Sunday, February 9, 2014

Update on Mark, and Ragnar plans

Yesterday, the boys and I went to see Mark at the nursing home. I brought a bunch of stuff that he requested, which had been sitting on my counter all week waiting for me to get a chance to go up there. With all the snow days and crappy weather, I hadn't been up to see him in about five days. He wanted Vernors (ginger ale), small bags of Ruffles AND Lay's potato chips, mini chocolate covered doughnuts, and a bottle of the old fashioned Coca-Cola (with real sugar, rather than corn syrup). If he didn't have Stage 4 cancer, I'd consider myself the worst enabler of all-time for an unhealthy lifestyle ;)

The kids get excited to visit Mark, because Mark always shares some candy with them. I opened and read his cards out loud while the three of them chomped away! Mark asked me to put new batteries in his DVD player, so I was looking for those when I suggested we organize his drawers. I took everything out and put it on his bed, and then put everything back in the drawers in a much more organized way.

While I was doing that, I came across some papers, and Mark excitedly told me that he got mail. He told me to look at it and tell him what it was; it was some paperwork for chemotherapy, that he'd apparently already started! I guess Mark's nephew made the decision to go ahead with chemotherapy, but he didn't tell anyone. When I asked Mark about it, he said he started chemotherapy on Monday (and according to the papers, that was accurate). I was a little shocked, because we'd all expressed that we didn't think chemo was a good idea (which is probably why Mark's nephew didn't tell us it was happening).

I'm glad to see that Mark was doing really well yesterday, though, despite the chemo. When he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in several organs (originating in his lungs), my immediate thought was that he should live the last stage of his life in as much comfort as possible, and from what I've heard, I didn't think that chemo was a good choice at all. The doctors even said that the chemo would just prolong a painful death. But Mark seemed like he was doing really well yesterday, so maybe the chemo is very mild for him? I don't know, but I hope it doesn't get bad.

Anyway, we talked a little about his pizza party, and I left a message with his physical therapist to give me a call about how we can transport Mark to the group home for a day. We still don't know if he'll ever be going back there to live, but he's doing well enough right now that he could probably go for a few hours for his pizza/cake party. Mark is really looking forward to it! I hope that we can do it within the next couple of weeks.

It was a good visit, and I think I'll go again on Tuesday. Tomorrow, he has another chemo appointment, so it probably isn't a good day to go. I'm curious to see how he'll feel on Tuesday. (By the way, thank so much for everyone who continues to pray for him, think about him, send him cards, etc. He really does feel the love!)

I forgot to get a picture today, but I'll try to remember next time. Mark looks good!


This morning, I just had four miles on the schedule at an easy pace, and I ran it on the treadmill. I moved the pace up and down a bit through the run, based on my heart rate (and boredom level!).


After my run, I signed up for Delta SkyMiles and then bought my ticket to Boston for Ragnar Cape Cod! The Ragnar SoCal is in April, and I'd been planning for that since summertime; but more recently, a reader of my blog, Andrea, asked me if I'd like to join her Ragnar Cape Cod team in May. I was intrigued by the idea of running with complete strangers (honestly, I didn't even "know" Andrea at the time of her email!), and the cost of the trip would be minimal. So I said sure!

Andrea said I could invite a friend to go with me, so I wouldn't be with *all* strangers. I asked Caitlin, and she was excited about it as well. She lives just outside of Boston, which is really convenient for this Ragnar. So I'll fly into Boston on May 8th (Thursday), we'll share a hotel with the rest of the team in Hull, MA on Thursday night. Friday morning starts the race, and goes until Saturday afternoon. Then Caitlin and I will stay a night in Cape Cod Saturday, a night in Boston on Sunday, and then I'll go home that Monday morning. A short, but fun-filled trip :)

When I was going to buy my ticket a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that if I applied for a Delta American Express card, I would get a $50 credit on my ticket, and get a free checked bag on each trip. Since I'm traveling quite a bit this year, I thought it would be worth doing! I received my card yesterday, but figuring everything out online today was a huge pain in the ass. After a lot of messing around with it, I finally got my ticket and earned my first SkyMiles.

Sometimes, I think I may have gotten in over my head by agreeing to do two Ragnar Relays within five weeks of each other, but I'm really excited about both of them. It's kind of funny, because I'm pretty shy, and joining a big group to do something like this is VERY unlike me. But running (and my blog) have really made me step outside of my comfort zone in all kinds of areas, and this is just one of those times. I never would have agreed to do this just four years ago, and now I'm really looking forward to it!


