Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Checker Mate

Danny and I had another appointment in Seattle today, for speech therapy at the UW. Each time (once a week) we wake up at the crack of dawn, drive over, attend the therapy, and then head back home. It's about 3 hours (on average) each direction.

It's worth it though. Rehab therapy at the UW is third in the nation, and for many reasons, I know that the bills are worth it. I'm learning all kinds of tricks. They know how to challenge me. In fact, the other day, Danny and I were playing Dominoes at home, a ritual that we used to enjoy and finally, I won for the first time since the surgeries. We've been playing at least once a week, and since the brain trauma, I could never calculate the math. After discussing it with the therapist, she mentioned writing the math down. It completely cut my half of the game, which was probably 90% of the duration of the game. I know it sounds like a simple change, but it's nice to know that it's ok to count on my fingers; that it's acceptable to write down my thoughts, and calculations. My short term memory is pretty disgusting, but with little tricks, I'm making things work. In fact, with simple changes they're making my life much more successful. Little things make my life easier, and I don't think that there's a price on that (actually, there IS a price on that, but let's not go there). I can't seem to solve my own problems, but I'm learning how to manage them. It makes all the difference.

After the therapy, Danny and I went for a walk along Lake Washington and ran into a checker board. It was too rainy (note my rain boots in the photo) for a game, but I love the idea!

I'm loving my therapy, and I'm excited for my psych test in the neuro dept. It's going to be continued over three days, Monday the 11th, the 12th, and the 13th of October. It surrounds by my MRI. Lots of doctor's appointments that week. It's big time.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Moving Mountains

This weekend, friends of ours got married. The bride is a true inspiration.

During a 20 week program, she lost 70 lbs. Amazing.

That's what a determined woman can do. Move mountains.

Encouraged by her dedication, Danny and I went to the gym just minutes after we got home from the trip. For the first time in years I reacquainted myself with lunges and squats. Instead of just running, I'm doing all kinds of strength training. I'm determined to transform my body as much as possible before October 12th, my next MRI. My goal is to cherish my body, and turn it into a well oiled tumor fighting machine. The stronger my body becomes, the better. I'm going to fight this disease from all angles, with my body, my mind, and my spirit. I'm going to move mountains.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My First Juice

The other day, my parents went to Costco and surprised me with a juicer. I've been eating vegetables for breakfast, lunch and for dinner, and now I have the ability to make juice!

In true Jessica form, I snagged a little bit of everything for my first attempt at fresh juice. In odd quantities I included the following:


I was excited because I didn't have to peel anything (just make sure they've been washed - and when applicable, pit). You can even use a whole kiwi, skin and all!

Anyway, when I was finished juicing I poured a cup and sniffed the glass. Instantly, I recoiled severely, and started dry heaving. It smelt like baby poop. You know the kind when babies are starting to eat solids, and meats? Absolutely horrendous! I walked a glass over to Danny and told him not to smell it, but to chug as much as possible as quickly as possible. I tried to convince Danny (and myself) that in the cheese world the stinkier the cheese, the better the taste, but within the first sip it was obvious that the same can not be said about juice.

Laughing hysterically, and sick to our stomachs, we each almost finished a glass, and I vowed to never make another concoction like that again.

I think, for now, I'm going to start with the basics; carrots, apples, oranges, etc, but NOT in the same mixture. No more mixing until I've earned it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

River Run Wenatchee

Ok! I did it! I just signed up for my first official race since my brain surgeries.

My parents are going to walk the 5k and Danny, my friend Annie, and I are going to run the 10k. I would absolutely love it if more people can join - so this is a call out to friends! I know people are busy, and the race is in only three weeks, but this is going to be so liberating for me, and as I always say, "The more the merrier!"

Danny and I are creating shirts for the run. I'm not sure how much they're going to cost, but I can't imagine it will be that expensive. Maybe I should start looking into it. 

