Howdy folks! Hope everybody is having a great weekend. Just a few updates;
Round 2 of Consolidation
So I’ve officially started round 2, and I’m technically on the second half of day 2, dosing wise. You’re supposed to get 2 doses on days 1, 3, and 5, but generally, they only dose you in the early morning and late evening. So, if you don’ t get to the hospital at like 6am on day 1, you get dosed that night, and the following morning. So you have a weird zig-zag pattern to your dosing. Mine is Friday night->Saturday morning, Sunday night->Monday morning, Tuesday night->Wednesday morning. Which means, if all goes according to plan, I should be outta here by Wednesday afternoon/evening. All in all, 6 days in the hospital. Not bad.
Again, the most unpleasant part of this round of chemo is very simply the fact that while hooked up, you basically have to pee constantly. The actual unpleasantness comes later, so for now, I can deal with a perma-full bladder for a few days.
My body seems to enjoy getting a fever on Day 17, though, so if that happens for a 3rd time in a row, it’ll fall one day before my sister’s birthday. I’ve been told to “suck it up”. I’ll do my best, because she is awesome, and deserves to have a nice birthday party.
Gone. Completely and utterly. Mysteriously, even. I was able to do 2 rides this past week, both of about 13 miles, with basically no issue. So…guess my knee just felt like making its presence known for a bit, then slink off into the sunset. Whatever, knee.
Fund Raisers, Light the Nights, and a little Public Speaking
As part of the family business, we have lots of contacts scattered across the country. From other dealers, to vendors, to reps, we’ve interacted with a huge number of people through work. Over the weekend, a lot of emails went out, talking about registering for the bone marrow donor program, and my situation in general. First, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that emailed any one in my family with kind words. All the emails got forwarded to me, and quite frankly, there’s too many of you awesome people out there to thank individually (for now – I am working on a way to be able to thank people individually, but it ain’t easy keeping track!). For anyone that donated, again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know that everyone in my family has been touched by the generosity we have experienced, and I know that we might not all know what to say, exactly. So here it is: You all rock, and have all of our undying thanks. Just one shout out to Uncle Spoons and Auntie Pots (inside jokes) for their ridiculously large email forwarding campaign. You guys rock 🙂
For the Light the Night events, I’m actually part of TWO whole walks. How cool is that? The first is one that’s coming up on September 30th. For anyone up in Massachusetts, I’m not really familiar with the area, but they’re walking at Lake Quannapowitt. You can donate to their fund raising here; http://pages.lightthenight.org/ma/Wakefld12/SWEETS. They’ve almost hit their goal already, but a little extra never hurt anybody. The Sweets are wonderfully nice people. Marcy is the mother of Kayla, who has Hodgkins lymphoma.
She writes about her experiences on a blog, right here: http://findthefightinyou.tumblr.com/. I wish I was half as pretty through my chemo as she has managed to be. I enjoy reading her stuff, and it’s been great being able to swap chemo “war” stories, as it were, with someone about my age. Stop by, read her stories, and give her a little encouragement. I know I always appreciate comments and likes and shares and all that good stuff, so spread a little love today.
On top of this, my sister organized a Light the Night for me in October/November (I have to double check her emails, haha). That info will be posted soon. Pretty much my entire family is showing up for that one, and I’ll be walking if it lines up properly with my treatments.
Additionally, my friend Jessie (<3) has been a busy little beaver up in Vermont. She’s getting a bunch of events coordinated through Be-The-Match to show up and have booths and stuff for cancer related events up at her medical school. Talk about a captive audience, right? One of the cool things for that, though, is that she told me one of the events would like me to come by and speak. Assuming fever-related things cooperate, I’d definitely love to go up and speak in front of people. Public speaking is one of those things that I thoroughly enjoy doing, but don’t often get the chance to. I think I’m good at it, but again, lack of opportunity makes it difficult to judge. I’ll make sure Jessie takes a bunch of pictures for everybody to look at, and we can all laugh at my silly chemo-fro-hair-thing.
