3 weeks to race day

The Santa Hustle is just three weeks away. I am way not as prepared for it as I should be.  My work project and my gall bladder issues kind of all got in the way of really really training.  But I am really pretty psyched about the race.  It’s way cool to have the course going through Cedar Point.  It’s even cooler in my humble opinion to have it be across the causeway and to ‘run’ beside the lake.

I’m weird, I know.

I’m kind of a lot bummed because I’m probably going to be going all alone.  Like when I started halves in Austin.  Up at o-dark-thirty… drive my own butt to Sandusky and make sure I’m there before 6:30 because I know I won’t be going to packet pick up on Saturday (duh) and they already warn you of the long lines.

Starting line… alone… but I will have my music all ready…

I have to maintain about a 15 minute mile…

There are not very many water/aid stations along the way… Only six.  There are usually stations every mile… That one worries me just a little.  BUT there are also cookie stations and candy stations… so… I’m thinking that will probably help.

The causeway is supposed to be windy.  I need to be sure I have enough batteries for my weather proof camera… and my ear muffies are on sufficiently tight…

I hope I cross in time… before the 12:30 close.  I already can envision being incredibly demoralized by about mile 8.  It’s not Disney… and I know I will be heading to a lonely finish line.  I’m worried that my head will be worse at this one than it was at my last Austin one.  At least at that one everyone was there and I knew I would find them somewhere even if I had to do it all alone.  (turned out that I didn’t have to do it all alone… DS was there to walk me in and cheer me on again)…

I’m a little worried.
I’m a lot worried about the drive home. I don’t know what the weather will be.  I don’t know how I will feel (I could be incredibly fine like I was for Disney… I could be incredibly horrible like I was for my first… and my last… Austin races).  I will have to be sure I start a week long series of prednisone about mid week that week… just to be on the safe side.

I’m excited… I’m nervous… I’m back to doing something I really enjoy a lot… I wish I were dreading it less than I am.

Gallery

Bitching and Whining

It’s warmer this morning, here.  Which means the snow is melting as we speak.  I guess I’m supposed to be happy about that, but somehow I’m not.  I’ve always liked winter.  I don’t like it less now.  I tell people … Continue reading

Reality Bytes

image

My second week post-op work from home is quickly coming to an end. Tuesday I saw my surgeon and he released me to go back to work on Monday. By Christmas I will be allowed to lift more than 10 pounds. I have a 22 pound turkey to make for Thanksgiving. This may be interesting.

I’m nearly to the end of my Red and Green and White paper chain scarf. It’s long enough to wear, but I would like another three or four links before it’s long enough for me to really like it. I wore it to my infusion yesterday and I got compliments on it! In my head, they were just being polite, but I accepted them. They made me smile.

When I was going to the infusion center on main campus, it was located right outside the Rheumatology department. I don’t know if that was by design or accidentally. But that’s where it was. It was just there. Safe. Kind of sterile to look at. Technologically awesome. Great people. But it was by the Rheumy’s office.

It’s easy to kid yourself about the infusion center when it’s where you can connect it to your illusions. The curtains create individual little rooms where you can hide with your infusion, enjoy some juice and crackers with the poison of your (your doctor’s) choice. Very illusion inducing. You’re just there and while there are people also there, they are just there too.

Yesterday, going to my new infusion center, my reality caught up to me.

The man next to me was having issues with his chemotherapy and was trying to decide if it was time to have a port put in to make his infusions easier to deal with. Fewer pokes and sticks. His wife was busy looking up the alternatives (gotta love smart phones), which ports would be most effective and most comfortable for him.

The woman in the chair on the other side of me was getting her poison with blood. She had a lot of trouble with her IV and they had to call in one of the surgical nurses to run hers. Hers was very painful. I tried to distract her while they were getting her set up. Her partner took their little girls for a walk so they didn’t have to watch. She is tied to her chair for two hours ever three months.

The woman with the awesome piercings across the room was there for about the same amount of time as me. She was neat. I hope she’s there again. I would like to get to know her.

On the counter under the TV there was a pile of neck pillows that someone had home-made and dropped off. There is a box of Teddygrams and a box of soda crackers. There is a fridge full of juices and Gatorade and diet soda. There is a box full of hats and scarves that people have made and dropped off. Most were fleece. One hat was crocheted in the most interesting colors. It called to me from across the room. It became mine. The pattern makes the colors look like puzzle pieces.

Reality, yesterday some, more this morning, kind of snuck up on me and took my breath away. I KNOW all about the drugs I take. I know what they are for. I know what they do. I know that without them life gets to be really nasty for me.

I don’t feel so alone somehow having sat through everyone else’s reality.  I’m really glad I switched.  I feel, somehow, more like I’m part of some weird ass community.

Sometimes, though, realizing that I will be going there probably for the rest of my life to poison my body… that I will be taking my chemotherapy drugs forever… that I will be tricking my body into behaving nearly the way that normal people’s bodies behave… it all caught up to me. I can’t say that I have cancer, because for me it’s not cancer, but I have to let places know that I’m taking chemotherapy drugs because they are what they are.

The hat came home with me. It’s a little scratchy… the yarn is kind of stiff. I’m going to try fabric softener… It wanted to come home with me to remind me of my reality. This morning I’m enjoying coffee and I’m thinking I might take a break from my computer to go take a long hot bath.