Regarding the shirts, we've come up with several ideas, with the funniest concept below:

"And I just thought it was air..."
(using my brain scan - with the tumor - as the main image)

To be honest, at first I didn't really get the concept, but when I admitted that, both Danny and my mom laughed hysterically (and explained the joke). Danny's genius humor strikes again. 

It's a work in progress, so if anyone else has another idea for the t-shirts just let me know!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Giving It Purpose

The other day, I was having a conversation with someone about my tumor and recovery. She asked how I was doing, and I came up with a pretty good analogy (not to toot my own horn or anything).

It's like when you're sick. You can't get out of bed, and your throat hurts so badly that you can't swallow. The pain in your body is unbelievable. Then, one morning, you feel less badly, and then, after another nap things start looking bright. All of a sudden, you're so excited to get out of bed and start moving that you don't even notice that your throat still hurts and you still have a low grade temperature. You're just so grateful to be out and about, able to do the things that you love to do.

The memory of everything (the surgery & recovery) is finally taking on a different roll in my life. I'm transitioning away from fear and working toward acceptance. I think that everything has happened so quickly, and it feels like emotions have come in stages, just like my physical recovery. Now, I'm moving forward, and working toward eliminating (as much as possible) my fears. I've had a few step backs, where I've come into new information about the tumor and it has petrified me, but I like the fact that I've been able to bounce back.

My life is completely different than I would ever have expected, and yet, I still wouldn't change a thing (other than the pain this has caused Danny, family, and friends). It goes back to the statistics, people are going to get brain tumors, and I'd rather it be me than anyone I know. I realize it sounds crazy, but I have the perfect support group, and I'm aware that not everyone has such a wonderful safety net. Knowing that, I have to figure out a way to turn this tumor into a gift, giving it purpose. I'm incredibly grateful that I'm able to share this experience "out loud" in this blog. With that, I refuse to let this blog be my only contribution to the tumor world. I also refuse to live in fear (even though I might still get fearful at times). Now it's time to buck it up and start brainstorming!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Munchie Mix

Even though I haven't been posting my daily photos, I'm still taking them. Here is what I found today...

This morning, Danny and I walked over to the farmer's market after the gym. We were enjoying all the different fruits & vegetables, when I came across this little guy. With a cute little sprout face like that, how could I resist! I almost felt bad when I opened the bag and started eating his little buddies.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Speech Therapy

The speech therapist appointment went great. As always, the drive was a joy (road trip!) and it's fun to watch the changes between eastern Washington and the coast (often the difference between rain and sun, or green and brown).

I love being at the UW. In fact, I love being around the entire u district. I feel so safe, and protected.

At the appointment, I learned a lot about my cognitive deficits (and we tracked my insane growth...yay!!). It's still hard to reconcile the fact that speech therapy isn't about speaking, it's more like a cake that has speech as the icing and cognitive abilities as the layers.

I love it that I have an advocate that's trained and can help challenge me. I told my parents the other day that I feel like I'm back to 80%. I feel great about my growth and my abilities, but it was nice to have Julie open my eyes and challenge me, and show me how to recognize how I can improve. 

I know that I can function without therapy, but it's similar to the difference between losing weight by doing cardio or doing cardio and adding weights. I feel like my therapy is optional, but it helps me be the best "me" that I can. I'm not going to give up on my option to nurture my mind. Julie helps me figure out how my problem solving skills can be fine tuned, and how I can be more successful in the future.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Defusing The Situation With Laughter

Danny and I are heading over the mountains tomorrow morning for another speech therapist appointment. I already feel like I'm at 98% so it'll be interesting to hear what she says.

Sometimes, if didn't have such a short haircut I would almost think I've imagined this whole tumor episode. Well, that, and I have a different perspective on life which carries with me every day.

I just got off the phone with my brother, and we were discussing how amazing my recovery has been. There were times when I didn't think I would ever get back to my pre-surgery state, but I feel wonderful. The only changes that I can notice are the fact that I can barely retain information when reading, and I'm horrible at arguing.

