Mothers day classic

Mothers day classic fun run

Our fundraising

Our fundraising

Last Sunday was my first ever fun run and although I never understood why it was named ‘fun’ I discovered a euphoria and sense of achievement foreign to me.  Although I did the 100k ‘around the bay in a day’ cycling event once before, running has more of a sense of ‘togetherness’.

Our team page raised $2,450, and to add to that, individuals in the team raised over $1000 combined so that’s a huge effort. Thanks so much to those who donated. Without your donations I would not be on this clinical trail right now.

The doctor told me not to run until I am breathless, but it’s ok to run until I can’t talk. Well as if that would ever happen!!! I can always talk. I managed to run the whole 4k apart from the big hill on Anderson St (which I power walked) and I stopped for 2 drinks. My timing was 28.21 which I did without becoming breathless so I was very happy with that. An average of 7.1k per hour. Not my best but certainly not something to  complain about!

The Wood Hood team

The day began at 5.15 am (after going to bed at 11.45 pm the night before). Rosie, Sophie, Jess and I were driven to the city by the MOTH. The traffic was very quiet which was unexpected. We had agreed to jump out of the car close to St Kilda rd but on approaching Swanston St, the MOTH was deep into a long story. I interrupted him and asked if this is where we should jump out. ‘Yes’, he said ‘jump out here at the lights’. We were all taken by surprised and jumped out of the car and watched him sail into the distance. Ooh. It was cold and none of us had a jumper or jacket (apart from Rosie). Having been told not to get cold by my dr this was a vague worry for me. We were an HOUR early so we wandered around pretending to be warm and wondering how on Earth we would find the MOTH afterwards, given that we hadn’t arranged a meeting place and he doesn’t own a phone!!

So while we were waiting, an enterprising  journalist noticed my fantastic hair do (or lack of it) and asked if she could interview Sophie and I. We prattled on for 5 minutes, talking about how the money raised from the run contributes to cancer research. Given that I am on a clinical trail, this kind of treatment wouldn’t be available to me without the funding and this is why the race is so important.

I’m still not sure what the video was for but if anyone ever finds it please let me know. I want to get myself ready for the red carpet.

Sophie ran with me for the whole race. I can’t explain how lovely that felt. We both clocked in EXACTLY the same time to the second and it was such an emotional feeling running through the finish line with her by my side.

Most of the team caught up with us afterwards, including 2 of my lovely sisters and other family members. Some of the team ran or walked in other races. I’m so grateful to everyone who raised funds and contributed to the day.

I ate sugar and carbs all weekend to celebrate. My bad? After 3 months without it I was out of control.

Like a MOTH to the flame

So here is the question you’ve all been waiting for. Did we find the MOTH  (Man Of The House)?

Just like all moths, he is attracted to the flame. He is so worried that I will say ‘if you had a mobile phone this wouldn’t have happened’.

He spent time at the finish line. He watched Rosie, Janet, Jess my sisters etc all run past. He got a tear in his eye watching old women and pregnant mothers run past. BUT… he missed Sophie and I all together. How? We were running so fast we were just a flash, I explained.

He did manage to find us though which is always the way, lucky for him.

Chemo news

Chemo art

Chemo art

I’ve finished cycle 2 and they have stopped giving me cortisone altogether now as I have no nausea or allergic reactions. Woo hoo! I actually feel quite human today after having a sleep riddled with ‘night sweats’ but not the ‘wide awake’ night that I normally get from cortisone. I ran 3.5k on the treadmill to celebrate.

Now I have a one week break and then start my final 6 cycles (each cycle is a block of 4 weeks).

The good news is that the tumour appears to have vanished and at the next appointment in 2 weeks time they will discover that for themselves.

A happy dance is happening here:)

Life in the fog

ThJenny Wood artat’s 3 times in two days I’ve been asked ‘where is your blog post?’. Oops I’ve been very slack. So here are some news flashes.

Too much information?

2 weeks ago, I said to the MOTH, see if you can find the tumour. I swear it’s not big enough to feel anymore.

MOTH: “I can feel something there”

Me: “That’s my rib. There’s one just like it on the other side”.

I know that’s too much information but try not to visualise the scenario and you’ll be fine. The point is… IT’S SHRINKING!

It’s such a risk doing a clinical trial. Having chemo first and surgery 2nd means I didn’t ‘get that thing outa there’ which is the first impulse. This Tuesday will be the last of cycle two. As you know, I have 3 weekly infusions of chemo and a one week break so after this week it’s break time woo hoo! Apparently my blood count is still normal so hooray for the ridiculous amount of supplements I’m taking. They are a meal all in themselves. All I need to do is pour milk on them and eat them for breakfast.

