Forging Onward Even When the World is Falling Apart

Personal:

Last Saturday over a week ago, we got up very early and drove 2 hours to pick Daniel up from Camp Lakewood. He actually looked like he had gained weight which was surprising. One of our goals keeping him busy during the summer is to keep him from gaining weight and becoming inactive.

He was very happy to see his family and especially his Mom and Dad. He acted different but maybe he seemed more grown up. He said he had a great time and made friends including a girlfriend named Kiki.

We watched his ceremony and it was fun to watch. It is a great and beautiful camp.

Kevin and I drove back with Sadie so that his Mom and Dad could get some alone time on the 2-hour drive back to talk to him about his time there. Sadie sucks up all the attention if she can. J

After my Sunday morning run, I showered and went to meet up with my son, daughter in law and my kiddies to go to lunch at a favorite place Llewelyn’s Pub in Soulard, St. Louis.

Afterwards, we took Daniel and Sadie to our apartment to spend the night. PyPy made Daniel and Sadie’s favorite, Italian spaghetti and meatballs made of veal, beef and pork. It was a delicious meal and they loved it. They are very impressed with all his cooking. It was pouring down rain all weekend so we stayed in the apartment and played games and had tea parties.

Sadie feel asleep very early at 8pm so I got to spend time with Daniel and ask questions about camp. I am sad he is growing up but happy to see him do grown up things that make him feel important.

Running/Training:

On this training marathon training program, I have 4 runs per weeks on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday run is usually a fairly longer run and Saturday is the longest. I am supposed to cross-train on one of my off days but I don’t do that yet.

Week 03 Chicago Marathon Training: Last weekend was unseasonably cool and rainy. I did my long run of 7 miles on Sunday morning. I wanted a city run and not a park. Kevin rode his bicycle to accompany me on the streets of St. Louis. I actually love running the city and only once or twice have I been afraid. I’m not a person that gets scared easy and that may not be a good time. I don’t mind running alone most of the time in downtime St. Louis.

The run started out with a nice, cool drizzle. After about 3 miles, the bottom dropped out and I got drenched. I loved it. I always run better during the rain mainly because I don’t sweat enough and my body overheats. Rain is always a welcome event for me on a run. After you get wet, what the hell…enjoy the run.

I had a nice and strong run. I felt good and enjoyed it as I always enjoy running the streets of downtime St. Louis. I love city running because I enjoy the scenery of old St. Louis historic brick buildings. I pass restaurants, bars and places that I’ve never noticed. I know those streets so well but I always see something different. City running distracts me and trail or regular sidewalk running does not. It always feels different.

I engage in the city so the running doesn’t seem so much like a chore. I do most of my long runs in St. Louis for that reason.

Week 04 Chicago Marathon Training: I completed my 4 runs this week. Wednesday runs are much harder for me than weekend. The last thing I want to do after a 11-hour day at work is run. And with the intense heat and humidity, I did many on the treadmill. I am learning how to use the treadmill to my advantage. I can control the speed and incline so I can challenge myself with faster speeds and higher inclines. I think it’s helped me to hold a consistent speed and cadence. I should be doing some cross-training but I have not yet incorporated that into my training. That may be a mistake but due to colon surgery, I’m limited. Maybe I’m using that for an excuse.

Yesterday was my 8 mile run. It wasn’t supposed to be a hot day but it got humid very early. I didn’t start until 9 am and I decided to do a street run versus the trail run that I usually do here in Columbia. I did a route that one of the local running clubs routed and invited me to that I never go to. It was through the town of Columbia and went through some trails.


The first 3 miles was relatively easy and I had a good pace and felt good but then came the huge hills and inclines. Kevin rode along beside me on his bicycle which I always appreciate. I made a wrong turn on a trail and made my 8 mile run almost 1 mile longer which was not good today. I became overheated. I have an issue that has plagued me all my running career. I cannot sweat outside when it’s humid. I have never asked a doctor and when I google it, I never see anything that can help. If I run when it’s cold or I run inside, I sweat profusely. In fact, after a humid run in which I can’t sweat, when I walk into the cool house, the sweat pours. It’s frustrating but it’s something that I have to live with. I sometimes use a cooling towel when I run. It helps a bit.

Today, Kevin and I took our bikes to Rocheport to ride 10 miles or son on the KATY trail. It was hot and humid but very enjoyable. Rocheport is a beautiful little quaint progressive town where people make wine, pottery, have many wine stroll events and smoke weed. It is located on the Missouri river and the KATY trail which makes it a touristy place. It is also home to one of the area favorite wineries Les Bourgeois.

The KATY trail is part of the Katy Trail State Park is a state park in the U.S. state of Missouri that contains the Katy Trail, a recreational rail trail that runs 240 miles (390 km) in the right-of-way of the former Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad.

I needed this workout because my legs were spent from yesterday’s nightmarish run. It was a good ride and beautiful bluffs, caves and beautiful wildflowers the entire ride.

