September, 2010 browsing by month


The Finish Line and the Healthy Bone Marrow

Monday, September 13th, 2010

That sounds kind of like a children’s book or something, doesn’t it?  hahaha well, sort of. :)

Three hours, eight minutes, fifty seconds.  That was how long it took me to walk the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon!  If you’re a person of details and you’d like to know my pace for each mile, refer to my walkmeter report:…looks like mile number seven was the best one, huh?!  Right smack in the middle!  It was an absolutely beautiful day for a race.  I think Earl came just close enough to bring a cold front and stayed just far enough away to leave VA Beach out of harm’s way.  Two different bands were playing the Dixie Chicks “Earl” song when I went by…it seemed quite fitting!  If you haven’t heard that song, it’s a classic:!

As you’ll see from the many photos below, Katie and I are total champions.  :)  I already signed up for next year’s half, and I plan on using it as training for another full marathon.  I would like to make this a Labor Day tradition!  Anyone else want to join me?  It was so nice to have Katie there doing the race with me for Team in Training.  I was especially honored that she put my name on the back of her shirt.  Two years ago at this time, I was just arriving in Seattle and getting acquainted with the Hutch, impatiently awaiting my “gift of life”.  Now here I am, appreciating life for the gift that it is and logging mile after mile out on the trails.  Sure, I dreamed that I would feel this good one day, but I couldn’t physically imagine it at the time.

Which brings us to the second part of the title:  “the healthy bone marrow”.  Today, I had my 21st bone marrow aspirate at the hands of my favorite bone marrow aspirate/biopsy expert (Dr. Kales, of course!).  If you remember, I requested it (as I do with most of them).  I have had some occasional bone aches (mainly in my spine), headaches, a rapid pulse…I wasn’t too worried because I never feel out of breath when speed walking.  That was a major symptom each time I was diagnosed.  Still, I needed to be absolutely-positively-no doubt-in-my-mind sure.  Dr. Kales called tonight around dinnertime and said “your bone marrow looks great!!!!”  I can taste the incredible sweetness of relief (but maybe that’s because I downed a Dairy Queen Reese’s Pieces Blizzard for dessert).  I often take the time to thank my body for its strength, resilience and health (silently of course…otherwise, people might start to wonder. :) ), and tonight is one of those times.  “Thank you for giving me time”, I think.  “No matter how long it may be, I am so grateful.”  Not that I’m a pessimist and worried about dying young, but I certainly understand more than most my age that health is fragile and life is uncertain.  I will always worry about relapse, but I think it can be seen in a positive light to the extent that it engages me in the present.

Warning:  the following material may be disturbing to some people (e.g. Lori). :)  My mom and I were talking about the bone marrow tonight (she’s been there for all 21!), and she mentioned how it made her feel slightly sick.  I was shocked!  Apparently when they dig around in there with that big ol’ needle, it makes a crunching sound when they hit the bone.  Why have I never heard this?  I mean, I’ve never been sedated.  One would think I could hear my own bones crunch!  Good thing I can’t feel it!!  Can you imagine?  Crrrrruuuunch!!!  hahahaha OK, now for the really graphic part.  I found this video:…this guy’s such a wuss, all his deep breathing and what not!  :)  I just lie there …I almost feel like I could close my eyes and fall asleep.  Especially at the Hutch where they play classical music!  I’ll have to have my mom videotape it next time I request one.  I know you’re waiting with baited breath!  Except I’ll edit out my butt ’cause no one needs to see that!

In training news, I did fourteen miles this past Saturday (a break from the rest of the group…they were doing 18, but since I had done the Va Beach Half the week before, I only had to do 14!), the longest miles I’ve ever done!!!!  It was an absolutely gorgeous day out on the W&OD trail, a trail I usually do not like for its lack of shade.  The hours went by quickly, and before I knew it, I was back in the parking lot with the run and walk teams, scarfing down some donuts as a treat for doing so well…hmmm…do you think that kind of overrides the whole exercise thing?  Oh well.  C’est la vie.

I hope you enjoy the many photos below.  Thank you all for your support, both financial and emotional.  Now that I know I have a healthy bone marrow, I’ll kick it up a notch and get my butt ready for San Francisco!!!!!  It is NOT too late to donate by the way…several people have asked. If you’ve been thinking about it, but just waiting for the right time, that time is now.  :) All my funds are due October 1st…can you believe fall is here already?!!  Woohoo!!!

Lots of love,