Brake Check

Melanoma.

Not a word you want to hear your doctor say. Then for them to say it again… and in the plural. And in that tone of voice.

I was cocky going into my biopsy appointment. At this point, I have had more biopsies than I can count and have become a little numb to it all. I hate needles, can’t stand them but a scalpel? Why not? Makes no sense at all.

I wear sunblock. Most of the time. I wear high necked tank tops to run in. Most of the time. I wear hats to cover my head and my ears. All of the time. I’ve worn some form on SPF on my face EVERY day since my first biopsy at 16 in high school. Was I perfect? No. Did I like some color on my arms and legs? Yes.

After the call from the doctor came- telling me that both biopsies came back as melanoma, I went a little numb. I think I faded out on the phone call as well. And while I have good insurance, it does require hoop jumping. One of those hoops is that my next procedure couldn’t be scheduled for 2 weeks. 2 weeks of the unknown, fear and worry. But no Google. I knew if I went down that road, it wasn’t going to be pretty.

It’s been weeks of stress, poor sleep, worry, stress eating, emotional shopping, doubt and worry. I think I repeated myself. Did I get lazy and not use enough sunscreen in the last few years? Probably. I missed my annual checkup in 2020 due to COVID, would that have made a difference? Doubt and hindsight go hand in hand until they drive you crazy.

Some of my coworkers know exactly what is wrong, others just know something is wrong. Actually my mother has told more people than I have. Thanks mom.

What gets me is that I know what to look for, I know all about the ABC’s of skin cancer. and the pictures they show you as examples. Hell, this isn’t my first post about my history. Often what the doc takes to biopsy looks nothing like those pictures and it’s a spot I’ve barely even noticed before. Both of these were exactly like that. I had to hunt through running pictures just to find one that showed the mole on my left arm. It doesn’t look like anything! And yet, it is the worst of the two.

Yeah, my angles suck.

I had my secondary appointment a week ago and they went back for more. I am now owner of a fun row of internal and external stitches that pull and itch as well as the now painful realization of how damn often I use my left arm. I drive with my left arm, use my mouse with my left arm. Desk phone at work is on the left side as is the printer. The table next to my comfy chair for tv watching is on the left side- full Yeti’s are heavy! But pain for a short period of time, I can handle that for a good response.

I don’t have all the answers nor do I even know all the questions. I’ve moved a little from stress and chaos into trying to just deal with whatever comes… oh and trying to find the humor in things. There are multiple appointments in the weeks to come and I need all the positivity I can get. But I can say it out loud now and even type it as well. That’s something, right?

Oh and wear your damn sunscreen!!!!!

Wheezy

Last week, I learned that I could laugh myself into an asthma attack. That was new.

Friday rolled around and we were all little stressed, tired and slaphappy at work. I had been going back and forth with someone at another office, trying to get a document right and each version came back worse. I finally lost it laughing hysterically. Then the wheezing; followed by the struggle. My boss actually figured it out first and went for my purse. Which, surprisingly had my inhaler in it. I admit I rarely carry it in my purse. I have one in every running pack but I rarely need it at work. Oops. But like I said, I luckily had it that day.

Last week wasn’t horrible in the training department. Well, not sure if I can call it training yet.

I rode the spin bike one day and decide to keep my Peleton membership now that the 2 month trial has ended. I don’t have a Peleton bike nor does my bike even have an onboard computer but I do like not thinking. The instructor on the app tells me what to do and I do it. Not thinking is great.

I also made it out for a run after work! Which is kind of shocking as it is only the second time I have run after work since transferring to this office. 9 Months ago. Ouch. But I did it! I made it out for 3 miles on Wednesday. I also said goodbye to a favorite pair of crops that night as the mirror in the work bathroom let me know they no longer pass the see through test. Oops. I ran with a quarter zip tied around my waist. Ha!

On Saturday I was going to head to the high school to help my mother swap out a tennis net or 2 as they are finally starting high school sports. Then I was going to run my Napa Valley virtual mile on the track. Except the track was full of people. So I headed out for a short run from the school. Except I got trapped in the school and ended up having to jump a fence to get out. Didn’t break my face but my mile turned into a 15 minute joke. Whatever, I’m going with it. 🙂

Sunday was another adventure at the state park. We didn’t get lost but my new shoes failed the test. After getting lost a few weeks ago, I knew the Topo’s weren’t for me so I did some research and ordered a pair of Altra Timps. They were fine going uphill. Once we turned around, I damn near took them off and ran barefoot. It likely would have hurt less. Between the surprising February heat and the dumb shoes, we didn’t meet our original goal. The plan was to do Oats Peak which is 10.8 miles round trip trail. We turned at the last trail break at 3 and headed back. I changed my shoes in the lot and we did another mile-ish on the Bluff Trail. Also found a cool little hidden cove I had never seen before. It ended up being just under 8 miles for the day.

So not a complete waste of the week.

Processing…

My brain is like those last three dots.

Or you know when you ask your computer to do too much and you get the spinning blue wheel of useless?

The week started out good before Wednesday served up a left hook that I still haven’t fully processed. I’ve been a little overly emotional, napped a lot, ate more carbs than I should have and watched lots of repetitive TV. I do love Ridiculousness. Still don’t know how to deal though.

Back to Monday. With the day off work, of course I wanted to get in some miles. However, 15 minutes into my run, I knew it was a bad idea. I was too tired from all the miles over the weekend and my body was protesting… hard. So I called it with a short loop and headed for home. 1.67 miles for the day.

