Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.

5K Goals

I know I just PR'ed a 5K a month ago, but I'm going to try again.
Goal A: 26:57 <-ambitious, and crazy
Goal B: PR (current PR 28:11)
Goal C: Don't puke or die

Goal A is an 8:40ish pace. I've certainly never attempted this pace for any length of time - I did 1600's, like, forever ago, and hit that, but I had a RI in between. Doesn't really count. I did run mile 10 of my 11 miler Sunday at goal pace, and didn't want to die OR puke, so I guess it could happen. We'll see. I know it's kind of a stretch, but might as well give it a shot - it's a great course, and my legs feel good and recovered.

Have I ever mentioned that I am a gigantic Disney obsessed freak?

For years, I've been a member of a Disney message board - I am normally the type who researches crowd calendars and counts down to the 180-day mark so I can make my dining reservations. I plan out what Fast Passes to get when (which is moot now, since they changed the FP rules at WDW, zoinks). It gets pretty intense around me when Disney planning is happening.

Anyway, they have a forum on these message boards dedicated to Make a Wish trips, and tips for families with special medical needs, which of COURSE I've been obsessively reading since we started planning.

On this board, though, there's a group of people, who select families going on Wish trips, and throw a little (or a lot....) of extra Pixie Dust their way...

By way of....
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

We've been receiving and opening Mickey Mail for weeks, and man, how stinkin' blessed are we.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Gabby is pretty much FREAKING OUT EXCITED every.single.day. The H said he woke up to her counting down yesterday. She advised me as soon as I walked in after work that we only had NINE DAYS LEFT.

I'm guessing today we'll have only EIGHT DAYS LEFT.

Speaking of Gab.... It's been awhile since I've talked about Gabby.

The truth is, there's nothing to report. She's happy, healthy, and a typical 5 yr old kid.

I guess that's kind of the best report of all.

She had to get stitches a few weeks ago, after a playground incident. Can't get much more normal than that, eh?

The stitches came pretty soon after her chemo doses were increased - chemo is dosed based on the child's weight, mostly, and how they're reacting to their current dosage. Her weigh in at the clinic bumped her up to the next threshold, and doses went up. Not a ton, but enough to mess with her counts for a few weeks.

Chemo, in general, lowers her counts - white blood cells, platlets, red blood cells. All those cells you need to heal when you get cut, right?

So, long story short, her chemo was increased, which led to counts dropping, which led to the creepy stitches being removed but her leg not totally healed, so it was kind of an open wound and puffy, and she got an extra med to prevent infection. More chemo, and an extra med.

Like dominos, man.

Because her counts have been low, she's going to clinic again on Tuesday to make sure her counts have rebounded, before we leave for her Make a Wish trip.

What does that mean, exactly?

If her counts are still low, they'll "just" lower her chemo for the week and give her a transfusion.

You know. No big deal. Just lower chemo and blood transfusions.


The point to all this rambling, is today is Tuesday. Already this week, I've had two of my employees in my office, in tears, about children in their family with cancer.

I'm a private person, and I don't share my personal life with work. My employees don't know about Gabby and her leukemia. I've been here almost a year, and one of them just last week asked if I had any kids. They had no reason to come to me expecting anything more than a manager approving their time off.

TWO people, TWO kids with cancer. In TWO days.

What the fuck.

I don't know. It pisses me off. I hope I was helpful to them, somehow. I know I was terrified the first few weeks... and it takes a LOT to worry me.

It pisses me off that I'm so blase about "just" changing the dose of chemo and giving her a blood transfusion. I mean. Those are kind of serious things, right? I don't know how I'd function if I reacted as if things like that are a big deal, but maybe I should. And how incredibly lucky are we? How did we get SO fortunate.

I don't know. I don't really have a point here. I'm just mad.


  1. I think when people have been through cancer or any other major hospital issue you just go into autopilot, I speak from experince on that. I am the best person to take the hospital as I have spent to many nights there due to car accidents - 11 days for me, months for my step mom. When someone calls me about an issue instead of freaking out I start going through my checklist of stuff that needs to happen to support them and the person there. That is not blase - it is just the way I cope. They way you cope is what works for you. Never apologize for that. You are strong! I look at my little nugget and can't even imagine what you are deal with daily with Gabby! I hope her Make a Wish Trip is everything YOU all NEEDED and want of course. HUGS

  2. I had a friend call me about a month ago, completely freaking out because he was having tests done and could have cancer. I could tell he expected me to say something really helpful, but I feel like I fell short. It sucks, dude. Then out spilled all the cliches: Worrying won't change the outcomes, so try to stay calm. One day at a time.