Tomorrow is a 3 miler, 5 on Wednesday, 3 on Thursday and 10 on Saturday. We may head to St. Louis this coming weekend to do my run plus catch a Cardinals game.

I need to find a way to build up my confidence for the upcoming 10 miler. It’s only going to get worse from here! But marathon training almost makes me a better and healthier person. J

The other day my husband said something surprising to me. He told me I was much more beautiful when I run a lot. He also said that my eyes prettier. I’m not sure what running has to do with my eyes but he doesn’t throw out many romantic compliments often. God knows he suffers along with me during my training. That made me feel good that he paid such a compliment.

W05 training begins tomorrow!

Eating:

I almost made it 21 days “21 Day No Junk Food Challenge” but on the last day, Kevin bought a caramel bar from Whole foods which I can’t resist and I ate half of it! But I started it again. I’m not sure it’s a no junk food but it is no sugar, cookies, bars, pies, chips, crackers etc. but I do drink alcohol which probably is not the best thing to do during marathon training or for health in general. I have lost about 10+ lbs since my surgery. I would like to lose about 10 more lbs before we go to Santa Cruz on Aug 23.

I doing very well on this plan based on my rules. But I don’t eat the normal things that I am prone to eat such as sweets, cookies, donuts, cakes, potato chips etc so that is a win for me.

Peace and Love:


On a serious and sad note, please support our law enforcement. I cannot imagine living in St. Louis, Columbia, Kansas City without those brave men and women. I personally thank them every time I see them. There may be bad apples and bad guys in that lot of people. It goes to reason; they are chosen from the same population that other criminals and good people come from….the human race.

#BlueLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter #RespectAndDecencyMatters #LifeMatters

I will admit that I tend to give police the benefit of a doubt. I just don’t believe that most police would kill a man in cold blood because he is black. If he does, I want him punished just like everyone else.

My husband is a black man. His dad was black and his mother is Cuban/Bahamian. Kevin was raised in Buffalo, NY. And because he looks mostly white like his beautiful mother, he has seen both ugly sides of racism. He didn’t fit in black communities in Buffalo NY which he was raised until he was 12 years old and when he moved to Sunnyvale, CA, where he didn’t look quiet white. He doesn’t classify himself as black, Cuban, or white. He is a man and a good human being. He and I are both conservative type people but we care about others. We support gay marriage and equal rights for all human beings. I’m heartbroken over how the country seems so divided and full of hate right now.


Kevin and His Beautiful Family

RIP and Godspeed

DPD Sgt. Michael Smith, 55, a former Army Ranger who had been with the department since 1989.

DPD Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, 48, who had been with the department since 2002.

DPD Officer Michael Krol, 40, who had been with the department since 2007.

DPD Officer Patrick Zamarripa, 32, a Navy sailor and Iraq War veteran who had been with the department since 2011

DART Officer Brent Thompson, 43, a former Marine who had been with the department since 2009. Thompson was the first DART officer to be killed in the line of duty since the department’s inception in 1989. After serving in the Marine Corps, Thompson worked in the Middle East for a Pentagon contractor, hiring and training police in Iraq and Afghanistan in “democratic policing.”

~Support the Thin Blue Line~

Reluctantly Moving Forward

Week #2 of Chicago Marathon training is in the books. 104 days until the big day.

It’s gone pretty well. It’s actually gone much better than I ever thought when I first found out that I had to have colon surgery. It’s been so hot and humid that I do most of my weekday runs on the treadmill. The longer runs I try to do outside. It’s not easy in the summer but I’ve been there and if you can make it through summer training, you can complete the marathon.

I hate treadmill running but I have found ways to make it work better for me and maybe even better than outside running. I have a great treadmill and can use iFit and iRunMaps to run anywhere in the world. But I am able to adjust speed to get more speed into my runs. I can adjust the incline to mimic hills. I have the Chicago Marathon route programed into it to try soon. At least segments of it.


And it’s also the end of week #2 of the “21 Day No Junk Food Challenge.”

I’ve lost weight and feel great except from some stomach pain around my belly button. Sometimes, I’m not sure if running is good for it at this point but the surgeon said it wouldn’t hurt and I have to train, right?

My long run this week was 6 miles scheduled for Saturday but I did it Friday due to the Macklind Mile in St. Louis on Saturday. It’s a popular yearly 1 mile run where people from all over try for the PR. There are many in the elite group who did it at a 4 minute pace. Amazing to me. I did it at 10:19 which is the slowest that I’ve done it in my 4 years of participating. It was humid and I was sore from the 6 miles on Friday and had some pain discomfort. It’s harder than you think.

Week 3 Chicago Marathon Training

*the pink is my planned miles and the purple are alternatives if I choose*


I got to spend a few hours with Daniel and Sadie this time. We didn’t do our usually stay over because Daniel was scheduled to leave for summer camp on Sunday morning.

This is the first time that Daniel will be staying away from home for more than a night except staying with relatives. I can’t believe my baby is growing up. He was so excited about camp. We can’t have any contact with him except through snail mail. I’m so anxious about it because I am an overprotectant grandmother! But I am super proud of him, even though I’m not ready for him to grow up. We will go pick him up next Saturday morning. I am so sure he will have so many things to talk about.

