Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mark's party is in the works :)

It's been nice getting back to my old routine the past couple of days, with the kids back in school! Yesterday, I had intervals on the schedule-- 7 x 400 at 5K race pace, with 400 jogs. (So basically, that means I would run a quarter-mile hard, at the same pace I would race a 5K, and then jog for a quarter mile; and repeat for a total of 7 times.)

I always dread intervals, but I always feel so great when I get them done! It's a tough workout, definitely. I have no idea what my current 5K pace is, because I haven't raced a 5K in about 14 months. But I guessed about 7:45, and since this was on the treadmill, I chose to do them at 7:30 pace (the treadmill feels easier to me than outside).

I jogged a quarter mile to warm up, and then started the intervals. The pace wasn't grueling, like a one-mile pace would feel, but it was tough enough to be a good, hard workout. I just switched between 6.0 and 8.0 on the treadmill each quarter mile until I completed 7 intervals.


Since I did speed work yesterday, I decided to run at a recovery pace today. A "recovery" pace is the slowest pace to run, usually don't the day after a hard workout. I never really take advantage of doing recovery runs, but I should. I usually just end up doing "easy pace" runs. So today, I decided I was going to do the recovery run.

My recovery pace range is 9:51-10:35/mi. I decided to aim for the slow end, at 10:35. I set the treadmill at 5.7 (a 10:31 pace). It felt so nice and relaxing to run at that pace! My heart rate stayed in the 120's, which is just barely above where it's at when I walk. I remember when I was trying so hard to get under a 12:00/mi pace... and now 10:30 is my recovery pace. It's interesting how much our bodies adapt to consistent training.

Anyway, after my run, I did strength training for about 20 minutes, and then showered and got ready to go visit Mark. I picked up a strawberry milkshake from McDonald's for him, and got there a little after noon. When I got to his room, I saw that my parents were there for a visit, too! Mark was in a VERY good mood--extremely talkative, happy, and his old self. After his chemo treatment yesterday, I expected him to be very tired and not feeling well, but that wasn't the case at all.


I'm really glad my parents and I happened to be there at that particular time, because a woman came in and introduced herself as an occupational therapist who works with people with special needs/mental disabilities, above and beyond the regular OT who has been working with Mark. She did a short evaluation of him, physically and mentally, and we told her his goal was to go home--both for his pizza party, and permanently.

She told us that she'd be happy to teach us how to transport him in a car, and get him ready to be able to go to his pizza party. She was very nice, and Mark loved "proving" to her that he's ready ;)

My parents left, and then shortly after that, another OT came in (the one who has been working with Mark), and she that she and the other OT were going to do everything they could to get Mark ready to go to his party. She also said that she's pretty sure Mark could be ready to go home in a couple of weeks! She offered to teach us how to get him in and out of the car, and then she would follow us to his group home, and from there, she could evaluate the home situation to see how Mark would be getting around. She'll ask him to get in bed, get out of bed, get in and out of the shower, walk to the bathroom, etc. That way, they'll know what needs to work on in therapy to get him ready to go home.

Mark and I were both SO excited when she was telling us all this. I had started to give up hope of Mark ever going home, but I explained to her the situation (he has to be walking--no wheelchair), and she said she honestly thinks he'll do just fine. She said he's gotten much better since he started therapy there.

When I got home, my dad told me that he finally got a hold of someone from the group home about Mark's party, and we set the date for this Saturday! Mark told me today that he wants pizza, pop, cake, apple pie, and chips at the party. There are 18 men that live there, plus the workers and my family attending, so it should be a pretty big party. The OT told me that the party is all Mark has talked about for a few weeks now. I'm so excited for it to happen!

Anyone have an idea of what to have written on his cake? My first thought was, "Fuck cancer"--hahaha, but that's not really appropriate in these circumstances. Any suggestions??

28 comments:

  1. I saw some cute ones on Pinterest! Stomp Out Cancer! (Insert Person's Name) Together We With You! Love Kills Cancer and the other one I saw was Faith, Hope and Survivor

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  2. I've been following Mark's story for awhile now and I am so happy to hear that he is going to get his pizza party! I'm trying to think of a clever saying for the cake (although quite frankly, I echo your "fuck cancer" sentiments at this point) and I'm thinking along the lines of "Bite me, cancer" "Cancer bites" or something with bite in it since it's a cake. Although, I guess that isn't much more appropriate than fuck cancer. :) You could just go with something sweet and simple like "We love Mark" Can't wait to read all about his party this weekend!

