Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wordless Wednesday This is Not!

Today’s lunch was a short run.  It was 78 degrees F, with 87% humidity, and the sun magically appeared oh yeah… 

Taken at 11:45 a.m.

Even the downhill back to the site was a slog.  I really need to start getting up early and running before work.  I got back to my desk, we sit in open plan, and there are three of us facing inwards at each other.  Number One Smart Guy (#1SG) got back from his lunch about 30 minutes later, he took one look at my still pink face, which is NEVER pink, and said, rather tentatively, “How was the run?”  I said “Hot”  #1SG looking a little concerned “You are the color of your shirt (it was pink).”  I said “You aren't going to buy it being a little sun burn?”  #1SG “Um, no. You never come back from a run looking anything other than more relaxed than when you left.”   3.3 miles I really really needed to run.  It had been since Saturday I laced up. 

The only running I got in on Tuesday night were errands. (Monday I spent all day in the car) God love the hubb (the capturer of bats) he managed to buy salad and veggies while I was gone for 4 days, so he didn't starve or live on Pop Tarts (I think he relishes my time away so he can go buy and devour a family size of Strawberry Pop Tarts, I’m sure we all do these things when the spouse/partner is away, admit it).  Anyhoodles, we were out of beer, cottage cheese, and oranges.  The latter two being my breakfast and probably the MORE important things on the list, however I put them in alphabetical order so one didn't appear more important than the other.   

Tomorrow is a local 4th of July Race,  Camier’s Firecracker Four Miler.  I hemmed and hawed about signing up, did I really want to do this? Nicole posted she was.  I took the bait; she knew I would.    We usually run together on Thursday so it seems logical.  I hope she doesn't want to race this.

Not the logo but I thought this was cute

Marine Corps Marathon training kicked off on the 24th.  It is not going as stellar as last year.  Fortunately it is 17 weeks out and I have another chance this weekend to redeem myself with a long run and I have the Jamestown ½ on the 13th.  I know myself well enough that I scheduled a few ½s and other distance races during training to keep me motivated and check in with different clothing or accessories as well run a double or two. 

I’m a little over the fuel belt option and I really liked the back pack hydration I used for the Ice Age 50.  Thing is all the names on the back of my race jersey won’t be visible so I need to figure a different option.  NOT carrying water isn’t really one of them.  It is a security blanket to me, plain and simple.  Although the bottles are MUCH easier to refill and there was water damn near every mile on the MCM course last year.  I may try one of the half’s without carrying water and see how it goes.    I did get aFlip Belt and used that on my run in MI and found that a water bottle fit nicely in there along with my iPhone so I may consider that as an option.  Then again, plenty of people run marathons without carrying water.  Obsess much, there Beth?

Names on your race jersey. Anyone get stuck on that part?   I run with the Lung Cancer Alliance’s Team Lung Love (TLL).  They formed about 4 years ago as an idea Julia, who lost her mother to Lung Cancer and had been actively involved with Team in Training, had an idea to form an endurance sports training program that raises awareness and funds for the fight against lung cancer. She approached the Lung Cancer Alliance with her idea to raise funds and awareness said they said sure let’s see how it works.  Well it has!   This is what the Lung Cancer Alliance does with the funding they raise through TLL and other events:  

As part of my fund raising, I collect names in honor of and in memory of for my race jersey.  It is very powerful to see all these names.  

We lost Ann Visloky in March of this year, RIP Ann

Lung Cancer is the number one cancer killer, 158K people yearly.  It is second leading cause of death (heart disease is #1 with nearly 600K people yearly).  Lung Cancer kills more than colon (52K) breast (41K), pancreatic (35K), and prostate (36K) cancers combine.  One more statistic, bear with me, data junkie here.  Of the probable 220K people diagnosed with lung cancer 50% will not live more than 1 year.  Of the remaining 110K only 15% (16.5K) will still be alive in 5 years.  Miserable statistics, yes?  To put it in a different perspective, assume all your Facebook friends were diagnosed with Lung Cancer, for me that is 270, 135 will make it the first year, 20 will be around 5 years from now.  I would be hard pressed to pick which 20 FB friends I’d like to have around in 5 years…   I’m still scratching my head how I possibly know 270 people…

So why are the statistics so poor?  Well it gets caught late, very late, after it has spread and people only have months to live.  A college friend of my parents’ had a miserable cough for months and finally went in to get it checked out, Lung Cancer, all over, he was dead in a few months. There isn't the tell tale lump.  There isn't bleeding where there simply should be no bleeding.  The ‘traditional’ signals the body gives off that there is something wrong simply aren't there.  As with most soft tissue cancers, like Pancreatic, the signs just aren't there. And then there is the stigma. 

