Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Happy Birthday!

It's my Birthday...It's my Birthday!!

I have begun the downward slide into my "late" 30s. Do I really care? NAH! I am happy to be here to slide down!! Bring it on!

Wallace and Grommette were more interested in my hat when it wasn't on my head. Apparently, having the hat on made me look different and upset them a little.

They would rather eat the hat anyways.


Bday Wall

As you know Jim and I have signed up for the LiveSTRONG ride! If you have not already made a donation, please consider supporting our effort!! Our combined goal is $5,500.00.

You can think of it as a little Birthday present to me if you like!!! $5 or $10 would be great! Or maybe $36 .. not that that is my new age or anything .....Thanks!



Monday, July 24, 2006

Way to go Floyd!!

(photo by Graham Watson)

Yet another American has topped the podium and won the GC at the Tour de France ...

Congratulations to Floyd Landis!!

He did a remarkable ride, losing the yellow jersey in Stage 16 by over 8 minutes only to reclaim it two days later through a very early breakaway in Stage 17 during which he won that stage and gained over 7 minutes and 30 seconds ... THAT IS REMARKABLE!!

From VeloNews:

Landis attacked on the first climb back up the same mountain range, the 201km stage to Morzine-Avoriaz, and didn't stop until he left his opponents out of breath and in denial. The gamble was so audacious, so hardheaded and risky that as word of Landis' plan rippled through a peloton worn out after a week in the Pyrenees and Alps, several riders pulled up alongside and begged him not to try it.

''I just told 'em,'' Landis would recall, '''Go drink some Coke, 
'cause we're leaving on the first climb if you want to come along.''' 

The rest of the article is here

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Wallace and Grommet will sleep anywhere, on anything or anybody,
whenever the mood strikes them.
They do actually play alot but we are still working out the logistics of catching them in mid-air.
So until then, enjoy this bit a "kitten cuteness" ...

It's not like you actually WANT to get back to work? RIGHT?

In a bed ...

On packing paper ...

Up high ....

down low ...

On the couch together ...

By our human's side ....

Or safe in their arms ....

Happy Kittens ... Sweet Dreams!

An Early Birthday Present!

Look at what came for me in the mail today!!


And I know just the person who sent it to me .....
my wonderful friend/running buddy/triathlete gal-pal/hair dressor extroidanaire ....


Only 6 more days until my Birthday!! Live STRONG!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Antibiotics and a Cane

So my fears were laid to rest ... I have a typcial sinus infection and the doctor gave me some antibiotics and I am already feeling much better!

My calf is in fact torn. So I am supposed to be taking it easy and letting it heal. My Docs best guess was 4-6 weeks and then if I can gently stretch with no pain, I can start walking and work my way back to running.

So in review: It's not cancer but my thinking it "might be cancer" is a normal response based on the last 16 months AND I am going to have some visable triceps by the end of this 4-6 week period. Can't work the lower body .. I'll work the upper body.

LESSON FOR THE DAY: STRETCH GENTLY AND OFTEN after you runs ... and you won't rip your muscles.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Lick the pavement...

I suspect licking pavement would be more pleasant than going to two doctors in less than 24 hours but I don't want to be sick or injured any longer than necessary...My birthday is coming and I want to be *H*E*A*L*T*H*Y*!!!

Friday, I woke up with a sore throat and thought "Post Nasal Drip" ... something is blooming (probably mold) that my body does not like ...Took some Tylenol Sinus and "sucked it up ..." add to that some *feminine* issues and I am pretty uncomfortable but all these problems can be handle "over the counter" ... I thought my immune system was supposed to be SUPER-BOOSTED now?? What the heck ...

Saturday, still have the sore throat but I have a workout planned, must stick to the plan...

My intentions were good, aren't they always? The plan was to run/walk to Power Yoga/Pilates class. It's not very far, just over 2.5 miles from the house on a slightly hilly route. I have run this route before.

I got up and out of the house at 6:50am to make it to class by 7:20am. I strapped my yoga matt on my back, tucked my cell phone in my pocket and headed out the door.

The first mile went well, I took my time warming up to my pace and simply took the time to wake up. The day before, my right calf had been bothering me a little.. It was a little sore but I thought nothing of it. Two miles passed with no pains of any kind.

Just as I took a left, heading on the long down hill half mile to the Rec Center, my right calf seemed to cramp and tighten up. It was enough to make me stop and gently stretch and decide to take it easy on the downhill run. I resumed my run and got less than one block before I felt a sharp pain in my right calf that caused me to yelp (much like an animal) and hop onto my left foot. I gingerly put my right foot back down, already thinking, well I will just gently walk to class and modify my workout and get a ride home from my friend Liz. It was only after I put my right foot on the ground and tried to walk, that I realized that I couldn't.

