Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ann’s Rainbow

My sister Ann passed away from metastasized breast cancer two years ago today - Memorial Day 2011. She is very much missed every day by lots of people. A year ago, I wrote “A New Star Shining Brightly” in her memory. This year, I’m going to talk about her rainbow.

Late in June, 2011, we went up to Mount Tremper, NY for Ann’s memorial service. Our friend Bill came along for support, but with the full house, he elected to stay in a small motel in nearby Phoenicia. In the late afternoon, I gave him a ride over to the motel so that he could check in. After he put his things away in his motel room, we headed the three miles back to Mount Tremper and to Ann’s beloved home.

As we drove along and got part way back, Tremper Mountain loomed over the road and the small town. This mountain was prominent from my sister’s front yard, rising high above Esopus Creek, which flowed 200 feet from her house. Earlier that year, Ann had expressed her wish to see the mountain “turn green” one last time to me. It was visible from the window in her bedroom, where she spent the last few months of her life. And once spring began, I noted that the green was starting, first with a blush at the base of the mountain, and then gradually spreading up the mountain a little more with each visit. By late May, my last time to see her and just a week before her death, Tremper Mountain was entirely green.

From the highway, I glanced up at the top of the mountain as Bill and I drove along.  I was thinking about Ann, and how I wished that she had survived. The weather was a little unsettled, and there were lots of clouds near the top of the mountain. Then suddenly, it happened – a rainbow appeared! It looked as if one end of the rainbow was touching the top of Tremper Mountain. I looked in amazement, pointing it out to Bill. Just as suddenly, the rainbow was gone. It has been visible for less than 30 seconds. If I had not been where I was at that instant in time, I would never have seen it.

Now, I know very well that there are good scientific explanations, using the laws of physics, for why rainbows occur. But I will always believe that, somehow, this was Ann’s rainbow, and that I was meant to be in exactly the spot to see it as it reached over and softly touched the top of her much-loved mountain.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

My Honorees for the 2013 Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon

When I walk, or perhaps walk-run if my knee improves, the 2013 Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon on October 6, my race shirt will be covered with honoree names.  Some will be my honorees, and some will be those that people who donated ask me to remember.  If you want to donate in honor or memory of a loved one who has or had any type of cancer, here is the link to my TNT site.

Here is my list, to be updated as people make requests of me...

PRINCIPAL HONOREES for this special race are three friends who died from cancers in the last two and a half years:

Ed Stone - The race is on what would have been Ed's 44th birthday, and this is the main reason that I picked this race.  Ed was a great guy, and a 24 year cancer survivor.  He barely survived leukemia at age 19, and battled cancers three more times.  The final one was melanoma, believed to be caused by the full-body radiation he received as a 19 year old.  He never gave up until it was clear that his life was coming to an end, which it did this past January.  I will always remember Ed as a determined and inspirational young man.  His widow, Leslie, will be running the Crawlin' Crab with the team this fall.

Judy Zettel - Judy was a great friend to us.  When she gave us the shocking news of her multiple myeloma diagnosis in December 2010, we felt like she would find a way to survive for at least a few years and keep enjoying life as a wife, mom, grandma, and friend.  But exactly a month later, too ill to even begin treatment, she died from this awful illness, along with leukemia.  I'll never forget seeing her for the last time as she lay in the bed in a coma.  My last words to her, other than goodbye, were that we will have a cure some day.  Her last and 66th birthday was just a couple of weeks prior to her death in January 2011.

Faith Eury - What a wonderful young woman Faith was!  She found out in the winter of 2009 that she had stage 4 Hodgkin's lymphoma, which is the same cancer that I had and is fairly curable.  Faith pulled together a team, Faith's Hope, to walk in Light the Night that fall - even though she was still going through treatments.  Her team was one of the top fundraising teams in Virginia, and I was proud to be a part of it.  Faith went into remission for a while, but the Hodgkin's came back late in 2011 and she passed away in February, 2012 at age 43 (the same as Ed).  She was too ill to really begin treatment for the second bout with this disease.  She is missed by many, many people ...

and also by Henry, her beloved papillion.

I will wear a photo of Ed, Judy, and Faith on my Crawlin' Crab race shirt.

