Sunday, December 21, 2008

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights? In sunsets? In midnights? In cups of coffee?
In inches? In miles? In laughter? In strife?

In Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes
How do you measure a year in the life?

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes
Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand journeys to plan

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes
How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?

In truth that she learned? or in times that he cried?
In bridges he burned? or the way that she died?

It's time now, to sing out, though the story never ends.
Let's celebrate, remember a year in the life of friends

Oh, you got to remember the love, you know that love is a gift from up above.
Share love, give love, spread love. Measure, measure your life in love.

I could have measured this year in 662 miles and 126 hours of running,
or in 80,000 calories burned during runs,
or in 9 races,
or in 75,000 miles flown,
or in 40 planes boarded,
or in 140 days away from home,
or in 1 lump that changed my life.

But I am going to measure it in love. I measure my Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes of 2008 in pure and simple incommensurable love.

God Bless You All
Merry Christmas and the Best To All of You in 2009


My last race of the year, the Jingle Bell Run in downtown Seattle on Dec 14, 2008. Temperature of 20F with the wind chill factor. Ice on the streets. With Jingle Bells I also had asthma all the way, but I ran with high spirits. I am resolute. I will keep myself strong. I will keep running. Cancer, hear this out: You won't stop me!

Time: 31:15
Placement - Division: 21/138 - Female Overall: 613/2396 - Overall: 1406/4197

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Let's Rewind. Marathon Week. A Total Different Meaning.

Marathon week (again) and sub-sequent weeks 11/24/08 - 12/09/08

How to write this? Let's Rewind. Marathon week. On Tue Nov 25th I had an easy 4-mile run. In few more days, I would complete my Seattle Marathon.

I was getting ready to take a shower when I felt a lump on my left breast. A lump breast? I called the doctor and asked for an appointment. Set for 3 days later, Friday 28th, after Thanksgiving. After the check, Dr. asked for another mammogram (previous done past October), ultrasound and biopsy if needed.

Checked internet, and found out that 80% of the lumps are benign. Why to worry? Yeah, nothing to worry.

Raced my Marathon on Sunday 3oth, and felt very happy for the achievement.

On Wed 03rd, I had a new mammogram, and nothing shows. Let's have an ultrasound. Ok, girl, you need two biopsies. What? Yes, one for the lump, and another for some calcifications I see in another area. When? Tomorrow the 4th.

Not to worry much. Much of the biopsies come out negative. 80% of the lumps are benign, remember?

On the 4th, my hubby's birthday, I went to have my biopsies. Had to go alone as he was in California and I didn't want to upset my son with news that could be nothing. Results? Monday the 8th, my daughter's birthday.

My son and his fiancee spent the weekend with me. Got distracted organizing pictures and videos. Not to worry. 80% of the lumps are benign, I have ZERO family history of breast or ovarian cancer; I consider myself the healthiest person on the planet (
with the exception of my asthma); I eat extremely healthy; I am not overweight; I don't smoke; I don't drink; I had a late development; breastfed my kids for a long time; I exercise vigorously and consistently; etc...etc...etc... Of all risk factors, that are a ton, I had the age, 52, and one that seems a new issue and it is not being addressed much: dense breast tissue... Anyway, not to worry, all the numbers are in my favor.

Monday 8th. I worked since 5 am to be free at 1pm (yes, you can do that in the company I work for). Noonish, a lot of anxiety. Went with my adorable son to get the results. Arrived one hour earlier. Lizzie Lee? Come in. My son held my hand really strong. Lizzie, the calcifications biopsy came out negative, but I am sorry to inform you that your lump is positive to breast cancer.

The world stopped.

Let's Rewind. Marathon Week. A Total Different Meaning. Yeah, it doesn't mean anymore the week when I was getting ready for a marathon. It means the week when my life turned around. From a marathon where I ran one mile at a time to a breast cancer "marathon" where I need to walk one step at a time.

My life has changed in the blink of an eye.

Important things: my husband is here with me now to hold me and to help me go through this; my kids are my inspiration to fight this; my mom will help me too; my sister; family; and my friends.
I will get through this, I will get through this, and yes, I will get through this. It will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. I will get through this.

I have the oncologist appointment next Tue 16th. Then I'll know when and what kind of surgery I will have. Surgery will tell if I need chemotherapy or only radiation.

I have not told you guys, because I was planning to do this in my next blog, I was assigned in October temporarily to Italy for 9 months with the company (Petra knew). My departure was scheduled for January 4th, and some of my run plans included two marathons while there. Rome on March 22nd and Gletscher Marathon in Austria close to Innsbruck on July 5th. Not going to Italy now really doesn't matter, I have more important things to do right now. My priority is to get this done.

This past June I ran the Susan G. Komen race in Seattle, and felt so humble among all the survivors. I will run again with them in 2009, but from the other side of the fence.

I will get cured, I will keep running.

I promise.