A phone call to Jim, brought him and the car to my rescue. I hopped into the car and once home we immediately wrapped my calf and began "Ice and Elevation". I tried to stay off my calf all day except when absolutely necessary. The cat's seemed to love knowing their was a warm lap to return to all day.

Sunday, my leg was already much less sore and I am "hobbling" well ... My nickname could be "Gimp" ... I did some reading on line and Jim and I think that I have a calf strain - as opposed to the alternative which is a ruptured Achilles tendon (Calf Strains (which are essentially muscles tears) are a whole lot less severe than a torn Achilles but the symptoms are exactly the same. ) - Only the Doctor will be able to say for sure and I will be seeing him first thing Tuesday.

Sunday was also "Book Club" day and I was the hostess! We had a wonderful time and my home-made gazpacho soup was a hit! The girls surprised me with a cheese cake and flowers for my upcoming birthday and the house was FULL of estrogen! It was wonderful.

Sunday night the sinus infection has moved to my ears, my lymph nodes are swollen and I have a cough!! ARG!!

So I see my GP (general practitioner) today and the Orthopedic doc tomorrow. The hope is for some antibiotics to kill the sinus infection and stop the cough AND news that I just have a sprained calf and I should take it easy for 7-10 days.

So here is the catch.... this is the first time that I have been "sick" since I was diagnosed with Melanoma. This is the first time that I have had symptoms that I could not *blame* in the Interferon, Celexa, Celebrex, Birth Control or any other of the numerous drugs that I was on and it is *freaking me out* just a smidge.

My thoughts were random and panic-driven: Oh my gosh, my immune system is in overload ... Is this really just bad timing to have a sinus infection and another "FEMININE" issue OR is this masking something? What if this isn't a muscle tear but a stress fracture? Do I have BONE METS?......

Don't worry, I am managing my anxiety well ...I know it is totally silly and so that is why I am not taking any of my "anxiety" seriously but I want to be honest about how I am feeling because I would guess that other survivors have felt this way at some point and now I do too.

It is in this time that this quote that I read from "There is No Place Like Hope" comes in so handy...

"I always think Brain Tumor, until the Tylenol kicks in."

Still I would rather Lick the pavement than go any Doctors .....DAMN!

I'm Living STRONG!

Added Note:

I forgot to mention this but this is the one thing, when I think about all the things .. that give me the biggest anxiety.

For the last 4 day I have been having "night sweats" ... to the point where several times I have woken up and put a large bath town under me so that I wouldn't have to wake up Jim (who wakes up to check on me anyways) and change the bed sheets in the middle of the night .... Night Sweats freak me out ....

Still living STRONG!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Texas in October....

I got a little email yesterday that I had been hoping for:

Dear Holly,

Thank you for your application to participate in the Lance Armstrong Foundation's LIVESTRONG Summit. We are pleased to inform you that your application has been accepted, and we would like to invite you to join us as a delegate at the inaugural LIVESTRONG Summit.

So it is official, I am going to Austin, Texas in October for a long weekend (Friday-Sunday). What is the LiveSTRONG Summit?

The Lance Armstrong Foundation's inaugural LIVESTRONG Summit is a three-day event to organize, inspire and direct the efforts of cancer survivors from across the country to change the face of cancer survivorship.

The LIVESTRONG Summit is a call to action - LIVESTRONG Summit participants will develop goals and action plans to raise awareness and effect change around the needs of cancer survivors. After the LIVESTRONG Summit, participants will apply the action plans in their own communities and nationwide.

Maybe inbetween session, I can meet up with some of my fellow tri bloggers for a short run or coffee... Flatman are you near Austin?? I know Texas is pretty big (zat least that is what my friend Melanie has always told me ...) but somebody who blogs and tri's MUST live in Austin ....

MelBel, I am coming to Texas!!!!!! (Honey, We gotta talk!) ((PS.. Happy Two-Day Belated Birthday !!!!!!!!!!!)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Where are you?

I don't know but if you find me, can you tell me that I am looking for myself?

Life has gotten away with me .... between the kittens (still adorable and so full of mischief); helping to plan a baby shower (custom designed invitations .... lots of work but they came out GREAT!), trying to keep up with my workouts and working 40 hours a week, I seem to have lost touch with my blog.

Things are good, if not a bit hectic.