When it comes to reading, I have to re-read each sentence, at minimum twice, probably on average four times. Secondly, I used to be able to debate, and argue things, but these days I'm not able to remember what we're debating or arguing (for the record, I'm not going to lie, I still give it a good effort). The good thing is that it works wonders for my relationship. So I guess maybe here's a shout out to the tumor. Maybe it's a Jess upgrade? Truly, Danny and I had an argument the other day and quickly, within my first words, I started arguing a completely unrelated point that made absolutely no sense. Which, in turn, made Danny erupt into laughter, and instantly defused the entire situation. Who can argue with a person that's laughing at their own inability to make sense. It takes the seriousness right out of it!

No Editing On My Account

I've got something on my mind, it's been bothering me all week, specifically since last Thursday's post. It stems from when I had the girls over for art night.

During the conversation that night, we discussed the passing of one of their colleagues. Later, after the girls left, Danny and I had a long conversation about death. What I didn't know at the time of the conversation with Danny, was that he was already upset when he came home, which spurred a lot of questions regarding mortality. I then shared with him the sad story I had heard from Art Night, and things got pretty deep from there.

He had been watching the movie, Rocky (the newest Rocky - he just mentioned over my shoulder), and he started thinking about our situation. The main character's wife had passed away and he was trying to go on with his life without her. The fact that Rocky's wife was dead, in the movie, wasn't a major part in the storyline, but it hit Danny incredibly hard on a personal note. During the movie Rocky visited his wife's grave, and that image hit Dan deeply.

Danny recently explained why he was so upset (the movie), and that's why he was already in a morbid mood. Then, once we got to talking that night we were emotional together. I was emotionally raw for my grieving friends, and unable to shake the fact that the gentleman passed away so quickly. My heart genuinely hurt for his family, and his children, even though I'd never met them. I wish I could say that I can compartmentalize, and put things away mentally, but I can't. I couldn't help but think about my own mortality, and that's how I got to writing that post.

Since that post, the girls have apologized for mentioning the passing of the gentleman, and I feel absolutely horrible. I told them that I want people to be able to talk to me about everything in their own lives. I want my friends to feel comfortable talking to me, or in front of me, with their own stories. I want to be a sounding board, or a shoulder to lean on. I would be crushed if my friends felt like they had to edit their lives on my account.

I have the most wonderful friends, and I care so deeply for them. In fact, I can't even imagine getting through this without them by my side. I don't want them to feel responsible for any sadness, because that couldn't be further from the truth. 

Sometimes a sad story, a movie, or even a song can conjure up some serious emotions, but that doesn't mean that we don't want to feel them. That conversation with Danny was incredibly eye opening. We hadn't yet talked directly about my mortality, and he had never shared his fears. He's an incredibly deep, thoughtful man, and never wants me to worry. The fact that he let down his guard, and opened up to me was humbling. It pained me to think about how hard this is for him, and at the same time I was so honored that he loves me so much.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Marsala Tandoori Naan

I've been running (or "slogging" if you will) lately, and I've lost a lot of my stamina. I'm not sure what's going on. I've started limiting my coffee to one cup every few days, and I've removed most processed foods (other than some canned goods, and select breads).

I'm living off of vegetables, marsala tandoori naan (you do NOT want to run next to me on the treadmill...it doesn't take much, but it's coming out of my pores) and quinoa. This week Danny and I are starting to cook whole beans. I don't have a pressure cooker, and it's going to delay the cooking process, but maybe I'll find one at a garage sale or something.

Although I feel clean, healthy, and refreshed, I am also incredibly hungry. Maybe it's because I want to eat what everyone else is eating. That maybe in my mind I feel hungry.

