Reunited...:Thursday, January 28, 2010

...and it feels so good! Who or what have I been reunited with, you ask? Vicodin, my friend. We're back together for a limited engagement and I gotta tell you it's a happy reunion. I had yet another minor surgical procedure this afternoon, hence my reunion with vicodin. Fortunately, this one was not of the gynecological sort. I had enough of those in 2009 to last me a lifetime!

Here's the deal: I've been plagued by Plantar warts in my heel for the past couple of years (actually, they showed up at about the same time the first symptoms of my cancer appeared and that's probably not a coincidence...). I had a cluster of about 12 -18 in the bottom of my heel and while not painful, they were a pretty big nuisance. Frequently, it felt as those I was walking on a pebbly beach. Yeah, not cool, especially when spending a lot of time training for a triathlon.

So, I decided enough was enough and that it was time to have them burned out/off (nothing like smellin' your skin burn!) since all previous treatments proved unsuccessful. The whole procedure lasted just about an hour and a half and was relatively painless (thanks to about a dozen shots of some numbing agent into my heel...).

I'm home now resting comfortably in front of the TV with my leg up...and with my beloved vicodin in my system. As for the recovery, I should be walking without my surgical boot (it's really hot, let me tell ya) within the next couple of days and exercising again in a week or two.

That was the big excitement for the day. Perhaps now that I'm laid up, I'll finally find the time to post all of my holiday and BVI pictures...hmmm...we'll see.

Four Months!: Saturday, January 23, 2010

Today is my four-month wellness anniversary and guess how I celebrated? With exercise, of course! It was a sunny and relatively warm (48 degrees or so) day so I headed down to the GW Parkway trail and did a five and a half mile run/walk. It felt great!

Another important event occurred today. My friend Jori gave birth to her son, Alexander Britton Tulkki, at 3:13 p.m. PT. Alex was a big boy weighing in at 8 lbs and 9 ounces! Congratuations to Jori and Mark on their new arrival. I can't wait to meet him!

Welcome, Alex! You look just like your mommy.

The Lululemon Manifesto: Friday, January 22, 2010

In thinking about my New Year's resolutions, I was reminded of the Lululemon Manifesto and thought I'd share it with you in two ways:

First, with artwork...

Next, with just the text because, while the art is cool to look at, it's a tad hard to read...

Drink FRESH water and as much water as you can. Water flushes unwanted toxins from your body and keeps your brain sharp.
A daily hit of athletic-induced endorphins gives you the power to make better decisions, helps you be at peace with yourself, and offsets stress.
Do one thing a day that scares you.
Listen, listen, listen, and then ask strategic questions.
Write down your short and long-term GOALS four times a year. Two personal, two business and two health goals for the next 1, 5 and 10 years. Goal setting triggers your subconscious computer.
Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.
Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.
That which matters the most should never give way to that which matters the least.
Stress is related to 99% of all illness.
Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.
The world is changing at such a rapid rate that waiting to implement changes will leave you 2 steps behind. DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW!
Friends are more important than money.
Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.
Take various vitamins. You never know what small mineral can eliminate the bottleneck to everlasting health.
Don’t trust that an old age pension will be sufficient.
Visualize your eventual demise. It can have an amazing effect on how you live for the moment.
The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive thought.
Live near the ocean and inhale the pure salt air that flows over the water, Vancouver will do nicely.
Observe a plant before and after watering and relate these benefits to your body and brain.
Practice yoga so you can remain active in physical sports as you age.
Dance, sing, floss and travel.
Children are the orgasm of life. Just like you did not know what an orgasm was before you had one, nature does not let you know how great children are until you have them.
Successful people replace the words “wish”, “should” and “try” with “I will”.
Creativity is maximized when you’re living in the moment.
Nature wants us to be mediocre because we have a greater chance to survive and reproduce.
Mediocre is as close to the bottom as it is to the top, and will give you a lousy life.
lululemon athletica creates components for people to live longer, healthier and more fun lives. If we can produce products to keep people active and stress-free, we believe the world will become a much better place.
Do not use cleaning chemicals on your kitchen counters. Someone will inevitably make a sandwich on your counter.
SWEAT once a day to regenerate your skin.
Communication is COMPLICATED. We are all raised in a different family with slightly different definitions of every word. An agreement is an agreement only if each party knows the conditions for satisfaction and a time is set for satisfaction to occur.
What we do to the earth we do to ourselves.
The pursuit of happiness is the source of all unhappiness.
I love this list and while I don't practice all components of it, particularly the yoga part (much to my yogi cousin's chagrin), I think they've got most things right. I'll be back with my 2010 "I WILL" list (a.k.a. my New Year's resolutions) once I have hammered it all out. I've got a lot of balls in the air these days so it's taking some time (like, the whole first month of the year!) to sort things out.