• My longest workout has been a 5 mile run/walk with a few 3 miler in between for good measure. I started a Power Yoga/Pilates class once a week, this past Saturday, that left my abs so sore that I found muscles I didn't know I had! Sunshine has been on bike vacation this week and will return to the regular schedule next week....

• Did you know that sugar ants (the tiny little black ones) *LOVE* Iam's Kitten food? We are working on a solution to this problem...We want to feed the cats, not the ants...

• I may have some cool "LiveSTRONG" news to share ... I need to confirm my October calander first....In the meantime, I have pass the $2000.00 raised!! Only $3000.00 to goal!!

• My weight is going NO WHERE fast **WAAAAHHH** so I am attempting to buckle down and shake things up ALOT! I want to wear my cool RED retro pants this fall ...

• A king size bed is *NOT BIG ENOUGH* for two adults and two rambuncious kittens who play, then PURRRR, then wrestle and then walk all over you, making little "happy" MOW sounds.....It's a good think they are so darn cute!

• My 4 month DERM appointment came and went without much trouble. Dr. Peck took a picture of one mole that seems left over from a previous doctor's removal and we are going to *watch* it. Sometimes Moles grow back (who knew??) but not very often so if this mole has grown when I go back in November, we'll slice it off again. I'm not too concerned since this same mole was benign the first time they took it off.

• I am not on any meds of any kind and have been *med-free* for 6 weeks now! I think my body is still in shock at having to do everything itself! :)

In general, life is crazy ...I'll try to be more consistant over the next few days. Until then, I wish you all the best and hope you are Living STRONG!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Getting back to it....

While I had a fantastic time at Bike VA, I have to confess that getting back to a regular workout schedule and gearing up for the Maine 1/2 Marathon has been a little harder than I expected. I think that is because "getting back to normal" has been happening slower than I thought it would. I have been told that sometimes this is the case after Chemo. Life settles into a new normal with out all of the "sense of urgency" that a cancer diagnosis can bring.

I imagine it would be like working in the ER for a year and then switching to your own "Personal Practice"... suddenly thing are a little quiet and your not quite sure what to do next.

So this week I have been focusing on getting back to running. I am still doing RUN/Walk intervals but I am trying to focus on my running form. Yesterday's workout went well. I finished my rolling 5K route in just under 40 minutes. I really didn't want to go on the workout but I just let my inner coach tell me "Just F**ing Run" and I did it.

Felt good at the end of the workout...just like I usually do. And of course then I was happy that I got out there. And my reward for my workout? Being greeted by Wallace and Grommet. It seems that Grommet has a thing for my running shoes. She kept laying up against mine and decided that I was good enough to nap on, even if I was trying to stretch.

Find a shoe, lay on it!

Here, let me help you stretch...

Whatcha doing?

Nap time!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Love Enough for Two ...


We picked up Wallace and Grommet on Saturday morning and have been spending the last 4 days getting to know them and adjusting to "Life with Kittens". There are certainly adjustments ... but we are all doing well!

The kitty litter is in the basement and the kittens are finding it on their own. (THANK GOSH!) They already roam the house freely but are quick to "call" when they feel lost and find each other or one of us, whomever responds first.

They have very distinct personalities so far.
Grommet, the silver girl is petite and is the oldest by a week and is far less skittish than Wallace. When there is a big noise or something new she gets very still still, sits and watches. She didn't even leave the room when the vaccume cleaner came on. She just waited until I was done and then came over to check the machine out once it was done making the big noises. She talks a little less than Wallace but purrs up a storm!
Wallace, on the other hand, is a such a baby! He is almost twice as big as Grommet but very quick to hide and talks constantly. Meow, Meow .. Feed Me. Meow, Meow ... Where are you? Meow, Meow ... Let's Play!

Wallace is a total lap cat and was right from the start. Grommet prefers to lay near you and only comes to you lap on her terms.

Jim and I are already both so smitten!! We don't even need alarm clocks any more. At 5:45 on the dot, those kittens are on the bed "Meow, Meow" .. We think it is a sunrise thing and hope they will sleep in on occasion when the winter comes but somehow, I doubt that.

I managed to get two runs in over the Holiday Weekend and enjoyed a great Pre-4th of July picnic with good friends. Life is Good!

Here are some pictures of the kittens from this weekend. They are just 14 weeks old and still in their "fuzzy stage" so their markings are not very clear yet but they are going to be "STUNNING" as they get older. Wallace is already showing "glitter" and when you see him in person, he looks like velvet. Grommet has spots all over her belly and great tail stripes that are going to really POP when she loses her kitten coat. I can't wait to watch them change!