My other honorees:

IN MEMORY OF: Ann Ritter (my sister, died from metastisized breast cancer 5/30/2011 - I will wear Ann's photo, too); Magdalena Gentile; Brenda Blywiss, Elliot, Rita Conkle, Melanie Powers (passed away at age 43 after a very difficult seven month battle on May 22, 2013); Maurice "BJ" Beck (died in 2009 at age 16 from acute myelogenous leukemia), Helen Jones Stanphill, Gerry Adamson, Lynn Armuth, Miriam Fogel, Rizalino  Dilag Sr., Barbara Pereyra, Kristin Kalinke, Bernard Kain, Vivian Crews, Patty Lynn Sellers, Lorene Di Lauro, Francis Trail Saunders, Joe Boisvert, Susan Lord, Nancy Dionne, Billy Gill, Suman Kamat, Michael Estes, Denise Pena, Lillian Kerby, Shirley Gibford, Gary Adams, Robert C. "Bub" Douglas

IN HONOR OF: Cora Schenberg, Bill Zettel, Nicki Morgan, Kristi Garstang, Christine Grudinskas, Chris Ritter, Emma McFeeley, Emily Griffin, Paul Zamecnik, Nancy Deaver, Robin Yodor, Elayne Minich, Dayton Richmond, Nancy Brown, Linda Silver, Rena Roszell, "J" (you know who you are even though you asked me not to write your name on my shirt so I won't), Donna Hammond, Mindy Fast, Barbara Marx, Rob Larsen, Debbie Anderson, Debbe Harless, Laura Hall, Rhoda Ritter, Dave, Lila, Natalie, Carl Kain, Leona Held, Harry Grier; Meighan Daily, Campbell Brandt, Virginia Vaillancourt, Jordan Shahbaz, Bill Ellsworth, Alexander L. Ross, Linda Schmidt, Taquisha Jeffries

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Great Training Weather!

Today's weather was about perfect for a walk or run.  Or a hike, for that matter.  One of the things that is tough about doing Team in Training is that it takes away time for things like hiking.  By the time I get home, get stretched out, and get a shower, it is past 11:00 and there is no time to head for the mountains.

But, I digress.  We had a small group turn out today but we were spirited.  Four miles was on my schedule but we ended up doing five because it was so nice and we were all feeling good.

I'll put a couple of photos out.  Our route went along Monument Avenue, and this is my favorite monument.  It is of Matthew Fontaine Maury, "The Pathfinder of the Seas."

I love the artwork at the top around the globe.  It is of shipwrecked people and animals, which Maury's navigational charts helped to reduce.  The sculptor caused quite a stir in the 1930's when it got out that he was soaking models to get a feel for how the human form looked under wet clothing.  You can see this in the depictions.
I felt good after walking five miles, and as I write this a couple of hours later, I am noticing less knee pain than before.  I still have it but I am making progress.  I wonder if I can start running in a month or so?

It always feels good to be alive, but on days like this - great weather, able to move for five miles with no real stress - I feel doubly grateful.

Friday, May 24, 2013

In Case You Are Thinking That Cancer is Cured....

There are over 12,000,000 cancer survivors in the United States.  I am one, and know a number of others personally.  I also know 11 people going through cancer right now, including two of my step sisters.  Some of them are doing quite well.  So it might be tempting to think, "Well, look at all those survivors.  We have cancer on the run.  It is effectively cured."

Well, in case you are tempted to think that way, I am going to tell you a little about Melanie, mostly in the words of her recently widowed husband.  Melanie was pretty young - maybe 40 something (I hate guessing people's ages).  She found out last fall that she had stomach cancer.  Since then, she and her husband have been living a hellish existance.  They have tried many things, traveled far, and spent a lot of money since then looking for a cure.  It became clear a month or so ago that Melanie was not going to survive this, and after months of horrific suffering, she passed away Wednesday.

I copied part of their entry from their Caring Bridge site, posted May 8.  She was getting hospice but still suffering a lot, and this is what her husband wrote:  "Mel continues to have vomiting "spells" or "fits" through the day and almost continually at night. I don't know what is so different about night time, but they really hit her hard through the night. The meds that may work for nausea have no power to stop the vomit reflex which is involuntary, immediate and with little warning. Almost like a sneeze: just about the time you are aware of it, it's out."

