Monday, October 31, 2011

The World Series, Baby!!!

Have you been watching???

Well you know, we certainly have!!!  Our ST. LOUIS CARDINALS are WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!

Check out the Cardinals celebration after Game 7:

Go Crazy, Folks!  Go Crazy!!!!

We were at Busch Stadium for the Historic Game 6 and it was nothing else like I’ve ever experienced.  Flat out the most exciting and intense sports experience of my life.

Looking into Busch Stadium just before they opened the gates.  So excited!!!IMG_0166

 

ESPN, and a ton of other broadcast booths were set up all around and inside the stadium: IMG_0170

 

The Budweiser Clydesdales were paraded down the street, through the pep rally:IMG_0171

 

The World Series matchup – Texas Rangers and OUR ST. LOUIS CARDINALS!IMG_0175

 

My love and I just before game time!IMG_0190

 

The view from our bleacher seats in Right Field:IMG_0206

 

My friend (and dr), Julie, and I:IMG_0208

 

Fruit cup at the ballgame!  Score!!IMG_0209

 

Won with a HOME RUN by David Freese in the bottom of the 11th inning!IMG_0213

 

Yes, Busch Stadium was definitely ROCKIN’!!IMG_0210

 

Do you think my hubby is excited?!  OH YEAH!!!

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That’s a winner, folks!!! IMG_0240

 

The hubs and his brother Jim, and cousin Jason!  SEE YOU TOMORROW NIGHT!IMG_0245

 

I love it when big men act like little boysOpen-mouthed smile World-Series-2011-Schedule-300x225

It was an amazing night and now our Cardinals are World Champions!!! Cardinal Nation is SO PROUD!!!

Dream in Cardinal red tonight, friends Smile

xoxo

Not One, But Two

So I should title this post:

The Rock ‘N Roll Marathon – The REST of the Story…

But I won’t.

Since I finished what was to be my 3rd full marathon, and ended up being my 3rd HALF-marathon, barely over a week ago, I have new answers…and new questions.

The ANSWERS came at a dr’s appointment on Wednesday.  We traveled to the city for x-rays for my ribs.  After still feeling quite a bit of pain, Dr. P wanted to take a look and get a scan.  We stopped by his office at Siteman and he wrote us out the order that we then took to radiology.  We got checked in and waited for the tech to come get me. 

Now I have to tell you, there are 4 words I have heard over and over and over since my breast cancer diagnosis in September 08 [and I’m sure that other young survivors hear the same thing ALL the time, as I do],

…But you’re SO YOUNG!…

They all say it.  The receptionist checking me in at radiology, “Oh but you’re so young!”

The tech who gave me the gown and took the x-rays, “Really???  You’re so YOUNG!”

The lady at the bone density registration (more on that in a moment), “Wow, you’re so YOUNG!”

It is almost always the first thing I hear when someone finds out that I have been diagnosed with breast cancer.  But it’s true.  Did you know that the median age for a woman diagnosed with breast cancer is 61?  SIXTY-ONE.  Breast cancer in young women is rare, but no unheard of.  Just because you are young and have no family history [Ahem.] doesn’t mean that you aren’t at risk.  Take care of yourselves, ladies, and remember to check your breasts.  Breast cancer caught early is a HUGE PLUS!

---ok, stepping off of soapbox---

So I got my x-rays and went back to the dr’s office, where not long after we arrived, Dr. P came walking down the hall looking at me with a half smile, shaking his head. 

“What?”  I said.

“Your rib is really broken.  Want to see?”

We followed him back to his office and checked out my scan on the computer screen.  And there it was.  A lower left rib, obviously split in two, with a gap in the break, jagged edges. 

“Whoa!  Are you serious?!”  Is the first thing I said.  Now I knew something was wrong but I didn’t really anticipate it being so badly broken. 

After a while, my hubs exclaimed, “And can you imagine, she could only run 13.1 miles with it like that?!”  Funny guyWinking smile

So then it was on to the QUESTIONS and thinking as to how this may have happened.  No trauma has taken place, no bumps or accidents I can remember, no rough-housing with the kids (or Jack Winking smile), nothing to suggest how my rib was broken.  And upon further review by the radiologist, there are actually TWO ribs broken, thankfully the second one discovered isn’t as bad.

Of course, my first question was about it being a cancer-related break.  And my dr said that of course that’s always a possibility and a concern, but he would think that my PET scan from the first of September would have showed SOMETHING, even though it was seven weeks prior.  But it showed nothing.  Even a review he had the radiologists do of my PET, focusing on that area of my ribs, revealed nothing. 

We are now awaiting the results of the bone density scan that my dr ordered and we had done last week.  I’m very interested see the results and see how my bones are handling their post-estrogen life.  Are the broken ribs a sign that they are literally cracking under the pressure – Haha, sorry I couldn’t help myself! Open-mouthed smile 

So we shall see, folks.  We are anticipating test results very soon.

