Sunday, November 8, 2009

I am getting really anxious about my upcoming chemotherapy treatment on Monday. I know I have already done one but it's just not helping. I am afraid of the side affects and feeling so incredibly sick again for another week. I just hope my little body can take this ravaging but the good news is like I told my little girl the sicker I feel the more likely those yucky cancer cells will die and that is the point of this right. I will survive and the cancer will die and I will be cured.

I am looking so forward to this charity event coming up on the 18th of November which is a significant day through my life. It happens to be the day my Nanny died back in 1980 due to the ravages of the disease which is inflicting me right now. I however will show that I can live for the both of us and feel as if the significance of this is that God chose this day for me to enjoy and live life to the fullest for a reason and I hear it. I will truly enjoy and think of her often while playing the game I love, Poker, and having every dollar go to charity for children.

I have to say since I have gotten the second place finish in the Ladies Event at the Borgata in September the human compassion has really surprised me. The people who have made a difference seems orchestrated by God. Let me tell you a story about a couple of these people. It started with a writer for the Borgata and for Poker magazines during these big events. Jim and Jeff became my friends almost immediately and were touched by my story from the beginning. When the word started to get around that this Ladies Event looked as if it might be won by this man and that my story came out about my fight against breast cancer.They knew they had a story on their hands that would effect peoples emotions. Little did I know the extent to which they would go for me to shine a light on my cause which just wouldn't have ever gotten the coverage it did without them. So now after the results are in and I had lost this event to this man they immediately started to work to get this story to be get out into the media. Jim sat me down and did a really classy story about my life, poker and cancer. The story was wonderful and I was truly pleased to be able to get the word out about early detection on breast cancer. He then realized my love for poker and my kinda of groupie attitude about these Poker Pros whom I acted like a 13 year old girl when he offered me a chance of a lifetime out of the goodness of his heart to play amongst them in an invite only tournament he was helping to organize. He offered me a seat at this All in For Kids poker Charity event for Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This is a $5,000 dollar a seat minimum event where last years stars included Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke, Bobby Flay, and many more. I had never been so excited in my life or more touched by this complete act of kindness from a virtual stranger. I couldn't even contain my tears of joy It gave me something to aim for in this future of sickness and fear. I now have something to strive for in the middle of my hell. I can never thank him enough for that. Now on to the next selfless act of kindness. Jim had gotten me in touch with a guy named Michael who works for Poker News a very popular magazine dedicated to stories about poker. He was also touched by my story to the point I am forever grateful for. I know he will never accept credit for the way he has gone out of his way to make this charity event happen against all odds. He took up a crusade to bring this to fruition . Let me start by saying this was supposed to be a charity event to help me through this incredibly difficult financial time. He and many people in the Poker community were angry about the money they believed would have and should have been mine if this man never entered this Ladies tournament so he began to gather people and companies in the poker community to get behind a tournament designed to bring in enough money to make up the difference at least from what I would have won had he not been in the tournament that he really was not invited to anyway. He did his best to help me get through this time without this extreme problem I am facing without the added money difficulties to get in the way of healing my body and taking care of my family. I am eternally grateful for this. I know he worked for weeks to gather prizes worth more than $20,000 and his company and Pokerstars set the whole thing up and told me it was all ready to go and that whatever money the tournament generated would go to me to help with my medical expenses and the salary I would be losing due to not having any more sick days or vacation days left for the year. I am not making any salary at all during this time only disability which has not paid me one dollar yet. I could not be more grateful for the effort I know he put into this. a couple of weeks ago he called me sounding so upset I was actually worried for a moment until he told my why. Due to regulations in the U.S against online gambling there was no way at all to have a charity event with proceeds going to a U.S citizen when I am not legally, nor are any online poker players from here allowed to play online poker. I felt so bad for him because I knew the effort he had put into this and how bad he felt telling me that this money which I was now counting on wasn't possibly able to go to me. I emphatically told him not to even worry about it my family and friends are there to help me and that truly I felt uncomfortable with the idea anyway because there are a lot of people in my position who don't have charity events in their name that fight this fight with a lot less resources than I have. He still could not stop appologizing I tried to make him realize it was O.K.. The next day I get a phone call from him saying he was up all night and that he just is not the type to give up on something that he starts. The next thing I know he tells me he has gotten in touch with a group called Bad Beat on Cancer which is a non profit organization of poker people who create charity events all proceeds going to cancer research. They decided to get behind this tournament and instead of the money going to me the money will go to this charity. I said to Michael I just cannot believe that you did this for me. You are a special human being and God is good. I told him I am much more comfortable with this anyway because the money will help not just me but anyone who is fighting cancer and it will be done in my name. Michael I just want you to know how much I and my family and friends thank you. Thank you It is just not enough for the blood sweat and tears you put into this and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Just know that your actions will help save lives and hopefully mine included. You and Jim and the wonderful other people at the Bortata give me hope and faith in humanity again. I also have to thank you for organizing one more thing that I am looking forward to which is a trip to L.A. to get the V.I.P experience which is one of the prizes that have been donated by Pokerstars for your charity event in my name. I will be flying with my Husband to California and staying at the hotel with all the poker pros and celebrities as well as be in the audience for the taping of the new show on T.V. called the Pokerstars Million Dollar Challenge. I know I will have the time of my life and I thank you again.

I felt it really important for me to tell these stories of selfless acts of strangers because people should know we are an nation to be proud of. We are the most generous people in the world and not just with our money but I have encountered kindness and love that I never knew existed in this world. People recognized me and told me stories of triumph and survival that I needed to hear while I was at this Poker Open for days. I also received hugs and warm wishes from people just walking around the casino that saw my face on the wall for my win and heard my story I have never been so touched in my life.

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