Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Run Like A Princess!

It's almost time! This Sunday I will be running an official half marathon at Disney World! I am so excited! What an accomplishment! Who would of thought that 5 years ago, 8 different chemo drugs later, and multiple surgeries, I would be gearing up to run 13.1 miles!

I am so proud of myself for all that I have accomplished. I've worked so hard to get here. I could not of made it this far without the support of my amazing husband & kids. They have been there every step of the way. They are, without a doubt, my biggest supporters! I am so blessed to have a husband that says I can do whatever I set my mind to. I am so blessed to have 2 children that are proud of me no matter the distance I run. I am so glad they will be there with me this weekend to cheer me on!

So, if you could, say a little prayer for me this weekend! Thank you friends!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bucket List

Today at about mile 6 I thought about just going home. I was tired and pretty much everything from the waist down hurt. Like really hurt. Oddly enough I wasnt winded at all. I felt fine as far as my breathing, but my hips hurt and the bottom of my feet hurt. But, my goal was to run 8.5 miles and when I set a goal I complete it. Mind over matter right?

Sometimes I forget WHY I am running. Its not that I dont enjoy it. I really do actually. I love my long runs. I even look forward to them. I know, its weird. But I like those long runs a lot better than the short ones. They give me a sense of accomplishment. When I complete them, despite my time, I feel like a freaking rockstar! Today despite the running hurting, once I hit 7.5 miles I was oh yeah I got this. Then I hit a stoplight and had to STOP!! Oh dear me, starting back up HURT! But I managed to get in to a little bit of a groove and once I hit 8 miles I am pretty sure I yelled HELL YEAH! At 8.5 miles I stopped with a huge smile on my face. Goal was accomplished!!

While running I try to think of things. Totally random things usually. But today, at mile 6 some very important people entered my mind. And I began to tear up. I thought of dear Bekah who lost her battle with Ovarian cancer this week, at a young 14 years old she went to be with Jesus.

I thought of my high school friend, Sarah, who is battling a rare form of cancer called DSRCT. Sadly she received news this week that she was out of options.

I thought of fellow Melanoma warrior, Jackie, who was sent home with hospice last night after finding out that her liver isnt healthy enough for chemo.

I thought of fellow melanoma warrior, Jennifer, who has been in so much pain for the last, umm, for.ev.er, that she can barely walk.

And I thought of my children. 4.5 years ago I did not think I would be around to watch K go off to Kindergarten. Now I know, without a doubt, Ill be able to watch E go off to Kindergarten (which will darn near KILL me!) My kids know that running and exercise is very important to my husband and I. And they dont look at it as abnormal. Its just something we do. Its just a part of our daily life. My kids know that I have cancer. They know that I take medicine to keep the cancer far far away. The fact of the matter is, cancer may very well win someday. But I want my kids to look back and see a strong mama. A mama who fought with all her heart and soul. A mama who didnt give up no matter what was thrown at her. I pray thats what they will remember. I know its what they see right now, I just hope its what they remember.

About 6 months ago I made a bucket list. Mainly in my head, not on paper or anything. One of goals was to run a half marathon before I turn 35. If everything goes like I want it to, I will run at least 3 before I turn 35:) Another one is to do an obstacle type of race. I did the zombie run in Oct. I am also doing the Hard Charge in April 2013. So 2 items crossed off the list! I have other goals, which have no time frame, just to do items.
1. Half marathon before 35 (preferably at least one at 2 hours or less)
2. Obstacle run before 35
3. Go to Hawaii
4. Disney World with the family
5. Drive a race car (very slowly!)
6. Give the proceeds from our Christmas Jar to a deserving family.
7. Helicopter ride
8. Renew vows
9. Run a (short) race with my father
10. Teach K & E to ride a bike
And the list goes on....

Whats on your bucket list??

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A LONG overdue update!

