On Pulmonary Rehab, Ending Chemo and Radiation Treatments and Planning for Disney Half Marathon 2019

It has been quite a week.  Started off very… um… white and cold with just about a foot of snow in our yard from the latest storm.  We got ice first then snow so it was a miserable few days.

But all of that is passed and today it is bright and sunny and 45 degrees.  The birds and the squirrels are out in force and enjoying the warmer weather.

The weather cleared enough on Monday for Bear to get started on his Pulmonary Rehab.  He drives about 30 minutes each way twice a week to do his rehab.  He thinks it is kind of a joke but I’m not so sure.  It gets him out and about in this miserable cold weather and it keeps him moving.  He is learning to breathe in through his nose and out through his mouth.  His workouts are… five minutes warm up breathing, five minutes with weights, 15 minutes on the bike and 15 minutes on the treadmill with a two minute rest between each thing to check his blood pressure, check his pulse rate (which always seems to trend way too high) and his oxygen level.

He says he thinks it is a waste of money, but he says he will keep going because anything that can help him keep going is worth trying.

Yesterday we took down the Christmas tree.  It stayed up weeks longer this year than it ever had before. No one seemed to be really ready for it to be down this year.  I know Bear is worried that he will never decorate another Christmas tree, and there are times that I don’t want him to know how scared I am of the same thing.  While we were taking it down, he asked me if he happens to not be here next year if I will even bother to put up the tree.  I promised last year, when we still believed the nodule might be lung cancer that I would and I won’t go back on that promise.

He worked at taking down the tree the way we always took down the tree… Busting our butts to get it down and then down to the basement and away.  All of the trunks, all of the new plastic bins that hopefully will mean that the ornaments that I transferred there don’t get broken, and both halves of the tree.  None of that is light.  Bear lugged most of the trunks (Monkey Butt helped towards the end) up from the basement to load them up… then we sorted bulbs, got rid of boxes that no longer hand purposes, and put away the living room decorations.  Bagged up the tree (no easy feat in itself) and lugged everything BACK down to the basement with Monkey Butt’s help… then hunted for thirty minutes to figure out where Bear’s glasses ended up (yes, they were found) then moved all of the furniture, vacuumed and put everything back where it goes.

Peanut is thrilled the tree is down.  Herman kind of liked the empty tree bag but is really missing his warm, sparkly, out of the way hiding place.

The living room looks naked.

Bear, of course, over did it (duh) and was beating himself up because “he can’t do anything any more”… No… he can’t do EVERYTHING any more, but he’s stubborn and tries to.

Then we went to pick Squirrel up at work, at some yummy soup at Panera Bread, and went to the gym.  All of us… Bear got his picture taken as the guest on my pass and signed the waiver saying he wouldn’t hold them responsible if anything happened.

The gym wasn’t the best plan for yesterday afternoon.

Bear was exhausted from putting away the tree and he was beating himself up for not being able to do more at the gym.  He’s pretty sure that the Portable Concentrator, because it is pulse, isn’t the best for the gym and he might be right.  Now I have to get him to agree to take bottles to the gym to use just in the gym.  He’s kind of stubborn and probably won’t but I’m going to keep hounding him until he does.

He rode the bike for about 10 minutes, talked to the guy on the bike next to him, and did the treadmill for about 7 minutes until he dropped his pulseox, stopped walking to bend over and pick it up, and fell.  Thank heavens I was on the treadmill next to him and stopped his as quickly as I could.  Next time I’m going to make sure that he hooks the emergency stop cable to his shirt so if he falls the stupid thing stops automatically.

He coughed an awful lot last night… he way over did it yesterday even before the gym and I’m pretty sure that today will be a very much take it easy kind of day.  He always coughs a lot through the night after days when he pushes himself too hard.  I don’t tell him that I lay awake listening to him to make sure he is okay.  He doesn’t want his coughing to keep me awake and swears he will go sleep on the couch if he thinks that it is… but I have to make sure he is okay.

He swears he will keep going to the gym though.

This week also saw my step-dad’s end of cancer treatment.  Last week was his last chemo and Tuesday was his last radiation treatment.  I’m not sure what comes next but now he can settle into his new normal for a bit. His doctor says that the growth on his kidney doesn’t light up like cancer but I think they will probably biopsy it anyway to be sure.

Mom found out what is likely going on with her hip and lower back but I’m not sure what the next steps there are.

And as for me… I over did it with the tree too.  No doubt about it.  My back is muscle sore from the lifting.  But I’m so incredibly stoked, too.

Squirrel has been harping (yes, squirrel girl, you kind of have been) about running a Disney Half Marathon.  I know that next time Bear goes to Disney it will be in the dead of winter so it isn’t has horribly hot and humid there as it was in September so I (without expecting any kind of yes answer) asked if maybe we could go in January.  If we take two weeks we could go to not only the Half Marathon (Amandya and I both… We are both saving up for then entry fee) weekend but for the International Arts Festival next year as well.  She would really like to go to the Arts Festival and sit in on some of the demonstrations and work on her own art while she’s at it.

Bear didn’t say yes for certain (he will no longer say yes unequivocally to anything that requires future planning) but he did say that we should save money so we can more easily afford it and so we can buy our entry into the race.  I’m going to have to save every penny towards that between now and April 17th but I think I will be able to pay my way in and Squirrel (now that she has a solid goal that she can work towards) has already put away enough in a week to nearly cover her own entry fee and she is tucking away more and more money every day.  I’m really kind of proud of her for this. She’s finally learning to live within her means.


And so, we (Squirrel and I) are actively training for the half.  We will find a 10K to do in about August to get our qualifying time for coral placement.  She is determined to train for at least a 12 minute mile so she can stop and get pictures with Chip and Dale, Lilo and Stich and maybe Goofy and Mickey.

It’s been five years since my last Disney Half.  Hands down that was my proudest moment.  Then my goal was just to finish ahead of the balloon ladies and actually cross the finish line.  With RA, I figured that was my best hope.  And it probably still is the best I will manage.  But this time, I’m going to try to not only stay ahead of the balloon ladies (with at least one potty stop along the way)  but to get my PhotoPass picture in front of the castle and maybe, just maybe, get my picture with Mickey and Goofy and maybe even a princess.  I don’t think I can make a 12 minute mile, but with a 16 minute mile the cutoff, I think I can manage between a 13 and a 14 if I really work at it and this year I think I’m going to try following the Run-Walk-Run method.  Interval Training helped me in Round Rock to get off my butt and get going, I think I’m going to use that method for this.  I have enough time that I think I can do it.

And thinking I can, for me, is about half the battle.

Toy Story Land will be open by January… even though Star Wars Land won’t be.  I’m hoping that Bear and I can see it together and he will be able to watch me cross the finish line again.  Wish me luck…

Love and Light


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