What’s new, pussycat?

I refrained from any updates on my well-being in my last post because 1) the post was getting kind of lengthy and 2) I was getting kind of lazy :(  I don’t think I’ve ever been referred to by someone or referred to myself as a lazy person…maybe on a one off occasion, but typically I’m pretty active…so the laziness I’ve demonstrated in respect to my blog in the last 6 months has been pretty disappointing.  It’s tough work keeping with this thing!!

So what is new?  I feel like life has been absolutely crazy the last few months, so much so that I haven’t really stopped to think about, and celebrate, some of the milestones that have passed.

June 18th – my own personal D day….the day my world came crashing down.  Slightly dramatic?  Yes….I’ve been known to be a tad bit dramatic at times.  Two years ago on this day I received my cancer diagnosis.  It’s definitely a day I’ll never forget.  The fear, anxiety, and helplessness feelings I had that day are still very fresh in my mind.  It’s amazing how two years can go by, but I can still put myself back to that day and remember how numb I felt after I got “the phone call”. 

Fortunately, the day came and went this year without any recognition really.  I don’t think I would’ve even remembered had Andrew not said something to me.  Such a good man he is :)  As important of a day that this date will be for the rest of my life, I can’t say enough how great it is to be on the “other side” of the cancer fence…standing there giving cancer the middle finger.

Marathon training is in full force….again….and pretty much taking up every second of free time I have.  Again with the dramatization….sorry, I can’t help myself sometimes….just ask Andrew :)  Marathon training is a pretty big time suck…but I do still manage to have a little fun here and there.  I don’t know what possessed me to sign up for a second marathon within a 10 month period.  I’m going to blame it on the high that comes along with crossing the finish line and feeling like a bad ass.  Regardless of the reason, I’m registered for and running the Chicago Marathon on October 7th, a short two months away. 

The only thing that makes training tolerable this time around….because there’s nothing fun or appealing about running um-teen miles in 90+ degree heat…is that I have a training buddy.  I managed to talk Andrew, along with my brother and several other friends, into running the marathon as well.  What’s better than getting together with your close friends and 48,000 other crazy people on a Sunday morning to run 26 miles in the potential blazing heat!  Misery loves company right?! 

After a little coaxing by Andrew, I decided to convert to the same training program he’s using, a program that includes both hills and speed training…quite possibly two of my least favorite things to do…ever.  The only thing worse than running a hill, is having to sprint up it.  And I use the word “sprint” loosely.  By most people’s standards, sprinting involves at least the appearance of moving quickly.  However I, on the other hand, bear resemblance to something closer to running in quick sand. Not quick at all. 

Andrew and I run VERY different paces….but at least we can head out in the morning together for our runs and encourage each other when frustration and the overwhelming desire to stay in bed hits….because it does.  Getting up is 99% of the challenge on difficult days, so it definitely helps having someone to give you a swift quick out of bed to get you moving!

I’m only 3 weeks into this new training program and haven’t really noticed a difference in my running pace yet….but I’m guessing it probably takes a little longer than that to see results? We’ll see!  Since I failed to meet my goal of under 4 hours back in December at the Kiawah marathon, I’ve now got my eyes set on Chicago.  Fortunately the course is flat…so at least I have that going for me.

Probably the biggest milestone that’s passed in the last few months is that I’ve officially crossed the one year mark of taking tamoxifen!!  As of today, I’m actually at 14 months…only 1,399 pills left…but who’s counting!!

As much as I struggled with it at the beginning, I can honestly say it’s just become a part of my daily routine.  The hot flashes throughout the night can still be overbearing at times, but they’ve definitely subsided.  I think my body has actually gotten used to pills at this point….and the whole “taking tamoxifen” thing has become a non-event.  Never thought I’d say that!!

Words of encouragement for any newbie tamoxifen takers out there….I’m living proof that it actually gets better!!  I never thought I’d see the day where I didn’t dread taking my pills.  The day where my body adjusted to the effects of the pills messing with my hormone levels.  But I’m here to tell you that that day will come….and will probably shock the hell out of you as much as it did me!!

Lastly, I had my 18 month mammogram and MRI check-ups last month and I’m happy to report that everything still checks out as clean!  Remission is great place to be :)

Photos from 83 weeks post chemo are below…..

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One Response to “What’s new, pussycat?”

  1. Kerri

    You are amazing Nicole!


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