Tuesday, June 2, 2015

When it rains....

It's been almost a month since my last post and I feel like my life has completely changed.  I can honestly say this has been one, if not the hardest, most stressful months of my life.

I'll back up a bit and talk about the good. Before our life got turned upside down and both of our dogs were diagnosed with cancer, I was training hard, feeling great and had a pretty solid race in Rocky Point. I conquered one of my huge fears which was swimming through huge waves, basically dolphin diving and body surfing and avoiding all stingrays! I biked my legs off and ran fairly strong landing my second 3rd overall place at the Rocky Point Tri.

After our trip to Mexico we learned that Baxter had hemangiosarcoma. The really bad kind. The kind that spreads quickly and the prognosis is 1-3-6 months.  I'm happy to say that he has mostly recovered from his splenectomy (where the tumor was) and that he's doing great. We've had a couple of little scares, (most recently our first visit to the doggy ER in CDA for some weird allergic reaction on his puppy paws),but for the most part he is happy, eating (hot dogs and steaks and whatever else he wants) and just trying to be a happy old dog. I've started Baxter on an organic mushroom immunity supplement to help keep him healthy, and we also opted to do a very low oral dose of chemotherapy. We never planned on doing this, but after speaking with an oncologist the risks were low, costs were low and if there was anything we could do to help give him a little more (good) time, well than why wouldn't we do it?

A week later later we took Juliette in to have a "thing" on her leg removed before we headed away for the summer. When I took her in because she ate the stitches out of her leg, we were told that she too had hemangiosarcoma. Thankfully, hers is a less aggressive and scary one, basically skin cancer.  While her cancer is about as good as we could hope for in prognosis, her little injury on the leg has been nothing but a pain in my ass. I have spent the past 3 weeks re-bandaging, cleaning and caring for her would that she has somehow even manged to chew through with a cone on her head.  There have been many a' melt downs and tears of frustration with this dog....

A weekend up north to celebrate the wedding of one of my absolute most favorite people in the world's wedding.  Jen, my twin! Shane stayed home with the dogs for one night so I didn't stress, and we had an amazing friend and dog sitter watch them the next. It was a beautiful weekend away, beautiful wedding and we even through in a nice little training ride climbing Mingus Mountain!

It was back to business, and of course more dog drama (and leg eating), lack of sleep and training for the last weekend before heading to CDA. Another random incident happened in the long ride.  My athlete, good friend and training partner had a bike crash right next to me. Thankfully, he walked away with some bad road rash, but no serious injuries and is already back up and training. But, as luck would have it, in the mix of the whole thing, I somehow dropped my bike and broke the derailleur hanger.  A piece which I later found out could not be found in town.  I once again, found myself stressed and in tears as I was supposed to leave town in 4 days, and race 24hours after my bike arrived. I don't know how I did it, but somehow I scrambled, found a bike shop to get the part and committed to fixing my bike in a few short hour window so that I could indeed race.

The next few days were spent packing and trying to stay afloat with work, (thankfully I have the BEST co-worker and friend covering my ass) athletes, training and dog care. Then, 2 nights before we were supposed to leave my house started to smell like something was burning up. When I realized it was the AC going out, I made a call to one of my athletes who owns a home services company with a cry for help. Sure enough the AC was dying and we were left with 12 hours to figure out what to do before leaving. With the help of many friends and a nice little zero interest financing plan we somehow had a brand new AC installed while we were on the road....   Not exactly an expense we had budgeted for, but honestly right along the lines of how everything was going this month.

I don't know how, but both our travel (me flying, Shane driving) went perfectly. We got to our rental house and it is just perfect. The dogs did well and Shane had no issues with the journey. On Friday I spent the day doing everything BUT race prep. I didn't sleep well (up with the dogs), didn't rest. I moved furniture, ran errands, and drove around. I finally had my bike at 6:30 pm and had to find the rest of my race gear. Around 10pm I finally went to bed, hoping for a good night's sleep and some race day magic.

Unfortunately, I've yet to have any sort of race day magic and that day was the same as always.  While I am fit, I knew that my month of stress and tears and maybe 2-4hours of sleep per night on top of crappy pre-race chaos would take it's toll and it did. The race was (for me) somewhat of a shit show. I was exhausted. My quads burned, and on the run all I had in me was a nice jog that was at a pace slower than I had run 20miles at a week before. I'd be lying if I said that dropping out didn't cross my mind, but instead of doing that I tried to just not think about sleeping, and just put in a training day. I made some friends on the course, I cheered for the people having a great day, and the second I crossed that finish line I laid down in the grass ready for a nap. I was so incredibly exhausted. I didn't have a bad swim, or bad bike, or a bonk on the run.  I just didn't have any gears and went through the motions for almost 5.5hours. One of my slowest half ironman race times in years.

We spent the evening in our new back yard with some cocktails and the dogs.  I was so tired getting into my recovery boots didn't even cross my mind!

Sunday was spent trying to finish unpacking and purchase everything we needed to make us (and the dogs) comfortable. Extra rugs and dogbeds so they weren't slipping all around the floors and some food to get the week started. Unfortunately, we had one last little scare with Baxter as he woke up with swollen feet. Before we left for our errands I gave him some benadryl, but when we got home several hours later they were still puffy. Being completely paranoid I went ahead and took him to the ER vet in town. THANKFULLY, they weren't concerned and figured he was just having a reaction to something new in the house.  Best possible news. However, the past few days I've spent trying to keep him from licking them and it has not been easy!  We've done epsom salt soaks (for me too!), more benadryl and extra anti-inflammatories.  

It's finally June. I've taken a couple of extra days to recover from my race than normal but have finally had a couple of quiet days, catching up on sleep and just hanging out. After noticing a slightly suppressed (low) HR on my run today, I moved my bike ride to the end of the week and am spending the cold and rainy day catching up on life and resting. I'm motivated and hopeful that I can spend the next 3 weeks refocusing my training priorities to fine tune myself for my absolute favorite race of the year, IMCDA. The weather looks gorgeous (warm) for this weekend so I can't wait to get out there on the course and put in some quality time!  With any luck (and lots of prayers) we will have no more drama for a while.  The dogs love it here, and I'm pretty darn happy myself!  Can't wait for Wednesday farmers market to start up and many ventures around town on the cruisers ;)

I hope that all of my amazing friends and people in my life realize how much I appreciate their support over the past month. I honestly don't know what I would have done with out you all.

1 comment:

Melisa Angelone said...

I just read this! :) xo!!