Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

From Wallace and Grommette...

The Costumes....

Watch out Batman ...There is a new super hero in town!

Don't Mess with the Devil ....

This look says :"You forget, I know where you sleep..."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Back in town ... Summit Story soon...

I'm back from Texas but things are hectic so my story will have to wait a day or so....


Keep Living STRONG!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I'm off to Austin, Texas ...

I'm out of town this weekend for the inaugural LIVESTRONG Summit.

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.

I'll be back next week! Until then ... you know what to do!


Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Visit with Rowen ...

As you may recall, last weekend I drove down to Myrtle Beach, SC to meet my new nephew Rowen in person!! The visit was wonderful and the highlights included a little visit to the emergency room with my sister Heather for a fever (She is doing just fine now, she had Mastitis...) and a tramatic diaper changing experience where my nephew *projectile pooped on me!!* Don't ask for details on this experience just know that it could happen to you too!

I took over 100 pictures....Here are the ones that I loved the most!



Hi! My name is Rowen...Who are you?


Rowen's Mommy...Heather!


Rowen and Mommy


Hey, she's *MY* Mommy ...


Kisses from Mommy! Yeah!


Mmmm.. Food from Aunt Holly.


Mmmm... SLEEP!


Napping with my Daddy!


Napping with my Grandma!


Grandma Carol and Rowen (that flash is bright Aunt Holly!)


My Mommy LOVES me!


Sleeping safely in my Daddy's arms...


Aunt Holly, Mommy Heather and Grandma Carol


Who's that lady over there?


Oh, it's just Aunt Holly!


Bathtime with Grandma Carol!


Look, I found my own thumb!! So relaxing...


Rowen has plenty to look at on his play mat...


Precious Moments...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A BIG slice of crazy...

Somebody get me a knife cause I feel like cutting myself a big piece of CRAZY!!!

I have been having *hot flashes* ......

I am ONLY 36 people!!!!! I'm not old enough for PeriMenopause never mind full blown Menopause but something is definately going on with my internal thermostat. It's like living with housemates again only they live inside me. Somebody turns the thermostat down and half an hour later the *house* is broiling .... Night and Day!!! UGH!

I go to bed and am at a comfortable temperature and I wake up at midnight and I am throwing the sheets off and am coverd in sweat while Jim and the kittens are all snuggled under the covers.... or like right now, I feel like I am sitting under a heat lamp .... ARG!

I suspect this may be one of those lovely little long term side effects that they failed to mention in the Interferon handbook.

I have calls into my GYN, my ONC and my GP

Question for the GP: Can you take some blood and make sure my thyroid is okay?

Question for the GYN: Is this perimenopause?

Question for the ONC: Have you ever heard of Interferon doing this?

Hey, I still have to download all the pictures of my nephew Rowen that I took this weekend! They are much more interesting than my thermo-body issues ... so I promise to stick to that topic for the next few days unless I get some interesting theories/results from my doctors.

Would somebody please turn down the temp??? Live STRONG!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sometimes we all get this angry....

I had a wonderful weekend! A friend sent me this video ... I had to post it!

More on the weekend and my darling Nephew later!


Friday, October 13, 2006


I am off to Myrtle Beach to meet my new nephew Rowen, finally!!

I'll come home with a camera full of pictures. You can bet money on that fact!

We are going to compare our large feet, kiss, hug, snuggle, coo and occassionally change a diaper or two.

Whatever you plans this weekend, enjoy them! And don't forget to take a moment and make sure your friends and family know how much you love them!


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wallace & Grommette - Seven Months Old

It is hard to believe that the kittens have been with us for only 4 months. It feels like we have always had them.

As you look at these pictures keep this in mind... these *KITTENS* are still growing! Wallace is already 10 pounds and Grommette is 8 pounds. It's no surprise that the king size bed seems crowded when we are all asleep in it at 3AM...

"Size matters not! Judge me by my size, do you?"
Yoda--The Empire Strikes Back

Yoda "in disguise" or just Grommette "after ear drops"?
The jury is still out ....

Happiness is a warm knee ....





Best Friends!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

TRI-Bloggers doing good things ....

It's not much but I just made a donation to the Luekemia/Lymphoma Society in honor of Kim Hanley. I wish it could have been more but every bit helps.

I donated to Brian aka TRIBOOMER who is racing this November at Ironman Florida. He will be carrying names with him the entire way and asked me if he could carry my name with him during his race. I said "Yes, thank you" and added Kim and my Uncle Jim to his list.

Maybe you have somebody you would like Brian to bring with him on his Ironman journey?

Check out his Blog and let him know. www.triboomer.com

Brian knows how to Live STRONG!

Kim and Annemiek - Both LiveSTRONG!

Kim is no longer suffering and for that, I am very thankful. She will be missed by so many and I wish her family and friends many good blessings as they take this time to celebrate her life.

Kim, you were a great woman and the true embodiment of what it means to Live STRONG! Thank you for your friendship and encouragement. I feel honored to have known you.

