It’s been a weird weekend…I kind of hit the wall on a number of levels, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, hit the wall with numerous body parts. Truth be told, I probably used my head the most. I had so many options available to me; concerts, and old friends, and art and strawberries, yet I kind of shrugged it all off. Unlike many decisions in life, I didn’t get that immediate tingling sensation that confirms many of my choices. I’m thinking maybe I’m a bit numb. Summer vacation can’t come soon enough.
Despite feeling less than great (I’m about to pop my 3rd Aleve in 2 days!) I’ve maintained my commitment to running 20 miles this week and it has been a struggle. The music hasn’t been quite right, and even if it were perfect, my right glute is screaming louder than any song playing. Not tremendously fun or satisfying.
On my run Friday, I passed two elder(ly?) women walking. They were on the opposite side of the street and I was wearing contacts, which don’t do all they should to improve my vision. I was taken aback by one of the women – she looked like my mother. I think. The last time I spoke to my mother in person was when she attempted a “scar-off” to prove that her heart surgery was way worse than my cancer surgery could have ever been. Ok, you win and what have we proven? That you have a heart and I can cut malignant things from my life and prosper? Fine.
Well, it is a little disconcerting to not be certain whether a person is, or is not, your parent. You’d think this would be a familiar sensation for me, growing up as I did wondering if every single man with a brogue was my father, but it was still weird. I had a familiar train of thought ride through my head. What will it be like when she’s gone? Will I stop seeing her everywhere the way I stopped imagining every Irishman to be my father once I knew he was gone?
I’m getting ready to be a stay at home mom for 10 weeks and I plan to slow down, enjoy my boys and try really hard to make sure that they always know who their parents are, two people who love them dearly.
Filed under aging, Boys, cancer, Exercise, family, medical, moms, musings, relationships, running, stress, Summer
You’d think that after attending the last three of these events I’d know precisely what to expect – attractive men and women clad in various shades of pink having a good time for a good cause. I always see someone I haven’t seen in years
, the beverages usually lean more to vodka than cava and the night would be incomplete without a smooch from Tom Moore
. Yet, despite the predictability of this annual event, there’s always room for a surprise – like last night’s, and I hope this term isn’t offensive, drag queens
. How fun! And I have never seen as many swingers in one room as I did last night. I mean, that’s what you would call the folks taking liberties with the rope swing at Matt Baumgartner’s house, right?
A great host, a beautiful crowd and good cause = a fun night. Thanks for always being a gracious host, Matt. You really know how to throw a party! More pics here.
I ran today for a loved one. Actually, for the loved one of a loved one, which I guess is loved-one-once-removed, but these particular loved ones aren’t going anywhere. They will not be removed.
The run today was a benefit for the Albany Rowing Center
, ARC. This club promotes and supports rowing and I have some familiarity with it as a once-upon-a-time recreational rower and a spectator to those who were bitten by the rowing bug. A million years ago, I was a rowing widow and I got to know some of those hardy rowing types. (If I ever witnessed my-then husband checking out girls it was in admiration of their potential to row. True story.) One of the men I met through ARC died yesterday from cancer
. And today I ran.
Although I only knew Rex Babin
casually on a personal level, his professional work said a lot about who he was. Smart, daring, and strong. He came, on my request, to a school I worked in many years ago, to speak to the students about his work. It was a pretty far drive, about 40 miles round trip, which is a lot to ask, but he was agreeable and did a wonderful job sharing his perspective and talent with a bunch of teenagers in Greene County. I think I sent him a thank you letter.
And back to the run this morning. I ran a path that would have been familiar to Rex Babin
from his ARC days, surrounded by determined people stretching their muscles. There was a pink ribbon pinned to my UnderArmor for protection and inspiration. My head was filled with thoughts of cancer and soft tissue and bones and being a warrior. I improved my personal record today on this ice breaker, heartbreaker course.
And then I came home and ate these waffles, with my boys. FU, cancer.
You know that PET scan I had the other day
? Well, as with many things in life, there is good news and potentially
not so good news. The area of my neck where tiny malignant things seem to like to grow is clear. No signs of any additional issues, which means at this point I can avoid having my neck cut into for the fourth time in less than 10 years. However…
I’ve learned over the years, that when a physician’s office calls with test results and they don’t leave a message, there may be a problem. Seeing that missed call on Friday and not seeing a corresponding voicemail, caused me to pause. And pick up the phone and call the ENT’s office. Looks like there was some uptake in my breast area and I need to get a mammogram, despite just having had 2 in May. So, today I will call my primary doctor’s office and ask for a referral and schedule an appointment to have my breasts squished between those metal plates for the third time in less than 6 months.
As far as PET scans go, I’m 2 for 2. But, I know that if there’s anything there it is early and I am confident that all will be fine. And – how perfect that it is October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If you know me in real life (as if I’m an enigma virtually!) you know that I’m not one for trends, but this situation couldn’t come at a better time of the year. For me and you ladies out there. Do your breast self exams and get that annual mammogram! Early detection is key.
