Sunday, December 4, 2016

Weekly Recap: 11/18 - 12/4

Beautiful day on tap for Monday, and after a discussion with Dave on Sunday about when exactly would we be raking the yard I was totally ok with keeping Monday as a vacation day so we could rake leaves and take them to the dump, it think it's called a transfer station out here, in any event they have a place we can dump the leaves for no charge.  Reviewing the weather it seemed Tuesday was supposed to be a rainy mess with no relief in sight.   Considering the neighbors to the NE and SE have the big trees and don't rake.  They wait for the leaves to congregate on our yard, rather, our front walk.  I swear there is a leaf magnet under our front walk. Anyhoodles, this MAY ensure the leaves still on the ground and not in our yard could maybe perhaps remain in their yard and that was a bet we were willing to take.

Three trailer loads to the dump, and a good close mowing, and the yard looked pretty darn good for a yard of crappy grass neither of us have much desire to do much about.  The crab grass blooms in late June and the yard is a shade of green and I'm good with that.  I am disappointed I didn't get around to edging.  I like to do it the old fashioned way with the manual edger.  My hip was my excuse and based on how it has felt lately, I think that was actually a valid excuse!

I got Gus out to the woods, marked trails, to avoid an unintended adventure, and to get him some exercise before the rain and my evening commitments for Tue and Wed night keeping me away from home till late.

The rain happened, as predicted, on Tuesday.  I got out for a lunch run in the warm temperatures and rain.  It felt really good.  I haven't had much alone time lately, and really enjoyed the hour of no people to pay attention to, no dogs to mind, no traffic to monitor.  I listened to my On shoes squeak, they are fun and comfy shoes, just noisy in the rain.  I haven't run with music in months, I'm enjoying not running with music.

Dave decided it would be fun to discuss the Monty Hall problem this evening.  Quite fascinating actually.  If there are three doors and behind two doors are goats and one door is a car.  Choose a door, say #2.  Then door #3 is open, do you switch your choice to door #1. What is the probability the car is behind door #2 versus door #1?  I spend time alone so I'm able to tolerate being around people, he spends time alone and he has to find topics to discuss once he's not alone.  Introverts versus Extroverts. No wonder I'm more exhausted being home than running or biking.

Another cloudy day, not so much rainy, although I honestly can't remember Wednesday's weather as I type this.  But I'm pretty sure there wasn't much sun to speak of.  This was the last day of Lung Cancer Awareness month and I do remember driving to Boston in the pouring rain, it was horrible. The event was very good.  In the Prudential Center in Boston.  A woman, Kimberly Hall, I met years ago at a Lung Cancer conference put it on under the guidance of Diane Legg.  Diane, an 11 year Lung Cancer survivor, and living with Stage IV for the last 6 years, started the first Shine A Light on Lung Cancer vigil in the US, there were 200 vigils on Wednesday night, in 10 years that is pretty darn impressive.  It is a very misunderstood disease.  Bottom line:  If you have lungs you can get lung cancer.  There are things that exacerbate it:  smoking (and that goes for ALL cancers, each has smoking as a trigger - imagine the horror asking the breast cancer patient if they smoked, oh the horror), radon (we have it in our home, do you know if you have it in yours?), asbestos, environmental factors such as pollution,  and others, those are the biggies, and these things can be avoided or  have ways for remediation in many situations.  

A woman spoke about her lung cancer diagnosis and journey.  It started with her slowly losing her stamina, then her breath, and then a cough that wouldn't go away.  She was (and still is) an active woman, weight training, spin, zoomba, walking the dog, leading up to her 50th birthday everything became more and more difficult and she was losing more and more energy.  Finally a friend suggested she get the cough checked out, get an x-ray.  Of course a healthy active 49 year old woman asking for an x-ray labels her as crazy, it's bronchitis, here are some antibiotics see me in a month if it doesn't go away.  A month later, she demanded the x-ray.  It showed shadows, oh you have pneumonia, here are some more antibiotics and go see this pulmonologist.  The pulmonologist ordered a CT, and when the results came back, ordered a bronchoscopy.  She went into the appointment, not understanding why this had been ordered and tried to leave.  The nurse questioned if she knew why she was getting this test.  She said she had no idea.  Then and there the nurse was honest with her and said they were testing for lung cancer.  This was the week before her 50th birthday.

After 4 rounds of chemo and 33 rounds of radiation she was declared No Evidence of Disease (NED).  A few months after that she had returned from a trip seeing her parents and was sore her shoulder hurt her back hurt, nothing felt right.  She went to her doctor.  A PET was immediately ordered and the lung cancer had metastasized to her bones, her shoulder blade, her L7 vertebrae and her hip.  More radiation, and at this point she called Diane who said "Get genetic testing".  She did have a genetic marker ROS1 and was put on Xalkori, a drug targeted for the ROS1 and ALK mutations and NSLC that has metastasized.   It is a maintenance chemo, and it took a year and it worked!  During that year she had a 10 hour surgery to replace her L7 vertebrae as the cancer had nearly disintegrated it.

