I have no clue what to put here.
Perhaps some sort of rotating quote.

But those guys to the right...they're snorkeling off of Rum Point,
on Grand Cayman. You owe it to yourself to check that place out.


2 Weeks of Quarantine

The last time I was out in public was 3/13. I saw my PCP to make sure that I had a script for albuterol and to get a referral for a Dexa (bone density) scan. Now the Dexa scan is postponed for an indeterminate time, along with my yearly mammo. I'm officially done with allergy shots after 6 years, too. I had been on maintenance for 5 years, so I still received the bulk of benefit, fortunately.

I have a port flush scheduled in 2.5 weeks. I'm pretty terrified about that. A friend on Twitter posted something suggesting that a person could safely stretch a port flush out to every 12 weeks, instead of every 6-8. So I may see if I can at least go to 10, which would buy me a month. Will things be more resolved in 6ish weeks...? I don't know. We're nowhere near peak, here. On the other side of the state (Detroit area), things are rapidly becoming desperate.

People in my community are still behaving like idiots. White, suburbanite Jesus freaks who clearly believe that bad things only happen to poor minorities and/or city-dwellers. Some folks are in for a very rude awakening. Neighbors are still congregating elbow-to-elbow. Kids are still playing roller hockey, basketball, and climbing-around on playgrounds. Parents defend these activities by imploring that "kids still need to be kids." No, motherfuckers...kids still need to not be disease vectors for everyone else. And there are kids being diagnosed and dying or suffering permanent lung damage, as well.

Lots of chatter about people still shopping for non-essentials where my son works. Fuuuuckkk...you morons don't need to be buying mulch and landscaping, now. These were not essential activities pre-COVID-19.

I'm no longer doing my solo runs on paved paths. They're too busy -- both in terms of walkers/runners/cyclists and cars on the adjacent road (my car has not left our garage since that previously mentioned doctor's visit). Last night I opted for a nearby gravel road. And it was MUCH more enjoyable. I felt like I had literal breathing room. Plus I was able to enjoy a truly surreal and comical moment. I heard Flock of Seagulls' "I Ran" coming out of the woods. I thought I was in the middle of some bizzaro dream-sequence and found myself nervously giggling. As I rounded a corner I spotted a guy on his ATV with a boombox heading down his long driveway.

I'm still finding plenty to occupy me...workouts, reading, endless streaming content (Tiger King...OMG!!), pet care, going to bed earlier and getting better sleep.... So far, I think Cymbalta is really helping with my sleep and I'm mostly not feeling like I'm climbing the walls and holding my breath. I hope that continues. I now suspect that I would have benefitted from this as soon as I was diagnosed with Cancer, too.

Fxck Cancer!


My watch says it's Sunday

I woke up this AM and briefly thought it was Monday...and wondered why my DH was downstairs watching his stories, rather than in his home office. Every moment of every day for about the past 9 days has been completely FUBARd.

Like everyone else around me, I vacillate between being utterly petrified and unable to do more than stare without focusing at nothing...unable to breathe and feeling like my heart would explode. This is broken-up by brief moments of feeling like everything will be OK. But I have NO reasons to believe that everything will be OK. 6 people in my county have now been confirmed +. I have to believe that the real # is at least 10x greater...and that is almost certainly an extreme low-ball estimate.

My son works in a retail environment. He doesn't have a lot of direct contact with customers and tends to work quieter hours...but it's a grocery/dept. store (competitor to Wal-Mart). His job is important. He'll be receiving at least a week or two of $2/hourly bonus. It's not enough for the risk he faces. Finally truckers and retailers and food service and nurses and teachers are getting the appreciation they always should have received. In the future when there is discussion of people not deserving a livable minimum wage, I hope people will drill home how critical these folks were to everyone's survival during this dark period.

I got in a run under overcast skies, today. Time spent outdoors is more necessary to my entire health than ever before. I had planned for 5, but the cold and smokey air (WTF, It really shouldn't have to be said while in the midst of a pandemic that DESTROYS people's lungs...but don't burn fucking leaves!) and the feeling like my immune system would benefit from less-is-more led me to cutting a mile from the planned distance.

After 3 doses of Cymbalta, I am finding that the undesirable side effects are lessening. The first couple of AMs I had some wooziness and eyesight focus issues for the first couple of hours. By 3pm I felt pretty normal. Today I really felt mostly normal right from the get-go. Sleep has been pretty typical for the past 2 nights, too. Never enough, but I'm getting deep sleep, so that's a good sign.

Also, it seems to be helping my hot flashes (which have never really been too awful, fortunately), which is welcome, since my oncologist has nixed HRT. Perhaps it's placebo effect, but I feel like I'm able to take deep breaths for the first time since before I lost my lung lobe, too. I have to wonder how much of my reduced lung function was legitimate panic attacks, rather than functional/volume reductions from the lung loss.

Fxck Cancer!


The Hits Just Keep Comin'!

aka: Cymbalta, Day 1

I took my first 60mg, 1/day capsule, last night. Oh, man, I knew to expect some onboarding side-effects, but I feel SO gross! Apparently for the first week or two it's not at all unexpected to experience dizzy/wooziness, insomnia, nausea, and diarrhea. YES, I have all of the above! I really hope this shit works, because I'd hate to have to wean-off in a month or two, only to go through similar with a different med.

I'm still planning on pedaling a few miles in Watopia, but it may be really slow and I am not sure I'll make it much more than maybe 45 min.

