VogenVrijeFietser, the newsletter from the Dutch Bike association. They won't publish my story but will put a link on their website. It helps to spread the word!
I also send out 2 more letters to different organizations in the Netherlands.
First the Flair a magazine for (Young) women, 5 years ago I was interviewed by them as part of a report on young women and breast cancer. Let's hope they are interested in my follow-up story.
I also send a letter to the Dutch Breast cancer association to see if they will pay attention to my story in their young women newsletter or regular magazine. Yesterday I wrote my first letter to a local bike store to see if they are interested in helping me out here in Minneapolis.
I'm not a very good writer so every letter I write is a small mountain climbed for me. Thanks everybody for helping me editing all my letters.
The weather was great again today. Riding to work and back on “Big Blue eyes” my new road bike. Than I went for a run right after coming home, a little hill training.
Than it was time to relax, a little laundry and watering the plants, Deb will be proud!
Please keep spreading the word!
Bike strong, Live long!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial day

It's good to work a Holiday, no doctors, MRI's and or other things for patients to do, just a little walk with a friendly Physical Therapist. Working this day for me means an other day off to ride this fall.
I also found out that to be invited to the Ride for the Roses the $15,000 has to be in on September 3th 2006.
So please if you are planning on donating don't wait untill the last minute.
It was another hot one today, riding back from work was great, the wind blowing me home with more than 30 km an hour! Nice!
Than I went for a short run, just a little brick training. All for you Vicky, my coach and guide through Texas.
More letter writting, to the Flair, a Dutch magazine that told my story 5 years ago as part of a report on young women with Breast Cancer to see if they want a follow-up; the Dutch bikeriding organisation and a local bike store. Let the fundraising continue!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Hot, hot, hot!

So today it was almost a recordbreaking temperature in Minneapolis and I had a ride planned! (97 degrees Fahrenheit is 36 graden celsius) It is also sunday so I didn't want to get up te early to beat the heat!
So I started around 10am and rode 70km. It was also very windy but I got a good route without a lot of headwind.
I found out today that if you follow "the Parkway" you have a 50 miles route on a bikepath, around and in Minneapolis. My route only included part of it, but I'm planning on riding the full "Parkway" soon.
The results of my ride you can see on the picture added, I did use sunscreen on my arms but forgot my legs, oops! Yet another important lesson learned!
After my ride I drove to a local bikestore, Blondie (my car) needed a little exercise at time, and bought a new pair of biking shorts, it's good to have padding.
Then I called my friend Nancy to talk about our upcoming camping trip to Itasca (the headwaters of the Mississippi). It was good times, planning where to pick up the canoe, who will bring the coolers and what will we eat. Then in our closing goodbye I mentioned, we have an other 2 weeks to do any final planning, which Nancy thought was a joke. A joke I ask, not a very good one, but Nancy was thinking our camping trip was next weekend but we made reservations for the week after.
Let's hope Nancy and family will be able to change their plans because we have a tradition to uphold!
Tomorrow I'll work will other have a nice day off, it's Memorial day, but there are still people to be seen in the hospital!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Rain is falling outside! Thunderstorms coming through the Twin Cities.
But I got lucky again riding to and from work. This morning was a little foggy and it almost made me chicken out and us my car to go to work. But than I thought: I'm might be called Sis but I'm no Sissy, you can ride to work!
It was a nice ride and after a good day at work the sun was out to welcome Nia and I back outside. We ride together often after work adding a little more yards to Nia's or both of our rides home.
I stopped at the Y for an other swim this afternoon, that's 2 in a row, much better to go right after work. I already said that didn't I?
Checking my e-mail I found more donations! It's wonderful to get all this support. It keeps me going, riding, running and swimming to get in the best shape I can to get ready for my adventure.
http://www.LIVESTRONGChallenge.org/06TX/sisfiets that's where all these donations are coming in.
Ari put me and my cause on his website under friends helping friends check out: http://www.abzpictures.com
I still have some money in the Netherlands from the silent auction, but are unable to move it because of my credit card limit. But I've got time!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I finally made it to the pool again! This time I made the plan fool proof. 1) take your swim suite to work so you can just ride by the gym on your way home. Because we all know once you sit down on that couch it sucks you in and doesn't let you go!
2) Buy a new lock and remember the combination! So you can actually lock up your stuff and not like last week have to go home without getting into the pool. 3) check the swim schedule! oeps I forgot to do that. thankfully not all Otters (swimteam members at the YWCA) showed up so there was 1/2 a lane open for me to use. After a warm-up I did 800 yards breast stroke to test my readyness for the Tri, 20 minutes not bad!.
The day was wonderfull and warm. 7 days in a row riding to work!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A nice day for a ride!