I always wanted to go to summer camp but my mom and dad couldn’t afford to send us so we are so happy he has this chance. These experiences will last a lifetime with him.

Saying Goodbye to Sadie today at Camp

I so enjoy these kids. I am going to plan some more days so I can hang out with them more. I have so much vacation time at work that why would I not do what makes me the happiest?



In 59 more days, we leave on our yearly trip to Santa Cruz. We usually stay about 9 or 10 days but this year we cut it a bit shorter. We will be there 7 nights. We usually are ready to go home before the 9 days are over anyway. We miss our dogs that is becomes almost unbearable. And marathon training is going on.

In a few years, I plan to be living there with my family J

Our View in Santa Cruz from our Suite

~Peace Out~


Back 2 Good

It’s been a while since I last blogged.

It’s been almost 4 weeks from today that I had my sigmoid colectomy. They were able to do it laparoscopically with a few incisions in my stomach and one of them around my belly button was about 4 inches long which screwed up my pretty belly button that the plastic surgeon gave me in December 2013. L The surgeon removed 1 foot of my colon and an infected ovary. I was told that I had about 5 ft. of colon originally. So no biggie to just have 4 ft….I guess!??

My hospital stay was about 2 days shorter than the average person for that surgery. Doctors and nurses were impressed with my recovery. I wasn’t because I have a high bar set for myself! J I like to think my being a runner had something to do with that.

All my pathology tests came back good which I had stressed about.

My first days home as well as into the next week were miserable. I was in pain, lonely, frustrated and depressed. I honestly got a bit attached to the oxycodone that I was prescribed for pain. I felt like I was going downhill after all the progress that I had made to get myself healthy by losing 100+ lbs. and becoming a runner.

The 3rd week, Daniel came to Columbia for “Camp MyMy” as we call it. He calls me MyMy. That may have been one of the better weeks of my life. I adore being with Daniel. I feel good all over when he is with me. I could write a book on this week but I’ll spare any reader that I might have.

We fished, read books to each other, roasted hotdogs, made s’mores, played at the swimming pool, set up the tent in the backyard and camped out a couple of nights. We visited all the places he loves in Columbia both to play and to eat.


He was born here and lived about 4 and half years of his life right up the street from me.

With Daniel here, I quickly got off the pain medicine and enjoyed my time with him. I healed both mentally and physically. We took him home last Sunday and I have cried off and on since. I don’t think that is normal or what a grandma should do, but being with him is like a drug to me. So I have gone through some Daniel withdrawal.

I’m off the narcotics completely and I won’t go into it but that was about to get bad.

Yesterday was his birthday and I didn’t get to see him. He had other family from out of state up to visit so Kevin and I stayed in Columbia. I facetimed with him but that is not even close to being with him.

Daniel leaves for summer camp next weekend for a week. I think that will be a wonderful experience for him. We will go up next Friday night and spend some time with Daniel and Sadie before he leaves.

I started back to work this past Monday. Sunday night I dreaded it but I actually felt good and energetic. So many people commented on how good I looked. I had lost some weight and plus I was very tanned from hanging out at the pool with Daniel! J I could tell my co-workers were very surprised that I did look and act so healthy.

I started a “21 day No Junk Food Challenge” and “Chicago Marathon Training” on Monday. I completed all 4 of my runs and have had no junk food. I had to do a couple of my runs on the treadmill due to the heat and my colon adjusting to having a foot of itself cut out! Ha-ha

The surgeon said that it would be about 6 months before everything was back to normal. But it’s a minor issue at this point so I can live with it.

I feel better now than I’ve felt in 6 or 7 months. And I’ve lost about 7 lbs. and have no bloating anymore. Which had become a very big issue with me in the last few months.

Yesterday, Kevin and I ran 5 miles on the trails with fully loaded camelbacks. I’m not crazy about running with encumbrances but it was nice to have water so handy all the time. And it’s probably a good thing to have especially on 8+ mile long runs in this heat.


One good thing about training in the summer for a marathon is by the time Oct 9 comes, I will have run through the worst of times. That is how it was on my first marathon.

I moved my original training up one week due to our yearly vacation to Santa Cruz, CA. I can’t imagine getting my ass off the beach long enough to do a 16 mile run!

I will run daily there. We are even registered a 4k “Run By the Sea.” We did it last year and Kevin placed 2nd in his age group! I didn’t do well because I stopped a few times to take pictures of the sea lions laying on the beach and the breathtaking views.

I do love a daily run on the beach. We also usually get in a couple of street runs along the coastline.

#ChicagoMarathon #111DAYS

That’s all for now.

~Happy Father’s Day~

A Pain in My Ass

The date is set for my surgery. May 23 is the big day that I have dreaded and the day I was counting on to help me feel better.

My first visit with this surgeon and I get a good feeling. He explained everything in detail and took time for my questions. He told me the chances of the good and the bad.

