5.31.2010

Week 12 Training

Happy Memorial Day everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful day and had the chance to thank a soldier for their service to our country today?  Me & GrandpaI was honored to give a great big hug to my Grandpa, a World War 2 vet and one of the greatest men I know.  He and I are going to buy stock in Band Aids because we use so many of them… he is always bumping into things and me… well I'm just trying to prevent those darn blisters! 

soaked This was an interesting training week that started out strong but had some challenges. Exhaustion was one of them, a pop-up thunderstorm was another!  Wednesday’s walk was pretty much a rain-out once that storm hit and we had to take shelter at a school to avoid the lightning… but not until we rainbowwere totally soaked!  We were only about halfway through our route when it hit and we ended up calling my dad to rescue us from the lacrosse fields concession stand because it wasn’t letting up and we were soaked and cranky from the water squishing in our shoes.  We did see a HUGE rainbow though and I thought the whole ordeal was pretty hilarious! 

So on to the good stuff…

Week 12 Training (scheduled/actual):
Mon: rest/7 miles
Tues: 3 miles/ 5 miles
Wed: 15 min cross train/ 2.5miles (before the storm)
Thurs: 5 miles/ none
Fri: 30 min cross train/ none
Sat: 10 miles/ 10 miles 
Sun: 6 miles/ none
Total: 24 miles/ 24.5 miles – let’s just call it 24 miles because we ran about a half mile on the rainy day!

Overall, not too bad!  I need to focus on getting in the miles AND doing more cross training this upcoming week.  Its looking to be a bit of a challenge because they are predicting a lot of rain ~ I may have to do some inside walking this week! Week 11 is only 20 miles so I should be good to go!

5.30.2010

101 Things You Should Know (69-75)

My Feet 3 Day 200875.  Under NO circumstances should you use duct tape to  cover blisters, wrap feet or legs to prevent swelling… you can rip your skin off when trying to remove the tape.  Use athletic tape instead!

74.  Stashing away an extra snack or two from the day might be just what the doctor ordered at 9pm when no more food is being served.

73.  STOP the pedicures now! You need the calluses you will develop during training to protect you from blisters!

72.  "I am convinced that only the most amazing people sign up to participate in the 3-Day. Ordinary people don't commit themselves to walking 60 miles, or raising thousands of dollars, or giving so much of themselves forsquirt one great cause... extraordinary people do." -3day coach

71.  Do not pop your blisters! If it is too large, have the Medical Crew cleanse and drain it – they have the tools to prevent infection.

70.  Bring sunglasses, and a rain poncho and a winter hat!

69.  Remember to stretch 5 minutes for every 60 minutes of walking.3day08 037

5.27.2010

Keep Calm. Carry On.

keepcalmI recently heard this slogan at a leadership conference and it couldn’t be more perfect for my life at the moment. 

Its actually a slogan that was printed on propaganda posters by the British in 1939 just as World War 2 was starting.  While the slogan wasn’t widely distributed at the time because it was supposed to be a last resort if the Nazis had taken over Britain, the slogan was leaked and is popular as ever today. (like my history lesson?  thank you wikipedia!) 

I think I might just use this as my personal mantra for a while…

5.26.2010

Take the Good with the Bad…

left parotid

I had my appointment this morning to discuss the results of my recent CT scan.  If you are just joining the party, the CT was done to figure out why the heck my parotid glands swell up cutting off the salivary flow to my mouth as pictured <====here.  No that’s not something stuffed in my cheek that’s how much my face blew up this past Sunday.  It hurts. A lot. And it hurts worse as you eat because your salivary gland tries to work but nothing comes out so it just fills it up and sits there. Notice my facial expression?  Yeah I'm not too happy!

Anywho, back to the point of this post.  The report said that there was no evidence of a thyroid gland indicative of prior thyroidectomy (excellent news since i’ve had 2 surgeries to remove that puppy), no abnormal looking lymph nodes (excellent news to any cancer survivor), no mass, cyst or abscess found in the salivary glands (more good news, no more surgery needed)… the scan was grossly within normal limits as the docs like to say.

Sounds like wonderful, fantastical news right?

