Posts Tagged ‘Livestrong’

Fight Like Susan

I follow a blog called Fat Cyclist. It is a pretty popular blog, and I mostly found out about it because Twin Six makes some cool looking jerseys and they are for his blog/cancer fighting team. His wife, Susan, was battling metastasized breast cancer and she passed away on Wednesday. Over the past few months I had been reading his blog and he started talking about how hard it was getting with Susan’s cancer. He would try to move her and she would be in severe pain, and then they put her on morphine and she started getting delusional. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to lose the person you love so dearly, but Fatty (that’s the nickname he picked up from his blog) did.

My dad was diagnosed with cancer in 1994, I was 10 years old. Up until then he was my best friend, I was a daddy’s girl. We went hiking, fixed the car (he fixed, I asked every single question I could think of), he would spin me around the the trashcan, take me to where he worked, I was glued by his side all the time. They found a tumor in the back of his left leg, about the size of a mango. It was completely en-capsuled and was malignant. They took the tumor out and he went through radiation (no chemo, thankfully!). He has been free of the cancer since, but we never could have guessed what happened next. Six months after he had the surgery, his left leg went numb. Being the active person he was, he didn’t know what to do. In hindsight, he would have been better off with a numb foot. But they went in for an additional surgery. What had happened, was the scar tissue had wrapped around the perennial nerve (the main nerve in your leg) and suffocated it. So they figured they could go in, clear the scar tissue away and it would be fixed. So they did that, and while he was in surgery, they also took part of his calf muscle and flipped it up to “protect” the nerve. He woke up from that surgery in pain and that pain has never left his body. He was 39 years old and its been an adventure since then. There were low points, like when he was on oxy contin, and not too many high points. He has been on pain medication for 14 years and its always been a different mixture. Every doctor he has met thinks they can cure him, now he goes to the VA and they just give him enough medication to keep him quiet. He walks with a cane and for longer distances he has a motorized chair.

I am grateful that I have my father around, but it still has been a struggle. So my heart goes out to the Fat Cyclist family, they now have four children that will not grow up with their mother and a husband that lost the love of his life. Cancer is a mean thing that we can prevent, avoid and help find cures. I encourage you to visit Fatty’s blog, and also consider making a donation to the Lance Armstrong foundation in memory of Susan. Not to mention, Fatty is giving away a bike and your entries are based on how much money you donate. You can visit his LIVESTRONG challenge page HERE.

I think we all have been affected by cancer in some way, most of the time we never know why or when, but it happens. So if you can, visit Fatty’s LIVESTRONG challenge page to make a donation in honor of Susan, she fought so hard and wanted nothing else but to be with her family.

I know it’s Friday, so I hope this post didn’t bring you down too far. Hopefully you see that you can help make a difference and that can lighten your day.

Our Night with Lance

Armstrong that is!

During the Tour of California I found out that Lance Armstrong had a Twitter account, so I decided to follow it. Since the T of C I have never unsubscribed because it is sort of nice getting the text messages. Well, it paid off! Monday night I was walking my dogs-

 

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And I get this Twitter update that says, “March 7th. Hollywood. Reserve you spot now! First 100 people to email march7@livestrong.org gets a reserved spot in the ride“, so of course…without really knowing what this is about, I e-mail the address and RSVP, I then forward it onto George and he does the same thing. Later on that day we get an e-mail saying we are registered and we would get more information throughout the week. The entire week we have no idea what this is about, we just know a few things like logistics and that there is a free t-shirt involved! I work out all the logistics the day before and by the time Saturday evening rolled around we were off and on our way to Hollywood.

George and I decided to park in Universal City and take the Red Line to Sunset & Vermont because driving and parking in Hollywood is painful. Here we are on the subway…yes…L.A. has a subway…no…it’s not very good…

So we get out of the Subway and we head toward check in. We get there and George checks in no problem, mind you…he has had to contact the organizer 3 times to confirm he was on the list because he never got confirmation e-mails like I did. I received every single e-mail and I get to the lady with the list and my name wasn’t on the list! WTF? So I go to their “solutions” tent, show them the e-mail from my Blackberry and got my t-shirt and bracelet…phew!

We hung out for a while because the ride started at 6 and we had gotten there early…By the way, let me say that we DID know that we would be riding with Lance Armstrong 2.2 miles from Children’s Hospital to a theater on Sunset and Vine. So anyway, all the riders grouped up and there were about 300, maybe more…but a very small group! Everyone there had to be registered in order to attend so it was very exclusive.

