colorectal health and whatnot

I feel like I have been neglecting my blog.  For good reasons, I guess, but still. Maybe I feel like I’ve been neglecting myself.  I haven’t given myself a chance to come here and just write what’s on my mind much lately.  No particular reason other than just being busy with life and time slipping by too fast.  Suddenly, the things I thought about writing seem insignificant.

So a big thing happened last week and it wouldn’t be a “big thing” in my life without lots of reflection, worry, feelings, and emotional over-stimulation in general… I had a colonoscopy.  I know it doesn’t sound super heart-wrenching but stick with me for a minute.

My dad was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 41, and then again at 43.  This is so uncommon that routine screenings are not even recommended until age 50.  With such significant family history, I was advised that I should have been screened at age 31.  Well, I’m three years late.

I can promise you that I never did drugs as a teenager, but when I think about my teen years they run into one another in a blur.  I was barely in high school when my dad was diagnosed.  You know, my OLD, very old fatherly dad.  My super old, in his forties, old dad.  I remember my parents telling me the first time he was diagnosed. It pains me to admit that life pretty much went on as usual for me, aside from visiting him in the hospital after some major surgeries and spending more time with him during the summer when he was on temporary disability during his treatment and recoveries. I remember crying a few times when we’d receive discouraging news from the doctor.  Even still, I was living in my self-centered teenage world and naively believed that nothing could beat my strong father. Everything would be just fine.  Because when you’re a kid, what’s the alternative?

Anyway, in an odd (or maybe not-so-odd?) way, this whole colonoscopy thing has had me thinking about and missing my dad a bunch. Regretting that I wasn’t more personally affected by his illness at the time. Good grief, what did he think of his selfish teenage daughter?  I’ve been thinking about my own mortality on some level.  The fact that he was only SEVEN years older than I am now when he was diagnosed is blowing my mind. Forty-one, all the sudden, doesn’t sound old at all. It sounds like the prime of life.  I can’t imagine how my dad felt, at just 41 years old and then again 2 years later, to be fighting for his life.

Before my procedure, I was lying on the bed, looking around. Taking it all in.  Reading literature posted on the walls. The nurse that prepped me asked a lot of questions about my family history. I got choked up explaining my dad’s past. As soon as Ryan came to sit with me and held my hand, I became overwhelmed with emotion. I pictured my dad getting ready for his procedure and wondered how nervous he was every time – was the cancer back or would he have a clean bill of health this time?  Ryan and the nurse both asked me if I was in pain or nervous and I just shrugged as tears streamed down my face and said I was fine. How was I supposed to explain what I was feeling at that moment?

Luckily, I am aware of my increased risk for colon cancer and my test came back perfectly fine. No polyps. I will get to experience the pleasure of this procedure every five years for the rest of my life. Enduring that sounds way better than enduring colon cancer though, so it’s a small price to pay. I feel thankful for the opportunity to do these prevention screenings.

On a related and somewhat unrelated note, speaking of drugs and colonoscopies…  Thursday I remember thinking multiple times that I felt perfectly normal following my procedure. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized the entire evening was a blur. I had to ask Ryan to tell me every detail of what happened at the hospital and grilled him on my behavior. He swears I wasn’t acting bizarre. However, it really, really, really got to me that there were parts of the evening that I forgot altogether.  Naturally, it didn’t make sense that I would want to go out to eat, go with Ryan to pick up the boys, then later take them out for cupcakes and to the park. Pretty busy night considering everything I had been through that day.  I passed out super early (for me) at 9:30pm Thursday night. Friday I pictured Ryan and I eating at a different location than where we actually ate.  I couldn’t remember being in the car… at all…any of the 6 times we drove from one place to another.  And I totally spaced that we went to the park until I saw this pic I posted on Instagram.

photo (2)

UM? I’m still freaking out about this. (For one, that’s a terrible photo).  Too many pain meds… and to think that some people stumble through life like this? I guess that’s why they told Ryan not to let me sign papers, watch my kids alone, or drive anywhere for 24 hours. I’m not sure what’s worse though – that I legitimately thought I was fine to run all over town or that I struggled to remember half of it the next day.  Weird. Weird, weird, weird.  I don’t like drugs!



i didn’t, but then i did + sad news

I registered for the Race Away from Domestic Violence 5k a few weeks ago, expecting to have finished the Couch to 5k program by now and expecting nice, clear weather on June 1st at 8am.

A few things happened to the contrary. I got sick with strep about 5-6 weeks ago and never fully got back on track with Couch to 5k.  I still gave myself enough time to finish C25k (barely), but then I got a cold about a week and a half ago.  From Week 1, Day 1, I vowed to repeat any failed workout until I succeeded. I never failed a single workout until Week 9 Day 1. P.S. It’s a 9 week program.  So that was last Sunday…I was supposed to run 30 minutes without stopping but I was so congested that I couldn’t breathe.  I only made it 15 minutes.

Tuesday we went to Kings Island. Thursday I went to the Tim McGraw concert after receiving a last minute invitation. Things happened and the week got away from me.  By Friday, I still hadn’t tried again and the weatherman was predicting thunderstorms during the race.  He didn’t lie.  I set the alarm for six a.m. and watched the news for thirty minutes. I didn’t see anything about a cancellation but I just didn’t have the heart or desire to run in the rain. Especially not knowing deep down if I’d be able to finish.  The furthest I’d ran before was 2.4 miles (without stopping) and the longest time being 28 minutes.