Well if you have been following along the past week or so, you know that the differential diagnosis if nothing anatomically wrong showed up is Sjogren’s Syndrome an autoimmune disease somewhat similar to Lupus or MS.  Well nothing was anatomically wrong so now I get to see a new doctor who will run new tests to figure out if I truly do have it. More waiting… fantastic.

So I guess I will take the good with the bad even though its a halfhearted victory cheer.  It is definitely a relief to hear there is no evidence of cancer spreading in my neck.  It is just difficult to think about taking on this possible new diagnosis. 

For now, I'm reading up on symptoms, tests, treatments and trying to be patient as I become a patient yet again.

5.24.2010

Week 13 Training

I was a big slacker this last week on the training front. You probably read my confession but here are the down and dirty details of just how much of a slacker I have been!

Week 13 Training (scheduled/actual):
Mon: none/6 miles
Tues: 3 miles/none (ct appt)
Wed: 15 min crosstrain/none (girls night out)
Thurs: 5 miles/none (team mtg)
Fri: 30 min crosstrain/ none (just lazy!)
Sat: 8 miles/ none (Shop for the Cure)
Sun: 6 miles/ none - UGH
Total: 22 miles/ 6 miles… only 16 miles off the mark. 

Planning on making up for it this week so stay tuned!

5.23.2010

101 Things You Should Know (76-82)

82.  Carrying Kleenex or toilet paper is necessary because you won’t have time to drip-dry and a port-a-potty without TP never has a line!

81.  Remember this is your family for the weekend - So be kind!

80.  Buying the towel service for on-event is like getting the spa treatment. You should acquire this by any means necessary.

79.  Body Glide is a wonderful invention.pat's_0005

78.  Talk to people you don’t know and listen to the stories you'll hear.

77.  If you feel a hot spot while walking – stop immediately and inspect your feet for possible blisters.

76.  Remember that at the walk you should let your hair down a bit! You’ve worked hard to get to that point and deserve to really enjoy the days!

5.22.2010

The Wait

Its the weekend so I'm obviously not going to get the results of my CT scan until at least Monday but there have been moments today I've picked up my phone to call the doctor’s office anyway. 

The swelling and pain started again today so whatever is going on isn’t going away quickly… its been nearly a month of dealing with this.  The only warning i had with this episode was mild aches last night while eating my pizza. (chicken-bacon-artichoke-garlic-spinach deliciousness for those who want to know)  Today the pain/pressure that comes with the swelling was apparent the moment I woke up but faded as the day wore on.  I didn’t eat until after noon and after the ibuprofen took effect.

Ah well… it was a good day anyway.  I went to Shop for the Cure, a fundraiser for the Coconutter Strutters and won 2 bottles of wine and a foldable Komen tote – SCORE!  Cracking open a bottle and winding down the night… tomorrow is an all day cleaning fest!

5.21.2010

Confession

This week has been a really crazy… I say that a lot don’t I? Hmmm maybe I'm the one who is crazy?  Now that’s a thought to ponder for sure but I will leave the soul searching for another day.  Today I have something to confess.

I have been really slacking on my training this week.

There, I said it.  I’m being a bad example of a team captain and I feel really bad about that, I do… but everyone deserves a little break sometimes, right? 

On the bright side, the Pink PediCures have raised over $10,000 so far!  We hit that huge milestone earlier this week and we all couldn’t be more excited!  Online check-in started this week and a few of us have already completed our check-in process!  The 3-Day is coming up SO fast but we will be ready… even if the team captain slacks off on her training in week 13…

On a personal health note… still no CT results and I didn’t get a chance to bug my ENT today for them.  I’m feeling ok, just ridiculously tired and I think my thyroid meds may need another adjustment.  I’m seeing my Endo in 3 weeks for my 6mo follow-up and my Surgeon next week for my 6mo follow-up.  Yup, loving the waiting rooms right now!  good thing I just got a new (bigger) purse so I can shove a book or board game in there to keep me busy!

5.19.2010

Dear Gilbert,

When I arrived home, immediately I knew something was amiss because a) I left that door wide open and b) I put shoes in front of all doors so they stay open. Gilbert I know you are a curious thing and think its SO FUN to slam the doors at all hours of the day and night but I really do put the shoes there for a reason. 

