The Cancer Grrrl

one lawyer, one cancer diagnosis, one hell of a fight.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

encore vivant

Me, in a simpler time. Please disregard the brown spooge splattered over the picture. It was coffee, folks, coffee. yeesh.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

o holy crap!

It's 2008 already. And it took me exactly 2 days back at work to figure out that this is the year i need to figure out how the hell to make money without working a 9-5 (or 9-whatever) law job. Who am i kidding? It took me about 2 HOURS back to figure that out.

Any suggestions? Aristocratic Dilettante comes to mind, however I hear it doesn't pay terribly well. Crazy cat lady is another option, but ditto on the pay scale. Hmmm. maybe I'd better have a contest. As soon as I can figure out a suitable prize, the game is on, folks...the object being for YOU to come up with the best way for ex-cancer -grrl to make money, whilst avoiding an office and having enuff time to train and take care of multi-cats. Look for it in upcoming days...

Friday, November 30, 2007

tis the saison

As those of you who know me may recall, I generally term this time of year the "saison en enfer," because as we know "l'enfer, c'est les autres" and this is the time of the year when les autres become very prevalent in life. (my heartfelt apologies to messrs rimbaud et sartre).
I refer of course to the mindless, ineluctable, peristaltic season between halloween and new years, in which holidays and and work days and everything in between tends to coagulate into one grande mass of THINGS TO SEE, PEOPLE TO GET DONE, AND PLACES TO AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE.

Those of you who recall last year's saison en enfer, last years massive, all out attack on the holy day of thanksgiving, and last year's sickness and crap infused xmas greeting, will be relieved as all get out that i have put away a bit of the curmudgeonliness this year, and, can even be said to be coasting through the holidaze, if not merrily, then at least with some (at last) vague and fleeting, sense of well being.

I attribute this in part to my training regimen, because since I started attacking my VO2max with various extraordinarily painful bike workouts, I HAVE actually started to feel stronger. I also got my second triathlete magazine today, and am now psyched to try even more new things, like combining my swim and run days with water running and new and ever more excruciating bike workouts (wonder why all the torquemada-type coaches are BIKE coaches? must be the equipment focus...hmmm). So, come spring, I will be ready to dance merrily through those sprint tris, and maybe attempt an olympic at some point?? dunno. time will tell.

Work is still crapola. The only difference is that my 2 year contract is up in January and i've been asked to stay on. I have no desire to stay on, but it is nice to be asked. I was feeling quite pressured before I got the word.

So I seem to be finally crawling out of the constantly exhausted feeling that marked my year of chemo and herceptin. It is weird because I started thinking that was normal. Now that I have some energy back, life isn't quite so draining.

I've decided to keep posting on CG until the end of the year, because I have to do my third annual "Year in Fears" recap post. After that, this blog will probably be put out to stud, er I mean pasture, and, if I blog at all, it will probably be back on good ole bloggrilla. Or I may launch a new, triathlon oriented blog.

at any rate, I hope those of u who still read me are enjoying your holidays. I plan to enjoy mine, even if that means camping out in front of my NEW 32 inch TV with a spinervals video and bike trainer...

(note: I do NOT look like this...)

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

sadness without recourse

for every one of us surviving, for every one of us who "beats" cancer and finds her/his mind turning back towards work, school, family, training, bitching, sleeping, whatever your particular penchant, another one of us slips away.

Lori of "Too Sexy for my Hair" died yesterday. I've read her blog ever since I got this disease. The title says it all, she wasn't cowed by her diagnosis and the solemn advice of her doctors. Visit her site and pay your respects:

Rest in peace, Lori.

Friday, October 26, 2007

well freakin finally...

Yes, I owe blogs. I know that vast scores of people are waiting for my tri report, and my scan report etc. etc. And i guess i have to say that i may well be putting Cancer Grrl to bed with this post. Today, ominously, i asked my boss for an extension on some work due and, for the first time, he sighed. Well if that ain't the writing on the wall i don't know what is. Don't you see it? Cancer Grrl can NO LONGER PLAY THE CANCER CARD AT WORK.

Cancer Grrl's hair is long enough and thick enough to keep her head warm, and blond enough to preclude dumping vast amounts of cancer-causing chemicals on it. Cancer Grrl no longer faints after a mere hour of training, and no longer requires 14 hours of sleep per night (as if she ever ONCE in this whole freakin ordeal, actually got 14 hours, or even 8 for that matter...grrrr). Cancer Grrl no longer can blame every ache, pain, attention lapse or excessive tardiness on chemo, herceptin or cancer.

So, folks, i bleve this means that Cancer Grrl is retired. I mean, there will always be a cancer grrl, b/c once you have dis disease, you is one of the chosen forever haha. BUT! Like the phoenix rising from the ashes, like the unsinkable Molly Brown, like that Armstrong man, I is back and I is better.

So now, on to the tri report. what i can remember is this:

The tri was the Lake Compounce Tri for Cancer. It was in Connecticut, at a very weird theme park. In fact, to get from the transition area to the lake, one was forced to run past a lot of those weird, plaster cast scenes filled with fantasy figures. I believe we ran past a graveyard with zombies and some sort of santa's village themed scene of cheery red cheeked, pointy eared folk. This could have been oxygen deprivation on my part.

