August, 2010 browsing by month


Happy Almost Labor Day!!

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

The countdown begins!!!  The VA Beach Half Marathon is only four days away!  We had a short training this past Saturday (only four miles), and I was the first to finish…granted most other people were doing 10, 14 and 16 miles since the majority are doing full marathons, but that’s neither here nor there. :) I am nervous about the race, but I am looking forward to that feeling you get at the finish line when they place the medal around your neck.  It feels like yet another victory over leukemia.

I’ve been feeling really down because this weekend Pete told me he just wants to be friends.  I’m hurt, angry, and just very sad.  I find it strange that it’s more painful to hear that someone is no longer attracted to you than it is to hear “you have cancer” or “your leukemia is back”.  The only explanation I have is that when they told me I had leukemia, there was nothing I could do but accept the fact that I was sick.  I never once thought, “geez…what could I have done to get this leukemia?  Can I somehow alter my diagnosis so it’s not cancer?”.  I know, this analogy’s a bit of a stretch!  :)  Stay with me here, folks.  Basically what I’m saying is that I never blamed myself.  I reacted to external circumstances:  somehow I got cancer and they would give me medicine and I would either get better or I wouldn’t.  With Pete, I wonder “what did I do wrong?”, “could I have changed things?”, “am I not a datable person?”…hundreds of questions pop in and out of my mind and unfortunately there are no answers.

So that sucks.  BUT the marathons are giving me purpose and motivation, and I know finishing them will remind me of my strength.  I also have two pretty little glass stones they handed out at training this past weekend.  There were probably five different colors and our mission mentor, Cat, assigned a meaning to each color.  We were supposed to choose a color (or two), a reminder of why we walk the long miles.  I chose life and health.  I pretty much thought about myself all four miles.  :)  Of course I am doing this to help all patients, but I would be incapable of doing this if it weren’t for the fact that my own health was restored (thanks to Laura!).  I hope this health allows me a long life, and thus my choice of the second stone.

Health and life.  That’s what it boils down to.  No matter how sad I may feel right now, I still have the ability to step back and remember what is most important.  Remembering this will help me to cross the finish line with a smile.  Thank you for all your support and GO TEAM!!!!!!



PS I downloaded this cool app for my phone called “Walkmeter”, and it maps out my trainings.  I don’t know why, but comparing the two of these totally cracks me up.  Can you take a guess where we were training for the second map? (track)

Enjoy the photos!

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Have you missed me?  Well, I’ve been busy!!  I’m very proud to say that I’m up to 10 miles with Team in Training!!  I’m quite impressed with myself.  It’s funny how when I’m driving around town, 10 miles feels like quite a distance, but when I’m out there on the trails with everyone, those few hours go pretty quickly.

Thank you so much for your donations.  You’ve donated $1,890 so far!!  Only $60 more ’til I reach my minimum for the VA Beach Half Marathon!  Once I hit that mark, I’ll be in full fundraising mode until I raise $2,650 more for San Francisco.  Pass along my page ( to whomever you like, share it on Facebook, ask your company if they would consider doing a matching donation…any help is greatly appreciated!  I plan on organizing a local happy hour too so stay tuned for more details.  And speaking of fundraising, I came upon this article while looking through my google alerts for breast cancer at work:…perhaps I’ve been going about my fundraising the wrong way!  Anyone up for a nude coaster ride?! hahahahahaha

As you can see from the photos below, the past couple months have been full of activity…a friend’s wedding, a moonlight kayaking tour, the Gipsy Kings concert, a sunset ceremony at the DC Marine Corps barracks, a trip to Richmond for Katie’s TNT fundraiser, lots of fun dates with “Perfect Pete”.  :)  Two years ago at this time, I was preparing to head out to Seattle and I was dreading it.  Little did I know how much I would come to love the city!  Neither could I have imagined walking ten miles, exposing myself to the dirt and bugs in a kayak trip, sitting in a crowded room to celebrate a wedding, enjoying the Lawn at Wolf Trap, dating a wonderful guy.  I am not surprised I’m able to go out and do all these things now, but I am very grateful.  Thank you, Laura, for the gift of life!

And speaking of, Laura is going to give someone else the gift of life soon!  No, she’s certainly not sharing her marrow with anyone else–I stake claim to that–she is, however, going to have a baby!!!!!!!  That’s right, folks!  Come March, there will be a little Tiso running around!  Well, it probably won’t be running around in March…that would be weird.  It takes a while before they can walk, you know.  Nevertheless, there will be a baby and I will have my first niece/nephew!  Don’t laugh, but I googled “how to be a good aunt”, you know, just to see if anything came up that I might not think of.  It’s pretty self-explanatory though…spend time with them, that’s what builds the strongest bond and it is what they will remember the most.  Of course, I just had to look at my own aunts (and that of course includes you, Aunt Bitsy!!) to know the answer.

By the way, I think if the baby’s a girl, Julie would be a beautiful name, don’t you think?  I’m just saying.  Laura and Tiso, you will be wonderful parents and I can’t wait to meet the little guy/gal!  To read more about Tiso, check out his blog, which is now up and running:  He will be leaving for Iraq very soon (he’s been training up in Wisconsin), so please keep him (and Laura AND little baby Tiso) in your thoughts.

In health news, I’m heading in to see Dr. Kales next week for a bone marrow biopsy.  Yes, I requested it!  I’ve had some headaches, minor random bone pain and some cramping, and the only way I can achieve some peace of mind is to hear the words “Everything looks good”…not just in terms of blood counts, but deep down in my marrow.  I honestly don’t think that the leukemia is back, but of course I worry.  I’m encouraged by the fact that I do not get short of breath when I do my long miles with Team in Training on Saturdays.  When the leukemia came back, I remember feeling out of breath while just playing with the dogs in the front yard.

I discovered today though that I have shingles.  I know, gross.  It’s on the right side of my stomach, and I noticed it a little bit Saturday night, and it’s gotten progressively worse since then.  My mom told me not to post a picture of it online.  I was all ready to show you what it looked like–you know by now that I bare all (remember the shots of my bone marrow biopsy?)!  I saw my dermatologist today, and she is 99% sure that it is shingles.  I was worried about graft versus host disease (GVHD), and I insisted that she biopsy the area just to be sure.  We should get those results in 10 days or so.  In any case, she started me on Valtrex, so hopefully I can kick this and avoid the severe pain that so many people get with shingles.  Right now, it’s just incredibly itchy and slightly uncomfortable.  It’s right where one fat roll folds into another one when I’m sitting which does not feel good.

Anyhoo, I’m hoping upon hope that the shingles disappear and the doctors allow me to continue Team in Training.  I will keep you in the loop!  In the meantime, enjoy the photos below and have a wonderful rest of the summer!

Lots of love,