Workout – cross training. scary how responsible I am being as a runner. there’s got to be some sort of accolade for that. prize money? award? I am not running today. although I feel better everyday, tightness is still there, but working itself out. I am smartly cross training. there is no need to run 3 days in a row on my trek back to running faster. I am simply getting back in the groove. wherever the groove is. for the next week and a half. running every single day certainly won’t hurt me, but it isn’t going to necessarily help me right now either. so I’m playing it safe and easing back in. and spending lots of time on the stairmaster today.
1 hour speed intervals/fat burner (that’s the program, I like the fat burner because of the variation in intensity. it’s like rolling hills on the master)
Now, a little poem I made up to segway into the point of this post. from the eency teency bit of creativeness that is somewhere in the recesses of my brain. I will need a nap after the amount of mental energy it took for me to come up with this special little piece… (FYI, serious post…)
There once was a girl named Katie
Who was 35 weeks pregnant with her second baby
With a 13 month old at home
The doctor told her she was not alone
there was a little thing called melanoma keeping her company.
Quite possibly the scariest day of my life. yep. definitely the scariest day of my life.
I had no idea what melanoma really was before this. before the PA at the dermatologist so kindly filled me in as she was removing my mole. This is the exact converstation:
ME: “So, what could this be?”
PA: “Well, it’s either basal cell carcinoma, which is really no big deal. Or it is melanoma, which is pretty bad and there’s not much we can do about it. we’ll give you a call within two weeks after we get the results back from Yale” That was on a Tuesday.
OK, fantastic. well here’s to hoping it’s JUST basal cell. that sounds fun. note to PA – don’t EVER say, ‘there’s not much to be done for melanoma’ when you are not sure whether or not your patient has melanoma. it will stick with that poor patient. forever.
I get a phone call on my way to playgroup with my one year old – 3 days later – a Friday.
Hi Katie. I never make these phone calls on a Friday, but this is really bad. You have melanoma. we need to get you in to a surgeon like a month ago. He is booked today but I have an appointment for you on Monday. All I can tell you is that it was over 1mm thick, which puts you at a higher risk category and I don’t really have much more information for you. Again, I’m sorry to do this to you on a Friday, but we need to get things going. you need to have surgery asap.
I am speechless. I pull the car over. tears flow. baby girl in the back seat. baby girl in my tummy. melanoma on my thigh. my head is spinning. I hang up the phone because I don’t even know what to ask the doctor. or which way is up. I’m 25. I have a small child. and one on the way.
I cry. a lot. and I have 3 days to google the heck out of melanoma to learn my fate. and that it doesn’t look good. and that there’s no way I am going to survive this. that’s how I interpret the crazy amount of information the internet provides. not a smart move. but I had no choice when I needed answers (spoiler alert – I’m obviously alive and well, the internet turned me a bit hysterical ;-))
I made myself sick that weekend. literally, ill. having no idea what was going to happen. I had this mole as long as I could remember. who knows how long this had been brewing. who knows how far it could have possibly spread. stuff like this does not happen to a 25 year old who has a 1 year old and is 35 weeks pregnant with #2. but it does.
I had pulled myself together by Monday when we met with the surgeon. This was the week of Thanksgiving, 2007. My OB was ready to take me in to have the baby that night so that I could have surgery before the end of the week.
The surgeon said he would much prefer not do the surgery while I was pregnant if they were willing to deliver the baby early. He said I could go no more than 3 weeks before having surgery. that scared the heck out of me, waiting that long to get rid of this cancer. I scheduled to be induced the following Monday, at 36 weeks, and have the surgery exactly one week after that. 2 weeks total I had to wait for surgery. needless to say, the birth of my daughter was bittersweet. I had crazy emotions going from this is beautiful, I’m having my daughter to oh my goodness, I’m forcing this poor little girl out of me 4 weeks early BECAUSE I have melanoma that I now have to go deal with. and my fears extended to my family and my children. if I can get cancer, what about my children. no one is safe. I became very afraid of the vulnerability of my children’s health to awful things like this. tough. I had a one week old at the hospital with me. nursing her every chance I got, wearing my awkward hospital gown, before I had to go in to surgery.
Thirteen and a half month old
Perfectly healthy 5lb 12oz baby girl
Surgery. get it out.
Because of the size of the mole, they had to take a 2in. diameter mass out of my leg, down to the muscle. and a lymph node out of my groin to see if it spread. this left me with quite a scar on my thigh to enable the surgeon to get out what he needed and stitch it all back up.
BIG reminder to me everyday. melanoma does not discriminate. and it’s getting more and more ‘popular’.
don’t use tanning beds
I run. I run in the sun. a lot. I never used to wear sunscreen. I wear it now. The dermatologist would have me wear longsleeve protective clothing. and a sunhat when I run. that’s not going to happen. but I will wear spf 85 sunscreen. and I will never lay out at the beach. ever.