Oh, and this weekend, my wonderful friend Christine (you’ll remember her from the BeTheMatch swab pictures of a beautiful girl with a huge Q tip in her mouth) is running the Philly Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon. In fact, she is probably starting her run pretty soon. With her permission, I’ll post up the pictures of her awesome home-made jersey. Coincidentally, my cousins are also running that race, so Chris and Jenny – kick some ass! 🙂
And later in October, a friend I mentioned before, Britney, is running the Boston Half in my honor.
Seriously. I’m pretty much speechless. Slash in awe. I have pretty awesome friends and family.
Training for a Triathlon…part thirty three and a third?
Some of you that follow me on Facebook (facebook.com/EffLeukemia – just sayin’) might have picked up on the fact that my sister is doing a Triathlon. Keep in mind, that when I was training for my last one, my sister initially expressed shock, then interest, then eventually agreed to do a relay Triathlon with her husband doing the run, me doing the bike, and her doing the swim. She’s a god damn fish in the water, so she could just up and crush it. Unfortunately, that tri also fell through with the whole “cancer” thing, so we didn’t get a chance to do it. I figured, in the 2013 season, we’d find some triathlon somewhere, and do the same thing again.
Fast forward (rewind?) to this summer. My sister has been in talks with the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society about making me an honored hero for one of their Team in Training events. I was, for lack of a better word, honored and kinda psyched, to be honest. Again, it’d be an opportunity to speak in front of a group of people (albeit a smaller team, but one that would have an idea of what it was like to get diagnosed just before an event you trained for months for), but in general, I just like talking about myself. I mean, have you read the other posts on here? Haha.
So they came back and said that I would be the (one of?) honored hero(s) for the St. Anthony’s triathlon in Florida, in April. First of all – I’m not a particularly religious person. Though my mom has sworn that whenever she can’t find something, praying to St. Anthony has the object miraculously appear. Granted, my mom loses things pretty much constantly (love you ma!), and they are generally found in places such as; her purse, her night table, her office desk, or her head (a particularly dastardly hiding spot for glasses). However, St. Anthony, of all the saints, is one of the only ones who’s name and story I am familiar with. So, weird coincidence there.
However, a double shocker is the fact that my sister pretty much immediately signed up for the triathlon. It’s in April, and it’s Olympic distance. Double what we were going to relay as a team this summer. So, 1 mile swim, 25.6 mile bike, 6.2 mile run, in that order.
So, she’s pretty awesome, I’d say.
On top of that, my cousin Dawn pretty much also immediately signed up. As has her friend. As has my sister’s husband, Mason. They’ve teamed up to make a group of 5 to pool their donations to cover their training, and get donations for LLS. Once they get a team page up, I’ll be sure to share the link on here, on facebook, and possibly even in an email blast or two. I apologize in advance for the bombardments.
However, an interesting tidbit came out of some of the conversations my sister was having. The question was raised, that, since the Triathlon is in April, and my treatment, assuming everything goes according to plan and stays on roughly the current schedule its on now, means that my final dose will be in early January, and I should be pretty much recovered and good to go by late January / Early February. This gives me 2-3 months to train up my swimming. If I can keep the biking up from now until then, and maybe add a little running when I feel up to it, it is perfectly within the realm of feasibility that I could complete this triathlon.
So in the course of finding out the details of how much money she would need to raise, and what the actual details of getting down to Florida and getting to the race and all that were, she asked; “What if my Brother would be able to compete in this triathlon?” They said, very simply “We’ll make it happen”.
So. That being said. It is officially, on, as it were. I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge, so I’ll be living on my bike for the next few months. Indoors when my platelets are low, outdoors when they’re high and the weather is still glorious. I’ll be running when I can, so all my friends out there running 5ks and asking for advice – if you’re up for it, I’d love to catch a couple runs with you all some time. I can run even with low platelets, so there’s no real restriction on that. And I’ll have a panicked couple months in the winter filled with swimming as much as humanly possible to get ready for that mile swim.
Let’s do this. No excuses. Play like a champion.