Monday, April 28, 2014

First 500

Today is chemo #3. Guest appearances from former 2- partner Rachel, MD, and former teammate Kate, also MD, have been arranged. Both of them work at MGH, and somehow their schedules allowed them to spend some time with me today. Rachel came to my vital signs and doctor check up (and got her own hug from Dr. M), and Kate bookended the day, catching me at of the drip. I also called a friend to take a short walk with me between the blood draw and the infusion. It was nice to have short visits and not have to worry about them, the visitors, in large part because it is a long day - who has time for this is my main concern. I don't, and to say I'd really prefer not to have to set aside this time is an understatement. Of course, I am making the time for this, the treatment, the taking care of myself, eating well, sleeping, exercising, etc. It is what I need to do, especially so I can keep everything else normal - coaching, time with family and friends, walking the dog. And, I'm lucky. I'm just in for part of a day. No taking the treatment home with me or spending two or three days inpatient each round, or even going in more than once every 14 days. If I had every other Monday off for sixteen weeks, there are plenty things I would choose to enjoy besides these 6 hours. I don't have time for cancer.

I consider this point in the treatment as 500m down, 4 weeks in and the 3rd of 8 treatments in the books of a nasty, drawn out 2k. Except, it's not the 2k you look forward to doing. It's not lining up against the competition you've been thinking about and preparing for for months (or longer) at a time. This is more of an, Oh, by the way, attention, go - what, you weren't ready - too bad, that was the start. Though it seems hard to get away from rowing and a rowing analogy, a 2k seems a fairly apt metaphor so far. I am still feeling ok after the first 500, moving strongly into the second 500m (chemo is my move), and getting ready to buckle down for the second 1000. Can't wait for the sprint...

Yale 1F with pink paint
One more bit on rowing, though not insignificant. My friend Igor caught some of the action on the Charles over the weekend (and does so regularly on his own blog, Charles River Blues). He shot and captioned (in part) this photo from last weekend's racing, "Rivalry is rivalry, and chivalry is chivalry. Well done, Yale 1F." Scroll down to see the caption from April 16. I had seen this crew with their painted blades during Friday afternoon's practice and complimented them, but wasn't able to get a photo. Thank you, Igor, for this wonderful image, and excellent bladework to boot! Once again, I find myself blown away by the support coming from my rowing family, this time so vividly from New Haven. Thank you, Y150s! You've outdone yourselves in my book whether you know it or not. 

For me, generating a race plan on the fly is not my usual plan of attack, but given the situation, that is what I will do, it is what I have to do. Plus, I have so many people in my boat that it is impossible to imagine not being able to break this foe. Sit up & Go!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Short run

party pack
Yesterday, I picked up my party pack of pills for the next two treatments. The Neulasta is already in the fridge. Consider me ready for Monday's chemo. More noteworthy, however, was what occurred on my way back from the pharmacy. I caught myself jogging across the street to catch the walk light. Jogging. Almost an easy run. Later, I noticed it wasn't too bad to walk down stairs anymore. Yay! So, this morning I went for a very easy, very short run, just a couple of miles. For the first time since Monday night, the thought of running or seeing someone run didn't make me cringe. Yes, I was a little stiff starting out, for sure, and my feet are still a bit sore, but I certainly felt better when I finished than when I started, always a good sign. It's finally good to be noticeably recovered from the Marathon. Tonight, I feel very good! Still tired, too, but very good.

Hair update. Even though my medical team said it would fall out between 2 and 3 weeks after my first treatment, I pretty much look like I still have the Buddhist monk haircut since the clipper treatment last week, now well into week 4, no complaints here. Today, it definitely started rubbing off in the shower. (Yes, I am still using conditioner after the shampoo.) I now have a small bald spot on the top of my head which I think is only slightly accelerated by wearing a baseball style cap fairly frequently. Of course, it could also be the super volumizing conditioner I used at the hotel last weekend - maybe it was so effective that it acted as a primer for just poofing it all out.

