Saturday, August 21, 2010

But she has a tumor???!!!

When life starts accelerating to speeds I can hardly handle, the blog gets put on hold. But now finally it's starting to slow down so here's what's been happening.

Since last Saturday (that's seven days) here's what has happened:

1. Raced track at Marymoor in the women's field. Lapped the field in the points race on the 400m track. Felt strong, alive and ready to take on the Omnium at track nationals.

2. Made arrangements to head to Colorado Springs to do some altitude training in prep for track nationals. Got housing set up and arrangements with a group of enduro girls and a great coach. Super psyched to get my feet wet at the nationals level.

3. Skipped out of town for the weekend for some R&R at Lake Chelan. I felt terrible on Saturday at Gig Harbor, mentally and physically. Tired of racing and mentally drained. Came home rejuvenated and ready to roll out a killer workout on Monday.
 3. Woke up Monday concerned because what I thought was my bladder seemed to be bigger and moving around in awkward places. I went to an internal medicine doctor who ordered an immediate cat scan. And thus the rest of my hectic week begins...

So, the cat scan showed a huge mass extended from my ovary into my stomach. On Tuesday, I was sent to a Women's Cancer Care specialist who said it needed to come out immediately--which meant I was prepped for surgery on Wednesday. The cyst was large and contained much solid mass which wasn't good--according to the doctor. She prepped me for the different types of cancer it could be and reassured me that we would get it taken care of. I cried for about 60 seconds and then said, let's do this. It was scared, of course, but it was all so unreal I didn't know how to respond. I just had to move forward with this because I didn't know how to handle it otherwise.

During surgery, she found the lump on right side actually started in my left ovary (and had taken over my ovary), was wrapped around my fallopian tube, so she removed all of the left ovary and tube and took out my appendix to ensure whatever was eating my ovary didn't infest that as well. My first question was how much does an appendix weigh, thinking I'd be lighter--but it turns out it's the size of a marble. Rats :)
She also found a cyst about the size of a fist on my right ovary. Luckily though, it was fluid filled and benign so she just chopped that off, keeping my ovary.

So, now, I just wait a week for the test results and make sure I don't need any further treatment. The doctor is confident that she got everything out and the tumor was self-contained. She said whatever it is appeared bland under the microscope, and is definitely low stage. We just need the biopsy to confirm the results, but at this point, I'm moving forward with the notion that I'm healed. I just want to make sure I don't have any ovary eating nasty tumors in the future, so I'm excited to get the test results back and see WTF?

What's next? Well I'm going to get back on my bike, duh? I will have to miss the rest of my track season but I'll be back in plenty of time to train for road. Imagine how fast I'll be without a nasty tumor in me. I can't believe I just thought I was bloated all that time. And at one point, I thought Clif Bars gave me the pain in my side. Dear Clif, I'm sorry.

I'll leave with some hospital and post-op shots. I had a lot of friends and support and was overwhelmed by people's concern and generosity. Thank you so much. The cycling community is awesome and I'm so lucky to be a part of it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Forgive Me for I Have Sinned

Dear Readers,
Forgive me for I have sinned and have not updated this blog in weeks!

All is good in Wheeler Country though. I have been on the road lately--attending the Cascade Classic and having a blast and also racing well. I ended up with some good finishes. Most notably 10th in the Crit, 13th in the Prologue, and 20th in the road race. We started with 104 competitors so for a non-climber in a climbers race, I think I held my own. I would have liked to finish higher in the crit, but I didn't have the gas while Tibco was owning the finish with a strong 5 person lead out. I was happy for my friend, Jo, though who won. We had been dropped together on this 18 mile climb during the first day and I remember her saying, what's wrong with me? Well, apparently nothing much as she blasted that crit and took the win. In the finish, all I could do was hang on. I did however win a prime and ONE sprint point. Oh yeah. The lesson learned is I need to learn how to ride smarter, not harder. I'm sure it will come when I have some more NRC races under my bibs--heh heh.

Anyway, I am currently trying to transfer to the track. And guess what? I have no snap in my legs. So my daily 3-4 hour rides are now turning into 1:30-2 hour rides with bursts of intensity. It's a change to me. Do I look fat over this blog post? I mean, seriously, training for intensity, trying to find that explosive power that is hidden somewhere in my meaty legs is a bit difficult for me. But, of course, I like that it is hard for me. I like challenges.

In other news, my life has changed quite a bit lately. This past week I spent most of my time moving into a new apartment, searching for a home for my dog, Louise, who I have had for seven years. I just don't make the time to give her the attention she needs--story of my life in many aspects for the past 6-7 months, I'd say. I'm recently discovering that I can't do it all and sacrifices have to be made if I want to keep improving. Now I just have to determine what stays and what goes.

Oh and I'm looking for a reliable car to buy. I have a car--Ashley--but I want to stop making car payments so I'm willing to part with her. (If I had known that I would be a bike racer in 2006, I would have never ever started the relationship with her--but don't tell her that.) Oh and I got my first paycheck after being "on the road"--HA! It's funny how that works--If you aren't working, you don't get paid. Wha? Does that make any sense? :) Anyway, that pay stub made me look at Ashley and say, well, it's been a good one, ol' gal. I'm sure someone will want you.

With that, I'll post a couple of photos of Cascade and Ashley and sweet Louise for your viewing pleasure.
The Raptor: a.k.a. How I get psyched for my races and frighten my competitors.
Gangsta Dotsie and her B*tches

The Crit

Louise: Obviously the smartest dog in the US.

She also carries her own weight on hikes.


Ashely, a high-maintenance car not suited for a bike racer on a budget.