I am glad that I’m not yet to the point where I scare people with the way my hands look. I’m glad that I ‘only’ hurt as much as I hurt. Mostly I’m glad that I learned that I need to treasure every second because you never know when it will be your last.

New Infusion Center

20141119_145919Okay… so… I’ve finally bitten the bullet and switched my Rheumy to the one local my house rather than on main campus Cleveland Clinic.  My primary excuse for moving my location is the tremendous waste of time.

I had to walk from work 15 minutes to the parking lot, drive 20 or so minutes to the parking garage and get to the 5th floor of building A.  $6 later, it was either head back to work for an hour or head home and work from home.  There was a whole lot of waste considering it is every freaking month.

So I made the switch.  Now I go to the clinic location 1.5 miles from my front door.  It’s stone throwing distance from the mall.  Parking is free and walking is quicker than the rigamarole I was dealing with at the other location.  THOSE were the benefits I was aware of before.

Today, I got my first infusion at the new location.  The infusion center at main campus is shiny and new.  The chairs are brand new recliners complete with personal TVs.  Each chair has its own little room (curtains).  It’s very sterile and impersonal.  HIPPA would be very happy.

And here I am.  I’m in a hospital recliner.  One TV across the room.  Seven chairs side by side.  People in each chair.  Everyone hooked up to their own personal flavor of poison.  Everyone pretty much in the same boat.

Everyone else (all but the neat skinny lady in the far corner and I) have their company with them.  To my left the woman’s partner and their kids.  To my right, a man with a blue vomit bag being held by his wife.

I have Gatoraid and Teddygrams.
I have a toasty warm blanket and a pillow.
I have Wifi and my tablet and my Orencia.

I did it for a bunch of practical reasons.
I’m glad I did it because maybe glitzy and sterile aren’t all they are cut out to be.

Twas the Week Before Thanksgiving

image

Okay… hokey sappy post alert… consider yourself warned…

It’s hard to believe it has been almost exactly a year since I interviewed at Sherwin.  I figure by now it’s safe to admit to how incredibly sick I was the day I interviewed.  I am pretty sure it was stress.  I really wanted the job incredibly badly.  I was so sick it wasn’t even funny.  I was running on about 4 hours sleep due to the flight schedule and a crappy breakfast due to the fact that the hotel was deliberately short staffed for the holidays… I don’t remember much about the first couple of interviews.  I’m glad I reasonably impressed the people who did my interview.  One of the things I’m grateful for this year is that I impressed them enough to land the job.  That means I’m sitting in my office at home (still on work from home due to the gall bladder surgery… doctor better release me to go back on Monday) watching the deer munch on the corn that the squirrels drop from the feeders onto the ground.  The yard is snow covered.  It’s 12 degrees.  It’s beautiful.  Sirius is on my computer playing Christmas music.

I’m 6 weeks out from my last Orencia infusion.  I get my next one tomorrow afternoon.  It’s doing its job.  The last few days I’ve been toughing out Squirrel Girl’s scarf because my hands are starting to be not real happy, but the drugs are doing their job because it should be hurting way more by now.

This afternoon I see my surgeon to see how I’m doing post-op.  I’m feeling pretty good.  I hope I’m right.

After surgeon, shopping for Thanksgiving.  Two kids in the household working retail and the mall opening at 5pm on Thanksgiving day means I’m having Thanksgiving at home.  I’m kind of hoping people will show up for Thanksgiving… but I’m kind of not counting on it.  I’m having dinner at about 1:00 this year.  Shopping list is in process.  I’ve got included on the list peanut butter pie fixings and pink fluffy stuff fixings.  I’m going to try my hand at Coke Salad.

This year my household has expanded to include my returning fledgling but his fiance as well.  My house is fuller than I ever realized it could be.

And this morning..my bird friends are back at the feeders.  Two different kinds of woodpeckers, the jays, titmouses and wrens…

It’s 9 degrees.  It’s a beautiful morning…

Gallery

Anyone like to endorse me for the WEGO health nomination this year?  I’m kind of feeling lame being the only one who has endorsed Figment of Fitness blog. WEGO Health Awards

Gallery

Snowy Saturday Morning

Sitting on the couch snuggled into shawl and afghan and memories.  I’m thinking about making coffee.  Outside the door the remnants of this year’s first snow storm trying desperately to not melt.  It’s a beautiful morning.  The wood smoke smell … Continue reading

Gallery

Gall Bladder all gone

So… Thursday I had gall bladder surgery and they fixed the hietal hernia while they were in poking around.  It will be 7 or 8 weeks between orencia infusions which means by the time I go back for it, I will … Continue reading

Gallery

Home again Home again Jiggidy Jig

This gallery contains 1 photos.

So… I made it home… all safe and sound…. and I started this post an entire WEEK ago… and I’m finally getting it finished now… and it is already November It was a LONG flight… I hate American Airlines commuter … Continue reading

Gallery

Airport Lounges

Okay… so… I know it’s been a quiet week or so.  But I’ve been in Brazil again for business and it’s really been a long trip.  Up early… Up late… busy stressed… It was a realy cool weekend in Ubatuba … Continue reading