Why am I Running from Cancer?

Why am I Running from Cancer?. . . check out this post for an explanation

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Florida vacation

We are vacationing in key west again this year. I tried to yupload a post on Tuesday morning but the wireless network would not allow it. Trying again this afternoon. I had some beautiful pic's but the upload wouldn't happen. Anyway we are having a great time. Kayaking, relaxing, eating, running, sailing and fishing. We spent the weekend with my husbands brother and wife in Ft Meyers and then came to Key West on Monday. I ran both Saturday and Sunday about 2.5 miles each morning and then did 5 on tuesday morning. I ran to the southernmost point and had a pic taken. There are only a few people there in the morning, but we have biked by there in the afternoon and there seemed to be 100's waiting for the opportunity for a photo. On Tuesday, a car speed by, stopped abruptly, 3 girls jumped out and a mom took their photo from the car. She said they do that every morning! Living in paradise, going to school in paradise - do you think they appreciate that fact? Or do they just call this place home? This morning we got up early and fished for 4hours on a fishing charter. We caught beautiful fish but only kept one. We took it to a Thai restaurant, and had it for lunch. It was delish. Back to relaxing by the pool. Enjoy every moment!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Blogger Blues

Seems like I am not the only one experiencing the Blogger Blues.  Many of the blogs that I have followed in the past are done - signed off - on winter break - or just in a funk.

I had been wondering about signing off at the end of last year - but decided that I would commit to another shot at resurrecting my enthusiasm for blogging.  I enjoy chronicling my running life . . . although there hasn't been much of that lately.

So it appears like I am at a cross road, a fork in the road, a decision point.

Keep going - but to do that I need to Inject some more energy into blogging and commenting - because continuing on as is . . . doesn't seem worthwhile.   When I answer the question:  Why did I start blogging? - I have a couple of reasons, including simply chronicling my running life and trying to figure out how cancer plays an integral part of who I am and where I am in my life.

To be honest - I don't know if I did either very well.  I don't talk a lot about cancer.  It was a HUGE - Life changing - never look back event.  But I feel like I am moving on.  I still think and obsess about cancer almost every day - but it is different . . . somehow.

Do I still have things to say . . . yes . . . BUT do I want to take the time . . . that appears to be the real question.  How do I want to spend my time?  

Here is a typical work day:
5:30 - alarm goes off - hit snooze
5:40 - alarm goes off - 50-50 I get up or hit snooze one more time
5:40 - out of bed and into bathroom
5:45 - put on running clothes
5:50 - head downstairs - let Sophie outside - scoop out litter boxes - vacuum laundry room if there is litter on the floor - let Sophie back in - maybe throw in laundry, or switch to dryer
5:55 - head back upstairs - feed Sophie, give her fresh water, feed the two cats
6:00 - out the door for a run or walk with Sophie
6:40 - return from run / walk - head to back yard and pick up Sophie poop.
6:45 - wipe Sophie's feet off / snowy / salty / gunk.
6:50 - pick out work clothes / shower / make-up / hair
7:20 - prepare breakfast and lunch, empty dishwasher
7:45 - in car and heading to work
8:00 - 6:00 work (or longer - depending on what is happening)
6:30 - home and prepping for dinner
7:00 - dinner done, clean kitchen
7:15 - watch a little TV, pay bills, check blogs, clean the house, do a load of laundry
9:30 - head to bed

What I need to figure out is how do I WANT to spend my available time.  I want to ACTIVELY decide how my time will be spent.

Drop out all together - this option is attractive - but I am torn.  I still enjoy the whole idea of blogging and reaching out through the virtual world.  But am I willing to devote the time . . . or do I simply think that I enjoy the concept and that is why I have not been motivated?  Only I can answer that . . . and at this point my answer is I DON'T KNOW!

Still comment - just don't blog - The frustrating part is that I am spending time reading and I simply move onto the next blog without making a comment.  I have nothing constructive / new / enlightened to say . . . so why say anything?  While this approach will free up some time - I still spend a huge block of time reading blogs . . . and if I don't comment . . . I am really not sure that I am getting anything out of what I am reading.  Do I learn anything?  sometimes, but not always.  Do I enjoy reading about other bloging adventures?  yes, but honestly - much of it is a repeat!  Come on - admit it!

As I said before I want to decide how to spend my days - my weeks - my life!  It is, after all, the only LIFE I have and I want to get as much out of it as possible.

The question for me is:

Does blogging add to my Life experiences???????

As always - Peace and Enjoy the moment!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Run for Sherry Arnold

Like many bloggers I have been saddened by the story of Sherry Arnold - keeping tabs on the events from Shut Up and Run - Here and always wishing for the best . . . but that was not to be.  Beth, from Shut Up and Run organized a virtual run for yesterday . . . or any day we wanted . . . and I chose today.  Temp's were in the low teens, with winds, bringing the windchill to zero.  Chilly, but doable.