As you have done a time or two before, you had closed the door and locked yourself in my bedroom.  Poor Chloe was stuck on the outside with the food and the litter box but no comfy bed to sleep in.  You on the other hand had the comfy bed but no food and sadly, no litter box.  Oh yes you had left me a little present!

Stop looking at me like that while I grumble and moan while cleaning up.  And don’t even think that rubbing against my leg is a good idea at the moment.  I need a moment to process your shenanigans.

But you are still so darn cute… dangit!

Love,
Mom

5.18.2010

The Wait is On

Oh yes it is once again time to wait patiently… I am so very not good at this! 

CT scan is complete (btw does anyone know why contrast dye makes you feel like you wet yourself? A seriously odd-freak-me-out sensation I'm telling ya!)  Now we wait…

If they find something on the CT [read: radiation damage to the ducts, tumors, stones] we have one path and if they find nothing on the CT [read: possible Sjogren’s] we have another. My gut and my super-House MD-like self diagnosing skills are leaning toward RAI damage.  Only time [and a radiologists reading] will tell!

5.17.2010

Rage Against the Machine

In this case the “machine” I'm talking about is my own body and I definitely need to rage a little!  I don’t know what else you can feel when you go to your doctor and he says “I usually see this in 80+yr olds!” or “You are telling me odd stories here…” Seriously?  I love my doctors, I really do.  Well… maybe not my Nuc med doc because he made me super sick but it was all in the name of killing cancer so I guess I will at least like the guy.

Anyway, I've been detailing my newest issues which I've been convinced are due to my radiation.  Today I went to the Otolaryngologist or ENT doctor to find out what he had to say regarding the whole dry mouth/parotid swelling issue.  He orders me a CT scan and says, “I’m just the anatomy guy.  If we don’t find something anatomically wrong on the scan you will be seeing a rheumatologist.”

‘Scuse me, back up please, what?!

From what I know, rheumatologist treat arthritis and lupus patients.  According to Wikipedia the all-knowing, rheumatologists deal mainly with diseases of the joints, soft tissues, and connective tissues.  Ok so my picture pretty much fits, so why the heck is he thinking a rheumatologist?!  In 2 words: Sjogren’s Syndrome.

Sjogren’s syndrome has the hallmark symptoms of dry mouth and dry eyes but is a systemic disease in which your white blood cells attack your moisture producing glands.  According to the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation, “Sj√∂gren’s may also cause dysfunction of other organs such as the kidneys, gastrointestinal system, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and the central nervous system. Patients may also experience extreme fatigue and joint pain and have a higher risk of developing lymphoma.” Some other symptoms are:

  • Dry Eyes
  • Dry Mouth
  • Dry lips
  • Change in taste or smell
  • Joint pain
  • Dry Nose & recurrent sinusitis
  • Fatigue
  • Concentration/memory loss (brain fog)
  • Dry Skin & Raynaud’s Phenomenon
  • Upset stomach & other gastric problems
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Difficulty swallowing & GERD
  • Recurrent lung infections
  • Arthritis, muscle pain
  • Liver problems

Soooo I have all the ones above that are italicized.  Most of them I have attributed to my thyroid issues and/or treatment. Since there is no definitive test for this, we have to wait out the results of my CT and decide on an action plan from there.  If there isn’t anything anatomically wrong, I expect many more blood tests as well as many more doctor visits.

Updates sure to come… CT scan is tomorrow afternoon!

Week 14 Training

Without further ado…

Week 14 Training (scheduled/actual):
Mon: Rest/6.7 miles
Tues: 3 miles/none (order bridesmaid dress)
Wed: 15 min crosstrain/ 6.2 miles
Thurs: 5 miles/none (garage sale set up!)
Fri: 30 min crosstrain/ ?? garage sale & Relay for Life
Sat: 7 miles/10 miles & garage sale
Sun: 6 miles/ none – crashed!"
Total: 21 miles/ 22.9 miles

While this past week was crazy busy, I got my miles in but really lacked in the cross training department. Week 13 is another busy one with our team meeting and dinner with the girls taking up 2 of my nights.  We will see how I do!

5.16.2010

101 Things You Should Know (83-89)

89.  Bring your team spirit in your own way! Some people have team socks or hats or shirts.  Find something fun to keep your team together!