The morning was cold. I and the bf biked from the motel to the theme park. I was fine, but the bf, who lacks my obsessive foresight, neglected to bring a tri bag, and nearly wiped out on his bike due to trying to carry a suitcase whilst riding. bad move bf! Listen to CG next time.

We donned wetsuits in the transition area. Right away I knew I was outclassed mightily. The man who racked his bike opposite mine had done ironmans. His bike must have weighed as much as a loaf of bread, wonder bread at that. The two men next to me had more testosterone between them than the entire IMF. The man immediately to my right was probably half my age. And let's not discuss the women. I saw more sinews and teeth than alien3 and sigourney weaver put together, and more muscle than the men. A fair and robust lot of lasses to be sure.

I was a bit intimidated. And nervous. But since I walk through life intimidated and nervous, I was rather prepared for these feelings. I made my way to the lake to test the waters.

The water was not so cold, and I started to relax. I put on my white cap and waited for the beginner wave. There were only 200 peeps in this race, 135 of them were old timers and 65 of us were newbies. We newbies went second.

Into the water. Ah. I was swimming, I was being kicked, I was calm, I was swimming. I was fine. I was slapped. This was ok. This was a breeze. I was gliding along. I was rounding the first buoy. All of a sudden, mid breath, i realized that i was really dizzy. I mean really. The sky was swirling. This panicked me a bit. As a land animal, a human in the water who suddenly feels as though she is passing out will panic. This human panicked for a second or three. Then, she got on with it. I went on my back and started doing backstroke. Yes, I swam over people. yes I got off track. yes I kept going. I rounded the second buoy. I was headed for home. I attempted the crawl again, but could not get a rhythm or breath going. No matter, I'm good at back crawl. I'm actually faster at back crawl than front (or, to put it more precisely, I am less slow). Finally, beach in sight, I flipped back over and finished with front crawl.

I got out of the water, kinda dazed, and still a bit unnerved. I offer this insight as a serious aside to anyone who is interested in doing tris, TRIS ARE MENTAL. What I mean is that my mind was suddenly off. My focus was off and I could feel it, because I'd been freaked by the dizziness in the water. I didn't regain that focus during the rest of the event, and my performance suffered.

At any rate, I got on the bike. The one cool thing was that I had beaten the testosterone twins on the swim. Tee hee. Score one for chemopause. My bike race was uneventful. The course was two loops, with only one sorta hilly part (which, of course, you saw twice). It was pretty. It was not difficult, but I went out too fast and lost steam rather quickly. My bike time was not wonderful, but i still managed to pull ahead of quite a few non-newbies. I did begin to talk to myself at the end. I did not utter inspiring, self-affirming chatter either. At one point I turned a corner and stated, out loud, to no one in particular, "This is a particularly unpleasant deja vu". At another point, I and my aspergian brain got a good chuckle over a road name. Shouldn't I be saying things like "you can do it!" "Fast and strong!" and "you're a winner!" ??

Which brings us to the run. The run was not a stellar performance either. There was a big hill. A man I had trounced in the bike part came up behind me and said "Oh comeon kiddo you can do better than that!" as he breezed past. One of the T. Twins passed me. Worse, I had no desire to catch them. Or rather, the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak. My legs felt like all the atoms in them had been replaced by neutrinos. In less fanciful parlance: they felt like lead.

Nonetheless, CG ran. she may have walked a step or two here and there, but by and large, she ran. She may not have made as good a time as she'd have liked, but she did not wet her pants, injure her arthritic knees, or seriously embarrass herself by coming in after the 70 year old lady who was walking the run part. And the interesting thing is, about halfway through, I thought of Honey, and of Moon. Yes, I decided to run it for them. And my flat footed step did get a little bit lighter...

For his part, the BF nearly drowned and got a flat, but finished the tri euphoric and addicted.

And thus, before one could turn around, it was over. And I am also still addicted. Springtime will bring more tris I'm sure, I may even do this one again. I have to, because now I cannot remember the funny name of that road.

My stats? Slightly worse than Danskin, but not by much. I was most disappointed in my bike stats, which should have been a lot better. Swimming, ok, i'll probably never be that good. Running, I have knee issues, so my days of any real swiftness are probably gone. But biking? Now I KNOW I can get faster on the bike. And I have a whole winter to do so...

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Monday, October 15, 2007


i'm told that i owe posts. I do believe I do, however, I just cannot get it together to write one. Soon, je te promete. I KNOW you can't wait...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Honey: 1994 ? - October 3, 2007

I owe a few posts, and I promise I will update everything soon, but I have some sad news to report.

My little Honey died this evening. For those of you who don't know Honey's story, read it here. She wandered into my life this summer. We all knew she didn't have long, but she seemed for a while to be beating the odds.

At any rate, sometime between 8:30 and 9pm this evening, she wandered out of my life, as gentle as a sigh.

I miss her already.

"The crying's not for you my love,
The crying is for me,
These tears are nothing to you now
These tears you cannot see

but all the world and all the time
and all the stars and all the sky
are yours my love so do not fear
For I'm the one who's left behind"


Journey well, little girl.