Take a Snapchat, it'll last longer
Well hello there! Did you miss me? I wonder if you even knew I was gone? Just kidding!
It's actually kind of serious, my hiatus. In May I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Stage 4 with metastasis to my lungs. It was also in my brain but we didn't find that out until much later. So weird how the world works. I never had cancer in my family and with the exception of Daniel Gray, I've never been touched by the disease at all.
Presented by #CWSTRONG
» Where: Nextdoor, 43 N. Hotel St.
» When: 8 p.m. Nov. 27
» Cost: $20, includes one specialty cocktail created by the Hawaii chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild
» Info: facebook.com
To say I was shocked to learn this is a huge understatement. I never really accepted or believed it, even now.
I've spent the past few months working hard to take control of my health and can happily share that all of the cancer has been completely resolved. I still have a few surgeries to deal with, but the hard part is over.
They said once you reach stage 4, you can't be cured. That it will never truly be gone... but I want to be the person that proves this wrong.
I spent a lot of time looking inward and for the first time in my life I taught myself how to meditate. It made a huge difference in my frame of mind, with my intuition and deciding which path to take. My Snapchat stories became very popular as more and more of my network learned about my diagnosis. I didn't hold back and shared everything, becoming more motivated to do so after many told me I inspired them. It became a part of my normal routine to share the entire fight. The more people I saw looking, the more I wanted to post. It kept me motivated.
I saved all my Snapchat stories and made the video above to share my journey with as many people as possible. It's very scary during those first few days and weeks after you're told you're basically going to die. I pray for every woman facing this now and am here to tell you that you can beat it. It's possible.
My fundraiser is set for Nov. 27 at Nextdoor. #CWSTRONG presents the #GIRLGANG. It makes me happy to be able to do this event at Nextdoor, which is Daniel Gray's bar.
All of the ticket, raffle and auction sales will go towards the next two years of maintenance I need, but Gray — who continues his fight against cancer — will keep the proceeds from drink sales. So make sure you secure a designated driver in advance and come with some extra cash for him and his bar staff.
I have collected a ton of my favorite things to share with everyone that night, with a special all-female DJ lineup and many surprises. If you know me, I would love to include your participation in this event, as it was very much our fight. Please email me any videos or photos you might want to share — we are compiling everything to show on the big screen at Nextdoor.
If you have no connection to me, come to learn more about cancer and how to attack it. I will share what I did and my entire two-and-a-half-hour Snapchat story. If anything, I want everyone to walk away feeling inspired.
Cancer is an ugly, ugly disease that can happen to anyone. It doesn't matter how healthy you are or how careful you are, but I am here to prove that it can be beaten!
Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young's Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for Pow! Wow! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular Bacardi Pool Party on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.