3day08 050 88.  You are most beautiful when you are at the 3 day with no make up, no hair styling products, no real bathroom... just the natural glow of a job well done!

87.  You will not use your razor so forget about packing one.

86.  Buying shoes one half size to one size bigger is a good idea. Your feet will swell from working so hard and you will have thicker socks to protect them – it isn’t because you have big feet!

3day08 01085.  Don't be messy! If you have trash put it in a trash can.

84.  Stay Positive! No whining either, whining causes blisters!

83.  Moleskin, second skin and/or bandages are an essential part of any blister aid kit.

5.15.2010

Whirlwind Week

This week I..

  • put over 600 miles on my car
  • cleaned out my spare room to find treasures for the garage sale, believe me this was a huge feat
  • Set up the garage sale and then manned it for 2 days
  • walked in the Relay For Life as a survivor
  • walked 23 training miles so far… still have tomorrow
  • broke my smartphone, hopefully only temporarily (ps this means i have no texting ability right now as my touch screen is not working)
  • raised $765 for the 3 Day for the Cure
  • donated hundreds of dollars worth of garage sale items to an MS Walk fundraiser for next weekend
  • burned my hair part really good
  • burned my nose so i can look like rudolph
  • met my newest cousin Arizona Elizabeth
  • uhmm… oh yeah worked about 45 hrs this week
  • completely exhausted myself… meaning I need to get off the computer and go to bed even though its only 8pm

I still have tomorrow and I plan on at least doing to the laundry, changing the cat litter, celebrating my mom’s birthday, cleaning the house, walking 3 miles, uploading some pictures, and maybe writing a blog? 

All in all, an amazing whirlwind of a week!

5.10.2010

Week 15 Training

This week was interesting with the crazy radiation side effects, crazy weather, and crazy new job responsibilities… BUT… I still managed to do most of my training!  Pretty proud of myself this week!

Week 15 Training (scheduled/actual):
Mon: Rest/Rest – still got this one down
Tues: 3miles/5miles
Wed: 15mins cross-train/Run 1.2miles (15mins with/warm-up/cool down)
Thurs: 5miles/5miles
Fri: 30mins cross-train/none
Sat: 6miles/none (breakfast out during the snow/sleet/rain sounded like a more solid idea)
Sun: 5miles/11 miles (had to make up for Sat!)
Total: 19 miles/21miles

I ended the week 2 miles up from the suggested training program! Yay!

Week 14 starts tomorrow and I already know things will be crazy.  They have rain predicted for Tuesday/Thursday, my aunt has surgery to remove tumors in her breast Tuesday, we have our garage sale fundraiser Friday/Saturday, I’m walking the survivor’s lap and attending the survivor’s dinner at Relay for Life Friday, I'm joining a 10mile official training walk after the Super Clinic at New Balance Saturday, and we are celebrating my mom’s birthday Sunday!  I do have Friday off to run the garage sale but in all that madness I'm still working my full-time job managing 3 hospitals!  This week promises to absolutely fly by!

And there are people out there who wonder why I say I don’t have time to date…

5.09.2010

101 Things You Should Know (90-96)

96.  You should be training in the same gear you wear on the walk – including any fanny/backpack.

3day08 00795. Gallon sized zip-lock baggies are essential for your packing needs, consider picking some up now!

94.  Nothing can prepare you better for the walk than walking itself!

93.  Big and small we love ‘em all!

92.  Experiment with travel sized toiletries to make sure they don’t give you a rash or make you feel icky.

91.  Sunscreen is a must! Make sure yours can hold up after walking for a few hours.

90.  Cheer for other people at the walk.

Happy Mother’s Day!

To all the moms out there.. I hope you have a wonderful, fabulous, glorious day!  To my mom… you are absolutely irreplaceable!  Everything I expressed in this post is still completely true today.  I love you!Mom & I Nov 2008 Mom & I April 2010

5.08.2010

The “No Side Effects” Side Effects

radioactive womanI called my PCP because the swelling and pain hasn’t gone away after finishing the antibiotics [read: not an infection] and its on the right side now….  I am now scheduled to see an ENT specialist – hopefully they have expertise in people who have thyroid cancer and have had relatively high doses of Radioactive Iodine (aka RAI). 