"No nausea occompanies the vomiting which is good in a way and things will calm down for an hour or two during the day and let her get some sleep. One thing that the vomiting does is make her throat feel parched so she has an insatiable desire for ice water. She can't keep it down and comes back up after a few minutes. The faster she drinks, the faster it comes back up. The more it comes up, the more thirsty she feels and the more water she drinks. She has had to learn how to discipline herself to eventually stop drinking water, utilize things to keep her mouth moist and hydrate through the IV. When she follows that recipie, the vomiting will slow down amply enough to sleep, etc. But sleep has been hard to come by lately. She continues to lose weight, though we did not weigh in this week. Unsure we need another bad number. I'm not sure what to expect next. It's a wait and see thing."

"We cuddled today which is unusual. Had almost an hour of calmness with rain tapping on the roof. She just pulled my arm over top of her and seemed comforted. A tearful moment for me that began sliding into sleep until the unconfortability of her bed forced us up. But somewhere in the silence, the stillness - and being a little fearful of the things I might witness in the last days, I thought it would be acceptable for her to slip into the next life right then, in my arms with no struggle or drama. I guess I hope it can be like that."

So, if you are tempted to think, "Yeah, we got cancer on the run," stop for a second and think of what this couple went through together - one of them in desperate sickness, the other suffering emotionally for doing all he could humanly do and knowing that he was effectively helpless to change the outcome.  Both of them have / had very strong religious beliefs and Bob in certain that Melanie is at peace and in paradise now.  But he is left behind on this earth, prematurely widowed, and exhausted from being the supportive one, and from watching his wife's horrific suffering.

So, no, cancer is not cured.  Individuals, very fortunate ones, may be, but not cancer on the whole.  We have made great strides, great progress, but there is still much to learn and do before we can proclaim victory.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

First Training

Because I was in North Carolina last weekend, I missed our first team training get-together.  So yesterday was my first training with the new group.  I'll start out as a walker and see if I can run later, based on progress with my sore knee.  But I have to give it some thought, because if I do switch to "runwalker" mode, I'll be by myself, as everyone else there seems to either be a runner or a walker.

The team is smaller than I hoped for.  I thought with Ed Stone's passing, we would have a couple dozen out just to do the Crawlin' Crab in his memory.  But I think only 5-6 of us are signed up for that event.  The biggest group is for the Richmond Marathon / Half Marathon, which would have a lower fundraising minimum because it is a local event.  Fundraising has been really tough for people in the last few years.  First, there is the economy, and second, TNT as the pioneer of fundraising for endurance events is no longer alone by any means.  I think people get besieged with requests for donations and donations as a whole are down.

One of the people on my team is Nancy.  She did Team in Training three years ago, and I was her mentor.  She has CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) and was diagnosed 3.5 years ago.  Her counts are going up, and she has enlarged lymph nodes all over, but they are not treating her yet.  That will come in time, but treatments for CLL are not very good.  It is a very hard disease to cure.  That is one reason I keep doing this - so someday, people like this young woman can get a reliable and safe cure for cancers that are virtually incurable right now.  I admire her grit, to be out there training to walk a half marathon as someone who has cancer right now.

It rained pretty steadily for the first part of training, and I didn't bother with photos.  At the end, wearing only shorts and a tee for protection, I was soaked and chilled.  But we only walked 4 miles, since we are just starting out.  And at the end, even though cold, I stayed and did my stretching!  I was the last to leave by a long shot because of that.  And since I had not taken photos, I decided to take a photo of Christopher Columbus, who watches over the park where we start our training from.  Note the purple and green at the base of his statue.  You can see that Chris is a Team in Training fan, just as is God!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

And Four to Go!

One, for the money;
Two, for the show;
Three to get ready;
And four to go!

So, last night, I kicked off my sixth Team in Training Cancer Kickin' Campaign.  Here was my first note and campaign kickoff.

Hello -

When I think of my five friends and family members who have died from cancer in the last two years, I feel blue. When I think of the 11 people that I know right now who are battling cancer as we speak - some with very uncertain outcomes - I feel really crabby. But when I think how every four minutes in just the United States alone, someone gets diagnosed with a blood cancer, I'm no longer just crabby - I'm steamed! After a three year break from Team in Training (TNT), the major fundraising arm of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, I'm coming out of my shell and racing for a cure once again. My race will be the Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon in Hampton, Virginia on October 6. At the least, I'll speed walk the race. If my chronically sore left knee feels good enough by then, I'll run some of it. Maybe at the end, I'll be crawling, maybe I will scuttle across the finish line. Maybe I will be cantankerous, maybe I will be grumpy. Maybe I will feel crustacean elation. But one way or another, I will finish the race in support of cancer patients everywhere.

