IronTeam - Pasta Party - Night be fore IMAZ
IronTeam – Nov 20, 2011
I thought I had already given you my Pep Talk on Sat, but M-Dot had other plans for me. As you all were packing and repacking on Wed evening, I was struggling with how to write something that might be inspirational. Most of you know my story, so M-Dot asked me to speak on Treatment.
When I think about treatment the 1st thing that comes to mind is – “IT SUCKS.” I wondered how I could drag the topic on of “It Sucks” for 5 min - ok no comments from the peanut gallery Joe & Ann. I could do the Elmer Fund interpretation of “ittttttttt sucksssssss”, but that won’t do. I started thinking about Acronyms and trying to play on that but I found that difficult. Speaking of acronyms, if you pick any letter in the alphabet and put it with another 2 or 3 letters you’ll most likely come away with the name of a Cancer Treatment. Or as the docs say a “Chemo Cocktail.” – I think I much prefer a Margarita any day!
So now we’ve established that there are endless treatments out there; that bring up other questions arise like: How many different side effects they can deliver during and after treatment. Just because one person reacts a certain way, it doesn’t mean that all will – there’s a fine line in the balancing of drugs and their care. This is part of the struggle that many cancer patients deal with on a day to day basis.
When we think about treatments it’s a scary thought. I mean how can we put something into our veins that are killing us, and expect to come out the other side unscathed? You sit in a Chemo Lab or as I refer to it “the Costco/warehouse of Chemo” (you know a big room with a bunch or recliners and people hooked up to IV’s.) while the nurses inject this crap into you. They are most likely covered in full Hazmat suit or some type of protective clothing and you just offer up a vein or port and say have at it – ironic isn’t it?
As a patient or caregiver you think about what if it doesn’t work – what do we try next? How many times can I put my body though this crap? Will I return to my normal life or is there going to be a new normal?
The Docs and medical staff try to prepare you for what’s in store during you treatment adventure, however, no one talks about the post treatment issues one might encounter. Something is missing in this senior in my opinion. Education perhaps….
Did you know that approximately 50% of all cancer patients who undergo some form of Chemo or Radiation will end up with a secondary cancer at some point in their life (gee something to look forward too – NOT!). That’s a big post effect that the medical profession doesn’t share. However, patients talk…I mean what else are you going to do while sitting for hours on end being poked & prodded during a treatment or a checkup. All that waiting around – I think that’s why we’re called “Patients.”
After 7 years of fighting my Lymphoma, with 3 different types of treatments 2 clinical trials and 1 standard Chemo regime. I can tell you first hand that if it wasn’t for the clinical trials that I’ve participated in or that others before me did, I might not be here today to cheer you on! We have to be forward thinking in our fight against Cancer. And you are certainly doing your part. You may have had the greatest effect here today on a cancer patient’s life. With the 300+K raised by you dear Ironteam, you’ve paved the way for new treatments, experimental and otherwise as well as education. And I can’t thank you enough for that.
SO GO KICK SOME IRONTEAM BUTT – Enjoy the day, take it all in and I can’t wait to see you all at the finishline!!!
Ironteam Pep Talk prior to departing for AZ
Nov 12, 2011 – IronTeam
So, as I woke up this morning at 5:30 AM - the usually Saturday wake up for SAG duty, I realized that I had a few more hours to sleep before I got to see all your smiling faces. However, I couldn’t sleep, so I thought I would jot down a few words for you my dear IronTeam!!!
I may not write as eloquently as John and I hope I’m not at long winded as Mike – If I am get in a line so you can draft while you listen…..
Not many of you know, but when TNT announced that GA was going to have an IronTeam, I may have been one of the 1st to inquire. I immediately emailed the TNT office , Mike & Mary to say I wanted to be a part of the amazing journey. I knew I wasn’t able to train, but there were other ways I could participate. I think I bugged them for almost 9 months before the training had officially started. And at that time I was surprised to be asked to be an Honored Hero!
I have been so honored to be one of the teams honored heroes for this event. You all have made me feel like a real IronTeam member even though I can’t train. I’m actually very jealous of this fact. Mike can attest as he was my 1st Tri Coach – I’m not fast but I do get ….
This past year as you’ve all seen tremendous personal growth in many ways that you probably don’t even realize yet. Know that your courage, determination and spirit to get you to this point are remarkable – remember you can tap into it at any point in your future – it will get you through the worst and best of times. (Hint – remember this on mile 85 on the bike or mile 21, 22, 23, etc on the run in AZ.)
I’ve been tapping into a similar courage, determination & spirit for 7 years now – just because I am on the verge of my last treatment Dec 7th, doesn’t mean the fight is over by any means. I’ve heard the words remission before, yet here I am a 3rd time survivor…..The fight is not over, but because of you we are at least $300k closer to a cure – so from the bottom of my heart (and my FU Lumps) thank you for all you do and I know will continue to do.
If you didn’t read my blog post a few weeks ago, I thought I would share the “Big C Reflections” – I think this totally applies to Ironman training as well.
The “Big C” reflections:
1. “Cash” – what every good cancer patient needs and never has enough of
2. “Crazy” – what a crazy ride it’s been – good & bad
3. “Costly” – both emotionally & financially
4. “Cycle” – time between treatments (or better yet, many long bike rides to kick cancers butt to the curb with Team In Training.)
5. “Continuous” – does this shit ever end!
6. “Chemo” – no more of this PLEASE!
7. “Curious” – wanting to know everything – I now have a PHD in ME
8. “Caring” – who loves you baby? I’ve got great friends and family for support
9. “Crying” – I’ve done my fair share
10. “Camaraderie” – I’ve made some great friends that I would have never met if it was not for the Cancer.
Now get out there for 1 last group training – enjoy it. I can’t wait to see you all cross the finish line in AZ next week!!! I honor you as my Hero’s!!!
With much love and admiration –
PS – when you return from your run this morning I will not be hear as I have another commitment today.