Actually, most of the time, I don't think about not having (much) hair anymore. When looking out, so to speak, it's not like I would really see my hair. Even when it was short, or long and pulled back, at least, I never really noticed it or gave it much thought. It's more like wearing glasses than anything else. I can see through them, but I don't register what I look like when I'm wearing them versus when I'm not wearing them when I have contacts in. To me, it's all the same unless I see myself. It's only when going by a window or looking in the mirror that it registers again (and again) that it is super short. This morning after setting up some equipment outside for tomorrow's race, and then returning inside I thought I should really take my hat off so I don't have hat-head all day. Um, right. Not a problem, no hair, no hat-head. This was also the first time I went to do something hair related that didn't hold up. Again, later today, walking up the stairs with the sun behind me, there was my shadow and I was startled by how my head looked perfectly round. A few times. Right, again. No hair. No matter - it will all fall out, I prepped with the short cut, I will look a little more mangey before long, and then, in the end, it will grow back. I can live with that.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Post Marathon

Well, that was unexpected. Or, I should say, so much happened that was unexpected.

To recap, I did run the Marathon, and I did finish. The triple whammy of a 3-day road trip on the bus with my team, 3 weeks of chemo, and the ridiculously warm hot temperatures guaranteed that I got my money's worth on the course. woo. hoo. Anyone I know who did what I refer to as the Commoners' Start (11:25am) was really hurting out there on Monday and beyond. Today, a day and a half later, I finally feel only tired and only sore, not the hangover-like feeling I carried around for about 36 hours. Ugh. Even starting out 40 seconds per mile slower than pace was not enough - I should have added a minute, but who knew just how hot it would get. (I saw a few bank thermometers along the way pegged at 70F and I am sticking to my story.) The last 10k was hard, the final 5k even harder (run-walk, just keep moving). Not much, though, could ever trump the sheer emotion of the final 1/2 mile to the line with so many people yelling and cheering and saying thank you, all the while I am thinking over and over again, thank you for trusting, thank you for being here, thank you for cheering, and no don't thank me I am thanking you! (It took a long time. I had a lot of time to think.) I am still over the moon for being so lucky able to run (thank you, Dr. M), and I know that the exhilaration and reality of what I accomplished will continue to kick in even more as the weariness fades.

  • most of my team showing up wearing their infamous pink socks to cheer me onto the Finish Line just before the turn onto Boylston Street. They had a sentry outpost who went running, appropriately enough, Paul Revere style to warn the troops that I was in sight. Best sign (that I saw, I missed some) was theirs, "Sit up & Go!" So, I did.
  • the woman who ran behind me with a few hundred meters to go getting the crowd to cheer for me (I could see her shadow). Thank you, wherever you are! xo
  • my sister contacting a writer @realOBF for and getting me written up in a Marathon blog piece which seems to have gone viral in the rowing community. Good press for my employer, haha.
  • the continued and extended outpouring of care and good wishes from friends and family. #WeAreAllStrong #Survivors
My facebook feed is beeping at me regularly, my inbox is not over the limit (close, but that's my own fault most of the time anyway), and twitter and this blog have seen some serious action. It's all good.

Looking ahead, one more weekend of regular season racing on Saturday, home, thank goodness. Another bus ride might put me over the top. Chemo on Monday, but let's not get too ahead of ourselves. One stroke at a time, one day at a time.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Long run

Super quick post - really grateful for all the positive notes and in person support. I am overwhelmed in the best possible way. It gives me so much strength, especially at times when I am feeling a little less robust than usual which does happen, ahem.
Wildebeest Studio

Looks like the Marathon (just another long training run, right) is a go for tomorrow - woohoo! I am nervous, but excited to have this amazing opportunity to take advantage of for myself and to demonstrate resiliency in so many ways, more ways than I ever anticipated! Bib #28447.