It was an emotional talk, her husband came up on stage for support and she shooed him away, she was going to get to the end of this talk through her tears!  

It is an insidious disease no one deserves.  

I had a good cry and got home really late and tumbled into bed telling Dave I'd tell him about it later.

The sun came out!  Felt like I hadn't seen it in a month, It had been since Monday, and it was Thursday, I needed to to my PT.  My hip has been bugging me for the past few weeks and I have been ignoring it.  We all know how well THAT went last time.  So I did a short run got some sun and did my PT.  It all kinda sucked.  There was sun and I'll focus on that plus to the day.

Took both Jax and Gus for a walk, not my favorite.  They were really good and really seemed to miss walking with each other, so that made it fun, until mile 2 when Jax tends to lose all of his composure.  Per usual it happened, he lost it.  Black dogs have a bad rap as it is, then to have one barking and jumping at the end of a leash doesn't help.  Mostly this is when a man approaches me, he loses it.  Gus doesn't care, Jeff W can attest to this, Gus was happy to meet a new person, and then it was time to move on.  Same with Mikey, who stuck his hands inside the car window,  we even ran across Seth a while back and Gus was all whaev's man.  Gus is curious, then he somewhat patiently waiting for us to move forward!  I would like to test this man thing out with a guy I know, see if Jax settles down.  It's mostly embarrassing, and a little unnerving because what if it is not just a big stupid show?  

Jax is excellent when Dave and I take him for mountain bike rides, and I can only imagine he is the same when Dave takes him out mountain biking, and he goes solo or with a friend or two.  Jax is curious about people but really just keeps on moving forward.  Dogs on leashes, well he is a little more than curious especially if that dog is losing its shit on the end of a leash.  Jax sits there and looks at us like "WTF is this guys problem?"  as if he's NEVER lost his shit at the end of a leash.  Dogs are really curious creatures...

The PT and the short run and the walk were good.  a nice way to enjoy a sunny day and a mild December evening.

I was exhausted when I got up and knew I really didn't want to and really shouldn't run on Friday.  Decided I'd follow Mikey's lead and take one of the lunch time classes, Stability and Strength.  It was a torture session with 5 different stations with two exercises each a pair of people did for 5 minutes breaking up between the two exercises based on number of reps on one.    I felt it and really did get a good work out.  I need the stability for this on-going hip thing.  It was better it's not, it's frigging annoying.   I got out of work early and came home with the intention of taking Gus on a hike before it got dark.  I took a nap instead.  

Amy with the sharp elbows came over to break up more of the matted mangled fascia and muscles in my hips on Saturday morning.  Holy hell that hurt.  At one point she busts out laughing and comments my toes are so straightened out and separated they looked like fingers.  Well that IT band and something in my quad is a mess.  I need to make really good friends with a foam roller, and make up with my ice pack.  Ugh...    

After that I went to NYC to catch up with a friend I hadn't seen in at least 20 years.  Her husband planned a surprise trip to NYC for her 50th birthday and she messaged me to find out if we could meet up while they were somewhat local.  I jumped at the chance and am so glad I did.  I have admired this woman since we were young girls and she continues to amaze me.  I noticed she was doing a lot of centuries over the summer, she did 7.  Then I saw it, October 9th, her first IRONMAN finish.  Well that explains all the century rides!  Then I had to ask how learning how to swim was for her.  I remember one summer sitting on the dock my father had just put in the pond and the whole thing toppling over and neither of us were swimmers, we were non-drowners.  She said it took about a year, and several injuries to get the hang of it for sprints and Olympic distance tris then she jumped in for Ironman KY (they live in Alabama).   I'm still not progressing from the non-drowning stage to the swimming stage.  I think I can say I lived a full life without ever having done a tri.

That made for a very long day and Dave was up and out early on Sunday to ride in Big River and we were going to ride Arcadia with Jax in the afternoon.  To say I was dreading getting on the bike would not be a lie.  He got home from his 20ish miles in BR rousting me off the couch, loading up my bike and kicking my lazy ass into gear.  I can take about 2 hours, this weekend that ended up being just shy of 7 miles.  My skills and confidence are improving for doing something two hours a week I've progressed pretty well and have my moments of reckless abandon and my moments of oh shit.  Only one crash today.  A few topple overs because I was going to slow down hill.  I don't seem to have that problem on the road bike, I wonder if riding down trails is going to impact how I go down  hill on the roads?  I definitely am more timid on the trails.  It really hurts to fall on rocks.  I am immensely enjoying being on the bike and being in the woods, two favorite things!

He's threatening to work on speed for next week.  Ugh...

Oh and the neighbors leaves are on our yard.  Damn it.


Feet:  20.5, for a yearly total of 1,563.7 against an adjusted target of  A) 1,702 B) 1,660
Saddle:  6.8 for a yearly total of 1,470.7 against an adjusted target of A) 1,644 B) 1,590

Beth, do I really have to go back to work tomorrow??  Whine..................

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