Sunday, May 15, 2011

A good weekend

Howdy, all. A quick update on how things are going. We had a really nice time this weekend. Friday evening we got together with friends and caught up over beers and wine. Oops! Needed to get up at 5:15 am on Saturday for a ride so maybe we should have backed off on the drinking a wee bit. But hey, we've decided that May is the month to Be Bad. April was the month where we needed to be Really Good because of my immature immune system. No drinking, no socializing, no restaurants, no being around groups of people. So now that I'm getting back to normal, we're getting a bit crazy. In our case, that means getting to bed at - whoa! - 10:30 on a Friday night and having - yeah, be ready to be shocked - a whopping 3 drinks over a 4 hour period. So maybe not super crazy but it's a big step toward crazy town after being trapped in the house for 35 days.

Anyway, we're up at 5:10 am on Saturday and down at Wheat Ridge Cyclery at 6:30 am to help volunteer for a bike ride to raise money for Livestrong. This was my first chance to catch up with my DCTBL cycling teammates in about six weeks and it was really touching. Obviously this is a group that is very tuned into what it means to go through cancer and treatments and everyone was super supportive and nice to me. For those of you that know me well it may come as a surprise that people would be nice to me but it's just because they don't know me that well yet :) The weather wasn't great (40 degrees, overcast, damp) but everyone was a trooper and the ride went off very smoothly. We had about 125 riders that rode from the Wheat Ridge Cyclery store at 38th and Wadsworth up to Red Rocks and back. All the money from the ride went to Livestrong so thanks to WRC for throwing in some nice swag and providing logistical support for the race. I manned the aid station at RR and then rode the back half of the ride. Susan rode up and back so we managed to get to ride back together which was fun. One of the guys from the team shadowed us in his truck, took pictures and offered to be my personal sag wagon if I couldn't handle the ride. Since it was 16 miles that was basically downhill I got there ok but to have a personal sag wagon? Did I mention how AWESOME these people are? Yup, a good group of humans generating a whole bunch of good karma in the community. I'm touched and honored to know these folks. All in all, a great Saturday morning - bikes, friends, some charity work. Check, check, check.

And one other funny anecdote. Ron Kiefel, 7 time TdF participant, winner of a stage in the Giro D'Italia and teammate of Greg LeMond back in the 1980s for the 7-11 team was on the ride. As he cruised by me in a group, he politely mentioned to me that I had a bit of a faucet coming down from my nose. I politely noted back that after a massive amount of chemo I had no nose hair and it's pretty hard to keep snot in your nose when you're riding in 40 degree damp weather with no nose hair. He chuckled, I chuckled, and so closes what will probably be my closest connection to cycling at the highest levels. And the wheels continue to roll...

Saturday afternoon we recharged from the cold weather, did a few chores and then I rallied to cook us spaghetti and salad. Not complicated but again, it feels great to be able to do these little things when last month I couldn't do any food prep and wasn't very interested in even thinking about food. We then did one of our favorite things which is catching some good sci-fi (Dr. Who, who gets to see the Tardis in the body of a human woman, whoa..) and snuggling on the couch. Now that's a Saturday!

Today I was planning on doing a mountain ride with my DCTBL buddies but the weather was a bit borderline so we called the ride. It managed to dry out a bit here in Boulder County so I got out for a 27 mile ride over to Erie and back. I worked pretty hard and was quite whipped by the end of the ride. One of the nice things about riding by yourself is that you can go as slow or as fast as you want, stop when you want, etc. without feeling group pressure. Group rides are great for the camaraderie but for simple training purposes I think solo rides are hard to beat. I've still got a long way to before I'm back to what I think of as normal but things are going in the right direction so I'm determined to keep working, listen to my body and be patient while I heal from the assault of the chemo.

BTW, they had a conference on lymphoma in Denver last month and I got a chance to look at some of the slides from the presentations. They describe the stem cell transplant for Hodgkins as "an excuse to give someone a ridiculous amount of chemo." I think that makes me feel good about the treatment I received but it also leaves me a bit ambiguous about the whole process. My gut reaction was basically: "huh..."

Well, that's the weekend update. Tomorrow it's back to work. I think I'll start doing Monday yoga with Susan as I'm feeling pretty tight from all the sitting around I was doing last month. I think this will help me feel better and improve my bike riding, too.

BTW, the next big athletic event I'm planning is participating in the 24 hr. eRock mountain bike ride. Info is here. Basically an excuse to stay up all night with your friends, ride bikes, camp out and do something fun and slightly silly. I'm not sure how well I'll do; I'm not so worried about the riding but more about the lack of sleep. I'm still really digging naps and my body may not be real excited about not getting sleep. We'll see how that goes.

ps. My head hair is slowly starting to wake up. Here is a scary picture of my chin, complete with goat-like white hairs. These weren't there 2 days ago so this is quite exciting news! At least, to me :)

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