Do you want to learn more and/or make a donation? Just go to my secure TNT web page:

I've set my fundraising goal to $6,511:

6 for the number of TNT events I will have done after the Crawlin' Crab Half
5 for the number of family members and friends who have died from cancer since I did my last TNT event in 2010
11 for the number of years since I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in May 2002

Your donation to this great cause will make me as happy as a crab, er, clam!

Why the Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon? Well, I want to keep this note short, but I'm doing this particular race to honor the memory of an incrEDible guy, Ed Stone. If you are interested in more information about this, please go here:

I bet almost everyone getting this email knows someone who has died from or battled cancer. If you don't, consider yourself fortunate, as I know far too many. I'll be honoring a lot of people with my race this fall - and especially three friends who have died in the last few years: Ed, Judy, and Faith. Got someone you want to honor? Make a donation, send me their name, and I will write it on my purple race shirt for October 6.

I'll be sending out updates every three weeks or so until the race. In the meantime, I thank you for your interest and for considering a donation to this cause. I'll be training real hard in very hot weather in the months to come, and trying to get that troublesome knee to heal. Then in October, I'll be joining a lot of Team in Training participants for the race as we move our crabcakes for 13.1 miles.

So come on, don't fiddle around! Join this cause with a donation towards LLS's mission of making all blood cancers curable! In the war against cancer, no one can afford to be a hermit! Join in, and let's pinch cancer the crab where it hurts!

Thank you,

PS: Want to donate but don't wish to do so on-line? Just email me, and I'll give you instructions to pay by check (payable to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society).

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Why I Picked the Crawlin' Crab for my TNT Event

If you know me, you know I tend to have adventures when I do Team in Training events - Alaska and Seattle among others.  In my five events to date, four of them have been in places where I have never been before.  So, why pick what is essentially a local event - an 85 mile drive - for my sixth event?

There were a few factors.  For one, it would be nice to do an event with less travel expense, and not needing to take time off.  But even so, I was considering doing the Nike in San Francisco, where I have family.  And I was considering a century bike ride or even a triathlon, to break out of my mold a bit.  But I was thinking about cycling a long distance, and am not thrilled with the idea.  It just wasn't clicking with me.

I knew the "Fall Team" would be doing the Crawlin' Crab, and it sounded like a fun race.  A half marathon and not the full 26.2 miles is very attractive with my sore knee. Minimal travel expenses and vacation time usage.  Quick and easy to get to.  Scenic race course along the Hampton waterfront.  Plus at the end, they have beer!  As I learned after running the Shamrock Half Marathon in 2012, having a beer after a long race is pretty darned nice!  But I was still wavering this past February.  Nike?  Triathlon?  Century? Crawlin' Crab Half?  I knew I wanted to do Team in Training this year, after taking the last two years off from it.  But which event?

The deciding factor turned out to be very easy.  In February, I was at the LLS Light the Night Awards Ceremony and chatting with my friend Susan before the ceremony.  She was trying to talk me into the Tour de Chocolate Century Ride.  Then she said, "Do you realize that the Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon is on Ed Stone's birthday?  LLS plans on having some special things for the race in memory of Ed."

That was the clincher!  Our friend and teammate, Ed Stone, had died in January at 43 after a 24 year battle with different cancers.  I still see him as a determined and strong young man, riding his bike, when I think of him.  If LLS is dedicating this race to Ed, on his birthday, sign me up!  So that - the Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon on October 6 in Hampton, Virginia - is the race I am doing, and that is why I am doing this particular race!

Monday, May 6, 2013

My Web Page and Art Work

My web page for my 2013 Team in Training Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon is all set up and ready to go.  It can be viewed here.

Every now and then, I get an idea for art work that I think would  be really cool on my fundraising webpage.  You will see such an example on my TNT web page this year.  With participating in the Crawlin' Crab event, and coming up with my slogan: "I'm Feeling Crabby About Cancer," I got an idea that I thought would be great.  But despite my name, and despite having hundreds of museums around the world named after me, I have very little artistic talent.  So while I could have produced the picture I wanted, it would have looked crappy and like it was done by a drunken amateur.  While sleep walking.  With a bag over his head.  Therefore, I needed professional help.  No, not that kind of professional help!  Professional artistic help!

