since I last blogged. So much has happened, but I also feel that in some ways nothing has happened. I continued with the every three week / two year plan of maintenance chemo. My every three month scans continued to trend in a good direction, shrinking and no new growths, no tumor activity. In spite of everything the drugs were taking their toll on my body and I needed two more transfusions. Then my kidney function took a hit and we had to stop first one drug and then the other.
I took a trip to Lake Placid to spectate Ironman Lake Placid at the end of July, thanks to my dear friend Melissa. I was struggling with breathing and energy at this point, more than I would admit. My husband Bryan was adamant that I could not drive up there alone so we came up with a crazy plan for Melissa to meet us somewhere on the NJ Turnpike so I could ride with her. Blessing in disguise, I hate to admit.
As luck would have it, we were staying at the Crowne Plaza. Those of you familiar with Lake Placid will be familiar with the steep climb to the entrance to the hotel from town. I’ve done it many times in the past, when I was healthy. I knew this time it would be a challenge. I made limited trips down the hill, one of the times we walked down my friend Patti flagged down a car and asked them to drive me back up! The times I did walk I went from parked car to car, holding on and resting. A lot. Let’s just say it’s so steep that in years past when I ran training camps there I had athletes who refused to ride down the hill. Or to ride back up.
So the bonuses to this trip — spending time with my friend Melissa in my favorite place, getting to know Patti better and spending time with my long time friend Mike Reilly. Besides the fact that he called me in at the finish of so may races, he was also a great supporter while I was on Women for Tri. And I’ve been lucky enough to be with him more times than I can remember at Ironman race finish lines.
I had a great day at the race, and am forever grateful that I spent this one last time together before Mike retired. I have no words to explain the passion and dedication and laughs and joy in those announcing booths. It was never just a job but truly a passion which will forever inspire me. But then came the midnight finish and the dreaded walk back to the Crowne Plaza. I told Melissa to go ahead, I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to say goodnight to all the IM “roadies” I’ve made friends with over the years. But I also knew the walk back to the hotel would be a challenge and my pride wouldn’t let me show just how difficult it would be. Got to the bottom of that hill and guess what — there were no cars for me to lean on. I tried. And guess what? I couldn’t do it. And had to ask two random strangers for help. And it turned out they had both done the race. And it wouldn’t have mattered if I had said how many times I’d done the race, or how fast, or that I qualified for Kona there. I couldn’t make the walk up that short steep hill. I knew that was a problem, and called my doctor when I got home.
Turns out I had pneumonitis, from radiation. Another gift that keeps on giving. So we began an 8 week intense steroid treatment that made me fat and meant I still couldn’t restart iv treatment. But, my scans were still good so my doctor told me “there is still no reason to restart treatment. Yet.”
We’ve done a lot of travel since then. Sonoma.
I’m running again. Half way through a couch to 5k plan. And I will finish it. No matter how slow.
I have scans next Friday. Scares the shit out of me but hoping for the best. The longer I am out of treatment the more I appreciate how good I feel. And remember just how shitty I felt. Cancer sucks.