Friday, April 22, 2016

Paris marathon report (ish)

So, it's been a few days since the Paris marathon and I've thus far said nothing about it... not because it wasn't a great experience (it was!!), but because there's been a lot going on.

First off, it was a whirlwind two week adventure... first week gallivanting about southern England, visiting family, running the Thames Bridges Trek in London in wild weather and going to concerts.

running Millennium Bridge (#14 out of 16 bridges) in pouring rain
Second week, cold and rainy Paris, birthday dinners, catching up with old friends... and then a very hot and sun-burny day for the Paris marathon.

Two weeks of travel and late nights and cold weather had taken a bit of a toll, so I didn't start the race at my best... suffered in the unexpected heat... but thoroughly enjoyed the first 18 miles of the race. Particularly the parts where my husband and my friends showed up several times along the course to cheer me on. I really struggled for the last 8 miles, as could be seen in my seriously diminishing speed over those miles.
approximately Mile 18, still smiling..

The following day, hopped on a couple planes.. spent almost 18 hours in transit between hotel and home, and was struck down with a terrible cold. Which turned into pneumonia. So, I've pretty much done no activity more strenuous than walking the dogs for the last three weeks.

My energies have been focused on getting myself healthy, and on supporting family and friends who are having babies, having health issues, and dealing with other difficulties in life.

On a happier note though, I had friends in town from Canada and Europe this week, so have been trying to squeeze in some visits. Having them here, and having them meet each other, has brought me joy.

Getting stressed out about missing so much cycle training. AMBBR is in 6 weeks, and I'm so very far from prepared!

Also, so very far from having reached my fundraising goals... If you're feeling flush, and would like to help me to help LLS find a cure for blood cancers... please donate here:

My Powers Turned Up

As you may know from reading past posts... there is a fairly extensive history of cancer in my family. My maternal grandmother died of breast cancer. Her sister, my great aunt Christine, has lymphoma. Christine's daughter Andrea had breast cancer. My maternal grandfather had colon cancer. His brother, my great uncle Art, died of colon cancer. My mother has ocular melanoma. My cousin Amy died of cancer. My step father's mom, my paternal grandmother, had cancer. My mother-in-law died of cancer...

I run with Team In Training (and now also cycle and Tri) in their honor.  To celebrate their lives and support their struggles, to honor their memories and to raise funds in an effort to try in my own way to help to find a cure for cancers of all kinds.

A few weeks ago I learned that it was time to add another family member to the list of loved ones for whom I will continue to train and fund raise. At the age of 25, my cousin Liz was just diagnosed with an exceptionally rare form of uterine cancer. The first course of action against this form of cancer is a hysterectomy. Devastating...

However, she's got such a great outlook on this, and has permitted me to share her words with you.

"My powers turned up"

Over the past weeks my family and I have had one shocking blow after another. Cancer touches us all in some way, but you {never} expect it to be you.
This time it was me. It is me. And I felt/feel all the emotions. Fear. Anger. Shock & disbelief. And then emotions I don't even have names for.

Only 300 cases world wide. Ever. This is the 1 in a billion tumour. I'm actually extremely lucky this was found.
That was the first blow.
Next, the "treatment", takes a future away I took for granted. The ability to have a child. A hysterectomy. At 25 years old. But I will live to raise my girls and share a life with my love
 In stepping back, I see this incredible testimony in the works.
God led me to Mike at 15 - married at 20 - not having us wait to meet later in life like so many are asked to do.
God is the one who put that need to be a mother in my heart at such a young age, not later, {not too late} I am a mother. A mother to not even just one beautiful soul, but two.
God gave Mike and I years together beforehand so that when something devastating like this happens, we fall together and not fall apart.

God placed all these truly incredible people in my life to be strong with me when I don't have it in me to go it alone, these people let me feel fear and help me through it. Over the last few days I've had a MRI, CT and ultrasound - all have come back negative - the cancer is contained within my uterus, this is HUGE as once this cancer spreads to other organs, it is pretty resistant to chemotherapy. I will be having surgery within the next week or so... If Hopkins confirms everything - that will be bumped up.

my cute cousin and her sweet little girls

Surgery went according to plan... hysterectomy with tubes, but ovaries are healthy and were left in place, so that is a huge silver lining. NO tumour spillage!!!
She will be monitored closely but all indications thus far point to no chemo and a full recovery!!

post op snuggles