The surgery is called “hand-assisted laparoscopic sigmoid colectomy.” The surgeon will remove about 12 inches of my sigmoid colon. I whenced when he said that but he showed me pictures of just now much colon I have and I wouldn’t miss it!

I first became aware of the problem in Nov 2015 when I ended up in the emergency room doubled over in paid and a high fever. I was diagnosed with severe diverticulitis. This happens when pockets form in the colon (diverticulosis) and when they become inflamed it is called diverticulitis. I had 2 other serious flare ups. When I went for my colonoscopy, my doctor could not perform it because of a stricture in the colon or a partial blockage caused by the scar tissue from the inflammations. The quality of my life was seriously affected. Many times, I’ve had to take strong narcotic pain relievers to help with the pain. It comes and goes but for the most part, I feel miserable all the time. It causes constipation, diarrhea, and the worst bloating imaginable. I think I hate that the worse. It’s hard to sleep, work and exercise.

Maybe it’s vanity or maybe it’s because I paid $20,000 for a body lift in December 2013 to remove all the hanging skin after losing 127 lbs. that gave me the perfect stomach that I never had…but they will make 4 cuts about 3 inches each on my perfect tummy!

I made a joke that I’d like for him to not ruin that!

There is a chance that once they start the surgery, they may have to do the big cut which I pray don’t have to happen. Both because it would ruin $20k tummy work and it will be a longer recover time.

They said the surgery would take about 2 hours and I’d have to stay in the hospital for about 4-5 days to make sure everything was working properly. He will remove 12 inches of colon and reattach it in the one surgery so no need for a colostomy bag if everything goes well. I’m counting on that! (ha-ha)

And you can only imagine that I had to tell him that I was training for the Chicago marathon. He is a marathoner too so he understood. He moved the surgery to a date as quick as he could. He said if all goes according to plan, I should be good to go mid-June which is when I originally had it planned to start. I moved it up recently to help me because I knew I’d be out of commission for a while. He even said that after a couple of weeks, I may be able to run. The important “don’t do” is weights, core exercises etc. but said running is good for the colon and won’t hurt it. He said I could run as I felt like it. That bit of news made me happy. So, Chicago Marathon….here I come!

He even said that after a couple or 3 weeks, I could go back to work if I felt like it.

All in all, I’m relieved that it will be over soon.

My pain is growing worse day by day. This week has been very hard and I have barely slept. Many times, the narcotics don’t help.

Next weekend, we are supposed to go camping in Hermann, MO with the kids. I love camping and especially with Daniel. My son was cautioning that I might need to cancel it but I don’t want to.

Hermann is beautiful wine country so I’ll be camping, eating s’mores, enjoying my family and drinking wine in preparation for whatever comes.

I Never Knew

I’ve posted many times on here that my son and I had a cold relationship. It’s really never been anything that I could put my finger on or explain. I’m not the most nurturing woman alive so I’ve always felt it was my fault that we had a sour relationship. I always felt he held some grudges against me and maybe didn’t even love me. I really felt he didn’t like me very much. We never talk about it or try to fix it. I didn’t get to see him or my grandkiddies on Mother’s Day and I even felt he may not even call me. But he did call me this morning and he and the kids told me “Happy Mother’s Day.” We chatted a bit and went on our way. Later this afternoon, he did something so out of character for him. He wrote the following on my facebook. I’ve been crying happy tears ever since. Below is what he wrote on my facebook. J

 

From James:

It has to be one of my more obnoxious traits (I have a lot of them), but I am one of the most fortunate people I know. I have a lot of great things around me. Sure, I have a wife of almost 15 years who loves and inspires me, who fills me with purpose and drives me to be better. I have two great kids that are the focus of my life (and most of my exhaustion). But I’m not talking about any of that today. I’m talking about the most inspiring person I’ve ever met. My mom, Charlotte Barber Snead.

Almost everybody that knows her knows that I’ve got no words to really describe her. She is large-hearted and giving to everyone who needs it, unconcerned with credit and attention, funny as hell, respectful (to a point), but intolerant towards idiots and irresponsibility, and unconcerned with petty drama and shitty people. Everyone has known this about her for years. This isn’t what’s great about her. Not even close.

Almost 9 years ago, her Grandson was born followed 6 years later by her granddaughter. Anyone who has seen her Facebook page or spent more than just a few seconds with her has… felt… the pure unflinching love she has for her grandchildren. She loves them to the point where I (the father of these two kids) question either her sanity or my capacity for loving anything—because I love them more than I could have ever imagined, and I can’t compete with her love for them. This is a remarkable thing about her, but not the most by far.

About 7 or 8 years ago, she was thinking that she was feeling down and unhealthy. She could have exercised a little more, ate a little better, and felt better about herself. But this woman does not do “a little” of anything. She decided that there was no point in not stretching her body to the extreme lengths of of its ability. She lost over a hundred pounds the hard way, no surgeries or crash diets, no pills—just hard work, will power and self control. It was inspiring to watch (if not to duplicate). In October of 2014, she ran a full 26.2 mile marathon at the age of 54, because that seemed to her something she wanted to do. She is training to do so again this year, in the Chicago Marathon, at the age of 56. Yet again, this is not the most remarkable thing about her.