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We all had to wear these yellow shirts, and of course because it was a little chilly, we all looked really obese with our jackets under our shirts… While we were waiting we ran into Jody from PTC, she is also a part of L.A. Tri and she had found out about the event. We ended up hanging out with her the whole night and it was a lot of fun. Although, George said we kept having little side convos…like most women do… sorry hunny… sometimes we don’t notice!

Lance finally came up to start off the event, our mayor was there…and people started to boo him…that sort of sucked…

Lance said a few words and then they moved the stage out of the way, Lance hoped on his bike and we were off down Sunset, which was completely shut down!

Here is picture from the front that Lance posted on his Twitter account-

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Once we got to the theater, we valeted our bikes and got in line to head in. I have to say that this entire night was a whole surprise and it was SO COOL! When we walked in they were serving beer and wine, hosted, so I grabbed one and then a little later grabbed another…beer that is….

We sat down and got great seats! We waited for a little bit and then they started…and all of a sudden….Ben Stiller walks out!

He does this stand up routine that was hilarious! And introduces Lance and the COO of the Lance Armstrong Foundation-

The whole setup was a Q & A with Lance, so they brought out the COO of Nike to talk and then brought out the artist that did the mural of Lance on the side of the theater (he also did the famous art for the Obama campaign).

The goal of the night was to bring awareness to cancer through art. It is a new campaign they are doing called “Stages”. They are basically going to artists and asking them to submit work so they can donate the proceeds to the LAF. The art can range from a mural in the heart of Hollywood, to some fancy shoes or a bike that Lance rides into Paris during the Tour de France. Lance also spoke about racing, he said he doesn’t really care if we wins an 8th Tour de France, but if he brings more awareness to cancer because he is in the race then he has won on that front. Overall, it was great getting to know Lance a little better and understanding what his cause is about. My dad had cancer, and his life is worse off because of it. Lance talked about how that shouldn’t happen, but it does and it needs to change.

The final surprise of the night was a performance by Ben Harper. I have never heard of him…but he was pretty good. I could also imagine that his music is better when the drums and bass aren’t so overwhelming that you can’t hear the actual lyrics….

I took a lot more photos,  CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE PHOTOS!

So that is what we did on Saturday night, bet you didn’t guess it!

I’ll be back with my 5k race report tomorrow.

Happy Ash Wednesday!

Ok, I know…not really supposed to be happy because we are going into Lent. You also might be wondering why I am posting something about Lent…we’ll get to that in a minute.

It just so happens that I am Catholic…I was raised in the Catholic Church and have gone to Catholic school from K-College. I am not a right winged nut, and you would actually be surprised if we ever got into a philosophical discussion because you will find that I am like a Buddist Catholic. What does that mean? Ask me sometime! For one thing, it is about balance. Finding a middle way and living a healthy, happy, loving life. So, why are we learning about Kristen’s religious views? 

Well, during the season of Lent we prepare for Easter. These 40 days and 40 nights represent the time that Mr.Jesus spent in the desert before he died. Traditionally, people give up things for Lent. I.e. chocolate…alcohol…facebook (thats a new one). Since college, I have viewed it as somewhat selfish to give up something. Who are you helping by giving up chocolate, other than yourself, and then BINGING on it Easter Sunday…Just doesn’t seem logical to me. Therefore, I try to DO something for others. This year I have chosen to promote health and wellness to try to get people to realize that it is very easy to be healthy. 

I have applied to be a group leader for Weight Watchers to get people to their first 5k. Not sure if I will actually get the job, but it would be cool to motivate people and get them going to realize that 3 miles is something they can accomplish. I am going to do a program at work (I am HR so I can do this crap) to help promote health and wellness as well. Not sure what exactly I will be doing, but the other day someone made pop tarts as a snack and that made me sad 😦 

I have also started to wear a LIVESTRONG bracelet…this is to remind me to not only promote healthiness, but to do it myself. To me LIVESTRONG represents making the conscience effort to not kill myself (i.e. cancer) by doing stupid things such as eating McDonalds because I feel like a burger!

So now I head off to mass to get my forehead dirty to kick off this little program, will you join me? Come work out with me, or don’t feel bad if we are out to dinner and I give you a dirty look for getting the bloomin onion…