Since the swelling first started, I have been researching causes and specifically have found information on salivary gland problems after RAI. First I found THIS on www.thyca.org the Thyroid Cancer Survivor’s Association site.  It describes pretty much exactly what happens to me.  I also found an article from the Journal of the American Dental Association that discusses the damage done by RAI:

Reports indicate that 69 percent of patients who receive 100 to 200 millicuries of 131I will develop salivary gland dysfunction within three months as evidenced by scintigraphy…

In the months after 131I treatment, many patients complain of obstructive parotitis that may be unilateral or bilateral. The obstructive symptoms—swelling and pain—develop owing to salivary retention. Inflammation of the ductal wall and shedding of inflammatory debris into the ductal lumen combine to narrow the lumen, obstruct salivary flow and cause swelling. When patients eat, the symptoms are accentuated, particularly in the parotid glands, in which the secretions increase and are retained. Continued exacerbations can cause further damage to the gland.

Last time I checked, 69% is more than half of the patients out there who get RAI [btw I had 200mCi’s as my treatment dose]… I’m 6-7mos out from my treatment and am just starting to deal with this.  I was just feeling like I could breathe again and put it all behind me… Today it hurt to even brush my teeth. 

At this point I don’t think any doctor knows what they are talking about because after all the side effects I had after my treatment dose and the slight side effects after my scan dose and now this craziness… Their description of “no side effects” is total crap.

5.06.2010

Socks!!

I was browsing around the web yesterday and decided to search for training socks.  It has become clear that only one of the three kinds I am currently training in do not give me blisters.  Of course these are the ones that are super hi-tech and require the shelling out of $12 per pair – ouch!  So as I'm searching I'm seeing things like only $36 for 3 pairs or 6 pairs for just $71 – ok I don’t even pay that much for a pair of jeans people – when I come across a lovely, wonderful socks!site that advertized these socks for the completely amazing amount of $5.93/pair!  Love!  As quickly as I could type I placed my order for 6 pairs of WrightSock CoolMesh II Double-Layer Lightweight Ankle Socks!  I’m hoping they fit and don't even care that the color isn’t the pink/white variety because they were a steal!  Can’t wait for them to arrive so I can try them out!

5.05.2010

101 Things You Should Know About the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure

Today is 101 days from the Michigan 2010 3 Day!  I will be posting portions of this list every Sunday as we get closer to the walk until you know all 101 things that you should!  Many people & resources contributed to the making of this list and it has very valuable advice for walkers and spectators.  Sooo without further ado…

101 Things YOU Should Know About The 3 Day for the Cure:
101. As I start our countdown, take a moment to watch this video from Opening Ceremonies (turn speakers on & grab some Kleenex!)
100.  You have no idea what you have gotten yourself into! In a good way of course!
99. The http://www.the3day.org/ website should be your best friend and has the answers to nearly every question you have.
98.  Finding the right shoe and sock combo is THE most important thing you can do!
97.  We walk because boobs are just a terrible thing to waste.

5.03.2010

Welcome to Training!

Last week was the first official week of training (for me) for the 3 Day!  After starting out completely confused - apparently the 3 Day has updated their 16 week training schedule and I didn't - I refigured some things and set off on my first miles of the next 430 planned training miles & 60 actual 3 day miles!  I plan on posting my scheduled vs. actual mileage weekly sooo here is Week 16...

Week 16 Training (scheduled/actual):
Mon: Rest/Rest - i'm so good at this day!
Tues: 3 miles/none
Wed: nothing/ 5 miles (actually its 4.8 as measured by gmap but...)
Thurs: 4 miles/ 5 miles
Fri: 30 mins cross-training/ 5 miles
Sat: 5 miles/ none
Sun: 3 miles/ none
Total: 15 miles/15 miles

Its been an odd first week of training, starting off with the parotid gland issue (which is ongoing and is warranting another call to the PCP) and ending with mom moving in while dad is on a mission trip... all in all I got my miles in (almost) but going forward this is the main focus... on to week 15! Oh and all you 3 Day walkers/crew/fans stay tuned for a new series starting this Wed!