Oh So Close!

Seems to be the theme of the day – oh so close!

We are just 14 days away from the Michigan 3 Day [it is getting oh so close!] and today the Pink Pedicures broke $14,000 in donations!!  We are also only $95 away from our last walker hitting her minimum donation… oh so close!  We have a 15 mile training walk planned for tomorrow – our last long one before the event.  The training is oh so close to being done – YAY!  I think we are all just eager to get to the event and start our wonderful walking adventure! [by the way, today’s forecast predicts it will be in the low 80’s and not raining – PERFECT!]

Next week Friday, my friend LM is getting married [its getting oh so close!] and I'm taking the day off for something other than a doctor’s visit!  I’m soooo excited for LM & CC, to celebrate with them, to have the day off and not get poked by needles, and to have a mini girls weekend with my friend Slaglm as we stay over for the wedding and hit IKEA while we are nearby!

The last thing that is just oh so close is… I'm just 0.6lbs away from re-losing 20lbs!  2yrs ago [pre cancer] I lost about 35lbs in an effort to get healthy and feel better about myself...  then I was diagnosed and they yanked my thyroid and the weight flooded right back on. [for those just joining my journey, the thyroid produces the hormones that regulate metabolism – when you don’t have a thyroid, you basically have no metabolism]  So losing weight this time has been a bit tougher than 2 years ago but I know I can do it and I will do it!  Although the Mexican food and sangria I had for dinner tonight probably means I won’t be hitting the 20lbs mark tomorrow… ah well, c’est la vie!


16 Days and Counting!

The 3 Day posted some interesting tidbits over the last few days and everyone is starting to get excited!  I have already been scouring the long range weather forecasts and the 14 day forecast is predicting temps in the 90’s early that week.  Soon they will have the temps posted for the actual event days and i will be driving my team nuts with daily weather emails. [I'm a nerd, i know]  I guess we can deal with that, just pray we have no rain!  I have everything necessary for packing except the tarps… i must find cheap tarps soon. 

Here is a snippet of what the team will be doing Friday, August 13th through Sunday, August 15th:

Friday: Approximately 21.2 miles
It will begin with an emotional Opening Ceremony at Oakland Community College - Orchard Ridge, where we'll gather together to pay tribute to the many women and men who have lost their battle with breast cancer, and honor the survivors. We'll remember the reason we're walking as we make our way through Farmington Hills. You will pass through some of metro Detroit's finest neighborhoods as we make our way into camp.  

Saturday: Approximately 22 miles
On Saturday morning, we'll rise and shine, ready to hit the trail. This second day of walking will meander through several historical neighborhoods, including Old Rosedale Gardens in Livonia as well as Old Town Plymouth.  We'll head onto Hines Drive and into downtown Plymouth before making our way back towards camp for another night of community, camaraderie and fun.

Sunday: Approximately 16.6 miles
The final day of our journey will lead you through Wayne County’s Hines Drive Park before we reach Dearborn, the home of Ford Motor Company.  Walk though parts of historic Dearborn before descending upon our final destination, Ford World Headquarters, to join family and friends for a celebratory Closing Ceremony.

n716685403_1311182_7895 And if you feel like cheering us on… 
[we love our cheerleaders!]:

Friday, August 13

8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Heartland Marketplace
33250 W. 12 Mile Rd.
Farmington Hills, MI 48331

12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
33523 8 Mile Rd. (between Farmington & Gill Roads)
Livonia, MI 48152

Saturday, August 14

8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Larry’s Foodland
33151 Plymouth Rd.
Livonia, MI 48150

9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Downtown Plymouth
NE intersection on Ann Arbor Trail & Main St.
Plymouth, MI 48170

Sunday, August 15

7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Home Depot (vacant building)
12200 Inkster Rd.
Redford, MI 48239

Closing Ceremonies 4:30 p.m.

Ford Motor Company - World Headquarters
One American Road
Dearborn, MI 48126


Week 4 Training

Week 4 training… well it just didn’t happen.  I know, i know… I've been slacking big time these last couple of weeks!  I have no other excuse than life was too busy, i was in a funk, i just didn’t feel like it. 

2417980104_c3b9f1247f_bFor those of you out there who have never done the 3 Day before and have been diligently walking your 30+ miles every week – my hat is off to you!  My first 2 years I was much better at sticking to the schedule – well the 2nd year I was REALLY good at sticking to the schedule!  I was determined to get through with no blisters, no injuries… and you know what?  It didn’t matter.

I still got blisters, my knees [and everything else] still ached… but I made it through to the end.  Training is extremely important when doing this event, yes.  I would never suggest to anyone that they show up on Day 1 and just start walking!  But it is not the end of the world if you miss a day [ahem.. or eight].  You just get right back into walking – the first time or two may be a little bit rougher than normal but, trust me, you don’t lose it that quick! 

So don’t get discouraged if you haven’t been able to stick exactly to your training schedule because of the weather, life, or just because the beach was calling.  The biggest thing is that you committed to walking and raising at least $2,300 to fight breast cancer!

