Friday, March 31, 2006

The rest of the story ....

It was 3:30 and I left my office for what should have been a 1 hour leasurely bike ride home.


After winding my way past hundreds of people at the Tidal Basin (the cherry blossoms are in full bloom and it is the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler weekend), I crossed the 14th Street Bridge and jumped on the bike trail towards home. As I past under the railroad bridge, I heard a funny sound ...


Hmmm.. somebody just got a flat. Oh man, that somebody is me!

No problem for me! I can change a flat and it is the front tire - EASY!!

5 minutes and I had the old tube out (bent stem valve) and the new tube in and I am just pumping away with my trusty frame pump when suddently the pump flys out of my hands and I find myself holding my tire... with NO STEM VAVLE IN SITE!!!!!!!!!


Seams that I snapped the stem valve in half! This is not an easy thing to do and now I had no spare tubes. Naturally I pulled out my cell phone and called Jim.

Message One: Hi! It's me and I got a flat. Somehow while fixing it, I managed to snap the stem valve on my spare tire tube. Can you come and get me? I am at Gravely Point and it is nice out so I will just hang out here. Love you!

I sat and watched other people ride and run by on the bike path for about 20 minutes... really just enjoying the afternoon and my unexpected break. I got bored though and worried that maybe Jim was on a bike ride himself which meant he wouldn't get my message for another hour and a half and I could walk home by I pulled out the original tube and futzed around with it.

It seems that the tube would hold air even though it was bent and so I took a chance and put the tube back in the tire and SLOWLY pumped it up. It was far from full but holding air and the ride home was pretty flat until the last mile...It was worth a shot.

Message Two: Hi! I mangaged to get my old tube to hold air. I'm gonna try to ride home. I'll call you with updates .. Call me when you get this and check on me please! Love you!

Message Three: Hi! I made it to Old Towne .. I am half way home. Boy does it suck riding on a low tire, my bike feels 10 pounds heavier. I'm still on my way home.

Message Four: Hi! You are still not home so I am guessing you are out riding too! I am at Bell Haven now and only 2 miles from the house. I am planning to walk the hill so I'll see you in 20 minutes.

I definately walked the Bell Haven Drive hill. Heck I swear I am going to walk it on days when my tires are pumped up perfectly .. It is that kind of hill. The last two miles were a challenge but I was happy to be home. It took me 2 hours to go 14 miles .... HAHAHAHA!!! That just slays me!!

As I turned onto our street, my cell phone rang:

ME: Hi Honey!
JIM: Where are you?
ME: Pulling into the driveway!!
JIM: Okay, then I will turn off the car.. I was getting ready to come get you.

My first commute of the season was an adventure!! What a way to start the weekend!



This morning I commuted 14 miles into the office. The weather was perfect (50 and sunny, clear skies), the path that I follow takes me down the Potomac river along Old Towne Alexandria passed the National Airport , across the 14th Street Bridge and right into the Tidal Basin where the Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom!

I pass by Gravely Point and this was my view this morning .. I kid you not, the planes are on approach and right on top of you...

How can you not love this? (Even if the darn trees to STINK to high heaven!)

Towards the end of my commute I was passed by about 12 cyclists, a local team called Squadra Coppi, riding a double line on their ways into work from the looks of the commuter bags on their backs. I held my line and they swooped on by me pretty quickly. I was proud to have held my line while they passed and the view wasn't too bad either!! *WINK*

While I might be a little saddle sore tonight on my return trip, I am happy as can be.

I LOVE RIDING MY BIKE!! And I missed it more than I could imagine ....

I have 14 miles under my belt and it is not even 9AM! AND it is FRIDAY!!

LIFE IS GOOD! Don't believe me? Just go get out on you bike!


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Single-Digit Midget!

With just 9 weeks left on my year of immunotherapy, Jim has taken to calling me his "single-digit midget." That is just fine with me! I am ready to be done with treatment and to keep moving on!

Does anybody else watch "HOUSE"? It is one of our favorite TV programs and this week Dr. House said "Give him INTERFERON!" ... and then they show the bag and it says "20 MIU (million units)".

No kidding, at the same time Jim and I said "20 MIU??? That is nothing!!" and then I told the TV (even though I know that nobody can here me) ... "Try 40 million a day for 4 weeks and then come and talk to me!"