Otherwise Engaged: Monday, January 18, 2010

No, not me, silly. Ha! I just did that to get your attention. But someone is engaged. This was a big weekend for the McGihon family: Not only did my "baby" brother, Bobby, turn 30 on Saturday but he also proposed to his girlfriend, Ansley, and she said YES. It's still early yet but between my great check-up and Bobby's engagement, 2010 is shaping up to be a MUCH better year than 2009. Amen to that. Congratulations to Bobby and Ansley on their exciting news! I am very happy for them both...and for their dogs, River and Coach, who will be probably equally happy to spend the rest of their lives together, too.

In other news, my sprint triathlon training is progressing nicely (...just under 10 months left until showtime!). In fact, I think my swimming must really be helping my running because I just ran outside (it's a gorgeous day for mid-January) for the first time since the Turkey Trot at Thanksgiving and I was barely winded after running about 4.5 miles in 40 minutes. Yay me! I should be in good shape for the Monument Avenue 10K I'm planning to run in late March.

Okay, off to get a million things done during this federal holiday!

Farewell, My Friend: Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Well, I knew this day would come. I think I'm really ready for it. (And I think my parents are too since they've shouldered a lot of the burden as of late.) However, I'm still a little sad. River, my loaner dog, is heading South tomorrow to be returned to his rightful owner (my brother, Bobby, in case you're just joining...).

The fact is, I'm back to my old self again, which means I'm running around like a crazy woman and am rarely home. Obviously, this is not condusive to having a 90 lb. Lab who needs lots of exercise and wants company all of the time. As I've told many people, I knew there was a reason I didn't have a dog before I got sick and my post-treatment lifestyle has been a big reminder of that reason. I just don't have time...or the space...or, frankly, the patience.

So, while I won't miss finding my bathroom trash can partially emptied every time I come home (because I rarely remembered putting the trash up or closing the bathroom door...), or having dog hair all over my mostly black wardrobe, or paying large vet bills on top of my own medical expenses, or being relegated to one small corner of my queen bed so that he can stretch out comfortably, or having him wake me up at about 5:30 a.m. everyday to be fed and walked ( the dark, bitter cold), or having him want to play with his nasty toys at the most inopportune times, or...well, you get the picture, I will still miss him.

I will miss our long walks, our trips to the dog park (where I endured dozens of dirty looks due to his humping issue), the way he patiently laid by my side or at my feet everytime I got teary during my treatment, and most importantly, I will miss seeing just how excited he is to see me after everytime I've been gone -- whether for five minutes or for five days.

So, his departure is sad...and I must confess that I'm a little weepy as I write this. As one friend just pointed out, his departure is a watershed moment in my post-treatment life. He was always going to go home after I was better. And I am 100% better now so it is time. It's a new year, I'm healthy again, and it is time for River to be reunited with his master, who has missed him terribly.

Thank you, River, for being my constant companion during the dog days of treatment this summer. Your affection was one of the best complementary therapies I arranged for myself. I will miss you and can't wait to see you again.

We had our last walk together with my mom this morning. This shot was taken when I stopped by my parent's later to drop off a few more of his things for my mom to take with them when they return him to Bobby this weekend. It was so cute, he wanted to follow me out so we let him. Always a gentlemen, he walked me to my car and gave me a kiss goodbye and only left the side of my car after my mother called for him to come inside for a treat. He loves his treats!

Oh, and you can see above, "Brenda" has been on vacation since we left for the BVIs. My hair is pretty thick (actually, thicker than before I was sick...) and while I still don't know that I like that I look like I might prefer women, I'm just so much more comfortable and seem to have fewer hot flashes without her. Another watershed post-treatment event, wouldn't you say?!

Vacay is Over: Monday, January 11, 2010

All good things must come to an end, I suppose. Vacation is over and it's back to the grind. Stay tuned for many updates from the holidays, my trip to the BVIs, New Year's resolutions, etc.

Okay, back to work. Sigh.