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


  1. Thinking of you, Linda! You are one of the strongest and most inspiring women I've had the pleasure of meeting. I'll be cheering for you from afar next week!

  2. Linda, you are a champion all the way! And you write beautifully, too.

  3. Linda, take all of us former neurotic lights (yes, redundant) with you and use my energy for as many miles as you need it. I'm going to run at a Boston Memorial run around Lake Merritt in Oakland Monday morning, and now that I know what you are going through, it isn't just a run for last years victims, it will be my run for you. So glad you get to run as part of this journey you are now on.....