Peace and Blessings. Red heart

xoxo

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Marathon That Wasn’t

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I’ve been counting down the days until my 3rd marathon, the Inaugural Rock ‘N Roll Marathon in St. Louis! 

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I have been super pumped ever since registering for the race in very early Summer, not long after running my 2nd full marathon in April.  I have always been intrigued by the Rock ‘N Roll events because of their fun, hip, and loud and proud atmosphere, which is almost essential for a marathon (if you ask me).  Ok, maybe not “essential” but it sure does make it a lot of fun! Open-mouthed smile

Our weekend in STL kicked off with an oncology checkup on Friday morning.  We took our kids out of school to go with us since we didn’t see a whole lot of point in driving up to the doctor on Friday morning, home on Friday afternoon, and then driving back up to STL on Saturday morning.  It stunk, though, because that meant Tyler could not go with us since he had to take the ACT test on Saturday morning.  He wasn’t too upset, anyway, because he had big plans to work all weekend to make some gas moo-lah and then he also wanted to bow hunt some.  So no biggie.

We got to Siteman late…ahem, honey…and got in for my appointment while the kids waited in the waiting room.  I’ll admit that I was very apprehensive about taking them to the dr with us, and here’s why:  When I’m at home and with my family, I feel like I have to be strong for everybody, especially my kids.  When I go to the dr I feel like I don’t have to pretend.  If I’m nervous, I can be nervous…if I’m scared or want to cry, that’s ok…most every cancer patient here feels the same way.  And to bring my kids into the place where I’m going to have to put on that brave face, well, it makes me feel like my two worlds are colliding.  But this was the best way for things to work out on Friday so I just sucked it up and we took them.  And it was fine.

During my checkup I mentioned to Dr. P about some pain I’d been having in my left side for about the past week.  After checking me all out, he said that he thought I either had a fractured or dislocated rib.  Really?!  I mean I knew that my body was exhausted during the training for this marathon but a broken rib, really?! 

I can tell a big difference in the condition of my body this time around in marathon training…my 3rd in a year.  I’m starting to have little nagging injuries that I’ve never had an issue with in my 7 1/2 years of running: shin splints, ankle problems, and now my ribs.  Also, I am exhausted.  My body is just tired.  Can you see the signs and symptoms of over-training??  I can.  Loud and clear.  Training for three marathons in one year is just too much for me.

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So now with all that information, what do you think I did? 

Yep.  You guessed it.

I went ahead with my marathon plans.  Ridiculous, I know.

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Marathon morning started out great.  Like all my other big races, I prepped the same way:

  • 2 alarms set at 5:30am
  • A roll and almond butter as I was getting dressed
  • Shorts, shirt w/ race bib, compression sleeve, compression socks, shoes, and hair in ponytail
  • A cup of coffee as I got ready
  • 4 chocolate Gu, 3 pieces of gum, my iPhone, headphones, Spibelt, and inhaler

No wonder it takes me so long to get ready. Confused smile

Anyway I met my sister, Layne, and her sister-in-law, Sarah, and we made the short walk to the start line in downtown St. Louis.  My sister-in-law, Kristy, was there too but we came from different hotels on race morning and weren’t in the same corral so I didn’t get to see her until after the race. 

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Obviously we passed the time waiting until 7:30 by taking lots of pictures.  I got the new iPhone 4S last week and I am LOVING the great quality of the pictures!

I have to break here from the usual race day report for a sec.  Remember when I told you awhile back about the fellow patient that I had made friends with in my dr’s office?  Well when I was at the dr Friday for my checkup, I asked about her.  I’m so sad to report that she passed away a few weeks ago.  I knew when I saw her at my last checkup that she didn’t look well, but I was praying for her miracle.  But God knows best and has bigger and better plans than we can even begin to imagine, so I just trust in Him and know that He’s got this.  In was in her honor that I ran on Sunday, and I wrote it on the inside of my left arm:

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I thought about her almost the whole race.  Which I don’t know was exactly a good thing because I would look at my arm and start to get choked up- which isn’t easy to do while you’re running, and even HARDER when your running with a cracked rib.  I’m praying for peace and comfort for her family.

At 7:30am the Inaugural St. Louis Rock ‘N Roll Marathon began!  Layne and I were in corral 6, and there were almost 30 corrals holding all us 20,000 people!!   

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The corrals were released every minute and a half and before we knew it, we were off and running! 

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I felt ok at first.  I mean, my side was a little sore but nothing bad.  I was trying to keep my pace slow because I didn’t want to start out too fast and then have nothing left at mile 20.  The course for the full- and the half-marathoners was the same for the first 8 miles, and I remember the fleeting thought of only doing the half but I pushed that thought way far back in my mind because I didn’t want to take an “easy out.”  I didn’t want to give myself that excuse just because it was hard.  Of course it’s hard!  It’s a stinkin’ marathon!!  It’s supposed to be hard!  And also, sometimes a lot of things hurt when you first start running, then you get in a groove and things work themselves out and you settle in for the run, so I didn’t want to mentally bail out too early just because I was struggling. <-----See how mental running is?!