Also, for those keeping track, a great weekend of racing. We had terrific conditions in Annapolis v. the US Naval Academy, and somehow got Georgetown to race us on Easter Sunday (knock knock, Brothers, Brothers, Brothers, how did that happen?). And, I may have mastered bus travel - hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, basically, until you feel incontinent. That, plus a healthy does of meds and saltines. Getting 'er done!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fun with hair

Made it through round #2 of chemo and on the bus trip attempt again - heading to Annapolis, MD, for the Haines Cup tomorrow v US Naval Academy. This time, I decided to make the wise choice and travel with all my anti-emetics! (below left) So far, so good. Plenty of saltines, water, and a fully belly to start the day! Tomorrow, on to Princeton to face (only) Georgetown on Sunday (really, brothers, Easter Sunday is ok?), and then home on Sunday, with, I hope, enough time to get my number before 6:00m. Close! Almost as close as my hair!

Fun with pharamceuticals
'99 above, Rachel & Linda +15 yrs below
Linder & Joe

On to the fun with hair (see above center & right). Apparently, the hair comes out between weeks 2 and 3 of treatment. This week, I noticed not lots of hair in the brush or on the pillow, but I could pull out a good sized wad without feeling it. Given the 3-day road trip the end of this week, and hearing how the de-clumping of hair commences, I decided a pre-emptive strike would be the best offense rather than looking mange like on the road. A few plans were tossed around, and I got a message from my '99 Worlds 2- partner who basically said she still had my back and when could she meet me to join in on the festivities (my word, not hers). 6:30pm Wednesday following practice worked well for all involved, even my volunteer Harvard oarsman who was pressed into service with his clippers. I also knew that another longtime friend and multiple time colleague, Joe, was going to go for the matching do as well. He'd done the same for his sister-in-law a few years back. As they both said, it's just hair, it grows back. Rachel sent this thing viral with this photo of hers - it's all over fb and more than a few twittter feeds as well - and in a pretty amazing way. She made a composite photo of us racing at Worlds with a current photo of us shorn just below it, #winning. I love it. (above center)

Next up, the Boston Marathon, bib # 28447, wave 4. As long as I feel ok for the rest of the weekend - and a few key results on the water could only add to to that, ahem, HVL and HFL - I'll be going for the run on Monday.  Cautiously, of course. The need to finish is overridden by my desire for survival at all costs. And, honestly, the training, this winter especially, was my way of honoring the commitment I made on April 15, 2013, to run this year, April 21, 2014, along with demonstrating the resiliency and strength of Boston, Watertown, and all those involved in the mayhem that came to be that week last year. Yes, I'd love to run, hardly anything would make me more delighted at this point in time than conquering a most terrifying obstacle that I have actually placed in my path, not something that just appeared, butI also know that I have to be smart. Carry on!

Monday, April 14, 2014

26.2 Green Light

I'm sitting at MGH hooked up to an IV which gave me, first, some plain old saline, then a super steroidal anti-nausea med, then the red pee inducing Adriamycin (pushed, not dripped), and finally the hair depleting Cytoxan. It takes about 2:45 to get it all into me. I suppose if we hadn't tried to mainline the pudding and custard from lunch, it might have gone more smoothly. Oh, well. Today, I was in the main room, on the 8th floor with a pretty amazing view of Longfellow bridge and the Charles River. I could easily see the white caps all the way to the Harvard Bridge - ugly day for rowing on the race course. Special - my chair was an electric reclining model, and the remote was personalized - Champion.

Once again, and as always, lunch was provided - soup, sandwich, fresh fruit cup, chips, custard, and pudding. Since I did lose a little weight last week, I went for all the options, though I am not convinced on the weight loss. None of the doctors said anything about it. Call me a neurotic former lightweight (is that redundant), but how can you be sure how much someone weighs in variable street clothes? Sure, I had to take my shoes off, but I could have been carrying a phone, hat, sunglasses, and any number of wrenches in my pockets (or taped to my body), and they would never have known.