    I feel like it is easier to be the one sick (or in your case, the mother of the sick child) than to watch someone else you love fight. And a transfusion feels oh so good and isn't really a big deal after you've had as many as Gaby has.

  3. Big hugs to you, Gabby and the family. I love that Gabby gets mail from Disney for weeks before the big trip. Part of the fun is the expectation...what a great organization. I hope you all have the time of your lives and don't get lost going anywhere, hehe.

  4. I'm so glad to hear that she's doing so well. And I can understand why you don't go nuts over "just" adjusting the chemo and a transfusion. If you freaked out over every single aspect of this whole ordeal, you would be a fucking basketcase by now.

    I hope you guys have an awesome trip. :)

  5. So happy to hear that Gabby is doing well. I hope you have an awesome trip. Super bummed that we will miss each other by just a few days. And the FP policy change totally messed with my planning too.

  6. Reading up on all my blogs...I am glad she is doing well and I think you are doing "handling" it the best way you could...freaking out would probably freak gabby out and that can't be anything but positive. That website is great...do you have the link? would love to be a part of that. I was lucky enough to work at disney when in college as an intern...very fun and memorable experience. Wishing you the best! Can't wait to hear bout your trip.

  7. I hope you all have a wonderful trip and Gabby has a fantastic time. I think if you freaked out at every thing cancer threw your way you would have no energy left. I think you are being a great example to all your children that you keep moving forward and make the best of it.

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  9. Nevermind! You explained fast pass compared to GAC's but they are screwing with GAC's to! just a heads up!

    I know your family and Gabby will have a great time!

  10. I can imagine you have to be blase about things at some point - it takes so much energy otherwise. Glad to hear Gabby is doing well & hope she has strength to do all she wants on her trip. Hugs to you.

  11. Two things:

    1. A 26 ish 5K is not unrealistic for you. I think you will continue to improve, beyond where you think you can today. Go for it.

    2. You cope with things extremely well, running, blogging, fundraising, and DOING. Everyone has their own style, in varying degrees of privacy. There isn't a wrong way to deal with things unless someone is being hurt. Keeping it to yourself at work is what you choose to do and that's fine, but it's great to be able to be supportive of those who come to you...if you have anything left to give. The anger is totally okay, I think it's partly a result of you having limited leftover resources to be able to support those people, too!

    Heather you are so amazing, you are such a ROCK, and I hope you always have someone there to hug you and help you put the pieces back together when you have your moments of total breakdown and being overwhelmed.

    I hope everything goes in the right direction this week for Gabby so that she can completely enjoy every moment of her trip.

    Happy 4th to all of you!

  12. Your energy is amazing and you are so G.D. awesome!
    P.S. What the hell? Your running SF? 1/2 or full? When are you arriving? When Are you leaving? Expo time and dates- is it to much if I ask for your social? :) Hope your PR dreams come true. xoxo

  13. You are going to have a GREAT trip to Disney. So glad that you guys get to do this. After the last 18 months, no one deserves it more.

  14. I think you deal with it the way you need to. I mean, OBVIOUSLY, you know it's serious stuff, but what is it going to help to get more fired up about it. It won't change the fact that they have to do those things.

    But at least you get fired up and raise a shit-ton of money for PCRF. IMO, you get fired up about what you can change which is the best scenario.

  15. Apparently, I really liked to use the phrase "fired up" in that last comment.

    Nothing like rampant redundancy.

  16. It makes me so happy that people are throwing extra pixie dust Gabby's way. She deserves it! I like that phrase- "pixie dust"- because it is applicable to the things, big and small, that are done to give our kids some fun, hope, comfort,... anything that helps negate some of the crap that they have gone and continue to go through. When the dominoes can get knocked back in the other direction, it's pretty awesome.

    I hope Gabby and the whole family have an amazing trip, sprinkled with a healthy dose of pixie dust!


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