I did 3 miles with Sophie and thought about life - Sherry's life, her families life and my life.

Life is short - an often said comment.  But until you face a tragedy or a serious illness, it is hard to understand and appreciate.  Events like this, make us all stop and appreciate where we are in life.  Good or bad - rich or poor - healthy or not . . . there is always something to be Thankful for.

Things can change in an instant - Again, you leave the house in the morning, just like every other morning, but then something happens.  Something that you could have NEVER planned.  I am not  advocating acting like today is your last . . . but there is an aspect of organizing and making peace with things or people that is important . . . why wait until it is too late.  Do it now and then ENJOY life to its fullest.

Let those that you love, know it - Tell the people around you.  Show them that you love them by treating them lovingly, with respect, whether that be your spouse, your children, your neighbor or the homeless . . . doesn't everyone deserve your respect and love.

I hope and pray that Sherry's family finds a level of Peace and builds a new "normal", albeit without Sherry in person . . . but still loving the person Sherry was.

Peace and Enjoy the moment.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Some thoughts on Cancer

Although the title of my blog is Mom Running from Cancer, I don't tend to talk a lot about cancer.  I think a lot about cancer . . .  but I don't talk a lot about it.

There is something about having had cancer that is hard to describe.  It is a club that you are a member of . . . but I am not really proud to be a member.  Whenever I start a post, it starts out OK, but I always delete the post prior to posting.  Well not this time.  

To refresh, for anyone who doesn't follow my blog closely, I was diagnosed with stage 3b Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) on Wednesday, September 8th, 2004.  I started chemotherapy 8 days later on Thursday, September 16th.  From there my treatment included:  1)  4 chemo treatments using A/C,  2) a right side mastectomy, 3) installation of a port under my chest skin to make infusions easier 4)  4 chemo treatments using Taxotere, 5) weekly chemo with another drug, Herceptin for 1 year and 6)  30+ days of radiation.

I have remained cancer free for the last 7 years and plan to continue living cancer free for the rest of my life.  I didn't use to think that.  I was convinced, based on the severity of my cancer staging and aggressiveness of Inflammatory breast cancer, that my breast cancer would return.  When I was diagnosed I never once asked my Oncologist what my chances were or whether he thought I would make it.  I am smart enough to know that a single individual is not a statistic and I figured that the data is available on-line so I could always look it up myself.  Per the 5 year survival rate for patients with IBC is between 25 and 50 percent.   Trust me, these are not statistics that you want to hear out loud - the only time you want to look at statistics like that are late at night, alone, on the computer.

Today . . .  I think I just might make it out of this world without breast cancer coming back . . . maybe!

Now every once in a while I allow my thoughts to head towards the possibility that, I just might live a long breast cancer free life . . . . and who knows, instead of breast cancer returning, I just might get hit by a beer truck, which if that is the case I hope it is Spotted Cow or some other small brewery . . . I would absolutely HATE to get hit by a Pabst Blue Ribbon truck.  

Anyway - Here are 11 random things about cancer.
  1. I lost ALL of the hair on my body during chemotherapy.  Yup - everything. 
  2. That includes the little hairs inside your nose  . . . which means when your nose runs it really runs.  Those little hairs in your nostrils help slow down the drips . . . without them . . . watch out!
  3. Chemo brain is a real issue.  It is no wonder, when you consider the chemicals flowing through your body - even though there is a brain / blood barrier - you get foggy. 
  4. I hated the taste of water while I was undergoing chemo treatment.  Grape Propel was about the only thing I can drink.
  5. I received approximately 5000 centiGrays, delivered at the rate of appox. 180–200 rads per day for 28 days and then 1 week with an additional boost of 2000 centiGrays for a total of approx. 7000 centiGrays  (measurement of radiation) during treatment.  A standard mammogram delivers 0.2 centiGrays and a chest x-ray is 0.025 . . .   Thank goodness for targeted treatment!  
  6. When my hair came back - it was grey . . . oh - wait -  that probably started to happen before my diagnosis, I just didn't know it!!!!
  7. I wish the hair on my legs would have never came back.  Seems like there should be some benefit that comes from all this.
  8. I did not have reconstructive surgery after the mastectomy.  I wear a silicon prosthesis inside of my bra - I don't think anyone knows.  
  9. I love my oncologist and believe it or not, love going to see him.  I get to see him every 6 months.  
  10. I believe that the drug, Herceptin was critical to my successful treatment.  My Dr. started me on Herceptin, "off label".  At the time, per the FDA, Herceptin was only prescribed for Stage IV, malignant breast cancers.  But there were several large drug studies going on and he felt strongly that Herceptin would also benefit earlier stage cancers that expressed a Her-2 gene and started me on it.  I received Herceptin weekly for 1 year.  Mid way through my yearly Herceptin, the studies were called off because of the success rate.   During a study, some patients receive the drug and some patients receive a placebo . . . since it was so clearly successful, they wanted to make sure that those individuals involved in the study received the drug . . . not the placebo and stopped the studies early.  Lifetime had a movie, back in 2008 staring Harry Connick Jr. called "Living Proof", which chronicles the discovery and push for the drug.  It is based on a book by Robert Bazell, called "Her-2, the Making of Herceptin, a Revolutionary Treatment for Breast Cancer" which is in my ibook library.  
  11. Cancer does Suck

