Monday, February 20, 2012

Back on Track….

Last Thursday marked a week following my surgery (s) and it was a week of good news—my pathology came back with solid margins, so no more surgeries and I should be able to begin radiation treatments in 2 more weeks. I see the radiation oncologist this Thursday and my surgeon on Friday. Another piece of good news came from my mom who found out her cancer had not spread. However, due to the aggressiveness of her form of breast cancer (inflammatory) and the advanced stage (it did spread to her lymph nodes) she must undergo chemo and radiation.
So it feels good to be back on track. I cycled three days last week, water ran two times (tried to swim each time, but there is still swelling, so it was pretty uncomfortable) and walked the dogs every day. It looks like the weather will be really nice here this week, so I will hit the bike as much as I can, keep trying to swim and will give land running a go soon.
24 weeks out of IM NYC….
My workout of the week was a Deep Water Run:
In the deep end with a belt easy run for 10 minutes.
Then 1 minute straight leg kicking hard (be sure that your toes are pointed and that you "feel" the water on the front and back of your legs) and 1 minute easy and repeat this pattern 5 times through for a total of 10 minutes.
Then easy run for 10 minutes.
Total time 30 minutes

Monday, February 13, 2012

Not in the plan….

Well, Thursday rolled around quickly and I headed to the Breast Center for an 8:45 appointment. I only got in a couple of workouts that week—just did not have much energy. I was going to run before I headed in but I did not want to get any more dehydrated as I was thirsty enough from not drinking or eating anything since the night before. So a long walk with the dogs was my exercise for the day.
At the Breast Center they had to insert two wires into my breast to mark the two cancer spots for the surgeon—I will never complain about the discomfort associated with a mammogram again! With my breast in the mammography machine, I was numbed, 2 large gauge needles inserted, then the wires were thread through the needles, needles removed and pictures were taken at every step. I was wrapped up with two wires coming out of my breast and sent over to the day surgery hospital.
I was prepped and ready to go at 11:00 for what the doc said would be an hour or so surgery. He said that I could shower the next day, return to normal daily activity on Saturday, swim in a week and run in two—no impact for a while for the jostling could cause a hematoma to form in the breast and that could be a problem. So, did not sound too bad—I was already planning my trainer ride for Saturday and a swim and water run for a week from Friday. I awoke in the recovery room a bit groggy but feeling okay—I guess pain killers are a good thing. I was adorned with really cute tube top and sexy boxers—got to love the swag from surgery. The nurse said that all went well and that I would be discharged in a bit. All going as planned so far….
I got home around 4:00 and assumed my position on the couch. My friends Donna and Kristen brought dinner over—not so much for me, but for my husband, Terry. I am the cook in the family and they were afraid that he would turn to cereal or gasp, take-out; so, liquids for me and real food for him. My friends asked if I were in pain and I said “that a hot poker in the eye is painful, this is just more discomfort.” I have a pretty high tolerance for pain—guess this comes from having gone through child birth two times and completing nine Ironman races. Around 6:00 I felt a bit of a twinge in my breast and it started to swell and swell and swell. It did not seem like normal post surgery edema and it started becoming really uncomfortable.
I called the doc on call and he said that it sounded like I developed a hematoma and that I could come in to the ER and he could take a look or I could try to tough it out and come in to the office in the morning. Thank goodness I did not run too soon—no one mentioned reaching for a glass of water could cause a hematoma!!!! Not wanting to spend the night in the ER, I decided to try to “tough it out” for the night. He said to double up on the pain pills, so I tried that. He called me back around 8:00 and with my pain level (pills did not touch it) he suggested that I come right in—he would call ahead so I would not have to wait too long. So off we went to the ER.
They checked me in pretty quickly, gave me something for my nausea and finally for the pain. The doc took one look at my quadruple D and said he was rolling me into surgery. Ah two surgeries in one day—that was not in the brochure…..
So another hour in surgery, another wake-up in the recovery room and another nurse saying all went well. Still not in much pain—this time they were dosing me with morphine, but my throat was pretty sore from breathing tubes x 2. I arrived in my room around 1:00 AM and after a restless night, the doc came in around 8:00 AM and said that he removed a small grapefruit sized hematoma but could not find what caused the bleed—how could that fit in there?! My first surgeon also came in to check on me and said that I should take iron for a couple months after losing “so much blood.”--wonderful…. My husband broke me out around 3:00 PM on Friday after they weaned me from liquid pain killers to pills. I resumed my position on the couch and started “recovering” one more time.
I am not a big TV watcher and I have seen enough in the last several days to last a long time—thank goodness there were some college basketball games on this weekend and a Law and Order marathon. I finally had to turn the Food Channel off as I started seeing the same shows again. Today was a better day and I was expecting a call from the doc about the pathology of the tissue removed—I called him after lunch and no report yet. Hopefully he was aggressive and took large margins—I do not want to go in for round three, that definitely is not in the plan….
Make it a good day,

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One down...

My surgery (lumpectomy) is scheduled for tomorrow AM and I will be glad to have this behind me. Last week my training was up and down, as is this week’s. My energy level is low---mental stress can really wipe you out….. I was under the weather this weekend and decided to take Saturday and Sunday completely off. I am feeling better this week, but have only gotten in one run. Walking the dogs seems to be my only certain activity each day—Merlin & Tanuki have become my “therapy dogs” and our walks are calming.

After the surgery, I am not allowed to run for a couple of weeks, so I plan to focus on my bike and overall strength. Once the incision heals, I can hit the pool and will deep water run, as well as swim. Yoga still remains on my list of to-dos. I missed it last week and hope to get a friend to meet me for a class at least once per week.
I am 26 weeks out of IM NYC and 12 weeks out of St. Croix….
Workout of the Week:
30 minute 200’s form work:
200 easy swim--50 kick (25 free, 25 breast)
200 drill done as 2 x 100 by 25s (right arm, left arm, catch-up, fast swim)--50 kick (25 free, 25 breast)
200 kick with fins (25 free, 25 fly)--50 kick (25 free, 25 breast)
200 scull with pull buoy done as 25 scull (front, mid, dog paddle), 25 pull--50 kick (25 free, 25 breast)
200 easy pull--50 kick (25 free, 25 breast)
**“Kick” is with a board, no fins and the rest interval between sets is 20 seconds.
For more on the drills and sculling, go to and
Train smart,