So I turned to someone who has more artistic talent in her little finger than I have in my entire body - my friend Lissa from my 2006 San Diego Marathon Team.  Wow - has it really been seven years, Lissa, since we ran a race together (if Lissa finishing about 3 days ahead of me constitutes being in a race together)?

I explained to Lissa what my idea was, and sent her some baseline photos.  And she came back with a great image, so hilarious I think, that now graces my web page.  Lissa has helped me in the past with two of my campaigns.  She drew the glasses on "Mini Art" that I overlaid on an image of the city of Seattle as part of my 2010 "Survivor in Seattle" campaign:

The image above became the basis for my "Purpleometer," in which I colored my hair purple in the picture as I approached my fundraising goal.

And she did my great campaign buttons for my 2008 - 2009 Country Music Campaign.  The election was going along hot and heavy when I started fundraising and so I thought that I would use an election theme myself.  And I needed campaign buttons!  What kind of campaign doesn't have campaign buttons?  Mine were better than Obama's or McCain's, that's for sure.  They were both crying when they saw how good theirs could have been if they had used Lissa!

So here is a big shout out to Lissa (who is about to become a mom) for her great help in putting my web page over the top!  Thanks, Lissa!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Three, To Get Ready ....

One, for the money;
Two, for the show;
Three, to get ready ...

It's a lot of work for me to get ready for Team in Training fundraising, and I spent part of this weekend getting this process started.  I woke up Friday morning with a cold that has gotten worse and worse, and really don't feel like doing anything, but I did get some things done.  For example:
  • I went through my contacts that do Team in Training, and sent them a note asking if they want to get my updates or not.  This actually took several hours, believe it or not.  I probably had to locate and save email addresses for about 40 - 50 TNTers and get them from my old computer to the newer one.
  • I started the process of going through my email addresses and correcting those that were out of date and deleting a few contacts.  I still have much to do in this area, and given a really busy week at work and personally ahead, I doubt I will finish in the next few days.  Different people fundraise in different ways, and for me, it is 90% done by email and my web page.  The last thing I have to do is go through emails from work and see what new addresses I can add to my database.
  • I got my TNT fundraising page built - well, almost all of it.  I still need to put a photo out there that an artistic friend is doing for me that should be kind of cool.  Once she finishes that, I'll complete my page and publish the link here.
  • I began thinking if my fundraising campaign has a natural theme, and it really does not.  The one time I used that kind of approach, it was late in 2008 and the election was going on, so I ran things as if I were running for office.  I had an initial announcement, press conference transcripts, an attack ad, and so forth.  This time around, other than picking a slogan - Feeling Crabby About Cancer - I will just plan updates that seem to make sense at the time.
  • I scoped out ideas for my first email.  Given that I like to send them Monday nights, and as I will not be ready by tomorrow, it will probably be another week before I "pull the trigger" and start fundraising.
So, a lot done, and a lot left to do.  But I feel as if I made a good start this weekend, cold and all.  Lord knows I didn't really feel up to doing much of anything.  I didn't even take a walk, and I skipped stretching (so far).

Three, to get ready? I am not quite ready but will be soon - then, it will be "and four to go!" and my fundraising will start.  I am eager to see how that goes.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Two, For the Show ....

One, for the money;
Two, for the show ...

In my prior post, I discussed the money aspect of Team in Training, namely, the fundraising.  Every time I have done TNT, that is what I start with: how much money can I raise to support the mission of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  People generously give of their own free will, receiving no tangible item in return.  They give because it is a good cause, and because so many people are affected by cancer.  Almost anyone with any common sense would hope that there is a cure someday.  The life that is saved could be them, or it could be their child or grandchild, or even their great-grandchild.  And frankly, you work so hard at all of this for five months that you want to maximize the money you raise for the effort expended.  We don't get a dime of that money, by the way.

So yes, our primary goal is to raise money for this cause, but along the way, our promise as TNT participants is that in return for donations, we will do our level best to complete our event, be it a marathon or half-marathon, or a 100 mile bike ride, or a triathlon of varying length (TNT does tri's ranging from Sprint distance to half ironman).  That is the "show."  It is #2 behind the money, but still important, because it is a follow-through with what we committed to.  In my case, my "show" will be the Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon in Hampton, Virginia on October 6.  I have a specific reason for choosing that event, which I'll discuss in a later post.

