Tag Archives: tumor

Isn’t she Lucky?

The view I found on my run last night....

I’m checking in from San Francisco and I cannot tell you how happy I 
am to be right where I am – right now – in so many ways.  I have been 
in CA for a week now and have had such a fantastic mix of great 
meetings for work, great meals (mostly of sushi and Mexican – I always have 
to do both while I am here:), wonderful sight-seeing through the wharf, 
the marina, nob hill, the golden gate national park and, of course, union square – but most of all,  as usual, my most amazing time came when I was running…. along the bay this time.  I had two wonderful jogs along the bay while I  have been here and the air, views and paths have been nothing short of  absolutely beautiful.

This week is a very special week for me.  It was one year ago, tomorrow, that I had my first of two surgeries to remove Zelda.  One year ago that the story of my life changed in so many ways –  so many wonderful ways.

As I pranced along the bay last night on my evening run I couldn’t
help but reflect on how much my life has changed in one year – in just 
365 days how much I have grown up and really grown into my skin. 

Last year, when I walked down Pine Street with my parents to Penn hospital I remember feeling like I was walking a death march – dramatic as it may seem, it’s true.  The drama queen, herself, was walking to what she thought was the most horrible event that could ever happen in her life.   When I got to the hospital, moved to admissions and prepared for surgery,  I felt an overwhelming fear that I was letting myself down more than I ever had in my entire life.  I thought that by going into surgery I was making the biggest mistake of my life.  I did not believe I had a tumor – how could I?  I was 26, and healthy, I had just finished a half marathon a week before???  I remember looking in the mirror at  my stomach just before slipping on the hospital gown and thinking – I’m so sorry I hated you for so long.  So sorry I thought you were fat and thought you were ugly and hated everything about this body of mine.  I didn’t want to tie that damn hospital gown and I didn’t want to get on that awful stretcher they brought for me, but you know what, I can say a year later that I am so glad I did.  Going through this journey has changed my life in ways I could not have even imagined the day I so unwillingly got on that stretcher. 

I cannot possibly go through all the amazing things that have happened in the past year, some of which I have shared with you in previous posts, but what I can say, simply, is that in the last year, I’ve learned how to live.  I’ve learned that the only thing that you are guaranteed in life is this moment, right now, so don’t live in the clouds of yesterday or the fear of tomorrow – enjoy here and now.   I’ve learned that life is so much more than things and money and status and keeping up with everyone around you.  I learned that life is so much more than how much you weigh or what you have in  your bank account or who you know.  It’s more about who you are inside and how you give of yourself to help others – as “profound” as this may not sound – it has been very profound lessons in the life of what used to be a pretty superficial girl.

I’ve learned that I love to run, I really love to run and each time I lace up my sneakers I am so grateful to have my health to run and explore and relax.  I’ve learned that I have the most, most amazing family and group of friends that any girl could ask for – and incredible people continue to come into my life daily. 

Reflecting as I ran along the bay yesterday, one word came to mind about my life now – Lucky – (and then for some random reason, the Britney Spear’s jingle, “isn’t she lucky….she’s a star” -came into my head – silly, but true:) – and I thought, you know what, I am lucky, so incredibly lucky to be where I am, have the people in my life around me that I am fortune to call my friends and family and lucky to have experience the most profound year of my life this year. 

To celebrate this “lucky year”, I have chose to spend my 1 year anniversary running.  It’s all I wanted to do last year at this time.  I wanted to run from everything that was happening, but I’m glad I didn’t.  So, I’ll leave CA bright and early tomorrow for Las Vegas to run the Rock-n-Roll half marathon and I couldn’t be more excited to run….and what a great place for to celebrate my LUCKY year.  I think a trip to the slots is in order for this lucky girl.

Here’s to an unbelievalbe year – although Zelda is gone – she was with me everyday, every second and I’m so glad she was a part of my life – without this tumor I wouldn’t be where I am today – and damn, do I feel lucky.

With Gratitude,


Running to the top of this hill was a work out....but so worth it!

Golden Gate Bridge


OH, no….OH, well – moving on :)

Oh, no!  I went out for 8 miles today and it hurt – ouch.  I am not happy about this.  I am not sure why it was such a tough run.  It is gorgeous weather in Philly today – not too hot, not too cold and I got a great nights sleep, so a little concerned about the difficulty of this run.  I did have a little too much wine with some girlfriends on Friday night, but I didn’t think it would still hurt my run a day later!