The stigma; there is a HUGE stigma associated with Lung Cancer.  The first question is the dreaded smoking question. There is a woman in my mom’s cancer support group who completely abandoned her job because she didn't want to face the smoking question. She was so absolutely embarrassed and felt so guilty about her past smoking history she can’t tell anyone what kind of cancer she has, or in some cases that she has cancer.  If the person smoked does that mean they deserved their disease?  What if they quit 20 years prior?  The American Lung Association says that 20 years after quitting your chances of getting Lung Cancer are that of a never smoker.  And well, that doesn't mean your chances as a never smoker are zero.  If you have lungs you can get lung cancer, it is pretty simple.  The statistics are scary, 79% of never (18%)  and non smokers (61%) were diagnosed with Lung Cancer the remaining 21% are current smokers.  Pretty freaking scary isn't it? 

Oh and smoking is the number one risk factor in all cancers.

So why are current smoker diagnosis so low?  Many many people have quit.

Regarding the stigma, a little food for thought.  Would you ask the skin cancer patient if they sunbathed?  Does that mean because they sunbathed they also deserved their disease?  Over the weekend my mom and I talked about cancer.  I asked her that question as well as telling her I put in an application to attend a seminar on Lung Cancer Advocacy hosted by the National Lung Cancer Partnership.  She stopped cold and looked at me and said she had never thought of it that way and why on earth would I want to become a Lung Cancer advocate?  Good question! Well quite simply there aren't enough lung cancer survivors.  See my little statistics ramble a few paragraphs back. There were breast cancer survivors to advocate for themselves bring attention to the disease and make dramatic and drastic changes to the treatments to get breast cancer to a near 100% survival rate.  That and well boobies are cute, lungs, not so much. 

And oh yeah, the question, my mom smoked.  She was 23 years post quitting smoking, nearly to the day she felt the first pain that is the lung cancer tumor on her spine and ribs.    Her doctor didn't even consider cancer let alone lung cancer for this bizarre pain.  It was chalked up to shingles she had a year or so prior.  Not until the lump could be felt did anyone suspect cancer.    I think the torture she put herself through having smoked, and subjecting her children to it (my father also smoked, he quit the year after she did) is enough blame, don’t you?  Yeah, sure there were warnings on the cigarette packages, but youth is, as many know, wasted on the young and it isn't until you hit that 40 mark, when things start to go downhill  exponentially that makes a person realize life is way too short and what can they do to reverse the post 40 exponential aging process. 

And my hubb the bat capturer.  In the wee hours of Tuesday a.m. the lights went on in the bedroom and he said, “Get something flat so I can take this bat outside.”  Apparently yours truly had slept through the whole process of him capturing the bat from the air to the floor in a pair of shorts from the laundry basket.  Rather ingenious, no?  I managed to think straight enough to go downstairs and grab the dust pan from the mud room and he scooped up the bat and we let it outside into the night, where all bats should be.  They are lovely creatures, we prefer them to live outside.

During the day hubb kept hearing a chirping noise, the chirping noise bats make.  Guess there were two and the other one was missing its friend.  He finally located this one and it was snuggled up in the steam radiator.  He used the shop vac to suck it out and then let it free outside.  It was a little stunned what with the daylight and getting sucked into a shop vac, however flew away to find a place to roost until it was actually time to get up.

Alive a little dusty and a little pissed

Beth, looking forward to the Firecracker Four Miler, hoping there are no more bat friends, and glad you stuck with my cancer story till the end.


  1. Hi Beth (from NH). I'll never tire of the lung cancer stories and stats. Keep on keepin' on!