The walk?  That’s just the 3 Day’s way of sayingThank you!”


It’s 11am and…

Written originally last week Wednesday at 11:19am in an email to my friend…

This has been my day so far:

  • I woke up at 7:15 because my alarm died overnight – had to be to work at 8am… [i live 24 miles from work]
  • Had a text message from Lindsay warning me about cows, turned on the TV to discover several routes to work are closed because of cows on the loose on 131 & surrounding areas… good thing I know a back way and didn’t have to go to Reed City!
  • I left my house at 7:30 by the miracle of Avon hairpieces & preset coffee pot timer.
  • Got here at 8am to find that our conference center water pipes burst and we have a massive flood on the 1st floor/basement area – this is where my office is located.
  • The air vents are turned off to the 1st floor as to not spread the sewage/dead fish smell from the water  -this means its smelly & HOT in my office… [it was 88F on this day]
  • Oh and I’m in the basement portion of the 1st floor which means no window ventilation.
  • Our dictation and transcription system has been down for 2.5days now so none of my people have work to do and we have a huge backlog…
  • So I frantically start printing things they CAN do (labs) to discover I have no more black ink – I print the reports in pink because I have 5 backup color cartridges in my file cabinet.
  • I finish doing my windows updates and restart my computer on my way to meeting #1- 9am.
  • 9am runs long so I’m late for my 10am phone conference in my office…
  • At this point I discover that the windows updates I did are screwing up another program so I now can’t access the coding program… and neither can all of my staff. I contact helpdesk.
  • I run to the bathroom after the phone conference wraps up to discover my fly has been down the entire time… my 9am was with 8 people, 2 of which were the CFO & CCO…
  • Now I’m troubleshooting & catching up on email until my noon meeting where I’m being served lunch…
  • I’m scared to discover what lunch may be… the cafeteria is right next to the water leakage

So how is your day going?


101 Things You Should Know (13-19)

1476257539_55a2056c2e_o 19.  3-Day walkers ROCK!

18.  Cheer for the last walker to arrive at camp and be proud that she(he) made it!

17.  You probably will want a waterproof bag in case of rain.

16.  At closing we remove our shoes, kneel, and raise one shoe to honor the survivors who walked the journey with us.pat's_0017

15.  You only need walking clothes and sleeping clothes – banish all ideas that camp clothes are essential.3day08 055

14.  Use address labels to “mark your territory!” Ideal for cameras, cell phones, hats… the lost will be found for you.

13.  Admit when you are in pain and ask for help.


Week 5 Training… and 6 Other Things

One. Training last week was abysmal at best.  I walked my 11 miles during the week but the weekend… i just needed a break for so many reasons, some of which might be listed here.  Totals: 11 miles walked, 27 miles scheduled.

Two. I had my appointment with the Rheumatologist on Friday and it lasted nearly 2 hours.  He asked me a bazillion questions and ordered a bazillion more tests.  I had 4 more tubes of blood taken (that makes 8 in the last 2 weeks) and got an order to see yet another doctor for more tests.  Until those tests are complete, I won’t be seeing Rheumy again or find out any answers… we are still trying to rule out/in Sjogren’s Syndrome.

Three. The next doc I have to visit per the Rheum’s orders is an ophthalmologist.  Yup you read that right. I have to have a Schirmer II test, a Rose Bengal test and a Tear Break Up Time test.  I’m told this will also be quite the lengthy appointment... and I can’t get in until September… fantastic. 

Four.  I’m at a block in my reading resolution.  I just haven’t been able to pick up a book to read in a while, haven’t had a ton of time, haven’t been able to get into the story… gotta kick it into gear soon or I will have to do some serious catch up this fall/winter!

Five.  Friends of mine have been going through some really horrible things lately.  What do you say when there is nothing you can say?  You can only be there for them.. Psalms 34:18: If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there; if you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath

Six. Cheering Stations are posted for the Michigan Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure!!  We would LOVE to see you there!  Just click here for more info!

Seven.  It is never fun to be puked on at 4am while you are sleeping and totally oblivious to the impending catastrophe.  The debate is still going: Is it worse to have sick furry kids or sick real ones?


101 Things You Should Know (20-26)

26.  There will be a 3-Day store in camp so bring some extra cash.

25.  Pack an extra pair of socks in your fanny/backpack so you can change them at lunch – it feels like heaven.

24.  Pack your sleeping bag in a huge ziplock bag, the bag can come in handy for storing gear, stinky shoes, etc outside of your tent each night. pat's_0007

23.  Make sure you have a small flashlight that is “hands-free” for midnight port-a-potty trips and for finding your way back to your tent!

22.  Bring flip flops or something to use in the mobile showers

21.  Attach something “unique” to your gear bag so you can find it in the crowd – and no, a pink ribbon is not “unique.”

20.  Your “gear” can weigh no more than 35lbs – make sure you respect the crew and stay within the limit!


Week 6 Training

The best laid plans… Well I was sick most of last week.  Not sick enough to skip work but sick enough that I had to rest after work.  Needless to say, I got behind on mileage but I thought it was better to rest up for the big weekend walks!  Our team is a bit off the schedule because of scheduling conflicts so we did our big back-to-back 18/15 mile weekend this week!