Since I was unsure of the lunch situation with my 1:00pm start time, and without a lunch date, I brought snacks. Given that I was going to be away from home for about 6 hours, it only seemed reasonable to have a supply of food with me - a couple of sweet rolls, a cup of yogurt, and a bag of mixed nuts, never mind that I was smack in the middle of a major metropolitan city with a nearly infinite number of food options at my disposal with cash, credit, and debit cards burning a hole in my pocket (see former lightweight). Having planned a walk between my blood work and oncology appointments prior to the infusion, I proceeded to stroll down Charles Street at a tourist's paced. I continued into the Public Garden, past Mcckloskey's ducklings, and sat on a bench to eat my snacks by the pond. Note, this did not preclude me from eating hospital lunch as outlined above including the pudding and the custard.

I should point out that on my walk I was strollng on air due to the appointment with my oncologist and her oncology fellow having gone very well. First, the fellow was surprised I still had my hair (I give it a few more days, so he's not that far off). Then, we reviewed the past two weeks for any symptoms. The fact that I can exercise and feel ok totally trumped the poor experience on the bus. That was a plus. The really good news is that based on my blood work, I got the green light to run the marathon. I lost track of the number of hugs I got from my oncologist, she was that happy.  I only had to promise not to do anything stupid like run if I am not feeling well, or to not keep going if I do start to feel badly. Duly promised. Double plus, I get to run! I did mention to the fellow that while I didn't want to being up ancient history from my rowing past, I did and framed it to demonstrate that I know what my body can do and would respect its limits. It sounded very convincing in person. Really. Ultimate take away from the first 14 days is now rule #1, always travel with medications! Lesson learned.

Being able to run brings back a whole new set of nerves (7 days to go - what was I thinking? 26 miles?), which will now be an excellent distraction. What really made the visit great was that both doctors could feel that the lump had changed. It is now less dense, less 3-D than it was only two weeks ago. This is proof - not just a bad stomach - that the chemicals are taking their toll on those stupid cancer cells. Is there a triple plus option? How about a the traditional Hoorah!

gratuitous photo of Max
2F4+ from


It's been a great few days. Most importantly, I got ahead of that nausea and headache. I actually feel very good - if I didn't know, I wouldn't know. Feeling as lousy as I did makes me truly appreciate how I feel right now, which is very good. Secondly, the weather - it is finally feeling consistently spring-like out there. This is my favorite time of year, bar none, with the buds on the trees showing their reddish-green haze on all the branches just before the leaves start to come out, the bulbs are blooming, and the soil is warming up. It all smells great to me, apologies to you hay fever sufferers. If we could throw in a few shovelfuls of cow manure, it would border on perfection.

The timing of how I feel must be right since tomorrow starts the 2nd 14 days of infusion #2. I'm much more at ease this time knowing what to expect and how the day will play out. If it goes the same as last week, I will feel fine due in no small part to the steroids and pills I'll get in addition to the two chemo doses. Days 2-4 are supposed to be the most trying and they were very manageable last time around. Time will tell. Tomorrow is also the day I'm supposed to find out if I can run the Marathon or not. I plead my case on day 1 two weeks ago by saying I'd walk a minute each mile (or more) and drink the sports drink at every single aid station. I don't know if that bought me any time, or leverage, so I'm contemplating playing the big card. Do I let them know my rowing background? Will that work in my favor as in, she'll be fine, let's let her run, look what she has accomplished, or will it work against me, as in she'll never stop and will push on when she should stop or slow down Maybe I should just let on about the absolutely ridiculous (in a good way) number of doctors who are keeping tabs on me outside my (excellent) MGH team instead. Decisions, decisions.