On my 8 mile run/walk on Sunday, each consecutive mile I ran was faster than the previous. It was a true case of negative splits. I went from a 13:03 mile down to an 11:40 by Mile 8. Kim was on my mind all through the run and I credit her with that extra boost of energy. She was my "tailwind", I am sure of it!

I am dedicating my 2007 Columbia Triathlon race effort in Memory of Kim. Expect a PR on race day folks!

This weekend was the Austin LiveSTRONG Challenge and CCC Teammate Annemiek Sistermansnot only rode over 1,000 miles from Minneapolis, MN to Austin, TX to participate in the event but she also raised $20,000.00 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation AND then rode the Century portion (100 miles) of the Challenge on Sunday, October 8th.

Annemiek was kind enough to include Kim on her ride....(lower right hand corner).

Way to GO! Annemiek! Congratulations!


Live STRONG and be thankful for every day you have!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Bring it on!

Columbia Triathlon 2007

We'll see you at the race!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

And on and on....

Last night I skipped my workout in favor of playtime with the Kittens. I am enjoying my week of recovery from the half marathon while I figure out what I'd like to focus on "fitness wise" for the next 12 weeks.

KIM UPDATE: I'm happy to say that my friend Kim has been released from the hospital and is home. "Meds added, adjusted and tweaked. Pic line installed. Set up with hospice for home care. No further treatments. Pallative and quality is the name of the game." Kim and her family are in my prayers and I hope they are embracing every moment and enjoying as much time together as possible!

It's been a whirl wind week. Last Wednesday I welcomed my new little nephew Rowen into the world and yesterday's news of Kim's latest battle has reminded me to cherish every moment. I think I need a little time to recharge my battery.

I'm taking a "LONG WEEKEND" from Blogging .... See you all next week!


LiveSTRONG Manifesto Video

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Melanoma SUCKS!!!!!


I have some friends that I have made over the last 2 years over the Melanoma Patients Information Page Message Boards, otherwise known as MPIP.

One of those friends is Kim From Iowa.

Kim's had a rough year with the discovery of some brain mets. Which up until recently were responding well to treatment. Just last week, Kim posted on her blog that in her last round of scans they found 2 more small Brain Mets and the folks at MDA were discussing how to proceed next.

Kim and I had been talking about her recent mets and about how she was dealing with them and about keeping herself strong and in the fight. While chatting back and forth about all of this, Kim said to me:

" This isn't my death sentence, and I knew we'd run into hiccups with brain mets."

She was in the process of making some plans and talking to her doctors about what to do next.

I just found out today that Kim was admitted into the hospital on Monday after a weekend of intractable abdominal pain.

CT showed "profusely disseminated metastatic lesions throughout the liver", this in addition to six metastic brain lesions, three pulmonary metastises and all of her labs bottoming out.

MDA questions whether or not she would survive a flight to Houston.

Hospice has been suggested as the next course of action.

Please, PLEASE if you have a moment today, Say a prayer for Kim and send her plenty of LiveSTRONG vibes.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Maine Half Marathon - Lobster Aunts Rock!

(Author's Note: No lobsters were harmed in the running of this half marathon....)

I arrived in Bangor, Maine late on Friday night. Cathy and her friend Norm came and picked me up. After a late night stop at Denny's for some dinner, we headed back to Cathy's place to sleep for the night.

Early the next morning, we headed out on the two hour drive to Portland, Maine to pick up our race packets. They garenteed Race Bags to the first 1500 people to pick up there packets. We thought it meant we got actual bags perhaps with the name of the event on them .... no such luck... just plastic bags with some treats...Typical Race stuff.

The race tshirt was actually a nice "Brooks" techinal Tee. Pretty Nice for a Marathon that had only a $25.00 entry fee. Are you listening Marine Corps and Baltimore Marathons,you don't need to charge us extra money for a tech tee!! (they are probably not listening...)

WIth the whole day ahead of of, Cathy and I went to Freeport, Maine about 12 miles away to do some Outlet Shopping. We were on a mission, to find something fun to wear on race day ... and we found it.

Behold ... They look like gentle, fun loving women shopping at L.L. Bean ....

But really they hide their secret running identity:
Rowen's Aunts - Lobster Girls!

Even Lobster Girls need a place to rest their legs and claws before race day.
So we checked into the "Residental Inn".
Looks kinda small doesn't it?
smallest hotel

We were very HAPPY and RELIEVED to discover the actual HOTEL was back behind the little strip mall just beyond this small building. So we settled in for a good nights sleep.

Is she a Lobster Girl or a Pirate? Both!

As has become a "G-Sisters" race tradition, we made shirts for race day. Since Heather would not be racing, due to the delivery of her first son (and our first nephew) Rowen just 3 days before, we decide that we would honor Heather's big event and bring Rowen along for the run with us, at least in spirit!!

The FRONT of the Lobster Girls Race Tee:

And the BACK!!