She was born to sharecroppers in Gibson County Tennessee, her and her four brothers and sisters sharing a single bed. And yes, she was married and pregnant (with me) before her High School graduation. She went to work graveyard shift at a factory. She had all of the trials that break so many people around us. No one in her family had gone to college or travelled much outside of Tennessee. But this woman, working a full time job with a kid and husband at home, knew she wanted something else. And I watched her: she WORKED her ass off for it. Over five years in the late eighties and early nineties, she went to college, full time, during the day while working at night, full time, assembling motors on a factory floor. I never went hungry or wanted for anything. She earned her BBA, with honors, and started putting that to use, learning everything she could at her factory, rising up, moving to better jobs, continuing her education and stretching her self until she is where she is now, a nationally sought after manager in her field.

My mother was never given anything in this life (other than loving, hard-working parents). Everything else, she took, she earned. I watched her do it. She did it by putting in more work than anyone else, year after year, well past the point anyone else would. No one can conceive of living a 16 hour workday for 5 years to be the first in your family to get a college degree. No one can conceive of waking up in their fifties and deciding to lose a hundred pounds and run a damn marathon. This woman did. I think that she can sometimes irritate people because she walks through this world like a winner. She is a winner.

Every job interviewer I’ve ever had has asked me to name someone who has most inspired me. I have never hesitated, never stopped to think, never hemmed or hawed. I have just told them the story I just told you, the story of this woman.


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Wine Ramblings


I had a cousin to die unexpectedly this week in Seattle.

I had to terminate an immature young, sweet man who has a young family for something he put on Facebook.

I don’t think I’m a good mentor.

I’m the most unorganized person on this planet.

I want to be in Santa Cruz on the beach.

I want to ride a horse bareback on the beaches of Half Moon Bay.

I want to have sex with my husband on that same beach at nighttime.

I miss my Mama and Daddy.

I miss Tennessee.

I miss playing whiffle ball with my brothers and cousins.

I miss playing “Rook” with my Daddy and Mama.

I want to go visit my brother’s grave in Tennessee with his new memorial stone that my brother and I bought for him.

Today is a rest day from Chicago marathon training.

I want to eat all day long in China Town in San Francisco.

I want to hear the sea lions in California every day of my life.

I miss Christmas at Meamaw’s house.

Today is Cinco de Mayo and I didn’t drink a single fucking margarita nor did I wear a stupid sombrero.

I want to get drunk in Napa Valley.

Today was a stressful work day and I left work feeling defeated.

I miss Faith Independent Church from back home.

I drank a bottle of wine while watching birds at my feeder in my beautiful backyard.

I ate a $13.98 piece of stilton blue cheese with a bottle of cheap wine tonight.

I am watching the St. Louis Blues play the Dallas Stars. #OurBlues

I am day 11 into my Chicago Marathon training.

I’m worried about my health and impending surgery.

I miss Daniel and Sadie on a daily basis.

I didn’t win that 300 million Powerball last night and I was counting on it.

I’m looking forward to Daniel coming to spend a week with me in June #CampMyMy

I feel lonely sometimes and not sure why.

I want to go camping this weekend.

I’d love to spend time with my sister.

I like fried spam sandwiches with mustard.

I hate getting old.

I was a terrible mother to my son. I wish I had a do over.

I miss texting Jimmy about St. Louis Cardinals this year.

An eight-year-old is my best friend.

I prefer junky food over healthy food.

I miss eating “orange slice” candy with Daddy.

I like dogs more than I like people.

I spend a lot of time thinking of ways to make Peyton and Eli (my dogs) happy and making them like me.

I miss arguing with Daddy over Lakers vs Celtics games.

I wish I were religious.

I wish I was more nurturing.

I miss sneaking up on Christmas night watching “Miracle on 34th Street” with Mama and Daddy while the other kids slept waiting on Santa.

I regret that my son and I have a cold relationship and I don’t know how to fix it.

I spend my life feeling guilty about something.

I wish I would have had another kid.

~That’s All~

Chicago Marathon Training – A Do Over

This time last year, I was very excited to have been accepted into the Chicago Marathon.

I had just PR’d in the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon after shortly finishing my first, the Rock ‘n Roll St. Louis Full Marathon.

As a runner, I was on top of the world.

So, I put together a training plan for the Chicago and started on my awesome way. I made hotel reservations and believe me, that’s not cheap!

But life happened.

After some management leaving our company, my weekly hours increased by 30% leaving me with no time to run early in the morning nor late at night. Not to mention I was so tired that I fell in bed every night and had to drag out at 4:30am every morning.

And, my little brother Jimmy was suffering in his last days of cancer. He lost that battle in September of last year.