Things changed, though, at Mile 7.  My side really started to hurt, not just a nagging ache, but a deep hurt every time my left foot hit the pavement.  I knew that there was no way I could finish the full marathon like I had my other two…if I was to finish there would have to be some serious adjustments.  I considered a walk/run ratio but the less impact of the walking felt so good that when I would pick up to run again it felt like a knife going in my side.  At Mile 8 I had made my decision, and I was good with it.

Here’s the texts I sent to Jack to let him know that I would be finishing the half, rather than the full:

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I also got a text from my mom telling me that she loved me.  I have an amazing family. Smile

Here’s how all the splits went down:

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I crossed the finish line with these official stats from RNR:
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I had/have absolutely no regrets in finishing the half instead of the full marathon.  None.  I’m actually surprised that I’m not a little more upset about it!  Ha!  But I know that there is no way I could have finished 26.2 miles with the way my ribs were hurting, and the damage I would be doing by pushing it, well, that would just be irresponsible running.  I made the right decision and I know it. 

And hey-now I can say I ran a 2:16 half-marathon with a broken rib!  Does that make me tough or what?!  Lol~

Post race we stood around and visited for a little while and then walked back to our hotel, happy and satisfied with our day.  Even if the day didn’t end like we have been planning for the past 4 months of training, it was good.  Sore, but good! 

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My sisters and I have already been in talks about our next race.  Yes, that’s SISTERS with an “s” Winking smile  Jessica was first to notice that the Rock ‘N Roll series also goes to Vegas!  Now that would be a fun girls’ trip!! 

Who knows where our next runs will take us?!

Love y’all!

xoxo

Monday, October 24, 2011

“Katie’s First Trip To The Zoo” AKA-What Happens When You Have More Than One Child

So I guess I’m going to go from no post in three weeks, to multiple posts in one day (Lord willing)…confused yet? 

Sheesh.

We had a great weekend in St. Louis this past weekend. It is like our second home and a city that holds a special place in our hearts.  In case you don’t know this about the STL, there is an amazing Zoo!  And it’s free!  Yay!! 

Well after trying to decide what kind of fun we were going to get into on Saturday, we mentioned going to the Zoo and Katie says, “That would be SO FUN!  I’ve never been to the Zoo!”

[complete silence as Jack and I glanced at each other in disbelief]

Jack: “What sissy?  You’ve never been to the Zoo??”

Katie: “Nope!  And I want to go SOOOOOOO bad!  I want to see all the animals!!”

Me:  “Honey are you SURE we’ve never taken you to the Zoo here before?”

This conversation went on for a few minutes until we decided that our 7-year old was right, we have never taken her to the Zoo.  Who knew?!  We have taken the boys several times, and I guess we just assumed she’d been there, too?  I dunno.

See, this is what happens when you have more than one child. 

The first one gets everything- the scrapbook is complete, the school pictures were always hung up, meals were perfectly balanced, and he was enrolled in every activity known to man. 

When the second one comes along things get a little more hectic but still manageable- the pictures make it TO the scrapbook just not necessarily IN it, you don’t always find out when he’s outgrown clothes until he goes to leave for school with high waters on, breakfast is definitely cereal, and we become a little choosy with extracurriculars. 

After the third one is born all semblance of normalcy goes out the window- “what scrapbook? Oh wait, we have to have PICTURES for that!”, we forgo fun activities because just getting all of us to leave the house at once is a MAJOR expedition (See ya later, Disney On Ice!), and you can forget about the school pictures at this point…all three kids’ 8x10s are in the drawer in the kitchen.  They are SO CUTE!!  But you will just have to take my word for it. Winking smile

So, yes, Katie has never been to the Zoo.  Are you really surprised?  After some thought, neither were we.

So here are some PICTURES from “Katie’s first trip to the Zoo”  <----which is what she wrote on the folder of pictures that she took to school this morning.  Oy vey.

Oh- and no we didn’t forget Tyler (although that’s probably hard to believe, especially after this post), but he had to take the ACT on Saturday morning so he didn’t get to go. Sad smile

Elijah (our “adopted” son and Zach’s buddy), Katie, and Zach:

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Katie liked the flamingos because they were pink.  Of course!

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And the penguins because they were cute.  I liked them because the penguin house felt like a freezer.  A menopausal woman’s dream.  While everyone else was grabbing for their jackets, I was breathing in deep and could have fallen fast asleep.

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So we can successfully cross that off our “lists”…Katie now HAS been to the Zoo.  I probably should go through Tyler’s scrapbook and see what other fun things we did with him that they other two have missed out on. Winking smile

xoxo