On Wednesday besides the sucker punch, I had an appointment with a speech therapist (long story) and after I needed a hard run. I was planning on running the lake path but when I pulled into the lot, there were just too many people. I was not feeling people. I was feeling like a hard, fast run with loud music blaring in my ears. Except I’m overweight, out of shape and forgot my headphones. Made it 3 miles.

By the time the weekend came, I was fried. I was torn between wanting to get lost (on purpose this time), eat a ton of food or sleep a lot. Napping and Lego’s won of all things.

I know this was a little all over the place and a little vague but that blue circle is still spinning…

Lost

Last week hit me like a truck and then put it into reverse. Have I already said that?

Maybe trying to limit my carbs and cut back on artificial sugars all in the same week was a bad idea. Both are at Dr’s orders. I’ve watched my carbs before and I admit, I did feel better but why do all the best foods have so many carbs?!?! I am starting slow and trying to moderate my numbers during the day and not stressing about dinners yet. I also may have taken the weekend off as well…oops. As for the artificial sugars, I am trying to cut back on everything except Diet Coke- we all have our vices right? But I use a surprising amount of Crystal Light so it’s taking a moment or so.

I didn’t work out all week, even though I kept telling myself I would. I even had an extra 15 minutes on Friday morning due to a doctor’s appointment but did I work out in the morning? Nope. And I really didn’t that evening as my morning appointment was for a couple of biopsies and the sites were angry that evening. Didn’t stop me from being stupid over the weekend though.

Saturday, I headed out early afternoon to get in a few miles. For the most part, I felt ok and ran/ walked 3.67 miles. My right foot was starting to blister and the biopsy on my back was starting to talk so I called it.

Sunday arrived and I was up early and heading for the coast. It’s been too long since I got lost. Obviously, getting lost was not the plan but sometimes trails with my mother turn into adventures as she does not know how to stick to a plan. We were on track for the first 3 miles and then we went off course. Took a trail neither of us has been on before with only a general idea of where it went. Also one of the steepest climbs… and it just kept going!!! Also it’s hard to oreint yourself to the ocean when you can’t see. Luckily we could from the top of the climb so I knew we were on the right track. Chose the right way through a couple of trail intersections before landing on a wide trail/ road. Which then led us back to the main road…like I thought. What I did not think was how far out on the main road it would spit us out. Like 2 miles out on a narrow winding death trap road. Oops.

I was pretty positive I could get us back to the cove by taking a trail on the other side of the road- the Dune Trail. Aptly named because it’s all dune sand. My mother lasted maybe 1/3 of mile before we were back on the road. Ha! After what felt like a longer trek than the previous 7ish miles, we were back at the car. 9.85 miles for the day. Big oops. But long enough to tell me these trail shoes are a big no. My left foot still feels bruised today. Grrr. Also, the back biopsy is very angry. Dumb.

So my levels of running go from none to getting lost in the state park…yep, sounds about right.

Whenever

You know I used to pretty good about posting weekly recaps on Mondays. Then Tuesdays… and now? Whenever, wherever… Oops, Shakira moment.

Yeah, my tendency to turn everything into a song lyric has been working overdrive lately. A new way to deal with stress? Throw some levity into life? Who knows.

Any who.

The previous week saw one bike session and sadly only one running session. Boo. I had plans for more, I really did. I can’t seem to get myself running after work again. It’s not a dark thing- night running is kind of fun but I also can’t put my finger on what it is. But I really need to work on it.

I went out for my first virtual race of the year on Saturday- Oakland 5000. It went about as well as I could have expected considering my lack of running lately. Granted it was also an unseasonably warm day but maybe I should stop making excuses? My pace is what it is now and it will remain that way until I decide to make it something different.

I had plans for a nice trail run but things went off the rails Saturday night. I took the Pops to urgent care in the evening- for a tick! Ok, there are some downsides to trails. He’s fine but we picked up dinner at a burger place and eating later than normal and a burger at that sent my damn GI system into a tailspin. I was a mess for the next 72 hours. Yay, me. I probably need to up one of my meds but I really don’t want to. The top drawer in my bedside table resembles a drug store. Grrr.

Which also hammered home my last dr’s appointment. So now I am watching my carbs, cutting back on artificial sugars which is a pain. Hell, even my toothpaste has been swapped out.

Tell me something good!

Running, Books, and Beer

For the Reading and Drinking Runner

All Things Racing: 5K, 10K, Half-Marathons, Fun Runs, & Obstacle Races!

5K, 10K, Half-Marathons, Fun Runs, & Obstacle Races!

You Can Run

A Blog of Running Exploits

livinglovingrunner

living, loving, and running are what keeps me alive

wanderwolf Running

How I wander and where it brings me

The Brine

A place to soak in tips and stories from life, running, and anything in between.

Alastair Vance

I like running and singing, but not at the same time...

Run. Travel. Dream. | Dr. Ty Runs

My journey from being injured and out-of-shape to a half marathon... and seeing all 7 continents along the way.

BibRave Blog

Sharing all things running and racing

Run•Drunk•Love

running, drinking & our life online.

L 2 42k

Slow runners make fast runners look good - you're welcome.

cat h. bradley

writer | traveler | food❤️er | yogi | runnin' fool

RUNNING TO SELF LOVE

Learning to love myself, one run at a time