Danny and I went to dinner at Jenny and Bryan's house tonight. We brought pizza - the meal of champions - because they're always cooking dinner for us. Not exactly the healthiest choice, but it sounded delicious at the time. Of course, I can't eat pizza since I'm lactose intolerant, and regardless, I'm still panicked that my food is trying to kill me. So I rudely brought a cabbage salad, quinoa and a jalapeno humus. I knew that in the eight years of friendship, Jenny would care less if I brought my own food - but why didn't I just cook them the same thing that I had in the fridge? Why am I afraid to serve my food? I guess I feel like I'm shoving it down my friend's throats. At one point Jenny said, "That doesn't look half bad." And then I felt like a complete jerk. That maybe they wanted a healthy meal too. Sometimes I think I'm doing something nice when in reality I'm over thinking things.

My mom used to always tell me that you should always invite people even if you think they're going to say, "No." At least they'll know that you wanted them to come.

Maybe it can also be said for quinoa.

An Extra Month

Last Thursday night, I panicked at the date, the 12th. I mistakenly thought that I only had one month before my MRI. For about an hour I thought things were moving too quickly, that I was losing time, and my freedom was coming to an end. The fear of impending radiation overwhelmed me.

I don't know how I figured out my error, but once I did, I let out a sigh of relief. The first thing I did, was go for a run. There's nothing more freeing than propelling yourself through nature. Your movement is on your terms.

Luckily, I now feel like I have an extra month! Funny how that works. The extra month was never taken away from me, only in my mind. What a powerful realization.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Art Night

Last night, I hosted a mini-art night. I'm trying to keep busy with things that I truly enjoy.

During art night, the girls were talking about a colleague who recently passed away. He had been battling cancer for a few years, and then recently got diagnosed with a second ailment. He passed shortly after the second diagnosis.

Later, after the girls had gone, Danny and I sat on the patio to visit. I told him that I feel weird, that somehow I'm caught between life and death. I know it's only been four months since I was diagnosed, so I'm trying to keep things in perspective, but I feel like I'm in limbo. I've heard a few people say things like, "Well, we're ALL going to die at some point," or "You could get hit by a bus tomorrow." I think those are pretty simplistic views, and probably from people that have never had to honestly face their own mortality.

I imagine, in time, I'll be able to put things in perspective but at this point I'm still pretty scared. The truth is that I'm closer to death than most people my age. I'm literally battling for my life, both physically and emotionally. Each day I feel the pain in my skull, the tenderness of my left temple, the tightness around my scar, and I remember my reality. I look at everything around me with skepticism, as if the products in my life are trying to kill me. I'm starting to analyze the labels of my foods, my beauty products, reading up on radiation, ph levels of water, basically anything I can get my hands on.

I just want to fight this. Hopefully, at my next MRI, the doctors will be blown away by my health and the lack of growth of my tumor. Of course, in my mind I have to be aware of the reality that no matter what I do, I might still be destined to live a much shorter life than I had hoped or even expected. I have to be able to accept that possibility. It's a fact of life, an incredibly disappointing one, that at some point we all leave this Earth.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Last week my mom found an article linking high fructose corn syrup with tumor cells. Apparently, unlike cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup causes tumor cells to proliferate. The study was done by UCLA, which specifically focused on pancreatic tumors, and pancreatic cancer, but the findings are still extremely influential to my health.

I'm doing everything I can to prolong my life, and conquer this diagnosis. After reading the findings in the UCLA study, Danny and I have completely changed our diet (as have my parents). We've removed all high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from our diet, which oddly is in a lot of foods - like bread, crackers, candy, soda, ketchup - most condiments, jams & jellies, juice, chocolate chips, tortillas, jeez - everything. Now, Danny and I are checking all of our labels.

I figure if I know that HFCS feeds tumor cells, and I don't remove it from my diet I'm basically committing suicide.

Who would have thought that my red licorice was killing me. Literally.

