Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thank You for All Your Support!

I finished!

This has been an amazing season for me. With all your generous contributions, I raised over $2800 and counting for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! At last night's inspiration dinner, we had a fabulous speaker who is in remission from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (and whose parents both are Hodgkin's lymphoma survivors!). She talked about how sometimes patients need more than just moral support - they actually have real needs. LLS was able to fill those needs for her by providing $1,000 to help with her copayments and other medical bills. She was just out of college and only had a major medical plan because her employer did not offer health benefits. She said to always remember that when you make a donation or raise money, it is not going to a faceless organization. It is actually going to one person, and it is meeting that person's needs. So rest assured that your generous contributions are making a difference in the life of a blood cancer patient.

Around 5,000 TNTers competed in the Nike Women's Marathon today, together raising the equivalent of $500,000 per mile. And you folks made that happen!

Of course, I have gotten something out of this as well. I have met many inspirational cancer survivors, family members, and even patients undergoing treatment. I have gone from running 0 miles to running 13.1 miles! But of course I had my setbacks. Between my sprained ankle at the end of August and my bout with h1n1 at the end of September, my training was less than adequate. I have not run more than 3 miles at once in over six weeks, and I had never run more than 6 miles in my life! Because of my illness I didn't even go to the gym for nearly 2 weeks.

But I finished! And I did it, I think, in approximately 11 minutes per mile, which is just a bit slower than the pace I was hoping for pre-injury and -illness. And while I am exhausted now, it was a fabulous experience! A couple of weeks ago I was not even sure I could finish, and this morning I was not even sure I could run the whole thing. But I did it, thanks to all your support. I did not want to let my donors down!

And I owe special thanks to my wonderful husband who supported me during training, waited on me when I sprained my ankle and while I was sick, and showed up on the race course at 8 miles and at the finish line while still under the weather.

Thank you again for all your support and your generous donations to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

(And just to show that it wasn't all fun and games when I finished the race, I'm even letting you see this picture.)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth

(Photo taken by Bernie)

I never told you about Disneyland! I will do so now so I can think about happier times before h1n1 visited our little household.

We went to Disneyland for Matt's 30th birthday, because, well, Disneyland is free on your birthday and I have been wanting to go there for years. I feel bad that Matt did this for me, but he is a grown man and I can't stop him. At least he enjoyed spending time with the children!

My favorite rides were Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, the Jungle Cruise, and Tom Sawyer's Pirate Island. The first two are probably obvious - the closest thing to roller coasters and other real amusement park rides. The Jungle Cruise is funny because of all the ridiculous jokes cracked by the guide, and of course it was more funny because Bernie thought it was so hilarious. Some of the content is rather offensive and seems a bit racist though... Tyler also thoroughly enjoyed the ride although he was standing up at the beginning of it (with the assistance of Uncle Matt) and got into a bit of trouble with the guide.

I can't even remember what the island is really called, but I think it has something to do with Tom Sawyer. I enjoyed this because I am basically 5. There are "caves" to explore, things to climb, shade trees, fun bridges, and all sorts of other things to explore. I could have stayed longer, but alas, the real children and their parents had already grown tired of it. Also by that time my ankle was about the size of an orange...

Anyway, yay for Disneyland! We also had fun at the beach and pool with even more friends, and the Dodgers came was a raucous delight.

Now if only the fires hadn't existed and my ankle hadn't been destroyed, the weekend would have been even more fabulous.