Monday, May 24, 2010

Contagious Happenings


You may have noticed since it has been three weeks since my last post I had a difficult time getting comfortable in the saddle. Now that the alien is gone, I am ready to get back to the “old” Heidi and focusing on the 3-day once again.  Although during the past three weeks I haven’t been actively training, I have been networking and doing some fundraising. My household has also been effected by a contagious happening-thankfully, not a serious health issue but awareness.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to the college’s bookstore where I work and purchased three pink breast cancer bracelets-one for mom, one for my sister, and one for myself. Josh, my 20-year-old son, asked if he could have one, and he wore it to work at Domino’s. Josh’s bracelet was the beginning of the contagious effect because it caused quite a stir at work for Josh with his coworkers, and five of his coworkers asked for bracelets.  I was honored to have them wear bracelets to help raise awareness. More important, they are wearing the bracelets in memoriam of their boss’s sister Vickie Barber who lost her four and half year battle with breast cancer on March 31, 2010. Not only are they raising awareness but I also have a jar on the counter at Domino’s for fundraising and have made about $25 in donations-although I know most of this is tips that Josh and his brother Jake have earned while working.
Brothers being brothers meant that since Josh had a breast cancer bracelet, Jake had to have one too. Jake, who is 16-years-old, wears his with the trendy Silly Bands. Jake’s breast cancer bracelet was noticed by his girlfriend’s mother Jan. The contagious affect of the bracelet once again prompted Jake to ask me for a fundraising letter and donation form for her, which in turn, I received a very generous donation since Jan lost a very good friend to breast cancer.
Since everyone else in the house is wearing breast cancer bracelets, my sweet hubby Mark started wearing one too, and he wears his more faithfully than I wear mine. Mark wearing the bracelet also produced a contagious effect because not only did his coworker Chaz want bracelets for him and his wife,  but also they also prompted another generous donation from Chaz and his wife Cynthia in memory of Grandma Mary who fought a tough battle against breast cancer. In addition to the bracelet, Chaz also proudly wears a “Fight like a girl” tattoo to honor Grandma Mary’s courageous battle.
Through this life changing journey, I have been amazed by how many people’s lives have been affected by breast cancer, and the realization of this gives me more incentive to do my part in the fight against breast cancer. I, however, couldn’t do this without the love and support of my family by proving “real men do wear pink” and the contagious effect their wearing the breast cancer bracelets has had on raising awareness and helping me with my fundraising.
Hugs and Blessings,
Heidi

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again


Early Monday morning I awoke due to a contracting pain in my abdomen. After digesting some Tums and tossing and turning for an hour, I finally found peaceful slumber again, but it was short lived since my mornings begin around 6:15. I carried on with the day but was often reminded that the pain hadn’t completely subsided, and in actuality, at times it got worse. So, about halfway through the day, I went to see the doc-afraid it may be my appendix.
She says it isn't my appendix but thinks it is my gallbladder and sends me for an abdominal ultrasound. The next day I get the results "Normal." The doc then wants to send me for a test which checks the function; in fact, she had already prepared me for this since it is part of "the insurance process." Unfortunately, I can’t get until next week. By Thursday morning I felt better. I wasn't fully convinced it was my gallbladder, so I return to the doc to ask her opinion. As I am sitting in the waiting room, I have another painful attack. By the time, I am called back, my blood pressure is high and I am in tears. She suggests I go to the ER-I express my concern that they will only give me pain meds and send me on my way-she thinks they will do more to help by doing testing earlier or possibly removing gallbladder.
My hubby takes me to the ER. While I am sitting in waiting room, I have another painful,tearful attack, but once I am called back, pain has subsided considerably. Once I get in the back, I am in a reclinced position that helps to ease the pain more, fed a GI cocktail, and then the nurse tortures me by digging around in my arm for a vein, so they can get a CT scan. Since I am not a drama queen, I don’t play up the pain, and hence, I am not taken seriously. So, after 4 hours I am sent on my merry way with pain med, a "Normal" CT scan, and being told my other testing can’t be done any sooner than already scheduled. Oh! how can I forget my poor abused arm-the torture is apparent 3 days later.

 
The next morning Jake, my youngest son, asks how I am doing; I explain the pains are similar to contractions; he concludes it is an alien trying to get out. I spent the rest of the day lounging around and seemed to keep the alien calm. On Saturday I am awaken by the alien’s rumbling which is shortly followed by hubby getting home from his night shift at work. I lie in bed thinking I need to get up and go to the 3-Day Training Kickoff since my stomach is “NOTHING” compared to what someone battling cancer is going through. So, I get showered, and out the door I go.
The Training Kickoff was just what I needed. I was sad that I didn't get to meet Kristen of Kristen Walks, but it was a pleasure to mix and mingle with other walkers Joanne a five-year survivor, who was diagnosed at the age of 42 because she just knew something didn't "feel" right. As I was telling Aunt Marian's Story, she shared with me how she listened to her instinct and knew the thickening wasn't right even though it didn't show up on an ultrasound. I also met Brandee who is walking because "everyone deserves a lifetime."

Even though the alien awoke me for a short time this morning, I am feeling GREAT! My belly doesn’t look like that of a malnourished child and the painful pressure is gone with the wind-no, it wasn’t gas.  :) Today is a new day, and I am back in the saddle again-and ready for the ride of this life changing journey!
Hope you day is a great one!
 Hugs and Blessings,
Heidi