And I'm still waking and having a brief moment of forgetting reality. It feels like the predictions for how this might play out and how long we'll all be in quarantine are expanded with every passing day. Can I avoid catching this for that long? If I were to catch it, would I survive...? Could we have a vaccine and/or treatments before the worst might hit my family...?

Fxck Cancer!


I'm not sure what day it is...

...But it's the first day of Spring.

14 years ago I started Couch-to-5k on the 1st day of Spring. I had 0 intentions of doing more than a bucket-list 5k race, then getting bored and going back to my sloth-like ways.

Well, it didn't actually play-out that way. 14 years later and I'm still an endurance junkie in running shoes and on bikes, though my distances and speed have both taken a major hit subsequent to cancer.

My regular cardio workouts have certainly given me a leg-up with cancer survival and mental health.  I really never felt that I needed more than an occasional Ativan to turn off the parts of my brain that were spinning-out when I was first diagnosed and surrounding routine scans (aka "scanxiety"). But it turns out my aerobic activities aren't adequately quieting the Fear Beast of COVID-19. I'm actually feeling so frozen into place that I'm struggling to get myself to throw on my workout clothes, lace up my shoes, and go. When I do drag myself out the door or down to the basement to my Zwift set-up, I find myself struggling not to cry. And failing at that, 50% of the time. Today I called my PCP/PA re: anti-anxiety/depression meds for long-term use. He is starting me on Cymbalta.

I'm hoping this won't be a permanent thing. These meds don't come without their own set of risks and side-effects. I hope the world goes back to a place where we can leave our homes and not risk our lives, simply by breathing the air, shaking hands, or hugging friends. I desperately need so many hugs, right now. I need to be with close friends and sharing a meal and laughs. I desperately need to take in a distracting movie. Insult added to injury is that Wonder Woman 1984 is likely to not release, this year. We were able to take in the first WW film very early into my cancer journey. Now I don't have my favorite super-heroine to save me, even if for only 120 minutes.

Fxck Cancer!


I can't even come up with a good title

COVID-19. Pretty sure this is a synonym for Hell. Here were are, trapped in our homes (assuming we're not the assholes shirking recommendations to remain sequestered from others). Yesterday I went out for what I was hoping would be a soothing 5 mile run in the sunshine. Instead I returned irritated by the sheer # of people suddenly taking to the outdoors. I know I shouldn't gripe about the ones who were being responsible and simply enjoying walking/running/cycling solo, in pairs, or as families. But I ran through a nearby park and a group of about 20 teenage boys playing football left me so enraged and sad and scared.

In the pre-Coronavirus world, the same sight would have left me thrilled. Kids setting down the phones, tablets, and game controllers to be active and social. But, for now, it's entirely irresponsible. Nearly as irresponsible as the people packing bars and restaurants. As a result, in <1 hour our governor (MI) has declared these establishments all close to general business. Only take-out and delivery will be permitted. I'm so thankful for her relatively speedy response to the pandemic.

The horrors of the past 3 years under Trump have only been amplified. It feels like a new piece of evidence of his selfish mismanagement is coming to light every day. His sycophants are unswayed. It's clear that nothing will change on this front. I'm not even certain that losing friends and family members would smack any sense into these people if nothing else in the past 3 years has. So many still believe this is a hoax and are behaving irresponsibly to "own the libs."

I minored in Sociology. Never before has the concept of "American exceptionalism" been so starkly demonstrated. A shocking number of comments I've read in the past 3 days state that we're somehow different from the rest of the world. As if our immune systems are superior to the immune systems of members of our species in other industrialized nations. Fuck, our healthcare is inferior to every one of our peers. Wake up, assholes!

I am pretty much constantly numb with terror. In many ways this is far worse than the early days of my Cancer diagnosis. At least then I felt reasonably confident in my oncologist's reassurances that he could "cure" me. Now there is no one able to offer similar soothing words. We're all flying blind. I have so many risk factors. Just 1 would be unnerving, for certain. But asthma on top of a missing lung lobe on top of damage to my immune system from chemo that ended >2 years ago... The only things in my favor are age (47) and aerobic fitness. Reading the medical accounts of what this virus can do to even healthy lungs leaves me quite literally breathless.

Selfishly I mourn the fact that my entire 2020 race season will likely be cancelled. This was to be my first full race season since my cancer diagnosis 3 years ago. My beautiful new tri bike may not see the light of day, this year...or at least not in competition. 2/3 races I've paid for will likely not offer refunds. 1 will only be refunded because I paid for available race insurance. I wish all races offered insurance coverage. DH and I joined Fxck Cancer Endurance Club (link below) to raise money for cancer screenings and support. Our kits may go unworn, but we'll still raise money. This viral menace makes that all the more necessary.

We'll almost certainly be cancelling a family trip in May. Until life is more certain and DH is able to return to work, my vivarium will remain frogless (nervous energy will have some killer-looking plants and isopoda, though!). If even one of us were to land in the hospital, then daily feedings wouldn't likely be possible.

My upcoming mammogram and dental cleaning will be postponed. After 5 years of allergy shots, I will be discontinuing my monthly maintenance injections. The risk inherent in keeping these appointments outweighs any benefits.

I remain cautiously hopeful that life will go on, but I don't think it's going to be in 2 weeks. Probably not even in 2 months. My son's community college (as well as every other college/university in the state) cancelled classes through early April. It's almost certain they won't be returning to classes this school year. Public schools have followed suit. College and HS seniors are faced with not being able to graduate after years of hard work.

It's no hyperbole to say that I feel like I've aged a decade in 3 years time.

Fxck Cancer!