I should note that it is widely known (although apparently not previously known by me) that glucose like high fructose corn syrup feeds tumor cells. The difference between the sugars is that HFCS causes the tumor cells to multiply. The more I learn the more I realize I have a lot more research to do. In the meantime I'm limiting my sugar as a precaution. I guess it's time to schedule an appointment with a naturopath (good idea Melissa!!).

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thirty Candles

Sorry I've been unable for the past several days. Life has been overwhelmingly amazing. My thirtieth birthday has come and gone, and now I can finally say, "I'm thirty!" Here's a few photos of the highlights...

The night before my 30th birthday I was invited up to Jessaca's lake house for a girls night. When I walked up to the front door, I saw perfectly lined up running shoes. Such a cute welcome sign! 

In the morning, we woke up to yoga on the dock. The perfect way to start my 30th year. Fresh fruit, delicious muffins, beautiful view, and fantastic company.

For my birthday dinner, my parents, Danny and I went to a local-ish winery over in Quincy. It was absolutely gorgeous. You can't beat fresh, local ingredients. Non to mention the amazing cursive! What was four chocolate covered strawberries are now just the stems. I had each of us take a strawberry and we silently made a wish while we ate them.

The next morning, I got to see little Isla, my niece. I'm more excited than she is, but I'm ok with that. She's my little buddy. Just like her auntie Jessie, her favorite saying is, "More that!"

On Saturday, Danny, my brother and I drove over to Seattle. Since I was 25 and I saw the movie, The Wedding Date (with Deborah Messing), I've wanted to dress up in golf attire for my 30th birthday. But, ever since things have been so crazy with the surgery, I hadn't been wanting to do a big celebration. Danny (being the smart man that he is) got a party together and surprised me. He told me that there was another couple that was going to join us in golf outfits, and that was all he would tell me. I thought, maybe, we were going to hit up a driving range (I've never been to one, in fact, I've never even been to play golf), and then maybe do dinner. Boy was I wrong.

Danny searched high and low for the perfect cupcakes. I'm addicted to the television show Cupcake Wars. I love all the colors, and the different flavor combinations. Mini cakes are fantastic - you can take a bite and pass them to a friend - everyone gets to pick their favorite. They were the talk of the night, and for that matter, the next morning. 

Here's a group photo. Unfortunately, since some people were coming and going, and others were visiting, or dancing, we are definitely missing some of the golfers. I'm going to see if I can name everyone that should be in the photo but is missing...just like a little memory game....

Not shown: Jessaca, Amy, Caleb, Jessie, Jennifer, Trevor, Max, Hanibal, Rachel, Matt, Mark....I know I'm missing some, but it was pretty hectic.

The night was amazing, I had a blast. I can't believe that my brother, Courtney, and Libbey came all the way from Friday Harbor, and that so many people came all the way from Wenatchee, even from Poulsbo. I loved having my friends from all over in one location! What a man, that Danny would put such a thing together. I know several friends couldn't make it, since they live in other cities, and further still in other countries, but I know that all of my friends that couldn't be there were still there in spirit. I felt incredibly loved, and cherished.

Cheers to my 30th year. No matter what I face in the coming 12 months I know I have the love and support from more people than I'd ever even imagine. My safety net.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Stuffing My Fears

Last night, I was laying in bed, analyzing my eating habits. I think most people have their "skinny" jeans for when you're in better shape, and then there's the "fat" jeans for Thanksgiving. Newsflash: My "fat" jeans don't fit. That is a huge blow to my self esteem, and my reality. Even though life is going great, I feel healthy, I'm recovering quickly, and I have minimal discomfort, still, I think I'm emotionally eating.

I'm not trying to complain about feeling fat (which I do). I'm just trying to figure out why I'm eating more than I need to. It's a slippery slope when it comes to gaining weight, and if I don't nip it in the butt I'm just going to spiral down into a funk which will probably cause me to overeat, and then sink further.

I've gotten back into working out, and I've been increasingly active. I eat very healthy foods, but when it comes down to it I'm eating way more than I'm needing to. I wish I was the kind of woman that lost weight during a crisis, but that has never been my style.