Since both Cathy and I have had a crazy year in our own ways, we decided that we were going to only focus on having FUN at this race. There were no magic *times* to beat and the only rule invoked was the "Nancy Toby Rule" which states *you must take advantage of any downhills in a race*.

The half marathon course followed the full marathon course to the 6.5 mile mark where the half marathoners turned around and headed back to the finish line. The course is advertised as flat for the first 4 miles with hills in miles 5-7 and then a return to flat for the finish. I think the MAINE definition of FLAT is much different from the VA definition.

I'd would call the first 4 miles WAVY.

In any case, Cathy and I made great time and were averaging 12 minute miles until we hit the big hills around Mile 4. Then we switched from following the interval beeps of my watch to simply picking spots up the road to run to. Cathy would say "Okay .. to the yellow sign just past the start of the climb" and off we would go.

As a part of the goal to HAVE FUN and apply the "Nancy Toby Rule", early on, I began yelling "WHEEE" whenever we encountered a downhill. This had 3 effects:
1.) It made us giggle.
2.) It made the runner's around us smile.
3.) It seemed to pick up our pace.

Very quickly, we made friends with two other women who were running our pace and they would listen for us on the downhills. When they heard "WHEEEE", they would say "YEAH!!!".

People LOVED the Lobster Claws and the "Rowen Rocks My Socks" shirts. We heard many "Go Aunt Holly!" and "Go Aunt Cathy!" from spectators and alot of runners asked us "Who is Rowen?" "Is he racing today too?"

All the comments and cheers gave us plenty of good vibes and engergy to cover the distance. At one point, as we passed a little boy and his Mom on the side of the road, he said "Look Mommy, Reindeer!!" ...Not QUITE but that was okay!!

Other than a gentleman with a large texas hat on (who we think ran the full marathon) we were the only people with anything "goofy" on our heads that day. There were several times that faster runners going in the other direction, saw us and smiled for a moment. That was worth it!!!

The miles flew by and Cathy and I kept talking and bargaining and picking new "spots" to run too.

Early on, before the race started, Cathy talked about how she wanted to run the last mile ... no matter how badly she felt, we just *had to run the last mile, all of it*. I didn't say much, one way or the other, I just figured if that was what she wanted, that I would find the strength to do it, somehow.

When we got to Mile 12, Cathy looked at me and said "Do you remember how I said I wanted to run ALL of the last mile?"


"I don't really care about that now....I just want to finish, why don't we just plan to run those last 2/10 of a mile when we see the 26 mile marker for the Marathon?"

You could hear my peals of laughter all the way to the finish line...

Cathy and I continued to "pick points" and run then walk to recovery all the way up to the *26 mile* sign. Then we kicked it into gear and began the final 2/10 of a mile to the finish line. As we neared the finish line and moved to the left for the "Half Marathon finishers chute" Cathy put forth the final challenge.

"At the bike (about 50 yard from the finishing mat), We SPRINT and finish STRONG, Sister!"

And that is just what we did!

Just as we crossed the finish line.

During that final sprint we heard voice yelling "Go Holly!" I looked up and there was my college buddy Dwight and his wife, Chris!! They had read I was doing the race on my Blog and drove from Manchester, NH (about 1.5 hours) to cheer us and and say Hi! It was a wonderful surprise!

Cathy and I finished in 2:54:29 according to my watch. Not too shabby for a couple of Lobster Aunts out for a day of fun on a half marathon course!

Aunt Holly and Aunt Cathy with Finisher's Medals!
finish line

With Dwight and Chris - Who came to Cheer Us On!

Life is Good!! Live STRONG!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Good Weekend for MANY!

Okay ... Cathy and I finished the Maine Half Marathon in 2:56:29.

That is GUN time ... not Chip time because they had problems with the chips but I can tell you that it was a full 2 minutes before we passed the start line after the gun went off .....(I'm *cranky* because if I had known there would be no official chip time I would have taked the darn thing off instead of having it chop 3 little holes into my right ankle ....)

No worries, still SUB 3 hour finish and we have TONS OF FUN which was the whole point!! More with pictures of the "Lobster Girls" later tonight...

My nephew Rowen and sister Heather came home this weekend. So far, so good!! The whole family (Mommy, Daddy, & Baby Rowen) are settling into their new routine. He IS the cutest!!

Nancy and Ellie ROCKED and ROLLED this weekend at their AquaVelo event....Only 5 more weeks until Ironman Florida ... Time for a taper ladies!!!

*Jeanne* ran the WineGlass Marathon this weekend ... but I have not heard her race results yet but I am sure that she did wonderfully and took some great pictures too!

FInally - My good friend and running partner Keri did her first Olympic Distance Triathlon this weekend and finished in 3:20:27!! And she looked *MARVELOUS* while racing ... as I expected! She also raised over $2500.00 for Team In Training/Lymphoma Society while she was at it!

Way to go Keri!!! I can't wait to here all about it!

keri SWIM


Keri Run