Since I don't know yet, and exercise is supposed to be beneficial anyway, not to mention keep me sane, I have been following my marathon training plan. To put it more in perspective, today was the last big run, a measly 8 miles, and I enjoyed every single minute of it despite the light drizzle. The best thing about all that training and huge volume which is necessary is that there is a significant taper, 3 weeks worth. (That's way more than I taper for the now in comparison paltry 5k that is the Head of the Charles.) It was really fun to feel the need to throttle back a bit to stay on a good speed and not run faster than marathon pace. Of course, running three times as long and then some will probably see me counting down the minutes as part of a strategy to finish rather than wanting more. It also didn't hurt that I ran one of my favorite loops from home and around Fresh Pond. It took two trips around the pond to reach the correct mileage and as far as I can tell, the training paid off and the taper is working because it felt so effortless. The hardest part was going past 4 women in pink hoodies walking the trail. They're probably in training for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in May. I got all choked up, literally, even before I read their team name, Party of Five. All I could manage was a smile and a wave as I croaked out "thank you," before turning down the path and trying to breath normally. Turns out, some of the toughest exteriors are pretty smooshy on the inside.

That was three. Fourth on the great few days list was another strong effort by my team on the water this past Saturday. Looking forward to our races next weekend in Annapolis on Saturday and New Jersey on Sunday. No taper for those boys till May!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Still feeling very good after the semi-debacle of the weekend stomach woes, thank goodness. I worked out again this morning and it all felt fine with my heart rate under control for a pleasant but safe and boring run on the treadmill. However, what I'm really looking forward to is getting out for a row tomorrow morning especially since it feels like spring has finally arrived. The forecast is low 30s, but sunny and calm. It doesn't get better than that for an early April morning. And by early, I mean I should really go to bed right now. OK, fifteen minutes ago. Soon. Max needs a quick walk around the house - outside.

I'll be quick, too. I've taken much less of the anti-nausea meds today. In fact, I really only took them this morning - one compazine and one zofran. I did take a pepcid maximum strength both this morning and this evening, but those aren't part of the official anti-nausea routine. However, on the advice of my oncology fellow (thank you!!!), I will take those for the duration of the chemo to help keep things on an even keel. Add to that one sennakot to counteract the side effects of the zofran, and you'd hardly notice the two tums on the side, but who's counting. The big fat lurking question in my mind, though, is how do I know if I need to take anything until it is too late? Getting behind was one of the more unpleasant physical experiences I've had recently, short of an actual flu, and I'd rather not get back to that feeling any time soon if I can help it. I will ask on Monday, at my next infusion, at the latest.

Speaking of questions, two occurred to me this morning:  cream rinse (does anyone call it that anymore), or not? Yes, it smells nice. Shave my legs one more time, or not? Let's not check the answer to that one.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Phoning it in

The weekend bus rides went surprisingly well. In addition to the full larder I packed, I had also stowed away two cold packs, but forgot and so they never came into play. Fortunately, they didn't seem necessary. For the trip to Ithaca and back, I felt like I was eating constantly - snacking on chips (the salt was good), cereal, popcorn (again, the salt), sandwiches, fruit, cookies (less than worthwhile), yogurt, along with breakfast, lunch, and dinner items, plus water, gatorade, and coke (real, not diet - wow, now that is sweet). With any luck, I ate less than any of my athletes given the roughly zero calorie burn of the these 36 hours. This road trip is notorious for not allowing any coach recovery (read exercise) time due to its duration. My major withdrawal the past three days has been from exercise. To make sure I remain pleasant, I dragged walked Max around for a couple of miles today. He's snoozing now, and I think that I can feel the barest edge of an endorphin in my body.