The race is exactly one week away!  I know next week is going to be so much better than today given that my body is ready and there will be so much extra energy because my friends and family will be here.   I needed to get my bad run out this week so next week will be that much better, right?!  Ahhh – I am so excited 🙂

So, before I went to bed last night my stomach decided to hurt so bad, swell up and just be a pain.  I was super frustrated and couldn’t figure out what spurred this little episode, so in my frustration of trying to ease the pain with a massage and lots of water I decided it is essential that I figure out what the hell this damn tumor is all about and what this pain is still about, and how to get rid of some of the scar tissue (any thoughts?) and figure out how to be sure this never happens again!!!  Due to this, with one week left I am increasing my goal for the donation to DTRF to double of what I originally decided.  I want  to raise $5,000 for research – I know I can do it. We are at approximately $3,500 today, so I only have to do $1,500.  WE CAN DO IT – please help!!

Send the link (www.active.com/donate/sera_dtrf) to all your friends and family.  $25 or $50 gets me one step closer to this goal and some answers!!

The shirts my nephew, Ethen, designed also came in this week and they look awesome!!!   I am selling them for $15, so if you want one let me know! Email me at sera.snyder@gmail.com  Here is the pic:

Awesome shirt that Ethen designed for my campaign!

Awesome shirt that Ethen designed for my campaign!

As my Campaign nears its end, I must admit I am super excited to run and now looking forward to my next challenge.  This has been such a journey for me and now that the day is closer and closer and I know I can run 13.1 miles without pain in my stomach I feel relief and joy and pride all wrapped up together.  When I started this journey I couldn’t go a day without severe pain and major frustration.  Now I feel great – yeah, my stomach hurts a little now after my run, my hamstrings are tight and for some reason my hips hurt, but I know what pain is – severe pain and this pain is nothing close to waking up after you just got your abdominal muscles cut out of you – ouch.

Running this morning, I started to think about what my next goals are.  What will I set my sights on after the race?  I love having this focus and setting goals for myself regularly.  Since I am achieving several of my big goals for this year next week, I started a little rolling list in my head as I was running of what I would like to accomplish for the rest of the year.  I want to share it with you (talk about asking for some accountability, huh?)  Putting this out there means I want you to share in these goals too and push me along:

Before 2010 I want to….

1. Run another half marathon – I would like to run another before New Years and do it under 2 hours.  I think PDR is going to be a slower race for me, so after I want to train my body to be faster for another race.  I will have to look up just what race this might be 🙂

2. Lose 5 pounds – I am still carrying some extra weight from my surgery and I would like to kick  5 more pounds before the end of the year.

3. Help the DTRF continue on their mission to find answers by helping marketing, outreach and awareness.  I am already on this one and can’t wait to get more involved!

4.  Start doing abdominal and weight training work 2 -3 times a week in addition to my running.  I have been hesitant to do this because of the pain it causes my stomach.  I have been consistent to doing it at least once a week, but I know I can increase this to at least 2 times a week. I also want to start doing yoga at least once a week.

5. Move out of my apartment and into a new apt and new neighborhood – so close to reaching this one 🙂  Stay posted!

6. Get certified in something – either in fitness, health or coaching – I want to start adding variety to my skills.  I have several ideas in mind.  I want to have a definite list of a few things (and a start on some of them) by the end of the year.

7. Take a trip with my sister, Syna.  I miss her so much and we are looking to spend a few days together without her amazing kids – it has been so long since we have had time together.  I am super excited about this and need to finish planning.

8. Capitalize on my passions – 🙂 = Stay posted

9. Volunteer (in addition to Back on My Feet regularly) over Thanksgiving this year.  I am so fortunate I just want to give back and volunteer for those that are in need.  Anyone know of good organizations that do Thanksgiving volunteering?

10.  Overall, just be vulnerable – (my life coach will love this one) – I suck at being vulnerable, so I want to work on practice being vulnerable and being honest about who I am and how I really feel.

There you go.  10 things I want to do before 2010 – now you know all my little hopes and dreams for 2009.  What are your goals?  One thing I learned going through all of this is to live my life to the fullest and accomplish the things that really mean the most to me because you really don’t know how long you have to accomplish everything you want to do.  Do it to the best of your ability and do it now 🙂 !!

Here I come PDR  – can’t believe it is sooooo close!!!!

With gratitude,


It’s the last week, PLEASE DONATE:  www.active.com/donate/sera_dtrf

I saw this flag when I was running one morning this week. It is hard to see, but its one of the flags promoting the PDR run. I love it!! I got so excited I thought I would share it with you 🙂

PDR Flag

PDR Flag