Rider spotlight: Jodi from Mount Vernon won't let cancer stop her #BikeSTP weekend
Jodi Monroe, 47, currently spends five days out of the week at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance receiving radiation to treat “mean nasty breast cancer”.
“But the doctors are giving me the weekend off to ride the STP!” said Jodi, full of enthusiasm. “As long as I am back for radiation on Monday morning, I’ll be OK.”
Jodi was out on an Independence Day ride when she found the lump, and was diagnosed with invasive stage three breast cancer in October 2011. A mastectomy followed in November, and when chemotherapy started in December, she decided she wasn't going to let it affect her day-to-day life.
Having completed two STPs in the past, Jodi decided to (literally) pedal through the five harsh months of chemo.
“I wasn’t going to let it change my ways,” said Jodi. “I decided just to be me and be real about what is happening to me. I don't have time to have breast cancer because I'm too busy being a wife, mom, professional and a friend. Nonetheless, I decided to embrace my treatment so that I can hopefully be cured and help others. I am tackling my cancer like a business deal. I have a plan and am executing it with the best care and cure rates at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.”
Jodi said that a simple goal during chemo was to never miss her son or daughter’s high school basketball games. And she didn’t. She also never missed a business trip either.
“A few times, I'd spend the day at chemo and that night take a red eye to the city that I was doing business in,” she said.
All the while Jodi managed to stay fit.
“I am a CrossFitter. I train daily for life,” she said. “I’m always ready to take on physical activities.”
Beating cancer is one physical challenge Jodi is excelling in.
“My body is responding to treatment and I am blessed for that,” she said. “I haven't gotten sick from all the treatments either.”
Jodi had to undergo an emergency surgery seven weeks ago and is currently halfway through daily rounds of radiation, which will end in August. Infusions of Herceptin will continue until February, 2013.
Jodi said she finds strength from within as well as from her family.
“Let's just put it out there...cancer sucks! I'm not going to lie,” Jodi said. “One out of eight women will get breast cancer and I am one of the eight. I have no family history either and had years of mammos. But I am surrounded by loving family and friends and that's where my strength comes from, and I must add [that my kids,] Julia, Jacqueline and Robert motivate me. They rode their first STP at ages 11, 12 and 13.”
Since she is still receiving radiation treatment, Jodi cannot be exposed to the sun and will be wearing a white long sleeve zip-up as well as the purple jersey. She was wearing the day she found the lump.
“It has a female angel on the front and back. It's one of my favorites and I have worn it in one other STP ride. It's sentimental to me,” she said.
So if you see her on the road, be sure to give her a shout-out and wish her well.