I am so sorry for being a procrastionator! I am doing great!! Seriously.
Let me back up...
Last March or April I decided to get my butt in shape. I started running and working out. I had no idea I would enjoy it so much! I did several 5ks and decided to start training for a half marathon (13.1 miles) My friend and I started a training plan and we were doing great with it! About half way through the training plan I started having pain in my foot. I took a little break from running... (4 days is totally long enough right!) Then my friends and I did the Glow Run and at mile 1.5 I felt something just sort of crack. And that, my friends, is called a Stress Fracture. BUMMER!!
I was heart broken! No running for at least 8 weeks and I got to wear a boot for 5 of those. I attempted to use a stationary bike but it was morning! So I started doing a Fighter Fitness class (similiar to crossfit). hey, the Dr said I could still workout! I didnt run or jump. Its all good. My foot is finally healed and I have started running again.
My friend and I are doing the Disney World Princess Half Marathon at the end of February and we cant wait!!
As for cancer, well I am STILL cancer free! I have now been on Zelboraf for 2 years and 6 months. Which is pretty rare but Im kind of a rare person so its all good:) Side effects are manageable. The eurathema Nodusm and sun sensitivity are by far the worse for me. The sun sensitivity is frustrating for sure. But, Im cancer free so I am definitely NOT complaining!!
As for my littles? Oh the r doing awesome!
K is now in the 1st grade and recently turned 7! He played tball this summer and enjoyed it. But soccer is still his number 1 sport of choice! His favorite thing of all time is playing the Wii or his new DS. He is just like his Uncle! Oy!
TBALL 2012
Geebers is now 4 and is in her second year of preschool. She is a crazy little child! She is smart and athletic! Kind of a scary combo if u ask me! She played soccer this Fall but wasnt all that in to it. She loves swimming and gymnastics! And she always enjoys joining me on my runs. She can run up to 2 miles at a time. Its really pretty impressive for a little gal!
Ella joining me on a run this summer.

Ella at Gymnastics!
Thank you everyone for your continued prayers! I will try to update on here more often! I update Facebook constantly so if u want to friend me on FB leave me your name in a comment and I will send u a friend request:)


Sunday, May 27, 2012


I think I have officially lost my mind. Why? Because I have taken up running. Like seriously running. I ran a 5k a few weeks with friends and am running another tonight. I have signed up for about one 5k a month. My goal is a 10k in Novemeber.  Yes. I have totally lost my ever loving mind! But, I like having goals. I like having something to work towards. Goals are good. Right? Who would of thought that this would even be a possibility? Three years ago today I was right in the middle of doing my 3rd round of biochemo. Tonight I am getting ready to run another 5k. Wow has my life changed!

One of my best friends and I after the Girls On The Run 5k.

My friend Lisa and I post run. She did awesome! She placed 2nd in her age group! I finished. And thats all that matters! Hahaha!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

RIP Dear Friend

Today Heaven gained an Angel. And my heart is truly in pieces. My dear friend, and fellow Melanoma warrior, Miranda, passed away early this morning. She was surrounded by her family when the time came and for that I am truly grateful.

Miranda was the very first Melanoma friend that I ever made. It was so nice to know that I wasnt the only one fighting this battle. It was, I guess, in a way, reassuring to know that other young moms out there were going through the same thing. They had the same anger, the same worries, the same fear.

My friends without Melanoma dont get it. They see me, they see me feeling fine and being a mom, and they assume I am perfectly fine. That just isnt the case. Melanoma is a constant fear. Its something I think about, worry about and stress about every day. Every minute actually.

So, when I first met Miranda it was like a breath of fresh air. Someone out there got it. Someone out there understood me. Since meeting Miranda I have met so many other Melanoma warriors and made so many new friends. It makes me sad that I have met so many other warriors, but in a way it gives me great peace. Peace because I know, that no matter what, those Melanoma warriors have my back. They support me. They love me. And they are there for me. No matter what I can count on their prayers. They get it. They know that fear I feel.

Tonight, when you are saying your prayers, and thanking God for your life, please me sure to say a little prayer for Miranda, her husband, mother, and young son. They will forever have a hole in their heart.

Rest In Peace my sweet friend. You will forever be missed.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Something I have always struggled with is my energy. I just dont have nearly enough! And I hate it. Usually by 1pm I am exhausted. Of course napping isnt usually an option. And honestly even if it was, I wouldnt be able to sleep. I still suffer from lots of leg pain. Pain meds work well, however, I wont take them during the day because I have kids to take care and places to drive. It just isnt an option. So, I started looking at other alternatives. Honestly, things like Energy drinks were out of the question for me. For one, they are expensive. For another, I drink 2 Diet Pepsis a day, I didnt really want to add to my caffeine intake. I just simply wanted more energy!