The other thing that happened — very unexpectedly, our babysitter told us last night that she is closing her doors. My heart sank and I literally felt like I was going to puke as she was explaining. As soon as I understood what she meant by “closing,” my mind was going a million miles a minute.  She was talking but I was only half-hearing.  The boys were trying to walk out the door and I was trying not to cry. As soon as the door closed behind me, I burst into tears.  Theo told me all the way home that everything was going to be alright, although he had no understanding of what had just happened. A bomb went off in our happy little world.  She gave a million reasons with which I can find no fault.  I know it’s not personal.  But it feels personal.  It feels like a break-up when you’ve done everything you can do to keep someone happy but it’s not enough. It feels like she’s breaking up with our kids. Like they weren’t good enough. Like they did something wrong.  Again, I know it’s not personal.  None of the reasons she gave had anything to do with us, but everything to do with her family and personal life. But from day one, she said that she was committed to seeing our families through to Kindergarten.  We stayed in the same geographical area when we bought our home based largely on that. Knowing all the while, that we were completely vulnerable and that this could happen any day of the week.  Knowing all the while, that priorities change. Life circumstances change.  That promises can be broken and there’s not a thing you can do to change it. She made a big decision to better her family’s life.  I can’t be upset with her, but naturally and selfishly, I’m upset and saddened by the situation that it leaves us in.

So I spent all of Friday night crying and processing. Worrying and wondering.  Fearful of the future. Sick over the uncertainty. Searching online and making a list of people and places to call come Monday morning.  I couldn’t sleep last night and when the alarm went off at 6am this morning, I sure was not in the mindset to toss aside my worries and go run in the rain for the sake of saying I ran a 5k.

She’s giving us 4 weeks to find alternative care.  We’re thankful for that but so much remains unknown for now.  It’s just been a gloomy kind of weekend.

After gorging myself on Mexican food for dinner tonight, I told myself to snap out of it.  I knew I’d eaten way more than My Fitness Pal would appreciate and I needed to do something to make up for it.  At 8pm I decided that even though I didn’t make it to the 5k 12 hours earlier, I had everything I needed to run a 5k right then.  I put on my shoes, grabbed my iPod and I ran.  I ran and ran and ran.  I ran fast then I slowed down.  Waaay down. I sped up and slowed down. Over and over.  I sung. I focused on my breathing. I felt my feet hitting the ground. Ankle, knee, and side pains came and went.  I focused on the sky and the lines on the sidewalk before me.  I ran and ran and ran until I’d gone 3.2 miles.  Just over 5k in just under 40 minutes.  The furthest and longest I’ve ever ran.  It felt good to accomplish it, even if there was no crowd. No tag with a number to pin to my shirt. No official time. No one to high 5 me at the finish line.  I did it for myself. Now I know that I can.

Still sad? Of course.  But life moves on.  We all keep progressing.  Our babysitter told me to focus on the positive.  It will be good for Theo to be around older kids.  I know it will be fine, but it just doesn’t feel that way right now because I just don’t know what to do or where to go.  We have a big search and a big decision ahead of us.  It’s hard and stressful and anxiety-provoking.  It’s time to figure it out, though, so that’s what we will do.


facebook’s annoying, i’m baking, Cincinnati, and vacation

Where’ve I been, you ask? Well, this past week Strep throat knocked me off my feet (literally) for about 3 days.  Wow – I have never had it before and I guess I just thought it was one of those things that people got or they didn’t get.  Well, I got it.  It was worse than I ever realized.  So not only did it knock me out of work for 2 days (I was able to work from home the 3rd day), it knocked me off track with Couch to 5K.  I’m planning on getting back on track (treadmill) tomorrow but I’m a little nervous.  My throat still hurts and otherwise I feel okay, but I don’t know if I’m really back up to full strength yet.

We went to Cincinnati to celebrate my nephew’s 8th birthday party yesterday and watch him shine at his Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby. It turned out to be a nice day.  I was glad we made the last minute decision to make it a day trip instead of a weekend trip. The boys needed the rest and so did I. It was nice having that unplanned day today to just relax and catch up things I was too sick to do last week.  As of this moment, I’m waiting for some cookie dough to chill in the fridge.  I’m making this:

Okay so that image is a little on the large side but you get the idea. S’mores cookies? Yes, please. If you’re thinking I’m strange for talking about diet & exercise in one paragraph and then S’mores cookies in the next, I guess you’re right. But I’m not giving up everything that I love. One word. Moderation. I wouldn’t last on any diet where I felt deprived. Moderation.

In other unrelated randomness, I am getting really super annoyed with Facebook. Too many links and quotes and pictures of the ocean that people didn’t take and drama and self-righteous people and on and on and on. Maybe people are annoyed with me for pretty much only posting links to my blog posts and pictures of my kids. I don’t care. They can delete me. I feel bad sometimes posting links to my blog but I don’t quite have a readership that warrants a fan page. I did recently surpass 50,000 page views however. That only took 2.5 years. 🙂

What else can we chat about? I am excited about plans and no plans. Lots of plans for May and but not much else planned this summer. Before we know it, it will be Disney time (October!). We did go ahead and purchase plane tickets. I toyed with the idea of driving, but eh. After an 8 hour trip home from Dollywood a couple weeks ago, I changed my mind. Theo started complaining 100 miles from home that his back hurt. He wasn’t injured so I can only imagine it was his position in his carseat. I hate sitting for that long too. Flying nonstop 2 hours will be a dream compared to a 16+ hour drive.

My dough’s chilled!