Running just became one of my stressors. I really started to resent running. It used to be my stress reliever became a big part of my problem. So after some good advice, I had to clean some things off my plate. Work had to happen and sadly, my brother was dying. So the marathon training had to go.

I read that you could defer the Chicago one year. You don’t get a refund of the $180 and would have to pay that again to reactivate the following year. So after struggling with that decision, that is what I did…I deferred. It did help some.

Guess what? I’m back in even though I have some health issues looming over me right now.

But I’m going to work through that until Doctors say I cannot and even then, I will. J


I have an appointment with a surgeon on May 12. I have a stricture (blockage) of the sigmoid colon that needs surgery. I have been increasingly suffering from this since November 2015 when I first became aware of it. I’m still very nervous about this.

So my surgery and recovery will happen right smack assed as I am supposed to begin my 18-week training program which was to start the 2nd week in June.

On top of that, I have not been running as much due to the pain and pressure in my lower tummy.

So to try to mitigate the interruption with surgery and recovery, I’m starting early on my training. So that hopefully, being in better shape will make my surgery and recovery go better. And then hopefully, after recovering, I can get back in the training without missing out on too much.

Well, that’s my plan anyway. I suspect my plan may fall on its face but I’m moving on as though all will be fine.

I’ll be tracking my training on a link on my page “Chicago Marathon Training.”

I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.” ~ Andy Dufresne (Shawshank Redemption)

Cruel Humans

Kevin and I took a trip to Amish country this morning to shop at greenhouses. It’s about 20 or so miles from our home.

I love being there. It’s so beautiful and they live so simple. In many ways, I envy them.

We had a great time stopping here and there for flowers and baked goods. I took my camera to capture the scenery. Amish people do not like their picture taken so I just photograph the house, farm, animals etc. It was a perfect day.

I was having such a good and enjoyable time until we saw a small dog on the side of the road. She was very small and obviously had given birth to a litter of puppies. We slowed down as to not hit her with our car and she started running after our car.

It was obvious to me that she had just been dropped off by some shitbags. She was tiny, skinny and her teats were almost touching the ground. She had no collar on. I immediately wanted to stop but Kevin kept driving.

I could see her still running down the middle of the road following our car. We stopped and waited for her to catch us. My heart was beating so fast because I wanted to help her but didn’t know what I would do with her.

I got out of the car and tried to get her to come to me.

What was so sad was that she saw our car and probably thought her asshole parents were coming back for her. So she came to the car but when I tried to get close to her, she would run away. She would stop, come closer but then run away again.

We tried to get her for a while. The only thing I had for her to eat to try to entice her to come was cashew brittle that Kevin had bought. She didn’t want it. She would come closer and run.

I asked Kevin to try because dogs love him and I thought maybe his soft voice would make her less scared.

We were in Amish country so not that many cars came by but one big truck did and almost hit her. I was crying like a baby. I wanted to get her to take her to a place near that I knew about that took in strays.

What kind of person would drop a defenseless puppy off in the middle of nowhere.

She kept waiting for her people to come back and get her. She knew they were in a car so that is why she followed our car. But when we tried to get her, she knew we wasn’t her people.

She didn’t understand what was going on. She kept waiting for her people who would never come back. She probably missed her babies.

We kept trying but soon we knew we had to leave.

I have cried the rest of the day. I wish I could have helped her. If I had something for her to eat, I think I could have gotten her.

I get a feeling that she will die on that road. She will obviously stay close to the road because she thinks her sorry assed people will come back and get her.

I’m at a loss for how I feel about people anymore.

I still see the scared and confused look on that puppy’s face. She is still waiting for her people to come back if she is still alive.

If you have a dog that you no longer want, please take it to a shelter so they can find it a home.

I Want to Cheat on My Doctor with Her Partners

I have been with my personal physician since about 2011 or so.

I am the kind of person who wants a warm and fuzzy feel from my doctor, dentist, physical therapist and for the most part that is what keeps me with them.


My dentist for 15 years retired out of the blue and one day I go in and there is Dr. L. I thought, I’ll do this appointment but then I’ll search for another. I was crushed! But I liked her immediately and maybe one reason is because she is a runner. So I stayed with her and love her.

But my general physician is someone that I don’t like. The was the only female doctor in this office so I thought I’d be more comfortable. That is such a wrong reason to make a decision. (lesson learned).

First, I want to say that I don’t go to the doctor often and usually just for a checkup, flu shot, annual blood tests etc. I’m dedicated to her and even switched my Gynecologist doctor to her just for simplicity sake.

I don’t go to doctors. Which didn’t pay off so good for me this time but I digress. I don’t doctor shop, drug beg or anything. I just want to feel that my doctor cares about me even if she fakes it while I’m there.

Dr. E doesn’t do any of that. I’ll try to list things that are on my radar and grown to a pissed off stage.

Now, she was cold and not a good listener from the start but hell all I needed was checkups so I lived with it because I hate changing doctors.

She doesn’t make eye contact with me.

She barely touches me

She quickly asks if I need anything (drugs etc)

She doesn’t stand close to me when she talks.