Life in the fog

Somehow I’m still running around the athletics track (9 times non-stop last week), going to gym and pilates as well as socialising to the maximum. I have had 3 weeks without a free day and most nights out as well. I know it’s too much but I take little naps during the day so don’t start growling at me y’all.

I am not getting much sleep for the first time in my life with the HRT being brutally taken away (BOO!) and the cortisone which comes with the chemo. I suddenly fell into fog land on Thursday. My brain went to mush and now I am having to write lists for basic things such as… sending a card, phoning people etc. Yeesh. I’ve gone from ‘Mrs Organised’ to ‘Mrs Mush’. Soon I’ll need a note to remind me the dogs name.

Here lies the biggest problem. The MOTH, who has never worn a watch, doesn’t have a mobile phone and has never kept a diary, has always relied on me to do the organising. ‘Where are we going tonight?’, ‘Who with?’, ‘What time?’.

What will happen to us?

I’m afraid.

Baldness trivia

Do you know, that when you have very little hair and it’s about 1mm long, it sticks to your pillow like velcro? When I try to roll over I wrench my neck and it ends up sore the next morning. I know it’s odd but if you haven’t worked it out yet… I’m odd.

 Mothers day classic run

Tonight I’m going out for dinner and then getting up at 5am to run the Mothers day classic. Our team has raised over $2000 and almost 3 including individual amounts. I thank you all from my heart for the donations. The clinical trial I am currently on wouldn’t exist without donations such as yours. If you see me on the TV, I’ll be the one with the spotty bald head running through a cloud of fog. Our team fundraiser link 

The story of the shrinking egg

Watch this space

Last week I told the doctor the tumour is shrinking and she said ‘it won’t be shrinking yet it’s too early’. Well watch this space doctor!! I can now lay on my stomach for the first time in months (the lump was very large and uncomfortable before) and the tumour is now back to golf ball size from the previous egg size.  It’s the benefit of breast cancer over some other types of cancer that I can SEE the tumour and watch it shrink.

Whether you believe it’s prayer, diet (cutting out sugar and carbs etc), chemo or a combination of everything… I’m claiming it!! So yes. Watch this space.

Taking advise from others

It’s always good to have helpful advise from people and I appreciate it very much but it’s also important that I research my game plan and feel positive about it. My health plan isn’t ‘random’, it’s been discussed with my doctors, clinical trial specialists and I’ve read many medical journals, books and discussed options with health experts.

Whether my choices are the best in other peoples eyes can’t be a focus for me. In order to feel ‘positive’ I need to be confident that it will work and it gives me a way to contribute to my health, along with prayer and support from friends.

So please don’t think I don’t appreciate what you suggest as a lot of it has been very helpful and I know it is well intended.

As for exercise. No, I’m not over doing it and yes it is the best thing to do when you are on chemo, according to research. I’m under no illusions as to how long I have to keep it up and how my white blood cells vanishing will make me tired. By nature I’m a fighter. I’m not going to sit on the couch and lose all of my energy by being inactive. Energy doesn’t ‘save’. It depletes when you don’t maintain your fitness.

Doctors used to advise people to rest as much as possible during treatment, but this has changed. We now know that too much rest results in loss of muscle strength and leaves you with low energy levels. Read more here

Here are the benefits of exercising during chemo:

-reduces side effects of the chemo
-reduces tiredness (fatigue)
-reduce stress and anxiety
-helps look after your bones
-helps look after your heart
-helps reduce your risk of getting a blood clot
-helps keep your weight healthy

If you’re on chemo and you don’t have an exercise routine, start very slowly. It’s not the time to get into hard core fitness now!It’s best to find an approach which suits you as it’s not for everyone. I’m 53 years old and had started a running routine about 5 months before I began chemo. I also go to pilates, body balance and workout in the gym. All of this I did prior to getting cancer so my body is used to it.

There are many hundreds of sites supporting exercise during fitness, both medical journals and personal cases. Of course it’s important not to over do it and to listen to your body when it needs rest.

Here is an example of someone who rode her bike to and from her chemotherapy sessions

Mothers day classic

We’ve started a Mothers day classic team called ‘The Wood Hood’ team. We’ve raised $135 so far Woo hoo! I hope I’ll feel up to it when the time comes but it’s given me a goal.

So if you can afford to support our team or join it, here is the link.