I had to meet with an oncologist after the surgery. He did a PET scan. everything was clear. nothing spread. I AM VERY LUCKY.
Had my OB not FORCED me into the dermatologists office to get this mole checked, I never would have had it looked at. It was a part of me. always there. and it would have kept growing and growing. melanoma is aggressive once it spreads. everywhere. My OB didn’t like how it looked. she was right. it was pretty nasty. this could have turned out FAR worse.
Here are some stats: SOURCE
One-in-50 Americans has a lifetime risk of developing melanoma.
In 2009 nearly 63,000 were diagnosed with melanoma in the United States, resulting in approximately 8,650 deaths.
The projected numbers (according to the National Cancer Institute) for 2012 are even higher with 76,250 diagnosis and 9,180 deaths.
This means that every eight minutes, someone in the United States will be given a melanoma diagnosis and that every hour someone will die from the disease.
Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States and worldwide.
The American Cancer Society estimates that the risk of developing invasive melanoma in the United States averages out to approximately a 1 in 50 chance of developing melanoma throughout your lifetime.
The incidence of people under 30 developing melanoma is increasing faster than any other demographic group, soaring by 50 percent in young women since 1980.
Melanoma primarily affects individuals in the prime years of life, is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.
Although melanoma is most common in Caucasians, melanoma can strike men and women of all ages, all races and all skin types. The mean age for diagnosis of melanoma is 50, while for many other cancers it is 65-70 years old.
When you are out running, on a sunny day, or even a cloudy day – wear sunscreen. Do yourself a favor and don’t go to a tanning salon. Do yourself another favor and wear sunscreen when you go to the beach. being tan is NOT worth the risk. go buy some self tanner. although I’m not sure that’s exactly great for you either.
This ‘event’ was probably the catalyst into being more aware of my body and what I put into it. I read so much about cancer rates and how your diet can possibly play a big role in sickness, and health. It was scary. the statistics are scary. they became scarier thinking about them in terms of my own children. I have my health. and I have the health of these three beautiful little people that I brought into this world – that I kind of want to stay with me here for a long time. I alone am responsible for doing my best to make sure they are healthy and well. I do believe a lot of that starts with what we put into our bodies.
10 months after I had Anna and my surgery, I ran my first marathon, which happened to be my first race. And I qualified for Boston.
I was healthy. my kids were healthy. and I want to keep it that way.
stuff to think about
Update on the Homefront
1. Wishes do come true. so I better start wishing for things other than I hope my two year old has an ear infection. he does have an ear infection. a double one. why have one when you can do both at the same time. I am a bad mom. that would explain the fever last week. he’s got two doses of antibiotics in him and still spent 90% of his day screaming at me throwing tantrums. if he had a full vocabulary, that screaming would probably be rated R obscenities. since he can not speak so well yet, I’m choosing to believe he is screaming sweet nothings at me in a very angry, passionate tone – I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, YOU ARE SO AMAZING MOM, AND SO BEAUTIFUL!!! I WORSHIP THE GROUND YOU WALK ON AND YOU ARE A SUPERFAST, SUPERFIT RUNNER!!! things like that.
2. This would be the tiniest little food processor. but I love it.
perfect little kitchen accessory for perfect little amounts of chopping and mincing. little magic bullet. I bought when I was in the I will make all of my baby food phase. nope. never happened. the cloth diapering phase lasted a little longer. but it’s chopped it’s fair amount of garlic and carrots for crock pot chicken tortilla soup that I made tonight – that I will post the recipe for – I PROMISE!!!
3. My bright little Anna noted that my peanut butter protein bars would taste delicious with some nutella (or other chocolatey substance) smothered over the top. oh my child. I have done something right. I’ve passed on my love for chocolate. her sister noted it would be equally delicious crumbled over ice cream. many possibilities to turn a fairly healthy treat into a sinfully delicious one. and I would have to agree. go get some nutella and try it out.
4. I ate a whole package of tic tacs on the way home from the store. what??? Luke snagged them in the checkout line and opened them before I could get them away. I had to buy them. then they were sitting next to me in the car. I have no idea why I ate them. I can’t remember the last time I had a tic tac. I didn’t even enjoy it.
5. All children were tucked in bed by 6:10 tonight. because little boy was up at 5am today. in a very pissy mood. again. for the umpteenth day in a row. I almost cried. I just couldn’t start my day like that. it’s like starting a marathon at a full out sprint. no warmup. thank God for the hubs. saved my day.
Do you wear sunscreen when you run in the sun?
Do you go tanning? Don’t answer that if you do. just kindly stop doing it:-)
Have you ever used a magic bullet? Pretty spiffy