She writes while I talk and facts usually wrong (I’ll explain later)

She has never been able to see me on the rare occasion that I have an emergency like the Thursday and Friday that I was so sick and could barely drive home.

She wouldn’t write me an order for colonoscopy even though the ER doc said I needed on in Nov 2015. This proved critical to my care. I could have begged and pushed but relied on her that I didn’t need one because no one in my family had it. Still, it’s my responsibility to pursue. Let me point out that my dad died at 51 yrs and my mom at 59 yrs. Maybe they did have it? Maybe they would have gotten it if they had lived out of their middle age!

My gastroenterologist (Dr. W) said that I needed a doctor referral for my insurance to pay for it because it had not been 10 years since my last one and no history in my family of colon cancer.

On that Thursday emergency where I could barely drive home. I called on my way home in excruciating pain. I was begging practically for an appointment because I was in such pain, chills, throwing up and high fever on that Friday, they had no room to see me. Any doctor in the office would have worked but my own doctor…why do you have a personal doctor?

Her nurse told me to go to the ER. Fuck, I had been at the ER back in November and they only sent me to a doctor and said you have diverticulitis and get a colonoscopy. You see my frustration? I ask her nurse when someone could see me? She said that a physician’s assistant could see me that Friday. I took left over pain pills from November and waited until the next day to see a PA.

She weighed me, took my blood pressure, temperature, pushed on my belly….oh, it’s a bit tender. You fucking think? The physician’s assistant laughed about how it sucks to get old. She has it too, of course. I ask her if she could write an order for a colonoscopy with Dr. W. She said of course. She wrote me scrips for the same shit I was already taking even though I told her. And she wrote me a script for a non-narc pain pill which is ok but it was for fucking IBS!

I quit taking 2 of the prescriptions because I had such a depression that I felt useless and worthless maybe even a bit suicidal. Maybe that’s a bit over-exaggerating because I’ve never had those type thoughts before. I think I mainly felt hopeless and worthless. So I stopped taking them.

Within one day, I felt a bit better.

But my problems were still there.

Since my doctor had rather communicate through email, I emailed and asked if they had written an order for my colonoscopy. The email came back from an assistant saying that I didn’t need a colonoscopy and that my IBS was fucking normal and the meds would make it better. Oh, and don’t eat popcorn. Except I didn’t have fucking IBS!!!

I emailed back that I had a 102 temperature going on 2 days and was throwing up and zero energy. I asked what was I supposed to do next? Who did I need to contact that could help me? No answer for days and couldn’t get Dr. Ellen on the phone.

I should have been my assertive self but I was so sick and then eventually, I thought it was in my mind.

So, 7 days after my visit to the physician’s assistant with extreme pain and fever, I got a call from Dr. Welsh office that Dr. E had written my order. This was on a Friday. Dr. W scheduled my colonoscopy that next Monday.

Oh, and on the day of my colonoscopy, Dr. E wrote that I had colitis!!! The gastro people were pissed and said that was an important fact with distinction. All the paperwork had to change and they made sure they had it right before my procedure.

And you know what happened after that if you read my previous post…Colonoscopy, blockage, tear, Ct scan etc.

Now, flash forward to after I was checked into the hospital by the gastroenterologist and not my fucking doctor…..one nurse told me that a couple doctors from Dr. Ellen’s office would come around and see me that Dr. E was busy. Fine I didn’t care because good surgeon were also checking in on me.

In comes Dr. V as they call him. He’s my husband’s doctor (from Dr. E’s office) and immediately I felt he cared. He seemed a bit confused as to why everyone seemed to give me the run around with a blocked colon, 102 temperature and perforated colon. He was handsome too so that was just icing on the cake! J

He sat on my bed, touched my hand and asked me to give him the history of my problem. He examined my stomach. He read my charts and labs. He knew more in a few minutes than Dr. E has ever known. He came back a few times during my stay to tell me what to expect. He was warm, matter of fact about my situation but I felt reassured for the first time in this mess.

The next day, Dr. E came to visit me. She barely came in the door. She never came close to me and barely ask me any questions. She did finally come and push on my sore belly and noted how tender it was. That was it!

The next day, another doctor from her office came to see me, Dr. P. I loved him also. He was caring, factual, followed up with everything he said he would. I asked him the same question that I asked Dr. V and he answered the same but felt he cared.

So, I want to switch my doctor to Dr. V or Dr. P. How do that do that when they are in the same office?

Your Body is Your Real Home

This has not been a good start to a year for me.

I’m blogging from a hospital room with no clear idea when I might go home.

It started Easter Sunday when I had to start drinking the Gatorade/Miralax cocktail all day long and nothing else but clear liquids. Then Monday at 12pm, I was scheduled for a colonoscopy due to issues that I’ve been having with diverticulitis.

When I wake up, the Gastroenterologist told me they couldn’t complete the procedure because of a blockage which I knew didn’t sound good. He said that I would have to have surgery very soon. He gave me numbers to call on the following Monday to get it all set up.