Just a reminder, tomorrow is Motivational Monday! If you have a picture of a health/fitness accomplishment you'd like to share, you can email it to me at SlimKatie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com, subject: Motivational Monday, with a brief description, and I may include it on tomorrow's post! Can't wait to see what you've all been up to this week :)

19 comments:

  1. That's exciting about the Cape Cod Relay....you are coast to coasting it! I am flying into Boston for vacation on the Monday you leave...so I'll have to keep an eye out for you!

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  2. I live in your hometown. You seem so sweet when I read your blog but I sure was surprised when our paths crossed at Kroger. When I passed in front of you at the end of an aisle, you were very obviously perturbed when I got in your way. I even apologized and you just gave me the dirtiest look. Normally, I would have said hello and told you how much I love your blog but I think I'm no longer a fan!

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    1. Oh no! I'm so sorry. I don't recall giving anyone a dirty look, and I am very sorry if it appeared that way. I wish I could remember what was going through my mind, but I assure you, I wasn't perturbed by anyone getting in my way! I was probably lost in my thoughts, and wasn't aware. I don't blame you for not saying hello, but please accept my apology for my rudeness. It wasn't intentional.

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    2. Perhaps you have what I have...Bitchy Resting Face. When I'm not thinking about anything in particular my face just settles into a grimace that looks like I'll punch the next person who glances my way. I constantly have people asking if I'm ok. You may have a variation of it...Bitchy Exercise Face (I don't have that, I get Heart Attack Imminent Exercise Face).

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    3. Ha! Jacquie! I have Bitchy Resting Face too. It's a hard thing to live with.

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    4. Katie, I didn't know you had a dirty look. Well, except when you are grimacing at the light that turns red and makes you stop when you are running Ragnar. Sheesh, that can be a scary look! *laughing*

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    5. I definitely have Bitchy Resting Face too...it's the same face I get when I'm concentrating or trying to think of something. I'm sure it wasn't intentional! Sometimes people just need to be disrupted from their own thoughts to come out of it.

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    6. Hahaha, Jacquie, that is probably very true about me! A lot of my friends have told me that when they first saw me, their impression was that I was "snobby"... which is so far from the truth! But I must have "the look" that scares people off ;) I'm not a mean person... honest!

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  3. I was so so excited to see this post Katie!! I can't wait for May! :)

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  4. I love that running can bring so many different people together! How awesome!

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  5. Man, I don't know... after this Kroger report I might have to back out of Ragnar SoCal! ;)

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    1. Probably for the best. She's a veritable powder-keg. I'm guessing someone got between her and the cookie aisle. #dangerousterritory

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  6. Who doesn't grimace in the grocery store these days? Have you seen the prices?

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  7. I make up for people with "bitchy resting face" by being "crazy smiling at/talking to everyone Lady." Charlie's always concerned I'm going to strike up a conversation with the wrong person...

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    1. LOL....I love that! My family always makes fun of me because I am the recipient of random people starting conversations with me because I have a pleasant look on my face...I talked to this lady for 2 HOURS at the grocery store on a day I just ran in for a couple of items...my husband called and asked where in the heck I was...had to tell him what was going on. This lady went so far as to pull up her shirt and show me different scars on her belly from different surgeries! I was dying! Thought I would never get away.. :o) Ellen Renee

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  8. People aren't perfect all the time...if you don't get annoyed at least once a day by something or someone I'm not sure you're normal! I waited 5 minutes for someone to get himself and his cart out of the entire soup section yesterday...he had no idea he was in my way. It was a great testing of my patience!

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  9. Welcome to my area of the world! Maybe my husband and I will take a ride and watch some of the Cape Cod Ragnar relay. Hope you enjoy being in Massachusetts!

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  10. You're going to run through my hometown! And if the course is the same it was the past few years over the Boardwalk in Sandwich - my favorite place in the whole wide world! If you all need any recommendations for Cape Cod places to visit let me know I'd be happy to let you know which places are actually worth it (and low budget too as it is easy to get sucked into really pricey places!).

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  11. I just wanted to comment on you buying all the unhealthy food for Mark...don't feel bad!

    My dad died of cancer almost twelve years ago, and he'd lost so much weight from nausea after his chemo sessions. Being underweight isn't healthy, and it's important for chemo patients to keep weight on. Often this means eating high-fat foods. I remember my mom making omelettes for my dad with extra butter and full fat cheese, lots of milkshakes, Ensure (the doctor told him to drink like 2 or 3 a day).

    And beyond that, food IS a comfort. My mom made all of my dad's favorite meals and we even had crab AND lobster for Valentine's that year. Being able to enjoy meals together and know my dad was at least eating things he liked was a comfort to the rest of us, as well as him.

    So if Mark wants it, go for it. And I love that you're planning the pizza party for him. It's such a sweet idea, and proves what an amazing person you are :)

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)