My journey - battling lymphoma

Recently I celebrated my 46th birthday. I love celebrating birthdays! Then I participated as a co-captain for our local "Quabog" Relay For Life and the Pack 57 Rocks! Cub Scout Team. This was the time frame that I had discovered an uneasiness in my stomach and growth in my spleen and stomach. After weeks of monitoring, my husband Steve took me to the doctor who felt the lumps and ordered a CT scan. The CT scan showed a massive area, my spleen enlarged to twice its size and an additional growth lower in my stomach. Next was the localized CT guided biopsy and subsequent PET scan. The biopsy showed positive for lymphoma and most likely Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma.

This is my online journal sharing my experience through battling this cancer that has abruptly entered my life for no apparent reason. The story is documented here if you want to start from the beginning, you can check the archives on the side bar.

As a top competitive master athlete this year winning my age group at the Marine Corps Marathon and placing 3rd in the New England Trail Running Championship I have been truly excited with my results of late and am a truly driven athlete. Driven by goals.... my goal right now.... to beat this "thing"!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Conquering the mountains one at a time

The Sound of the Trails

Energy, rhythm and balance.  
Lean into the hill, absorb its energy.
Land firmly on each foot, feel the rhythm.
Flow like water, stay in balance. 
Hear the sound of the trails. 

- Nancy E. Cook

Have I told you how much I love music?  I love to discover new genres and listen to new artists.  I have a range of music that includes Folk, Country, R&B, Pop, Jazz, Classical, Rap and Hip Hop.  Whatever mood I am in (or want to be in) I turn on that genre and it gets me in a zone of feeling either relaxed or pepped up.  I love how music can pick up your pace and in tune with your body, pick up your attitude.  Certain songs help me to run faster and keep the beat that is set.  I love the energy and the beat of certain songs and then as it plays I flow.  I create my playlists with a combination of beats and genre to mix it up enough but get them to a point where they actually push me with the beat.  It has been so fun to search for music and learn what "motivates" me to get faster.  

When I run in a race I don't run with music and as I raced Mt. Toby this weekend I had in my mind the music of the trail --- pinpointing my focus on the trail and feeling the energy.  I came up with the poem above while I raced with no music and really began to feel it --- and it got me up 1300 feet and down to the finish line in the pouring rain.  I was really proud of myself for finishing that race --- there is just nothing like conquering the trail.  And now in the middle of chemo treatments - fitting it all in is truly a challenge.  But I have set my mind to it and I am going to be successful.  I am a fighter, a survivor, and a winner. :)

Here is a link to more of the Mt. Toby story.  
Next is the Race to the Top of Vermont that I am hoping we make the trip north on Saturday for yet another mountain racing challenge.  There is NOTHING like a mountain challenge.  The feeling when you reach the top whether it is the finish or the halfway point is just heaven.

I will say that the music I listen to in treatment is much different than what I listen to on my runs.  I promise to share my favorites, but it is more jazz, more folk, much more mellow relaxation type music -- maybe to calm my nerves and hopefully to fuel my body for whatever stress these drugs have to give.

Thanks for stopping by -- please leave a comment if you did.  I love getting your notes!


Jane said...

Love your poem and the picture!!!

Heather Goss said...

Love the poem! You are a true inspiration. Sending you thoughts and prayers each day!
Heather Adams