Thursday, May 22, 2008

teaching and learning about persistence

Part One (in which running is harder than walking)

Yesterday, my oldest son and I went running.

He is a couch potato and I want him to get fit and get moving.

I used to be a runner but stopped shortly before my surgery in 2006 and have not run since.

S. balked at this proposal at first but I stood firm. Then we saw Run Fatboy Run and he came around (he adores Simon Pegg. And the 'slacker turns long distance runner and gets the girl' theme really appealed to him. Whatever works, I figure).

We did Week One of a beginner's run/walk programme. We ran for one minute and walked for two minutes for a total of twenty minutes (we also did ten minutes of walking to warm up and cool down on each end). Even though I walk almost every day (and sometimes quite briskly), I really felt it (I was also running in a pair of really crappy old shoes which I threw in the garbage when I got home). It's hard to imagine that there was a point in my life when I was able to run for more than an hour and that I once finished a half-marathon.

And S., who had started by saying that he can walk faster than I run (which is true), was panting pretty hard at the end and asking "are we done yet?" Every few seconds.

Still, we both agreed that it was hard work but not overwhelmingly so (I even think that S. was a little proud of himself) and that we would keep at it. I told S. that I expect him to finish the programme with me (in ten weeks we will be running for twenty minutes in two ten-minute increments) and then he will be off the hook.

By then, I am hoping that we will both be addicted.

He was asking yesterday about running a marathon. I think it would be fun to do a 5k together.

We'll see.

On Friday, we will go out and do it again.

Part Two (in which I am pretty)

It was well past D.'s bedtime last night when he asked if he could 'do' my hair. I couldn't resist.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved having my hair brushed. This hadn't happened for a very long time. My hair hasn't really been long enough for years and when it was, there wasn't anyone in my life who was interested in brushing it.

D. set to gently brushing (he was standing on the bed as I sat on it). As he worked, he would make comments:

"Tell me if I hurt you."

"S's hair tangles because it is curly."

"Your hair is like mine and S.'s is like Papa's."

"In the light, your hair looks golden."


"I like your hair, Mama."

After brushing, it was time to add some adornments. We both loved the end result:

I have been growing out my hair since it started growing back after the Adriamycin. What you see is the result of almost two years of persistence (I am sure that the current treatment regimen has slowed progress, too).

Recently, I have been thinking of giving up. I had very short hair in the months before my diagnosis and I keep coming across photos of myself with short hair in which I think I look pretty good.

But after last night I don't want to cut it any more.

And I've invested in all these cute little clips. Who knew I could wear them all at the same time?

Update on my heart situation: I just got off the phone with my oncologist. He's not really worried about the drop in my ejection fraction. We're going to proceed with next week's treatment as planned and he is going to book an echo cardiogram for me and see if it gives the same results.

People who would know have been advising me that such tests can produce inconsistent results and it seems that my oncologist agrees.

Cross-posted to Mommybloggers.


Dee said...

Good news on the heart front, Laurie. I agree with Rebe who said that if you can continue with Herceptin as long as you can, you should. Tykerb is usually prescribed when Herceptin stops working and/or starts damaging the heart too much. It's good to know Tykerb is out there - and the research says that it might actually be better than Herceptin because it attacks the cancer cells from inside (one of Jeanne's readers sent a link to how Tykerb works versus Herceptin) and closes off TWO ways of getting the growth factors, whereas Herceptin works outside and closes off ONE of the growth factors (if that makes any sense).

But I'm glad that you're going to do the echo as a way to double-check the MUGA results. Echos are also less invasive.

laurie said...

Hey Dee, I agree with everything you say! ;-) I am very curious about Tykerb and glad to know that it's out there. It does sound like a cool drug, in as much as any of this stuff sounds cool.
Thanks for the feedback yesterday - it helped me to feel prepared when I spoke to oncologist.

Lovebabz said...

Hey I think you look very Hip and cool...Who knew you were such a hair fashionista with the pretty clips!

And the fact that you and your son are walk/running...WAY COOL!

Cheers to your health front!

Dee said...

Hi Laurie,
I'm glad the comment helped you talk to your onc.

And, by the way, love the hairdo!

Dee said...

Hi again,
The diagram showing how Tykerb works can be found at:

I can sorta grasp how it works . . .

laurie said...

Cool! Thanks! I love diagrams.

Mom2Amara said...

Loving the 'do! So chic!

And I'm trying to motivate myself to start running again. I did it leisurely and made my way to two miles a day. I'm back to two miles a run. But I'm far from running each day. So I'm going to root for you two as you "train" for your 5K together. Such a great thing for the two of you to do together as a team!

karlien said...

Hey Laurie,
Whoever said you need daughters to do stuff like this with!!

Anonymous said...

You do look very pretty, not at all like Bon Jovi!

Congratulations on the running. I do not run; I am, as the song says, "built for comfort, not for speed." But I know the pleasure of getting things back, and I am very happy to hear how you are not only getting this back but passing it along to S.

Elizabeth McClung said...

The hair looks great and quite honestly I am sort of amused/appalled beyond belief that someone is using Run Fatboy Run as exercise motivation. On the other hand, how many playstation users tried to join the police force after his last film, I wonder?

I am glad whatever worked actually worked and that you are out on the road again. I find with running that it is either "lungs" or "body" - as in you either feel like you can keep going but you can't get enough air or you feel like you are carrying concrete. But this will pass. Of course, the irony of a wheelie giving jogging advice seems to rich to avoid.