As for me, I’m going to wear pink every frigging day. If I’m not outrunning cancer mentally by literally taking a run wearing my hot pink ear buds, I’ll be wearing a pink scarf or sweater, or socks or perhaps a favorite piece of hot pink under-attire. Pink? Oh, it will be there. And we’ll hope that’s ALL that is there.
Check out this recent SEEN gallery from the TU. Survivors are everywhere.
Filed under cancer, musings
Sunday morning I ran my second 5k of the year, the Shack Attack
, out at The Crossings. I had seen this event promoted on the TU’s Runner’s Blog
and I thought it sounded like a great way to start the day. No, really, I did. Especially
after a huge rock n roll show on Friday night and a leisurely drive home through Vermont on Saturday. I hadn’t preregistered for the run so I got there fairly early which provided plenty of time to sign up and to make new friends. See – running is fun!
And – the run itself? Well…it was hot! I definitely would have preferred an earlier start than 9 a.m. That being said, the course was reasonably flat and there was a delicious reprieve offered by a shady spot along the route. I wasn’t clear on where the finish line was (did we have to go around that little “lake” again??) so when I finally kicked in for my big finish, there wasn’t much opportunity to get around the people in front of me. I did cross the line in the top 60 (of a couple of hundred, I think) in a new personal best time of 27:50.
A good run – a good cause – a good time.
|image from rehabstudents.com
With reluctance, I’ve become rather expert in being a surgical patient. Although I consider myself the picture of health (hello, I’m a triathlete!), in the past 10 months I’ve “gone under the knife” on three occasions – and not a single operation was cosmetic. Allow me to share some information I’ve gleaned from my experiences.
A is for Anaesthesia - I don’t know how you feel or respond to pharmaceutical medicines, but they just don’t agree with me. I generally get incredibly nauseous, usually vomit and take hours to recover my faculties after being put under with general anaesthesia. Each time I encounter a well intentioned anaesthesiologist, I indulge them as they describe their remarkable ability to “give me something for that” when I explain my body’s aversion to narcotics. During my surgical adventures in these past months, I’ve learned that advocating for myself using the words “local anaesthesia, please” works wonders, and I have dramatically decreased my discomfort level following a surgical procedure. It may not work for everyone, but I am huge fan of less being more when it comes to (pharmaceutical) drugs.
B is for Benign - This is absolutely the news you want to hear when you receive the results of your biopsy. While only (only? really?) 2 of my 3 surgeries this year involved having tissue removed from my body and being tested to determine cellular composition, I am very pleased to share that last week’s neck dissection resulted, for the first time ever, with a benign finding. I honestly believe that the third time was the charm and my “necklace” of scars is now complete.
C is for Cancer - Receiving a diagnosis of cancer is frightening. Actually it is incredibly frightening – who am I kidding? I have a dear friend who was unable to even use the word cancer when I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer about 10 years ago, insisting instead on calling it the “C word.” Ok, we all know what the “C word” really is, and I always felt that whispering cancer instead of speaking about it in a normal tone, gave far too much power to some renegade (potentially Palin-esque) cells. No, thanks, I’d prefer a discussion to denial any day of the week. C can also be for conversation. The worst thing by far, in my experience, is the discomfort friends and acquaintances have demonstrated with regards to talking about my health challenges. I understand that everyone is unique in the way they experience trials, but I much prefer dialogue to dismissal. Which I suppose would be letter D, but since I’m officially (says me) done with cancer, let’s just finish with the fact C is also for conclusion and cease and culmination and closure and completion and …..
I’ve got strong feelings about marriage and cancer these days. Note: I said strong feelings, not clear or rational feelings. The cancer is on my mind because I’ve got some routine-ish doctor appointments coming up. Scans, and blood work and follow-up types of things. That, and the recent death of Elizabeth Edwards have put cancer, once again, in the front of my mind instead of in that dark, quiet place which I don’t often visit. My thoughts about cancer are musings about why people develop cancer in certain parts of their bodies. Like me, for instance. What are the odds of having cancer removed twice from an area as small as the neck? Isn’t it likely that the cancer is in my neck because my head and my heart are in in conflict – and apparently have been for for more than a few years?
Which leads directly to my current thoughts on marriage… Did you see this article
in last week’s Sunday New York Times? As I read it, maybe my second time through, I felt as if I might have written it myself – a response which a number of my friends attested to feeling themselves. My husband even asked me if I was using a pen name because he so clearly recognized what the female author was saying from our own conversations. While chatting about the article with my writer friend, Rachel
, I told her I thought this “little divorced” thing could very well develop into a social phenomena that future anthropologists would be studying for years. The only question is: is it a revolution or a plague?