Thursday, March 19, 2009

Update, and a bit of a relief

Well, things looked OK this time around with respect to the new spots.
The spots they were concerned about turned out to be tissue that moved
into some old cysts (ew). Apparently, when smashed flat (ow ow ow),
they disappear in the x-ray, which is what happened.

Still planning on a 3/31 biopsy for the original site, though, unless
they can squeeze me in earlier.

Whew. :-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Quick update... (or... the updated update)

Hi folks,
Just a quick update to let you know that mammogram #2 happened today. The marker seems to be in the right spot, at least according to the images, so that's good news. No repeat procedure. Yay! :-)

March 31st is the doctor's appointment, and probably the biopsy. I probably won't send out another update about this until we get the results back from that, but things are moving forward. Shouldn't take too long to get answers now, which makes me happy.

On a related note, some of you know I was considering walking in the 3-Day Breast Cancer walk in Boston this July. The challenge was a great one: 60 miles over three days... I know I'd enjoy the experience. Problem is, the fundraising is very aggressive: $2300 per walker. Yikes! Honestly, I just can't justify asking people to do that in this economy. Plus, there are other cancers that just don't get the publicity (less "glamorous"?), and therefore don't get the money. It didn't seem right... So, I'll probably do the North Conway walk ("Strides Against Breast Cancer") again... that one benefits the American Cancer Society and seems like a better place for me to put my money. I'd rather see my money benefit all cancer research.

Although I still want to get a shirt from these guys. :-)

Update (3/18/09): Well, today started off nicely with a lunch to celebrate a coworker who's probably going to go out on maternity leave soon (as an aside: Angela's Coal-Fired Pizza is incredible!). I got back to work and had a message to call the radiology group I went to on Monday. The radiologist wants me to go back tomorrow for more imaging: the original, marked site did increase in size, and now there are more suspicious areas that he wants to get pictures of before my next doctor's appointment. The radiologist's recommendation: biopsy.

Ugh. Way to pull the rug right out from under me. I'll update the blog after I get more information.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Hynes Tavern 5-mile Race (Wild Rover Race #3!)

The third and final race in the Wild Rover Series was today: The Hynes Tavern 5-Mile Road Race in Lowell, MA.

Parking was a bit disorganized (at least, if you wanted to find the free parking lots), but we got a spot at the elementary school where I picked up my number and proceeded to spend half the morning in the line for the ladies' room (I'd forgotten what Comet cleanser smelled like!). At least we got there early...

The kids joined me, Michelle, John, and Laura for the pre-race picture:

The weather: sunny and gorgeous! It started off somewhat windy and cool (but nowhere near the snow and sleet we had the previous two weeks). I was wondering if I'd have to keep my jacket on for the run or not. And more good news: we were going to have actual chip time (mat at the starting line), rather than going by gun time. Which was nice, since it took me about a minute to actually cross the starting line.

Yeah, that's me waving... John too. :-)

Once we got going, it seemed like the wind instantly stopped and the sun got warm. That jacket came off after maybe 500 feet! I liked the course: out of Lowell into Chelmsford, around a cemetery and through some cute neighborhoods, then back into the city. Another course with a hill at the turnaround point, but this one wasn't as steep as the last one (thankfully). A good sign that it's all downhill from there is when you run past the town water tower. ;-) I had the iPhone going and mapped the route with Runkeeper. (Plug alert... I love this app!)

After a tough run on Friday, I was pretty psyched with my run today... lots of energy (and a nice little boost at the end getting cheered on by a friend and having my family at the finish line), and a better time than expected (a 10:14 mile), given the on-and-off issues my calf has been giving me over the past few weeks. Woo!

One thing I really liked about this race series was that it was the first group of races where we used the disposable timing chips ("D-chip"). No more chip collection at the end of the race (and fighting your way through the crowd of folks bent over trying to loosen these things from their laces), and no threats of being charged $$ for missing chips. The new chips came as a plastic strip attached to the back of your race number: detach the strip, loop it around your laces, and you're done. No problems attaching the chip, and there didn't seem to be any issues with accuracy... pretty nice.

What next? I dunno... I need to keep running, though, and quit slacking off. More snow for tonight and tomorrow (sigh), but no excuses... I need to find another race to sign up for to keep myself honest. :-)

All three "Wild Rover" medals together... the heart and crown were from this week. It's pretty big!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Claddagh Pub 4-Miler (Wild Rover Race #2!)

The second race in the Wild Rover Series was today: The Claddagh Pub 4-Miler (in Lawrence, MA).

Friday and Saturday, we had beautiful weather: Friday got up to almost 60 degrees, Saturday cooled down as a cold front moved through. Today?

Snow. Of course! Yaaaay! Two storms worked their way through the area today. Storm #1 was the one that affected the race today: not too much snow ("a dusting"), but enough to make some of the running slippery. Storm #2 is coming through tonight, and is expected to dump 15" of snow on us. That's what happens, living in New England!

The course was interesting: flat for the first mile, a KILLER hill at the 2-mile turnaround point (someone on the website described the hill as a "knee-in-the-face" hill, which was pretty accurate), with the downhill and flat coming back. Map is here on Runkeeper's site. I walked the hill and had to watch my step on the downhill, for fear of sliding down (if I'd had a sled, I'd have made up some great time!). Despite the hill and the snow, though, I still averaged around an 11-minute mile. Yay!

Round three will be next week with the Hynes Tavern 5-miler in Lowell. I'm hoping it's more like Spring! :-)

First picture is pre-race: (L-R) Michelle, Me, John, Laura, Jen (Joe, thanks again for taking the pictures!)

This is the amount of snow we had at the start... not too much, but it was slippery in spots (John skated over to the starting line):

Of course, there are bling pictures. The medal is the second piece of the 3-piece Wild Rover Series medal, and the second hand in the claddagh. Next week we get the heart and crown at the Hynes Tavern 5-miler.

It's blurry, but here's a picture of the two pieces together:

See you next week at the Hynes Tavern race! :-)
(Update: sorry the pictures didn't come through the first time... hopefully, this edit fixes that.)