But, as well things went Friday and Saturday, Sunday turned into a virtual screaming match with my stomach/upper GI tract. At times, it felt lined with active habanero peppers. Tums, rolaids, rice cakes, dry cereal, pasta, sipping gatorade - nothing was doing the trick. What else could I do? It seemed like there was no resource at hand, and I was out of options. Except, there was. The very nice Nurse Practitioner who walked me through my Chemo-Teach (What to Expect When You're Expecting Chemo) session had said if I ever, ever had a question about not feeling well (nausea and a number of critical emergency situations), then I should call and someone would call me right back. "Don't hesitate," were probably her exact words. What she didn't know is how much I hate making request-type phone calls. Hesitate would be my middle name. Don't ask me to call for a reservation, to see if something is in stock, or to place a take out order. I love talking on the phone, I just don't like asking (for help) on the phone. I have since called MGH twice. (Good, girl, Linda - lavish praise!) Yesterday, I called about what to do for the heartburn, and today I called about the nausea. And, both times, everyone was super nice and very helpful and provided the kind of advice I needed - it's all normal reactions you're experiencing, but why don't you try taking pepcid every day from now on, and try a compazine if you're nauseated. Duh. And, if that doesn't help, try a zofran. Duh, again. And, if you think you might throw up, try an ativan. Problem solved.

Two other milestones over the weekend, as well. I heard from a woman whom I have admired for many years. She went through the same thing 5 years ago, and though she doesn't know about the heroine-worship, she wrote and shared her thoughts from then and now with me and welcomed me to the club she didn't want to belong to. Hearing from her was particularly a timely boost for me. Another friend wrote having survived a different cancer, and also referred to being in the club. This friend has an even more irreverent sense of humor than I and made me laugh out loud by writing, "Welcome to the club. There's an initiation 'fee' of course, the membership hazing is a real treat, but after that you get free lifetime membership." Letters from or about survivors definitely hold a certain poignancy for me and lift my spirits.

Second milestone was the food brigade. Kate's food army has gone into effect. It sure was nice to not have to rouse myself and make dinner last night. Neither of us is picky eaters, but as I go more bland, or maybe food will just taste more bland soon, I know we are really appreciating this outpouring of care. Except Max - he will continue to enjoy his kibble.

Wrapping up - best news of the weekend is that my two racing boats both won. They stayed focused, persevered, and put in a full pull (100% effort). "Nothing can take the place of hard pulling," one oarsman was overheard to say. No "phoning-it-in" about that!

Friday, April 4, 2014

On the road

Today will be spent mostly on the team bus as we drive to Ithaca, NY, for the races against Cornell and University of Pennsylvania tomorrow. Almost a seven hour ride and hoping for the best, but well worth it. I love going back to Ithaca for many reasons. One of my friends (and a truly accomplished author) lives there, the kind of friend you are so close to the connection is instant each time we get together. Other friends remain as well from the three wonderful years I lived in Ithaca and coached at Cornell. I found it to be a special kind of community, despite or perhaps because of being so centrally isolated. Even more, though, it is where I got married 13 years ago, one of the best decisions of my life. (Thanks, honey!) It goes without saying, though, that the best part of the weekend will be this Saturday's racing! And, maybe a quick stop at Purity and/or the Farmers' Market. 

Good news. I made it through the big three days post infusion without anything more than what felt like a little heartburn or sour stomach yesterday when I wasn't quite as careful with my a food intake as I had been. Lesson learned, oh cavalier one. Therefore, today I took the advice of staying ahead of any possible lingering stomach malaise by following my normal routine of never traveling on an empty stomach. Since I'm susceptible to motion sickness, I've learned that trick over the years. Food in the belly is my friend. Today, I've added to that repertoire by heeding the advice of pregnancy survivors to stay ahead of mornIng sickness - seemed like good advice. 