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  3. I also work with people with I.D. and I think a picture of Mark on the cake would be awesome. I bet Mark and his friends would get a huge kick out of it and many of them would probably not get funny sayings about cancer. Many bakeries can do a picture on a cake!

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  4. What about "Life, live it abundantly." for the cake?

    Or it can say "A party without cake is just a meeting."

    I have a card to go in the mail tomorrow for Mark!

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  5. Does it have to be about cancer? The party is all about Mark doing something special for his friends so maybe it should just say that on the cake 'I celebrate my friends!' It sounds like it's going to be a great time - have fun!

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  6. How about 'Live - Laugh - Love'?

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  7. Maybe something w/o a cancer reference would be good, who needs reminded at a party of something so not-party-ish? Pick something cool that he likes, like fishing maybe, it doesn't have to have words.

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  8. awwww i'm so excited for him to have his party!!! i hope it's an amazing day. he's so lucky to have you guys in his life! you are all angels.

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  9. How about "Mark Strong", or is that too cheesy? Or "Welcome home Mark", since it means so much to him to go home. I've been sending postcards weekly, but it sounds like I won't need to send any more after the next couple of weeks. Mark's story is bittersweet. I think everything you do for him is wonderful.

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  10. "Welcome Home Mark!" That's really all he's wanted and his 'home' has been his life for so long. Thanks for sharing, Katie! BTW, if you are getting your cake from Costco, please have the person that orders spell very clearly. One year Costco wrote "Happy Birthday Moron" on our friend's cake thinking it was a joke. The orderer had written "Happy Birthday Morgan." LOL!!

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  11. That is so awesome, that he gets to have his party! Can't wait to hear how it goes!

    I think its funny that you feel outside is harder, I think the treadmill is harder, I guess because it has always forced me to "maintain" a pace.

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  12. Inappropriate for Mark but funny story....I was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago and A woman I was introduced to has a shirt that says "Fuck yes they're fake the real ones tried to KILL me " lolol love that saying.....Mark Buddy have a BLAST at your party. You deserve it :)

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  13. Maybe "Welcome Home!" It sounds like getting home to his friends is what he wants most.

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  14. That is wonderful! I'm glad his party is so soon and doubly glad there's a chance he'll be able to go home in a few weeks.

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  15. I like Mark Strong! I also thought about "Be Happy" or "Enjoy Life" because those seem to describe Mark so well.

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  16. How about just "Screw Cancer!" Or "Cancer, Shmancer!"

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  17. Wonderful news! He is lucky to have such fantastic people who care about him. I was thinking Stomp Out Cancer with a big boot on the cake.

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  18. It's going to be a great party! How about "Survivor" for the cake?

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  19. Super fantastic news !!!! So happy for everyone. Hope he has an awesome day.... since we're in the Valentine season, what about a big heart cake (since Mark has such a giant heart !) and have We love Mark or Welcome Home written on it....

    Just soooo happy his party is in the works. Keep up the good work in OT Mark !

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  20. Mark is so lucky to have you and your family. :-) I can't wait to read all about his party!!

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  21. I love the picture of him idea and just saying Welcome Home would be good for him. He is so lucky to have you and your family. You sound like you would be a wonderful person to bring in a therapy pet to people.

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  22. Home Sweet Home...because that's where he wants to be!

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  23. I like the idea of his picture on the cake and something simple and fun like "Let's Party". If he's not going home for good, my worry with "welcome home" would be that it could get confusing to him or some of his friends if he's not actually going home for good at that point.

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  24. I like the idea of a picture. Anonymous above made a good point about "Welcome Home" maybe being confusing if he has to go back to the hospital. Maybe just "We love you, Mark". I would just like to say "FUCK CANCER" as it has become personal. My son, 27 yrs old, was just diagnosed with thyroid cancer on Monday. He will see a surgeon next week, so we will know more about the plan for his treatment. Any and all prayers would be appreciated. His name is Josh. (PS - I love the breast cancer T-shirt slogan above...very clever!)

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    1. Janice, I'm SO sorry about your son's diagnosis! That has to be so scary for your family. I will definitely pray for him (and you). Keep in touch and let me know how he's doing.

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  25. I am so excited for Mark and the group home residents for this party! What you are doing is one of the kindest things I've ever heard about. I look forward to hearing about it and seeing the pictures!

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