This morning I got up early to bike Deb to work. It was a little chilly but sunny as we took off towards downtown. The River road was quiet at this sunday morning. Through downtown it was pleasant without all the traffic on Hennipin Av. Down Cedar trail onto Cedar Lake road al the way to Plymouth Ave and a right to the mall. It's so great to be able to ride on bikepaths most of the way. The Twin Cities are so un-American when it come to bike riding options! More than 140 miles of bike paths. My total ride ended up being 60 km in about 3 hours and I finished it of with a 30 minute run. Now I just need to get myself in the pool!
I finished a piece for the NAAM newsletter today. The Netherlands-American Association of Minnesota (NAAM) is a non-profit cultural organization providing social and educational resources to persons of Dutch origin or descent, and anyone else interested in the language, culture, history, and heritage of the Netherlands. So hopefully a good place to ask for some more help with my fundraiser.
So next on the list is a letter to the Borst kanker vereniging, Vogel vrije fietser, Tegenkracht and a couple of chambers of commerces of cities on the way down to Texas.
Ride Strong, Live Long.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Working in the yard!

Weekend, nothing better than not having to hear the alarm clock go off! I spent this morning trying to get some of those wonderful donations from my silent auction on my LAF fundraiser website (http://LIVESTRONGchallenge.org/06tx/sisfiets) slowly but surely the little red line is going up to the top, or for now at least 1/3 of the way!
Then my friend called to ask if I would help her out in the yard, taking out sod with a sod-cutter. I can’t say no when there are power tools and demolition on the program!
It was a lot of fun, taking of the grass like you are shaving somebody’s head (it might be a good thing, I’m not a hairdresser!, don’t quit your day-job as they say). We got a lot done today, even had time to dig some holes and plant a tree and some hostas. Then it was time for some wonderful ribs and grilled veggies.
No time for a ride today but pushing the wheelbarrow around, lifting rolls of sod and digging should be enough.
Tomorrow I long ride on the program and a short run to get ready for the Tri.
Ride on, Live strong!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Can I still call this Chemo-brain?

This week has been a rough on when it comes to remembering numbers. I got up an hour early on Monday because I seemed to have forgotten how to tell time. I thought it was 6.45 am instead of 5.45 am as I figured out after I got up and was preparing my breakfast.
Arriving at work and ready to go I was stopped dead in my tracks. I tried to log into the medical system to do my charges only to realize that I forgot my password. So I had to make the call of shame to the technical support people to help me out. Even worse was that I had to call again because I was also locked out an other system even though I knew that password.
The rest of the week went OK, until yesterday evening when I finally dragged myself to the gym to go swimming. After yet an other brake of a month or so, I need to get into the pool because I have a Triathlon to participate in. Ready to go, one foot in my swimsuit I realized I completely forgot my combination of my lock. That was enough to get a hot flash, mood swing and reason to go back home and open up a beer!
So can I call that chemo brain?

The story might have a happy ending. I did find the lock makers website where I was able to download a form to request the combination of my lock. They take this very serious because I had to get the form notarized! Good thing I can get that done for free at work because the lock cost me only a few bucks.

