The Stacey Report

August 10, 2007: Report from the 3Day, Pt. 1

Posted in 3-Day by dbancroft on August 10, 2007

OK, so… complete failure.

I did not walk 60 miles.  I only walked 55 miles. 

I’M SORRY!!! Wah…

But I have an excuse! And I’ll tell you what it was presently… patience, patience. 

OK, here is the story of the 3Day:

I had been training a little bit on my own, as you know.  The absolute hardest part about that was finding the time to do it — who has six free hours to walk around? But I knew I had to find out if I could do it before I showed up because that’s a story that ends in tears.

So, I started doing some training walks with a group near me called The Sunflower Girls. The first time I went to meet them I got hopelessly lost (thank you, Mapquest!) and showed up at the walk leader’s house 40 minutes late.  Needless to say, no one was there. Lotsa empty cars, though, so I knew I was on the right track.

So I decided to stretch and start walking and maybe I could catch up with them. BAH! Ba HA HA HAH! Ha ha ha… haha… hoooo… that’s a good one. See, I had no idea what I was up against — I thought, hey, I’m in reasonable shape, I can walk fast, right? Yeah, but when I finally called Stacey to come rescue me and jump me ahead in the route (I figured, hey, I’m walking 60 miles, she can do something… oh, right. Chemo. Well, whatever…) and finally found this group and finally started walking, four of them shot ahead like Dunkin’ Donuts was callin’ their names! I mean, we like to never saw them again if they hadn’t waited up! Sheesh.  Then there were a few of us in the middle, and a couple behind.  But still, I never would have caught any of them.

Which would have been a complete shame, because the Sunflower Girls RULE! One of them, Brenda, actually lives right around the corner from me, who knew? (Right on, Brenda!)

So, right, training walks… We did 12 miles that day, no problem. The next day we did, uh, six miles. And then went to Sergio’s for a ridiculously caloric breakfast. So, I’m thinking, ok, I need to do at least one more big push before this gig to find out whether my feet are going to fall off. (Oh, and by the way, the surgerized foot by this time was pretty much pain-free. Huzzah!)

So the next day, I walked what we estimated to be about 15 miles.  I was going to do 4 or 5 more, but Chris called my cell phone to ask whether I wanted him to pick me up because he was heading home from his parents’ house. And I said “Yes, please,” because of the very biggest problem about walking long distances by yourself. And here it is. Ahem.

Walking long distences by yourself IS UNBELIEVABLY BORING! Sweet Fancy Moses, I thought I would never shut up! And those footsteps — left, right, left, right — I am so incredibly monotonous, I thought I was going to have to choke me!

So that’s why I highly recommend training with a group. Like the Sunfower Girls, who RULE! Because otherwise you will quickly bore yourself to tears. And plus you get to have breakfast at Sergio’s, which I recommend even more highly.

End of pt. 1 — next installation, the first day!

I’m finally in training!

Posted in 3-Day by dbancroft on July 5, 2007

Uh, yeah, I know it’s July. And the walk is next month. 

But here’s the thing: for whatever reason, my foot healed very slowly from the surgery and I really didn’t want to end up having to do the surgery again or giving myself permanent nerve damage or something like that. So I waited. And waited and waited and waited…

And finally I said Forget it! I have to at least try this out to see what happens. Because although it’s possible to blow the walk because my foot hurts, I’m definitely not going to be able to do it if I don’t do some kind of prep work! So I started by walking 3 miles. No problem (and along the way I spotted lots of blackberry canes I would never have known were there otherwise. Free fruit for the Roadside Jam Company!)

Then I walked five miles. Again, no problem, so it seems that the foot is probably just going to be as achy as it is all the time, but not any worse from the walking.  However, I have yet to put it to the real test, so my next step is 8 miles, then a 15 mile training walk with Wild Women Originals, the team I’ve informally joined (mainly for the structured walks and discounts at sporting goods stores.)

So this week or weekend I hope to try the 8 miles–wish me luck!

In other news, Stacey continues to be ridiculously well. Her hair has grown past that awkward, Juan Epstein-y stage to where she can pin it back off her face. She is still in preventative treatment with Herceptin (the hormone decoy) and Zometa (the bone glue!) Right now the schedules are a bit scattered such that there’s rarely a week where she doesn’t have to go in for something, but c’est la vie. Literally.

Actually, TFDB is currently researching the idea of discontinuing the hormones, which is standard protocol when someone’s been on them for a few years.  But then again, there’s nothing standard about Stacey and as we all know, the existing statistics and literature on IBC are all but worthless in terms of predicting outcomes because the folks in those studies were given the treatments available then.  As opposed to Stacey. Also, the folks in those studies weren’t Stacey. As opposed to Stacey.  Who, uh… is. Or something.

March 27, 2007: Remember those wallets, people?

Posted in 3-Day by dbancroft on March 27, 2007

Well… I’ve done a thing.

It may have been a crazy thing.

But it’s done and now there’s no going back…

I have registered to walk in the Susan B. Komen 3-day.

“Well, what’s wrong with that?” you ask, “Sounds like a lovely thing to do.”

“Yeah, easy for YOU to say,” I say!  Because actually I’m a little terrified. The Komen 3-day walk is just that: three days of walking, for 60 miles.  S-I-X-T-Y.

There have been times in my life when I have been quite fit indeed. The year in college that I signed up for weight lifting and yoga on alternate days, that was good.  The year after college when I couldn’t afford to join a gym so I bit the bullet and started running (without even being chased) also a fine time, and maybe sixty miles then wouldn’t have seemed like such of a much.

But this… is not one of those times.  In fact, I’m not sure I have ever been such a lumpy noodle as now, and certainly any kind of cardio fitness is out of the question: yesterday I got winded carrying a basket of laundry up the stairs.  It was a really big basket. But still.

Furthermore, as some of you know, I have recently had my second and final bunion de-buniofied (by TF Dr. James Stewart of Drs. Smith and Stewart Podiatry, thumbs up!) leaving me with a still-swole foot that isn’t ready for prime time — it’s definitely not helping my tremors to be unable to start training.

Because that’s what the next few months will be: training time.  This was hammered into all of us at a focus meeting recently: training will make the difference between enjoying the event and just surviving it.

With your kind permission (and, come to think of it, even without) I’ll be writing a bit about the training process, with continuing updates about Stacey’s treatment which, to everyone’s  great joy and satisfaction, continues dull as dirt.

But before I begin the scintillating tales of finally leash training the dogs and selecting sneakers and measuring walking routes and such, I must ask for your help.

I really MUST, because to even participate in the walk, I need to raise $2300.00 in donations to breast cancer research.  At first, that seemed like a really lot of money because I was picturing having to ask 23 people for $100.00 each.  Now, some of us can find that kind of change between the couch cushions, but I sure can’t and I know what I would say if someone asked me for $100.00.  “It’s good to have a dream,” I would say.

Then, as you’ve probably guessed by now, I realized that I could ask 230 people for $10 each… and that’s what I’m asking of you, dear readers.  Here’s the link to my donation site where you can give online via credit card; feel free to e-mail me for information about donating by cash or check. 

I’m also asking a favor: if you know anyone else who might want to support my walk and breast cancer research, please feel free to pass the link on.  The minimum donation amount is $2300.00, but of course i’d like to raise as much money as possible. 

Thanks very much!