Wednesday, March 26, 2014

One Year Update

It's the first day of spring, 2014. What a difference a year makes!

It just so happens that the All City Elementary All School Musical fell right on the anniversary of my diagnosis date this year. The kids pulled off another amazing production, and we had a ton of fun. "101 Dalmatians" was this year's show. Here's me as director at Roger's piano onstage:

That day I felt so special! I also got to do a magazine photo shoot for a local women's magazine that's going to put me on the cover in May for their Mothers Day issue, and KSFY did a follow-up story on me as well. Here's a link to the story.

As I mentioned in the interview, this is the fifth production I've been able to do in the last calendar year, not counting "Jungle Book" which I had just finished when I was diagnosed last year.

I've done a little opera about Pinocchio,
Did this show during chemo treatments on a third week

A story about the Great Gals of the Dakotas, (this is me as a very fancy Calamity Jane)
Also during chemo- on a second week

Played in the pit orchestra, and was rehearsal accompanist for 
"How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying,"
This one was in November- during my birthday, actually

and got to play a small role in a concert production of "Die Fledermaus," where I was this talented girl's (older, less talented) sister.
This was in January, 2 1/2 weeks after my implant surgery

It's definitely been a year of ups and downs. My hair changed the most often:
My real hair pre-cancer

The short version before I lost it

I utilized several wigs...

My "I look just like my mom" wig

Tried short and blonde for a while. Really liked it!

One of my many costume wigs

The transformation I went through in the mornings


Even had a wig that would hold onto my birthday tiara!

At home, I looked just like a hairless princess!

I was excited when I had more hair than my brother!
This was in November.

My first public appearance without a wig. 
This was in January: 5 months after ending chemo treatments.
You can't really see it here, but there was an awful lot of salt in that pepper...

I lasted 3 days, then decided to go white blonde. 
I wanted my short, short hair to look intentional, not like "victim" hair.

My chest obviously changed an awful lot too! I won't show pictures in too much detail, but while it's definitely weird looking, my silhouette is better off!

THIS is what a sports bra did to me before:

And now...
That's in a SPORTS BRA, y'all!

I've got a few new scars, and will never look the same naked again (sorry, no pics of that!), but I've learned a lot through the journey. I hope I am a better person for walking through this trial. I know one thing for sure: I'm an incurable optimist.

Honestly, I don't feel like my suffering was that bad compared to what others have to face. I had the hope of survival from almost the beginning, and when you know you're going to survive something, it makes it a lot easier to fight.

I want to thank you all for your support over the last year. Our family has been so blessed by the generous outpouring of love and resources from so many friends and family near and far. I have definitely learned that everyone's experience with cancer is different, but I hope my story is an encouragement to you.

I probably won't be writing much more on this blog. I feel like this chapter of my life is over, and it's time to move on to new and better things. My little brush with cancer has reshaped me, and will always be a part of my story, but as I've said from the beginning. It is not what defines me. Dan Steevers
God bless you!


  1. I am in tears. I have goose bumps. I hurt for the pain you endured. I am inspired. I am in awe of you. I am so grateful that I know you...Congratulations, my are the victor!

  2. I'm so happy to hear that from you. I've read back on what you went through before, about the initial shock of the hair loss when it hit, along with your sickness which has incited it. It's very inspiring how you've managed to roll with the situation. That should be a fine example for everyone. Whether we go about hair loss through artificial or through strenuously medical means, what matters is to be headstrong and steadfast in the face of it, and to endlessly seek solutions. Take care!

    Glenn Lowe @ Knight and Sanders