Now it’s weekend! Time to catch up, clean up and make more fundraiser plans! Hopefully I’ll also be able to ad some miles to my week total of 110 miles so far.
Keep riding!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Today is LIVESTRONG Day, what does that mean for me? I feel I had my first LIVESTRONG day about 5 years ago, the day that I heard that I had breast cancer. Do you really have a choice but to LIVESTRONG! I never saw an other option, never saw my breast cancer as a possible death sentence. Going on with life the best I could. One day at the time during my treatment. Sometimes not being able to plan further ahead than what do I want for dinner, on the bad chemo days. Or who will I invite for lunch tomorrow on the good ones. Days turned into weeks and my focus was getting back to work as soon as I was able after the treatment was over (eventhough everybody kept warning me to take my time). But for me a new job also was a chance to be me again and not the cancer patient I had been for all those months. Then my ability to plan ahead changed into months, planning my move back to the US about 1 year after my surgery. Going back to California for a few months to keep my greencard alive and options for the future open. That all changed after the AIDS-ride where I volunteerded as a physical therapist and met my future partner (good thing she was persistent). So I got my Minnesota license and moved to Minneapolis to be with her extending my stay into 4 years and counting. This brings my to my present LIVESTRONG days, planning my bike ride from Minneapolis to Austin TX to participate in the LIVESTRONG Challenge. No day passes without me thinking about my breast cancer in some way shape of form, every day is LIVESTRONG day for me!
Thanks everybody for helping me LIVESTRONG.
Life is good.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Drafted my Route from Minneapolis to Austin TX

Date Begin End Miles Kilometers
18-Sep Minneapolis, MN Owatonna 64 103
19-Sep Owatonna, MN Mason City 63 101
20-Sep Mason City, IA Kellogg 98 158
21-Sep Kellogg, IA Osceola 67 108
22-Sep Osceola, IA King City 73 118
23-Sep King City, MO Kansas City 69 111
24-Sep rest day
25-Sep Kansas City, KS Garnett 65 105
26-Sep Garnett, KS Oswego 75 121
27-Sep Oswego, KS Locust grove 71 115
28-Sep rest day
29-Sep Locust grove, OK Eufaula 67 109
30-Sep Eufaula, OK Coalgate 56 90
1-Oct Coalgate, OK Sherman 69 112
2-Oct Sherman, TX Plano 41 67
3-Oct Plano, TX Waxahachie 46 74
4-Oct rest in Dallas
5-Oct Waxahachie, TX Crawford 66 107
6-Oct Crawford, TX Cedar Park 77 124
7-Oct Cedar Park, TX Austin, TX 8 14
8-Oct Challenge 100
This is what I worked on today, drafting my route from Minneapolis to Austin TX. Including some restdays to relax or catch up if I didn't make the miles as planned.
I've been able to ride my bike to work the last two days, but I'll have to get serious about training soon for these longer distances!
This weekend I'll work on updating my fundraising money from my account in the Netherlands to my donor website, so I'll be able to thank everybody by name for the donations.
Tomorrow in LIVESTRONG BLOG day, inviting all Bloggers to LIVESTRONG.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Back home in Minneapolis

After an early start 6.15 in Leiden the Netherlands it was of to Schiphol to fly back to Minneapolis. My parents and Peet dropped me of saying our goodbyes for now until September. Peet will be my compagny the first 2 weeks of my ride and my parents will join me in the last 2 so overlapping the one in the middle. My dad has figured out that I'll have to ride my bike more likely over 2000 km which is over 1500 miles, I can already feel my seat!
So my next step will be to try and figure out my route any surgestions?
The flight was quiet and smooth, I had time for 3 movies, a little nap and some reading. I bought a book at the airport called: "Komt een vrouw bij de dokter" by Kluun. The report of a mans view about his wife's battle and eventual loss to breast cancer. It's a raw and sometimes it made me angry because of the way he is to me very egocentric in his being self-proclamed "monofobic", something his wife knows but not all. For a person that went through breast cancer it's hard to believe. But I haven't finished the book yet so I'll wait with a full report and opinion on the book.
Now I'm back in Minneapolis, doing laundry, opening mail, shopping and all other things needed to get ready for the week.
It's also a good way to stay awake, because this day is getting very long!
After 10 days of wonderful weather in the Netherlands it's gray and cold here. More rain possible for tomorrow, but I've got hope that I can get to work dry on my bike. I'll worry about getting home later!
On the pictures you see the Feyenoord and Ajax shirts that brought in the highest bids last Thursday and the owners of the restaurant Disgenoten in Leiden, who's 2 person 4 course dinner offer came in third! Thank you everybody again for that wonderful kick-off for my fundraiser!
Ride on! Sis

Silent auction

The Kick-off was a great success! What an evening Thursday.
To bad I've been having some BLOG problems so haven't been able to publish this rport untill now.