Speaking of Inteferon: My latest side effect: The RASH continues ... but as my Uncle Kevin says "It's better to ITCH than to B*TCH" and he is right. Benadryl, Oatmeal Baths and Sarda lotion have become my new friends. The combination makes the "itchyness" tolerable.

Today is my last day of Physical therapy!!!! Yeah! My knee has fully healed, I am not having pain or swelling and it is time for me to move on! They are going to give me a list of exercises to keep doing to help continue to strengthen my quads. Just in time for the wonderful weather that is headed our way this weekend and the Cherry Blossom 5K on Sunday!

That's enough of an update for now! Keep Living STRONG Everybody!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Weekend In Review

It was a WONDERFUL weekend, just as I had planned. Saturday started with some serious SLEEPING IN until 9AM (very late for me!) - I guess I needed it. Then I did some chores and I RAN/Walked 5K on Saturday afternoon (2/1 Intervals) and it took about 42 minutes. While the workout may have been slow, from some points of view, it was fantastic because the end result was no pain or swelling in my right knee!!!!!!

Sunday turned into a day of laundry, Book Club with some close girlfriends and a wonderful chat with my sister. I never did get out on the bike but I don't feel too badly because we have a beautiful week coming up in terms of weather and I plan to take advantage of the longer daylight hours.

The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler is this coming weekend and it looks to be the best weather yet! Keri and Nancy (my marathon pace pals) are both running the full distance. I have decided to drop to the 5K race distance since I am still coming back. It will be fun to run and get to watch folks finish the race !!


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Before and After - Our Guest Bathroom

One of my ongoing projects - the redecoration of the guest bathroom - is finally finished. I agonized over adding color to the wall but I am thrilled with the results and glad that I took a risk!! All the color inspiration for this bathroom started with the shower curtain.


BEFORE - "Land of White" Guest Bathroom

This shower curtain was the "inspiration"


AFTER - "A SPLASH of Color!"


Some extra touches make all the difference!


"Live the life you have imagined!"

Some LUCKY Bamboo!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Power of Positive Thinking


I am going to have a WONDERFUL weekend!


Because I want to have a wonderful weekend!! I have all these awesome people in my life who keep sending me tons and tons of good vibes. Why would anybody refuse to take advantage of all that positive energy coming their way?

So I may "itch" but I can just lather on more lotion ...Crazy unexpected things may happen this weekend but I will just take them one event at a time and remember that I have planned to have a "WONDERFUL weekend!!"

I'll be on my bike and on the running trails with weekend, coaxing "SPRING" out of hybernation and sending postive vibes out to all of you!!!

Live STRONG ... The WEEKEND is here!

Thursday, March 23, 2006



I HATE that every time something new comes up I have to call the Doctor ...

I HATE going to the Doctor this frequently...


I HATE going to the Doctor for these side effects and being asked "Did you take (_________)?"
(Insert endless variety of over-the-counter drugs in here)

I HATE telling Jim and all my other friends and family "WHAT SEEMS WRONG NOW" even though I know that they understand and care....


10 WEEKS and counting ......

Monday, March 20, 2006

It's in the air...

SPRING is in the air! Even Nancy says so!

Eary spring in Northern VA ...STINKS! It's those beautiful Pear trees and some of the Cherry Blossom trees. They smell like garbage on a hot day. At least that is my take on the smell ...PHEW!!

Even with the stinky trees, I confess that I love this time of year. Everything is blooming and the days are longer and warmer.


Yesterday I ventured on a run/walk session to evaluate how Physical Therepy is working on my knee...I am thrilled to report that I covered 24 minutes of run/walking (1 minute intervals) and I was completely pain free!!!!! Add in the fact that it was a sunny afternoon and in the 50s - my ideal running conditions - and you have a nearly perfect day!

Even though I am making great progress in getting my knee to heal, it is not soon enough for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in two weeks. I have considered switching to the 5K race distance but only time will tell so for now, I am going to spectate and cheer on Nancy and Keri and keep my focus on slowly increasing my workouts in prep for the Marilyn Lathom HomeGrown Triathlon on May 7th. The race is a sprint distance (1000 yd Swim - 12 mile Bike - 5K Run) and well within my capabilities in spite of the reduced training levels.