I've been trying to be positive about my situation, and do the best I can in my daily life, but I think my unknown future is silently tearing me up inside. I can't plan beyond October 12th. I can't plan where I'll be for Thanksgiving because I don't know if I'll be receiving treatment. I can't plan for my future and my dreams with Danny. I don't know if I'll be able to have children because I don't know if I'll be healthy enough. Even if I do get a clean bill of health for a period of time, I know the tumor will come back, or possibly progress into cancer. How could I be so selfish to have children, or a family, never knowing if I'm going to be a burden, or possibly not even be around. My life is cut into three month segments, at minimum for two years, and after that I'll have four month segments for Lord only knows how long. I can only imagine that if Danny and I were ever to want children, we would never risk getting pregnant because my health is shaky and uncertain - which would be such a shame since a little Danny would be adorable! I don't know how to reconcile the concept of wanting to dream, and yet being afraid of being disappointed by my reality.

When I was in the ICU I shared the room with several different patients. There were only two to a room, and since I was in there for almost a week I had a revolving door. Lots of different situations, all incredibly sad. One of the patients was a woman who had just lost her baby. The sobbing of that woman was that of a wounded animal. It still haunts me. Another patient was going through cancer treatment, and had taken a turn for the worst. She had been diagnosed with cancer while pregnant and she decided to carry the baby to term, even though the doctors told her and her husband that she needed treatment immediately to survive. The woman chose to hold off on treatment, and kept the baby. She died a couple of weeks after the baby was born. Insanely sad stuff. Now, I know that I'm borrowing trouble (one of my dad's favorite sayings) but these fears are my reality.

I think I'm overeating because I'm suppressing my fears, or at least trying to suppress them. I keep trying to be positive, and healthy, but I think I'm acting out. I don't know how to truly get a grip on what's happening inside me. This is the most challenging time of my life, and I don't see things changing for a very long time. Maybe my life is just going to be exceedingly challenging. Maybe that's what I'm realizing. I guess I just need more tricks up my sleeve to combat this new reality. Stuffing my fears is just causing me to stuff my face.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Three Amigos

Toasting each other for our first Marathon. It's all fun and games at the beginning, little did we know that at the end of it we would be barely able to walk.

The sunrise came about two hours into the walk, which ironically was almost how long it took us to get our adrenaline back down to normal after our first wildlife encounter. We were walking along the trail at a pretty good clip, when we met up with a baby skunk. Not realizing what was before me, I extended my arms headed and toward it, excitedly saying, "Oooh....a baby kitten!!!" Quickly, Danny stopped Emma and me, by quietly telling me to ".......shuush....it's nooooot a kitten....get back....." The marathon almost ended just as we were getting started.

A man and his dog. Emma was a complete trooper. I forgot to account for all of the water/swimming breaks along the loop, but as the marathon continued, I realized that it wasn't about the time of the race, it was just finishing it.

I'm kicking myself for not getting a photo with Jess. She met up with us for a leg of the final loop. If she wouldn't have been able to meet up, there is no way that Danny and I could have finished. We were deliriously exhausted, and at our breaking points. The only thing that continuously came out of our mouths were, "....my feeeeet hurt....." Having Jess to distract us and visit was heaven sent.

Two miles after Jess headed back to her car, I hit a wall and had to lay down in the grass for 2 minutes. Danny kept telling me that it was only three-ish more miles. He put his hand on the small of my back and guided me toward the finish line. I honestly didn't think I was going to make it.  I truly almost started crying because my feet and legs hurt so badly.

With less than a mile to go I received a text message from Megan, confirming the location of the finish line. When we got to the top of the pedestrian bridge, with the final steps in view, we saw Michelle, Kristin, and Megan. Megan had calculated our journey, and they surprised us with cheers and hollers - just like a real race! They were holding an invisible banner for the winners to cross through. Although we weren't able to jog, but we did do a triumphant two-arms-up-power-fist-victory whoot!