Of course, I feel more like I've packed for an army of toddlers rather than only me and no baby in sight: cooked cereal, dry cereal, two mini bags of popcorn, small tin of candied ginger, banana, a yogurt, Gatorade, plain water, plus the team bag lunch with a pbj, hummus wrap, two more pieces of fruit, a bag of pretzels, a cookie, and a chocolate milk. Phew. Who needs carbo loading? Roll me down Boylston ST! I haven't eaten it all yet, or even most, but I did kick off the day with a favorite breakfast of an egg, cabbage, and cheddar cheese in a flour tortilla. I know, cabbage, but I find it really tasty. I am fully leaving the empty stomachs to my team as they prepare to weigh in this afternoon.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


The haircut turned out ok.  I asked for closer to a longish Anne Hathaway and came away with more of a Dame Judi Dench, but again, it's not for permanent. I've been assured I don't look mannish, though human as an overarching goal is good as well. There you go, Sisyphus Jones ->

Good news so far on post-chemo infusion #1. The day went well. Friend CB and I spent the long day that is just the way the first infusion is scheduled.  First order of the day (post-erg at CBC w/ CB), blood draw blood for both the infusion dosing as well as part of an ongoing fatigue study at MGH. The study will look at changes in my weight, fatigue levels, and body composition over the next 16 weeks - managing fatigue seems to still be a bit mysterious as far as I can tell. Next, met with my Medical Fellow (oh, you got your hair cut, something about being proactive, but still polite) for vitals - height, weight, BP, O2 saturation, and a quick feel of the goods.  Quickly on his heels, my Medical Oncologist (who loved my hair - more on that later) and is the one I need to persuade to let me run did much the same in terms of a quick history and asked if I had any questions. Dosing is based on height, weight, and they check blood work to make sure I haven't developed some liver disease, etc since I was last seen.

Then the long wait began when there was confusion about when my chemo appointment began. CB and I gamely waited the unexpected 90', but soon I was answering more questions for one of the candy-stripers about my hair cut and where could she get it. Another in the plus column. Great Cuts, Harvard Square, Tiffany.

The infusion was pretty uneventful. My nurse was terrific and I'll have her the whole 16 weeks. Saline drip, some anti-nausea pills, a drip of a really potent steroidal anti-nausea, then finally the works. The stark red Adriamycin came in two huge cylinders out of a science fiction story. That was pushed directly into the IV, not a drip bag. After that, the Cytoxan dripped in on its own, so to speak. 3 hours of infusing time (well, 2:55, but who's counting) and 2 more hours of earlier appointments and we were ready to head out the door.  We did get a nice lunch and there were a few extras so CB got to stay with me for the whole time reading about knees and shoulders for her Athletic Training recert while I answered emails. I was also lucky to be able to reach out to Wendy the Dog Whisperer to give Max a quick relief walk at home. By the way, everything I took all day, except for my lunch, was double and triple checked by me, the nurse, and my ID - very thorough. However, even with the heads up that my urine would be red following the Adriamycin, I was still caught slightly off guard by the very koolaidness of that one pass.

Tuesday, Day 2, brought up the point of my self-injection, Neulasta, 24 hours after infusion to help boost my white blood count.  It was fine. It was a sore feeling inserting the needle, but after that, nothing. It is a little weird, and I'm very glad it was subcutaneous so I could just bunch up some belly fat rather than have to go for muscle or, yikes, a vein.  Not sure how that's possible without serious training. At the same time, I began a course of what seems like endless pills to combat the nausea. So far, so good. 5 in the morning with food, a couple of sennokat to ward off constipation, a few more sprinkled throughout the day and then another large cluster and one more sennokat to stay regular.

Exercise - I did take Tuesday off from exercise just to see what I would see, but walked Max. And late last night, I snuck out in my 1x for a short 4-mile row, first of the year. The water was too nice to pass up, no wind, and very pleasant. This morning, CB and I rowed 7 miles in the 2x, just slightly more than our wintery-soft hands could take.  This gets me through Days 2-3-4 and I think I'm still ok! I'll do a few more runs this week, remember it is tapering season, just in case I get the marathon green light.

Mixed in will be driving to Ithaca, NY, for the team's races with Cornell and UPenn. Looking forward to seeing those pink socks in action again!

P.S. Kate Woll has set up a web page (or click here) to her coordinate anyone who wants to help out.