About 50 people showed up for my silent auction at the Hollandsche Tuyn in Leiderdorp. My parents, brother, friends and regulars needed a little time to warm-up to the idea of the silent auction, but once started they quickly became enthusiastic and friendly competitive.
The shirts from Feyenoord (300 euro) and Ajax (230 euro) were the top sellers. A happy little boy and big brother are the lucky recipients of those prices.
A dinner for 2 with wine from restaurant: Disgenoten in Leiden was the number 3 on the list.
But what was most important that all most all of the items found a happy bidder, only 4 were left over. For me it was wonderful to see that by asking a lot of people and companies small gifts the end result was on big donation. The total amount from the silent auction was 3038 euro about 3858 dollars!
That´s a great kick-off and it gives me confidence that 15,000 dollars is possible!
It was wonderful to see everybody eventhough it almost impossible to really catch-up with all. But that´s why there´s Skype.
Thanks everybody for helping me celebrate 5 year cancer free!
Special thanks to Vera, Jos, Sas, Bas and my daddy for helping organize and finance last night.

For my Dutch fan´s:
De Feyenoord en Ajax shirtjes met handtekeningen hebben het goed gedaan. Het was dan ook het Feyenoord shirt waarop het hoogste bod binnenkwam: 300 euro door de eigenaar van de Hollandsche Tuyn te Leiderdorp. Als 2e hot item van de avond ging het Ajax t-shirt voor 230 euro, gewonnen door een particulier, als 3e een tegoedbon van het Restaurant Disgenoten te Leiden nm een bod van 200 euro op een 4-gangen diner met wijnarrangement en tenslotte 2 stadionkaarten voor een Ajax wedstrijd voor 160 euro, aangeboden door Groentewinkel 't Maredijkje te Leiden !!

Op de donaties van andere Leiderdorpse bedrijven zoals Graficon Drukkerij (persoonlijk briefpapier en visitekaartjes), Vink Coaching, Sport City en Training (een loopbaan coaching) werd ook zeer goed geboden om nog maar niet te spreken van de enorme interesse voor de particulier ingebrachte veilingstukken. Het was werkelijk een enorm plezier voor alle aanwezigen. De Leiderdorpse band Wild at Hearts gaf spontaan een akoestisch voorproefje van hun eigen veilingstuk: een prive concert van de band op een locatie in overleg met de winnende bieder. Sis haar vader zette een persoonlijk lied in op de melodie van 'Hand in Hand' als aanmoediging voor de geplande fietstocht in Amerika.

Today is a short day of rest and small last minute things to do, spending time in the bank and eating lunch in Leiden. Buying gifts for Deb and others and finding out that two wonderful friends are getting married in September, just as I´m riding down to Texas!
The weather is still great and I even went for a run.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


An other day gone, time flies here in the Netherlands! I'm having a great time with my nieces, brother and sister-in-law. We rode our bike to a small theme-park today. On the way over it was all up-hill! Good training for my ride, a few extra pound because of my little niece riding on the back of my bike. But going home was like flying, great speed!
Pizza for diner, homemade and very tasty. The weather is still wonderful, I'll end up with a tan if the sun keeps shining like this. Who needs to go to Spain or Italy!
The silent auction will be tomorrow, I just need to put something on paper for my welcome and thank you remarks.
My dad had a rough day today because the stiff collar he's been wearing for the last 3 months after his neck surgery has not been removed. He had a visit with the surgeon today and was counting on getting rid of it, but he needs a little more time to make sure all is healed well! He'll be riding his home-trainer for a little longer, keep it up dad!
Back to Leiden I go tomorrow, I'll miss these girls here, luckily I got some great pictures to take home with me to Minneapolis.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Peet's words

Well, now I am allowed to write something here, since Sis is sitting next to me on my couch in Arnhem, the Netherlands. We had dinner at the Rijn kade with plenty of rose wine, and we are enjoying each others company. It is good to have her here, it has been way too long! If there is anybody that wants to sponsor me living in the states for 6 months a year or find me the best job coaching personal development, I am defenitely interested. Thursday there will be a silent action in Leiderdorp at de Hollandsche Tuyn and it sounds like it is going to be a great succes. I have heard through the grapevine, there also will be an ajax shirt to be actioned off!!!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Life is good