When you are in a car, 13.1 miles seems like a short distance.  When you are on foot, it does not seem short at all - trust me.  I'm likely to be walking this one because of my hurting knee.  Does walking 13 miles sound easy (as opposed to running it)?  Well, walking that distance is not as difficult as running it, true - but it still takes a lot of training and a lot of effort.  For most walkers, they are walking close to their maximum walking speed for the entire way.  I have a walker friend (and fellow Hodgkin's survivor) who can walk that 13.1 mile distance in about 3 hours, or about 13.5 minutes (13 minutes and 30 seconds) per mile walking pace.  I am not as fast, but when I walked the San Diego Marathon in 2006, I covered 26.2 miles at an average pace of 14.25 minutes (14 minutes and 15 seconds) per mile walking pace.  And that includes waiting in line at porta-potties, which sometimes can take 5-6 minutes of just standing around several times during a race as long as a marathon.  Unless you are a really good athlete, you are not going to run or walk in a half marathon or full marathon without a lot of training, meaning you will put probably 500 miles on your feet to get ready, and maybe more.  You'll be doing fairly long walks or runs 4-5 days a week to prepare. 

One reason I am glad to be doing a half marathon instead of a marathon is won't be as hard on my aching knee, but the main reason is that is is not as dominating of your whole life outside of work.  A marathon training schedule, at least for people of my athletic ability, can pretty much suck the time from anything else, especially when you start doing 8-10 mile walks or runs before work and 16 - 22 mile sessions on Saturday.  A half marathon training schedule covers distances that are, well, about half as long.  And I think I can handle that this season, work and sore knee not withstanding.

So, I'm ready to get started with some good, hard, long walks.  I don't want to be crawling like a crab come October! One, for the money; two, for the show....

One, For the Money ...

The money.  When you get down to it, that is what Team in Training is all about - to raise money in support of the mission of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which is to cure blood cancers and give to support to patients and their families.  It is a big, big job and requires lots of money.  I can't, on my own, raise but a tiny fraction of what is needed - but I can do that.  As I wrote several years ago, little raindrops can turn into raging rivers, and so the generous people I know will provide some of those "raindrops."  Someday, I pray that the raging river will sweep cancers of all kinds away.  This is the 25th year of Team in Training, and collectively, we have raised $1.3 billion to support that mission.  That's a lot of raindrops!

With TNT, I raise most of my money with my web page, which I am still setting up.  We get a "plain vanilla" web site all set up when we join, but I always want to customize that with my own message.  So that is my first task to prepare for raising the money.  I hope to finish that by the weekend.  An artist friend is going to help me with a clever (I think) photo for it.  And I've set my theme for the Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon: "I'm Feeling Crabby About Cancer."

Actually, I am more than crabby: I'm steamed!  I personally know 8 people who are battling cancer right now.  Two of them are terminal, a third learned yesterday that he will likely be on chemo the rest of his life because it is more or less keeping the cancer in check for now but not reducing it.  Two of my four step-sisters have learned in the last few months that they have cancer: uterine and lymphoma.  And the list of 8 people does not include the wife of a co-worker who is dying of stomach cancer at 40-something or the mother of a friend who has lymphoma.

I've set my fundraising goal: $6,511.  Odd number?  Well:
  • 6 for my sixth TNT event (Anchorage, San Diego, and Arizona marathons, and the Country Music and Seattle half-marathons were my prior ones)
  • 5 for the friends and family who have died from cancer since I last did Team in Training in 2010: my friend Judy from myeloma in 2011, my step-mother-in-law Magdalena in 2011 from pancreatic, my sister Ann from breast in 2011, my friend Faith from Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2012, and my friend Ed from melanoma in 2013 (after suriving leukemia 24 years before).  Two were in their early 40's, two were in their early to mid 60's, and one was in her 80's.
  • 11 for me becoming an 11 year survivor of Hodgkin's lymphoma officially later this month
Now, hopefully by next week, I can have website finished and get my first fundraising emails out to start making progress towards my goal.  I went to a recruiting meeting Tuesday night, and since I have already signed up, it was a chance to catch up with some friends and some friends-to-be who are involved with Team in Training.  It is a really good group of people, all trying to make a tiny difference in the world.  To ultimately cure cancer, and that takes money - lots and lots of money.