The way I look at it ... I am starting over again. No need to try to run a Marathon on Day One. 5K will be a good start!


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Love Letter - Body & Soul

Dear Body:

Thank you for everything you have endured over the last 41 weeks. I know you are tired and if it makes you feel any better, so am I. We only have 11 more weeks left and then I promise you that you can start over.

I wanted to address a few of you individually for a moment:

SKIN & LYMPH NODES - Thank you for not showing any evidence of Melanoma since last March. I tried to help you as quickly as I could and I'm as hopeful as you are that we got all those nasty Melanoma Cells. We are ending the Interferon in 11 weeks but I am confident that I can take care of you without it now.

I bought you some new sunscreen! Summer is coming, I promise to keep you safe!

BLOOD - Hang in there!! I know this was a bad week and you are running out of white and red cells. You canĂ‚’t go any lower - I don't want
"“Sepsis" any more than you do. I promise to rest up and drink plenty of water this week. In return can you work on coming back up to more normal levels? Dr. Butler has cut us back to 5 MIU of Interferon for the remainder of the 11 weeks - – that should help ease things a bit but I need you to come back up, PLEASE!

RIGHT KNEE- – WAHOOO! You are doing so great and responding well to the Physical Therapy. I promise that I will keep strengthening my quads, abductors and adductors for you even after PT is over. What do you say we do a few races this summer?

PORT in CHEST-– You okay? I know we swam a lot this weekend but you are making me a little paranoid with this pain. I'’ll give you 24 hours and then I am calling the Dr. on you...…

THYROID - I am sure you are fine but you are making me a little worried with all this sudden weight gain in the last week so I am having you tested. Do me a favor and show normal results. Even if I am not happy with the extra weight, it would be nice to know that resuming my normal exercise levels after treatment will take the weight right off.

REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM -– You have been through a lot over the last 2 months, I get it - – BUT YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY SYSTEM I AM DEALING WITH RIGHT NOW. I took you off the hormones after multiple years and what do you give me? PAIN? W-T-F!!! Drop the attitude, would ya? Your not getting extra hormones any more so get used to it.

BRAIN - You and I need to get together and work on this "“post cancer"” definition of what it means for Holly to "“Live STRONG"” so start mulling it over...

Yours truly,
Holly (Soul)

Coming Soon ...


Sometime in July, if not sooner, Jim and I will be adding to our household. We have decided that we are going to open our home to two Bengal Kittens.


The Bengal Cat is a medium to large domestic cat that originated from crossing the Asian Leopard Cat to the domestic cat in an attempt to create a companion with the "exotic" look of the wild with a domestic cat temperament.



A domestic Bengal (four or more generations away from the Asian Leopard Cat) has been selectively bred for an active, loving and resolute disposition. Some Bengals are extremely interactive and insist on being an active member of the family. Many Bengals have a natural love for water and for interactive playing with adults, children and other pet members of the family.


Please don't lecture me about adopting some shelter kittens. Jim and I thought long and hard about what kind of pets we wanted and have determined that this special breed of cat has everything that we want in pets. Of course we both love Cats and have both grown up in multiple pet households and we decided that if we were going to commit ourselves to two cats then we wanted cats with specific personality traits.

My only question is ... IS IT JULY YET?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Break in Service

There is alot going on this week so I am taking a little "Blogger Vacation".
I'll be back next week!

Live STRONG and have a GREAT WEEK!!!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Happy Birthday HEATHER!

This little girl turned 24 yesterday ... God I am feeling old! :)

Hope you had a wonderful Birthday little sister!!! I LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

In the dark ...

My white count is up and ironically, that seems to mean that I have a cold, a virus or an infection. Hmmph ... I thought boosting my immune system meant a year without additional illness.

Nobody at the Oncoogy office seems to think this is "Interferon"-related pain. So until the rest of the blood work and the urine culture come back, I am in the dark as to what is causing so much pain and discomfort. I am hoping it is something easily remedied with drugs like a classic UTI (urinary tract infection) because that means a cure and eventually pain free days ahead.

Here is somebody else who is in the dark ... but he/she is MUCH CUTER!!

Presenting ....

Baby GT .... my niece/nephew ... Chilling out in my sister Heather....Even in Utero, they are so cute!