and last but not least . . .        I final comment about the news this past week . . . With the uproar regarding the Susan G. Koman organization pulling funding from Planned Parenthood facilities because they were under investigation . . . to reversing their decision . . . I am left with very confused feelings towards the organization.  How about you?  Were you bothered by Koman's withdrawal of funding?

Peace and 
Enjoy every moment!

Friday, February 3, 2012

What I wore to work this week!

Instead of showing what I wore running during the week, I thought I would show you what I wore this week to work.  To be honest I think I look a little better dressed for work than before or after I run.

It was a pretty typical work week.  10+ hour days.  Tuesday I had a lunch meeting and outside of that lunch meeting I ate a salad at my desk.  I did sneak out at lunch on Wednesday for a 20 minute walk.
Work wise, it was a really stressful week.  I am involved in lots of meetings, so getting time to actually do "work" at my desk is a luxury that I don't often get to enjoy.  Thursday was one of those rare days . . . I had NO meetings and actually got a lot of work done . . . . but still have a lot more to do.

Here goes.

Monday - Black slacks - pink/peachy sweater set and scarf from Chico's.

Tuesday - Black skirt, blue sleeveless sweater with a black outer sweater. And on my feet, my favorite shoes by Think!

Wednesday - Black slacks with blue pinstripes and a blue sweater and my awesome new cowboy boots that I purchased at the F.M.Light and Sons store in Steamboat Springs.  Every women needs a pair of cowboy boots.

Thursday - Brown slacks with orange shirt and orange boiler wool sweater jacket and brown Mary Jane shoes.

Friday - Jeans with a print shirt and  . . . .  yup . . . my cowboy boots!

How was your work week!

Peace and enjoy every moment   ;-)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Random 11 things . . . my turn!

I was tagged by Kimmy at My Life Running....   HERE for the Random 11 things going around the blogosphere.  Last but not least I will participate.  

  1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in your tagger's post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blogs and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. No stuff in the tagging section about "you are tagged if you are reading this." You legitimately have to tag 11 people!

11 randoms about me.

1. Copying Kimmy . . . I too am a morning person.  I love to run while others sleep and I especially love to enjoy a hot cup of coffee in morning out on the patio is the warm morning hours of summer.  

2.  My eyebrows are tattooed 
3.  My father died from an accidental drowning when I was 9 years old. 
4.  I learned to drive a manual transmission using my boyfriends (now husband's) BMW.
5.  I learned to drive a motorcycle and had my permit - but never got my motorcycle license.
6.  In college I was a music major and then switched to accounting.
7.  I get irritated with people who are too lazy to scrape their car windows off  - we live in Wisconsin, carry an ice scraper!
8.  I use botox on my forehead!  
9.  I use Restylane as a filler for my nasolabial folds and LOVE IT!
10.  My indulgence is watching Mad Men on Netflix
11. I consider myself lucky to have had breast cancer

Kimmy's questions for me.....

The questions to those I tagged..

1.  Whats your favorite workout?
Start the day with a 8 mile run and then hop on my road bike for a nice 30 mile ride.  

2.  Whats your favorite running food?
Before I run - Oatmeal with fruit and coffee, While I am running - Gu and After I run - sliced avocado with Laughing cow cheese on Sandwich thins.

3.  If you could do one favorite thing what would you do?
Downhill skiing

4.  Whats the perfect running temperature for you?
50-60 degrees

5.  If you had a choice between doing a long run or speed work what would you pick?
Long run

6.  What is your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving.  I like that there is no "stuff" for sale or major material stuff surrounding this holiday  . . . it is such a simple idea . . . give thanks for what we have.  

7.  Would you go to a friend who needed you no matter what?

8.  Do you like to workout inside or outside?
Run Outside wins all year long.  I have my bike set up inside on my trainer, but would rather be outside.

9.  What is your favorite training schedule?
Run 5 days out of 7 and be able to bike outside

10 How long have you been running?
I have been running for 20 years!!!!!

11. Why do you run?
I love the empowered feeling and the physical fitness benefits.

I am leaking out . . . Since I am clearly one of the last bloggers to participate . . . I am not going to tag people, because it seems like everyone has been tagged and responded.

Peace and Enjoy every moment!