The three amigos. Look at that tired dog, poor little Emma. She gets doggy treats for a week! Same with Danny, I bought him a juicy burger, and milkshake. What an amazing boyfriend to help me on that journey. I can't think of anyone else that would be as crazy, and as wonderful to help me reach my goal. What a team!!!

Unfortunately, Danny fared worse from the race. My feet, although swollen didn't do too badly. Dan's feet were bloody and had multiple blisters. I am the luckiest girl in the world to have a man that would literally pulverize his body to help me succeed. He never quits on me. He's always the first person to say, "Sure, why not!" I couldn't have done this marathon without him. In fact, I never would have even attempted it at this point in my life. He is amazing and I'm incredibly grateful.

All in all we walked the 26.2 miles in a total of 8 hours and 40 minutes. Not the world's fastest time for a marathon, but we did it together, and although painful it was still really fun! Wonderful memories.

Monday, August 2, 2010

My First Marathon. Sorta.

Last night, I came up with a genius idea (if I do say so myself)! I had been ruminating over the inability to reach my goal of finishing a marathon before my 30th (don't wait until the last minute, because you never know when you're going to have a brain tumor), and that's when it occurred to me that I don't have to run the race (even though I do love the t-shirts). All I need to do is complete an official marathon route!

So tomorrow morning, Danny and I are going to wake up at 3:30am, drink several cups of coffee and head downtown to start the course of the Wenatchee marathon. We figure it will take about six or seven hours to complete the entire route since we're walking, but it will be worth it! I'm packing a couple of PB&J sandwiches and thankfully Danny has a couple of CamelPaks so we won't die of thirst. Already, our friend Jessaca said she'd love to swing by with her little baby girl and meet up and join us for a leg of the walk. This is going to be fantastic!

I know that it's not exactly the goal that I initially set, which was finishing a marathon without walking, but sometimes life changes and you have to roll with the punches. I'm so excited that I found another way to satisfy my goal, this way I won't feel like a failure! In fact, I already feel empowered. Sometimes, when you bump into a wall you just have to find your way around it. It'll just take a lot longer, if you're walking.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My First Post-Surgery Race

The other day I went to my first book club. The group has already had a few meetings, but I was diagnosed just as they were getting started and I've been unable to attend. Luckily, my friend Jessaca was hosting this month which made me really comfortable, and since I had already read the book, Moloka'i it was a no-brainer to attend.

I'm glad I've seemingly gotten over being shy about my hair/speech, because life is a lot more fun when I just get out and enjoy myself. I met a bevy of girls, all active, clever and funny. One of the women is associated with the website runwenatchee.com, and she mentioned a new race, the first annual River Run. Instantly I knew I was fated to meet her, and hear about the run. There's several different running options and I'm going to do the 10k. To get started with my training, I printed up Hal Hilgdon's 10k intermediate training schedule. The race is on September 18, and anyone in the area that loves to run should join me. I'm thrilled! I had been wanting to do a race before my next MRI which is on October 12th. Now I can do the 10k in Wenatchee on September 18th and then the marathon relay in Leavenworth October 2nd. It's perfect timing, and they're both in my neighborhood. Genius!

I'm glad that I'll have some fun dates ahead, and a new training schedule. I always do better with a guideline. I've already been able to cross off a few days of running on my schedule and it feels really good to be able to monitor my growth. If I just take things day by day I won't feel so overwhelmed, it's just like training for this next run. Before I know it I'll have accomplished a lot more than I've realized.

I do have to say that the one goal that I wanted to accomplish was completing a marathon by the time that I turned 30. Unfortunately, it isn't going to happen since my 30th birthday is on Friday. I'm not going to lie, I'm disappointed in myself. You never know what's going to happen (like a brain tumor), so please set your goals and do your best to achieve them. Don't put them off. I promise you will regret it.
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