It's finally starting to take shape, the silent auction this comming Thursday in Leiderdorp. It sure is a lot of work, I'm very greatfull for all the wonderfull help I get. Thanks Vera, Jos and Tjitske! Today we worked on an official media report, thank you cards and more items for the auction.
Some new ones are, a framed art picture , a Stairstep machine, potery, an origional painting, a small sculpture and a coaching session. It's so great to have some much support from everybody around me!
In between all the mailing and calling I also have a little time to enjoy my nieces, reading D. Duck in Dutch and going out for lunch with my Sister-in-law.
Great bike weather today, so we used bikes to go to the city and pick the kids up from school. For exercise my Sister-in-law and I went for a 5 k run, not bad at all!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Druk, druk, druk!

The weekendend is already over! It was great fun with my whole family and best friend.
Great meals, the bread is so much better here! Great fun, playing, canoeing, reading, singing and eating icecream withmy nieces. Great catches for the silent auction this Thursday!
Time is flying by so my BLOG entries will be short.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Ik ben weer thuis

Daar ben ik dan weer. Op bekende bodem.
Het is weer alsof ik nooit weggeweest ben. Lekker meteen aan de slag op de Watertuinen, bood schoonmaken, waxen, nichtje leren kanoën, bijna omslaan en vooral lekker veel lachen. Wat een heerlijk weer hier voor mijn aankomst.
Na het eten richting Leiderdorp voor de traditionele thuiskomst biertjes aan de bar van de Hollandsche Tuyn. Samen met mijn “management team” en “fundraiser specialist”, heerlijk zitten brainstormen en genieten van het lekkere weer.
De stille veiling van volgende week begint vorm te krijgen. Een aantal artikelen zijn al bekent; zilver armband gemaakt door mijn vader, aardewerken schaal gemaakt door een goede vriendin en amateur pottenbakker in Minneapolis, Feyenoord voetbal shirt compleet met handtekeningen, een knip behandeling kapperzaak SERGE KNIPKUNST op de Nieuwe Rijn in Leiden, twee door mij gebreide sjaals, een boekenpakket en zelfs een testament.
Heel erg bedankt voor alle bijdragen, het is erg prettig om te zien dat men zo bereid is om mee te werken om mijn droom waar te maken.
Vanmiddag even lekker zwemmen, kijken of ik de Does nog herken van mijn vroegere zwemles!
Vanavond met mijn ouders en nichtjes naar het Zwanenmeer ballet, ik hoop dat mijn jet-lag niet dan toeslaat.
Fiets ze!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I'm Packed

Besides a few socks and a pair of jeans that are still drying my bags are packed.
Talked to a fellow survivor today, who has previously participated in the Tour of Hope. Hopefully we'll be able to do some riding together after I come back from the Netherlands.
But now it's all about getting ready, passport, presents and DVD's to watch in the plane. I'll have to go to work tomorrow for a short day. Then back home to finish my packing and than my friend NM will come and bring me to the Airport.
Than I fly, fly, fly away! It's only a little over 8 hours let's hope I'll get a little sleep.
The tulips outside are finally blooming, beautiful!
Oh, I almost forgot to mention, the weather was great today, so I did get to ride to work and back! Life is much better from the saddle!
Ride on!

Monday, May 01, 2006

10 hour workday

Monday, Monday, it’s still raining!
But look at the bright site; the bathroom light and the washer have been fixed. So I could spend the evening doing laundry for my trip home on Wednesday.
I’ve been working on different letters to colleagues, companies, Feyenoord and Ellen Degeneres. More info to follow.
I’ve also come up with a new idea for fundraising, knitting scarves and hat to order. So the next quest will be to get cheap or free yarn, any suggestions?
Today I worked 10 hours so on Wednesday I can leave on time to catch my plane. I can hardly wait to go home. Tomorrow it’s time to pack my suitcase and find my passport.
Tomorrow might be the only change to ride my bike, it’s supposed to by dry. I’ve packed my lunch and washed my slacks.
Hope to ride!