One of my friends suggested checking out the different Nutritional shakes out there. After some research, I made my choice! Body By Vi was the one for me! Body by Vi is primarily used for Weight Loss, however, I am using it as more of a balanced nutrional shake. It is packed full of vitamins and it seriously tastes delicious! There are so many recipes out there that I was a little overwhelmed to be quite honest with you! My favorite is called the "Butterfinger Shake" I love Butterfingers and this shake seriously tastes like a Butterfinger!

The best part is that it has really helped with my energy level. I just have a shake for breakfast, then I eat my normal lunch around 1230. I love that I typically have enough energy to last me until the evening! That, my friends, has been a welcome change!

Body By Vi has kits to fit every budget. I am on the least expensive kit because I am only doing one shake a day. However, my husband would like to start the shakes soon so I will probably have to go to the $99 kit soon. Oh the things I do for my husband! LOL!

And no, I am not a distributor or a saleswoman or whatever for the product. I am really just a customer who is really thrilled with the results!

If you ARE looking for a great product for weight loss, I have several friends who are using this product for weight loss. One friend has gone down 2 pants sizes in 2.5 weeks, another has lost 5 lbs in a week! This product works people! And it tastes delicious to boot!

I would love for u all to gain some energy and transform your life with Body By Vi! If you would like more info let me know! If you would like to begin your transformation, just go to my website, heathersnyder.bodybyvi.com and click "Join the Challenge"! I cant wait to hear how this product changes your life!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Transferring My Care...

So the last month or wo I have been debating transferring my care a little closer to home. Quite honestly, the reason is money. It is expensive to travel to Nashville. I do not feel comfortable having my care only in Wichita. There are multiple reasons, but first and foremost is that my onocologist here does NOT specialize in Melanoma. He is forced to handle all different types of cancers. I dont want that. I want someone that knows MY type of cancer. I do NOT want to know more than my Dr. And I feel like that is how it is here in Wichita. No offense to my Dr, thats just how it is.

So after doing some research I decided to KU Cancer Center. When I first called to make my appt I was very clear about which Dr I wanted to see. Unfortunately that Dr was out of the state for the next month, so they put me with another Dr. I wasnt thrilled, but couldnt do anything about it. So appt was booked for me to check out the place and "interview" the Dr.

When I arrived at the Cancer Center, it was very nice and cozy. Everyone was very nice and I felt at ease. I met with the registration person and was told that I was in fact seeing the Dr I wanted to see originally! Say Whhhhaaaatttt??  Well come to find out, he heard about my case, read my file and actually requested me!:)

Because you see, I am a "medical rarity"! Since the drug I am on, Zelboraf, has only been FDA approved since August, he hasnt had anyone on this drug for more than a few months. And here I come, Ive been on this drug for almost 2 years, which is almost unheard of, with zero reoccurance and very few side effects! He was actually excited to meet ME! Crazy, right?!

The Dr and I bonded right away. He had already read most of my file. He knew exactly who my Drs were at Vanderbilt and at MD Anderson and he told me that I fascinated him and he would be happy to have me as his patient. He is very interested in Melanoma research and has been for years. He reads anything that comes out on Melanoma and Melanoma drugs and seemed to know exactly what he was talking.

One of my questions for him was, if my cancer happens to come back (which it wont!) what would he do? What would he recommend as my next step? And he passed with flying colors. He was able to give me percentages and drug names and everything. Made me feel very comfortable with putting my life in my hands. I also reassured him that if I didnt agree I would let him now. He didnt seem shocked by that...hmmmm....:)

The only thing I didnt like was he wants me to come back in 2 months instead of the 3 or 4 months like I wanted. He actually wanted me to come back every month, but I reassured him that that wouldnt be happening! Im switching to save money! I cant be driving up there every month for nothing. He is a little worried about my kidney and liver function because Zelboraf can affect those, however, after 2 years and both are fine, I am fairly certain I will be just fine!

So, overall, it was a great appt and I am pleased with my decision to switch. But, I am very sad to be leaving Vanderbilt. It was NOT an easy decision for me. And I guarantee u there will be tears when I go to Vanderbilt at the end of the month. I am very happy with my Dr there and in reality Vanderbilt has been amazing to me. It was not a decision I came to lightly and I pray I made the correct decision.