May 16

I really have been bothered by missing my 5k-in-40-minutes goal from my last run.  Those seven seconds have been chomping at me. So, in a fit of braun-over-brain this morning, I decided to go for another neighborhood 5k run late morning today.  Not that there is every really a *good* time for me to do it, this was certainly not optimal.  Less than 24 hours after chemo.  I had to take a nausea pill before I left, so I clearly wasn’t feeling good.  It was hot.  In the plus column, I had my normal smoothie breakfast, which is probably a decent pre-exercise meal. Sidenote worth sharing: I’ve had good success with prepping freezer baggies of smoothies in quantities of 8-12 and storing them in the freezer.  Basic recipe I’ve been using (with some variation): 1/2 cup of berries, 1 banana, handful kale, handful spinach, tablespoon chia/flax seed, pinch broccoli sprouts.  Each morning, I just put 2 cups of water in the blender, dump in the baggie, blend, and go.  It feels a lot more efficient than making them one by one, and it’s filling enough to be a meal for me. I ran.  I gritted it out with consistent pacing to finish in 39:59.  I barely made it, and therefore I’m so relieved I did.  It was HARD, people, so I’m damn proud of it.  However, here’s to hoping I’m able to make some gains in the fitness arena so that I feel more like an athlete and less like a cancer patient.  More muscle, less breathlessness.  I’m both, but I’d really like to wear one identity over the other, you know? So, I’m praying for fitness health, cancer health, lifestyle health, relationship health.  All the things, right? These last two runs have reminded me of that gritty, tough girl I was in my youth.  There wasn’t a challenge I wasn’t up for and working hard physically was my style.  I like that...

Read More

Spring round up

May 15

“Your hair!” That’s what people I see around town yelp at me when they see me.  “Your hair!” they say. I’ve been growing hair since last July, so it has grown out into a normal-looking short hairstyle.  My cancer status is once again anonymous to strangers.  (Many people incorrectly assume you are healthy if you have hair.)  Also, seeing a formerly bald person with hair is quite a shock, hence the yelping.  It is nice to go outside in the hot weather with no hat and to not have my head get sun burned.  A small thing, but it’s significant to me.  Wind in your hair is a wonderful sensation. This month I also have some purple/blue streaks in my hair.  Maren turned ten in April, so she and I went to our salon on March 31 where we she had the peekaboo streak of hair behind her right ear colored turquoise.  I decided to go teenybopper and get color in my hair too.  Now that I’ve been bald a few times over, you can’t really scare me with hair style/color.  What started as purple has now faded to blue and it has been a playful spring ‘accessory’.  Maren liked doing something bold and gutsy, and it was fun to see her dimple flash as people noticed it and commented.  She endured a little bit of unpleasant teasing at school about it, and she turned that into a good experience that tested her moxie: she likes her hair, and that’s what matters. Spring has been busy: Maren turned ten(!), Greta turned six(!), and we only have seven more days of fourth grade and kindergarten.  A new game is playing “Hogwarts”.  They wear old black graduation gowns around the house (hilarious on forty-two-inch-tall Greta), write amazingly creative and ingenious spells, and make both their imaginary worlds and my real world better with their games.  Maren made a broomstick (the Anderson 4,000) out of paper, tape, and leftover school project wooden rod supplies.  Greta wheels a mini suitcase around with her magic supplies and all of the stuffed owls in the house.  I haven’t been writing much because I have been both prioritizing other things and dealing whatever is ‘on fire’ now.  The girls are delightful...

Read More