But on that same night and the following Tuesday, I was in pain all day with a high fever. I called his office and they set me up with a CT scan set for the following morning (Wednesday). I drank contrast for several hours before the procedure. By now, my poor messed up stomach has gone through a lot.

I get a call a few hours later from my gastroenterologist nurse telling me to get to the emergency room and they would check me in. The nurse on the phone seemed alarmed and said a few things were extremely serious. 1. I had a mass on my colon 2. An apparent perforation 3. Obstructed right kidney from the mass.

She told me to pack a few things and she would call the emergency room to let them know to check me in.

I’m upset and probably barely coherent and I’m asking is it cancer. She told me that the radiologist said the mass could be from diverticulitis or a tumor. I started crying. She said if the mass was from the diverticulitis, it would contain more liquid and that my mass did not. Of course I cried harder. It must be hard for nurses and doctors to talk to scared and hysterical people.

So I’m bawling like a baby on the phone. I called Kevin to come home. I was shaking because my worst fear was literally coming true. She said that it appeared that emergency surgery would be needed to remove the mass that was blocking my colon and partially obstructing my kidney. And, apparently the colonoscopy pierced my colon. But the blockage or scar tissue was there prior to the colonoscopy.

I’ve met with a couple of surgeons a few times and they made me feel better that it is very unlikely that it is cancer and more likely that it is infection from a tear in my colon from the recurring diverticulitis.

So my husband and I were crying tears of joy when we were told that. They did say there was no guarantee but in their opinion, cancer is less likely and believed it’s from the infection.

But I still have some serious things to go through. I’ll be in the hospital for a few days getting antibiotics through the IV to help blast the infection away. I am on a clear liquids diet until God knows when! Of course they always say they can’t rule out cancer but I’ll choose to not dwell on that now.

So I’ve spend several days in a hospital hooked up to IV. I push a button for drugs, I’m bored shitless and eating broth and apple juice in a hospital room all day for a few more days. Once they get the infection cleared up and they can get a better look, they will do the surgery to remove that part of my colon that is causing the problem.


According to the surgeon this morning, I might go home tomorrow and continue antibiotics and liquids until I’m healed.

And at about 3 weeks, they will schedule the surgery to repair my colon. I don’t know much about this surgery but some say it can be laparoscopically done which I hope. She said I could resume most activities now and up to the surgery. My best scenario is that the surgery can be performed and maybe out of the hospital quickly.

I was told not to go back to work but that’s not going to happen. I just manage anyway and staying at home will drive me freaking nuts. I’ll take it easy and do as I need to do workwise.

I do plan on going to work on Monday and the Dr. said I could exercise (even run) as I felt up to it but pay attention to abnormal pain.

It may set my Chicago marathon training back a bit but I have full intentions of rocking that bitch with my friend, Tammy.

I’ve gone through so many emotions lately…highs and lows. But mostly I couldn’t bear the thought of dying and leaving people and puppies. I was facing the horror that many families face when they hear the word cancer.

When we thought the worse, Kevin and I had that discussion of what I wanted if the worse happened to me. He cried and didn’t want to hear it but he did. I was explaining how to go about getting the insurance money, creditor info and what I wanted done if the worst happened. I remember the look on his face. He always seems to be strong but he looked so weakened and sad that night. He seemed crushed as we discussed it. I told him where I kept all the info he needed on insurance, stocks and assets.

A few hours later, we met with the surgeon and he explained that it was unlikely a mass and more infection that was viewed on the CT scan. After the doctor left us in that cold room, we both broke down crying and relieved.

I’m still not convinced that I will not still hear that scary, horrible word “cancer” but for now, I am not focused on it. Although the surgery and recovery will be hard on me and Kevin but after that initial scare, I feel we can handle it better.

I don’t want to leave this world. I love my family and my life. But I do need to re-evaluate how I eat and live so these things are less likely to occur again.

One striking thing that I have noticed during my escapades lately in various doctor’s offices, ER rooms and clinics is that the rooms are full of obese people who smell like smoke. It is very hard to not notice it.

The nurses, doctors and techs in my hospital “Boone Hospital” have been awesome. The hospital is modern and nice. This is the hospital that my Daniel was born in. The people who cared for me were nice, professional, efficient and friendly.

(Ronnie, Adiam, Shawn, Szu (my favorite!), Jordan, Karen, Dr. Prica, Dr. Suppas, Dr. Vahabzadeh, Dr. Welsh) and others J

I’ve been mostly on clear liquids but now I am graduating to a low residue (low fiber) diet until after the surgery.

Update: I got out of the hospital late on Saturday afternoon. I was so happy to be home, in my bed, snuggled next to Kevin, Peyton and Eli. That was good medicine for me. We laid in bed together (all 4 of us) watching “The Office” on Netflix until after midnight. J

I regret the unhealthy life I have lived. Low fiber and unhealthy living caused the diverticulitis. And then I didn’t take warning with the first flare up back in November 2015. I really regret that.

Take care of your body. Teach your children to take care of theirs. It’s the only home they really have.