Week 6 Training (scheduled/actual):
Mon: Rest/Rest
Tues: 5 miles/Rest
Wed: 45min Cross/Rest
Thurs: 6 miles/Rest
Fri: 45 min Cross/Rest
Sat: 18 miles/18 miles – YAY!
Sun: 15 miles/15 miles – Woo!
Total: 44 miles/33 miles

For being sick most of the week I don’t think I did too bad.  I got through the 18/15 miles without new blisters and with minimal aches and pains.  I am beyond proud of the team mates who walked all the miles with me.  I’ve done this before, they haven’t.  The first time doing that kind of mileage can be killer if you haven’t been training consistently and they breezed right through!  Great job girls!  I’m looking forward to walking with you for the 60 miles in just 32 short days!


101 Things You Should Know (27-33)

33.  Drink, rehydrate, pee! Say no to an IV!our showers - with Linds & Jill

32.  The shower trucks are not glamorous but you won’t care about the lack of privacy the second the hot water hits your face.

1476445075_8ec1f51b4e_o31.  Do it big. Do it right. Do it with style. – Fred Astaire

30.  Those 8hr heat wraps – they can be wonderful for sore muscles overnight!

29.  Do NOT forget to pack Motrin/Tylenol/Aleve… figure out which works best for you before you go because everyone has their favorite.

28.  Pack some warm PJ’s – no matter what the weather, your body can get really cold when you stop walking and start resting!

27.  Blisters really do explode!


(+) Positive

Being a cancer patient means you go through a lot of testing.  For me its been fine needle aspirations, biopsies, CT’s, whole body nuke med scans, x-rays, and countless blood tests for calcium levels and tumor markers.  And then there are the side effects I've dealt with like cancer brain, loss of taste, hypo hell, and of course the most recent [and annoying] parotid gland swelling/dry mouth

positiveAlways you want the tests to come back negative or undetectable.  Always.

Today I got the news that one of my labs from last week came back positive.

Now before I start a panic, let me emphasize that these tests were NOT my tumor marker tests.  Those were drawn a few weeks ago and are still fantastically undetectable.  These most recent tests were ones to rule out the possibility of Sjogren’s syndrome  based on the salivary gland swelling evaluation and to assess the need for me to see a rheumatologist.  Most of these came back negative… one [just one] of the tests came back positive.

Yup, its on to another doctor who will most likely run more tests.  I have no idea what kinds of answers we may get…


Week 7 Training

Some people have asked why the week number is going down instead of up... good question! Basically the week number corresponds to the number of weeks out we are from the 3 Day!  So this past week was 7 weeks from our 3 Day event and currently we are in week 6!  Mileage is building, the summer sun is getting hotter, fundraising is winding down and pretty soon we will be sleeping in those lovely little pink tents!  Week 7 was a challenge because of the holiday but i'm pretty darn proud to say I got all my miles in!

Week 7 Training (Scheduled/Actual):
Mon: Rest/5 Miles
Tues: 5 miles/Rest (Dad's Bday dinner)
Wed: 45min cross/Eclipse Fundraiser!
Thurs: 6 miles/Rest
Fri: 45min cross/ 11 miles
Sat: 15 miles/ 15 miles
Sun: 11 miles/ 6 miles - Happy 4th of July!
Total: 43 miles/43 miles - WOO!!!

I had a bit of a setback on Monday... Training Tip: never do 5 miles barefoot. I made a pit stop to Urgent Care on Wednesday to make sure I didn't have a stress fracture from the barefoot walking. [I don't, its just plantar fasciitis which really isn't all that pleasant] And then I just kept on walking!  It feels really good to FINALLY get all the mileage in for a week even when its been chaotic with birthdays, fundraisers, and holidays!  Week 6 will be interesting with the short work week, dinner with Gracie who is in from CO, and our big 18/15 mile back-to-backs on Saturday and Sunday!  Here's to hoping to make it 2 weeks in a row doing 40+ miles!


101 Things You Should Know (34-40)

40.  Hills become cruel jokes of nature.

39.  It is critical to drink Gatorade and water during the 3day08 057walk so your electrolytes stay in balance.

38.  There are tons of fun things to do in camp – make sure you check it all out or you may miss the foot massage tent!

37.  You can never take too many pictures!

36.  You will never be so sick from candy in your life – but   who can resist kids cheering and giving it away?    1476274635_ac4bbc8ac9_o35.  By the end of Day 1, things like men with fake breasts, swarms of cheering people, cars that honk continuously, and every name you never thought of for breasts (plus some!) will be completely normal.1477174048_c3d8264d25_o 1476267011_1161979dcc_o 1476321635_a9c0121283_o







34.  You will be too inspired to be tired.3day08 050