August 27, 2009


Sorry for the long blogging hiatus. Although you wouldn't know it from the soaring temperatures, summer is drawing to a close and I've started to get busy with classes for my master's degree, my online job, and various other responsibilities and commitments.

Madeleine had an MRI on Wednesday and we are waiting to hear the results. We've also been authorized for six more physical therapy visits, and Mad has been loving her "play toys with Brynn" (physical therapist) time. During her last PT session she did an amazing job of lifting her right leg and bending her knee. It was the most improvement that I've ever seen.

Sunning the bits in our garden.

Making dirt angels is her new favorite thing

Local park/playground

Enjoying the first tomato from the garden. This kid LOVES tomatoes!

Mad's new friend, Sophia

August 16, 2009

Race Run

I'm done!

The race went pretty well, and I had a good time. Mostly I'm glad to be done.

Woke up at 4:14am this morning (one minute before my alarm was set to go off, I think that's my super power because that happens all the time), had a cup of coffee and piece of toast. I left in plenty of time to make it to the parking area (San Diego Zoo parking lot), especially for 5 am on a Sunday. However, I didn't take into account that 8,000 other cars would also be trying to merge onto the 5 from the 163. I was a little worried about missing the last shuttle bus to the start line, but looking at the line of cars behind me I knew that there was no way that they would not pick all of us up. After finally making it to the parking, and waiting in a long line, I boarded a bus which took us to the start line at Cabrillo National Monument. I really wished I had a camera because when the bus pulled up to the drop off area the massive sea of people milling about the parking lot was really a sight to see.

My next immediate concern was finding a bathroom. I think I over-hydrated a little bit this morning, and I'm sure the coffee didn't help. The lines for the bathroom were about thirty people deep, and by this time the race start time was about six minutes away. Needless to say, the race started while I was in line, but this is okay because my personal time didn't start until I stepped over the start line (timing RFID tag on my shoe). I had a lot of time to chat with the woman behind me in line. She asked about my shirt and I told her a little about CureSearch, and how I had raised funds to support childhood cancer research. She told me that she was a childhood cancer survivor. Her parents had enrolled her in an experimental chemotherapy trial, and because of this she was the only child from her ward that survived. I felt like this was some sort of sign; this woman's story inspired me and furthered my belief that I was doing the right thing. So many kids lives are saved because of experimental trials that pave the way for future reasearch which then results in more kids' lives being saved. I was hoping to see her again, but I didn't. I think she was there just when I needed her.

Running a race with 8,000 of your closest friends is a lot different than doing a long training run with no one around. On training runs I can zone out and think about things besides running, and how my body is feeling. This helps the time pass. Constantly trying to get around people, slowing down because of slower runners, finding holes to slip into, it's an exhausting mental workout. By the end of the race I was physically tired, but being mentally tired had just as much of an impact. I did pretty well until the last couple of miles, which were uphill. A gradual uphill, but still, it was hard. My friend Doug met me at some point near the end of the hill and ran with me until the hill was over. That really helped motivate me to keep going. I had been running most of the hill, but was taking occasional walk breaks because I was just so tired. At the top of the hill I saw Ryan and Madeleine, and Danelle and her girls, Kassidy and Audrey. It really did make me feel good to see them cheering me on. And then I ran into Balboa Park and finished! I complete the race in two hours and seventeen minutes, which is right around the time that I was hoping for.

So glad to be done!

August 15, 2009

Ready, Go!

Tomorrow is the big race!

I added the last two names to the race shirt, and this is what it looks like:

And this is what it looks like in action! (sort of):

I'm excited about tomorrow!

August 11, 2009

CureSearch Shwag

Look at all the CureSearch logoed items I received in the mail today!

I know this is supposed to help my fundraising efforts, but I don't really have any idea what to do with it. Any ideas? There is a giant banner, two shirts, two water bottles, a bunch of bracelets and gold ribbon stickers (gold is the color for childhood cancer), brochures and a bag.

Give some to the next person to donate?

In other non-news: I got a call about Mad's latest VMA/HVA results. Apparently the wrong test was ordered, and they don't have the correct results. Lately it seems we have about a 50% chance of getting the correct results from these tests, or getting results at all. It's frustrating because, while it's only urine, and it's easy to collect, we do keep her on a special diet for three days beforehand that eliminates many of the foods that cause the test results to rise. Our case manager was very apologetic and offered to redo the test, but I opted to just wait and do it whenever we go in for her MRI - which is SUPPOSED to be this month, but the hospital is on some new scheduling system and everything is backed up (surprised? I'm not). I don't mean to be ungrateful, because the hospital, doctors, and nurses really have been amazing throughout this whole journey, but it really feels like there are a lot of snafus and administrative errors and holdups.

So, we're currently waiting for an MRI to be scheduled, with a possible BAER hearing test at the same time (to see if the chemo she received did any damage to her hearing), and another VMA/HVA test at that time as well. I'm also waiting for our insurance to authorize more physical therapy visits. The physical therapy office put in the request late because, again, of this new scheduling software, so again we are waiting. I should be hearing about that any day now.

August 3, 2009

Two more weeks

The half-marathon is less that two weeks away. That means I only have one more long run next weekend until the actual race. And four more five-milers during the weekdays. I'm so glad that the race is almost here because I am tired of running. The weekly runs still feel good, but the long runs are trying to kill me. I get them done, but I usually always end up with a migraine a few hours later, and I've been having a pain in my lower back that has been coming and going as well. Last night, after a nine mile run, I came home with a bleeding toe. When the race is over I plan to continue to run 4 and 5 miles, but I am looking forward to dropping the 9 and ten mile runs. Now I know that I don't want to run a whole marathon!

As for fundraising, I am so thankful for the donations that you all have made. A huge thank you also for passing the cause on to your friends and family. If you haven't donated yet, there is still time, and remember, even $5 will help. I know that it's not easy to give money when so many people are out of work, losing their homes, preparing for weddings and new babies, moving across the country, and just plain struggling to get by. The money that you donate will go to saving a child's life...hopefully a whole lot of children. You can access the donation page by clicking on the orange "donate!" button on the side -------> over there.

To end I leave you with some pictures from earlier today. This is what happened while I took a five minute shower:

Doesn't quite have a handle on applying lipstick yet. The headband was her idea too, at least she got that part right.

Now I know why she was saying, "madeleine's finger IN." How did she know to pick my favorite lipstick?