Living Well with Big "C"ancer

I'm writing to express my feelings and share my journey about having and surviving CANCER! These are just my thoughts and opinions. I believe humor to be a big healer .... laughing, crying, living everyday to the fullest!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Relay For Life

I'm partisapating in "Relay for Life"  this year, on the Menlo Team. We have a goal to raise $1500 as a team and my personal goal is $100+  As a team we will walk for 24hours to Celebrate, Remember and Fight back against Cancer.  I'm walking in Honer of my dad William, my Grandmother Cora, my uncle Morris, my friends Kathy, Bill, Ag, Cris, Rosalyn and little Elisabeth.  Help me reach my goal and our team goal by donating what you can.    Together we can Kick Cancer!  

 Click on the link below to donate

 Relay for Life 
Thanks so much for your Support and please share my link.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer awareness month. For the past three years Creative Crafts has invited the public to decorate bras and then for a $1.00 you get to vote. The bras are also for sale and all money goes to help! Here is my entry for this year.

        I had my 3 month check-up with Dr Kenyan today. All of my blood work came back great. my CA 125 was 13.2 a tiny bit lower than my last test. This is the marker that is used to flag a potential problem. It needs to stay low, constant and below 35. I have the type of cancer that can travel through the blood, there are only three types of cancers that do this. So this is the reason for such aggressive treatment in the early stages to kill off any wandering  bad boys.

Going through Chemo and radiation ages your body about five years or so.  It takes you much longer to recover than you realize.  I though that once the treatment was over I'd be back to my old self... not true. My feet are still suffering from neuropathy, my husband tells me I have chemo brain.....I think I"m fine! I don't have the energy I used to and I some times have muscle and joint pains. I have scare tissue that is still healing, but with all that said, I'm grateful to be here, I feel great and will continue to improve to get back those five years I lost.

Live your best Life everyday!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Weeee it's Down hill - Day 3

What is it about riding a bike that brings out that 10 year old kid? May be no worries no troubles, just fun. That's what biking is, sure there are challenges, but basically you just have fun all day long.

We have a short up hill today out of Diamond Lake and then a fantastic 20 miles down hill to Diamond Lake Junction. The total miles for the day will be 49 and 20 of those will be on Hwy 97.

Lets get going.... only  9 miles to the summit!

We have a little  tradition when we make it to the top of a summit. We, the three biker chicks, toast with a swig of whiskey.  Who-rah!           How many summits do we have?

Here comes that 20 mile down hill and breakfast at the Diamond Lake Junction Cafe

Now that's a bikers pancake! The cafe is truly a diamond in the ruff. The food was great and the service friendly, even after being hit up by 32 hungry bikers.

Only 20 miles left to go all on Hwy 97 .... traffic!

Spotted the SAG in Chemult .... looking for a little shade. We refill water bottles and grab a quick snack before heading out for Crescent.

Only a mile more to Gilchrist where we'll camp at the Gilchrist school. They have a bike path between the two towns, Great! Only problem is the wide, up heaved cracks in the black top, made for a bumpy ride to camp.

We stopped in at the corner market to indulge in a little ice cream before heading to camp. Once at camp I quickly get the palace set up and headed for the showers, only to hear screams coming from the woman's locker room. What the heck?  I rushed in to find naked woman running in and out of ice cold water spouting from the shower heads. Okay, who forgot to turn on the hot water?  Oh this is brutal and I was ever so thankful  I have extremely short hair. Wow, that was invigorating, a shower to remember!   Sorry no pictures, but it would have been better on video anyway. 

Oh, and by-the-way, the men's  shower had super hot water, not sure who got the better deal here, iced cheeks or scalded buns.

Now that we're all clean and beautiful we headed on back to Crescent for the group dinner. Once during the tour the club hosts a dinner and our accommodations for the evening were at the Woodsman Country Lodge

Quite an interesting place with an array of dining companions. They have an extensive collection of  alcohol decanters and wild beast of all sorts.

Dinner was chicken pasta and veggies. So much food, we had left-overs for lunch the next day.

Oh, and we must not forget the evenings entertainment. Remember when I said it was good to be 10 years old, well Ann talked Candis, Linda And I into being her back-up singers for a tribute to Ruthie who has done 28 tours. So, with only 20 minutes practice time, I (the rest we're pretty good), proceeded to make a total fool of myself. We sang "The Touring Queen", Ann's adaptation to the "The Dancing Queen".  Hum along now, we had the moves, Ann had the words..... The crowd loved it.  

Robert said he has it all on tape, plans to debut it on U-Tube. It should probably come with a warning label.

All-in-all it was great fun and a wonderful tribute to our beautiful Touring Queen, Ruthie.

P.S. There are no pictures of this event, I can only hope!

Here's to another Fantastic day of  touring!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Up and Over - Day 2

 Today we leave Kimball SRA and head for Broken Arrow CG at Diamond Lake. The original route went up and around Crater Lake coming out the North entrance, but the road is still covered in snow. We will have to take Hwy 62 to Union Creek then head North up Hwy 230 toward camp. (note I said UP and an extra 15 miles).

I woke this morning with my left knee in pain. I pushed myself hard the day before. I dressed, got myself out of the tent and  as I stood up pain shot through my knee. "Crap" I though, this just can't be happening. I came on tour to ride to prove to myself that I'm back, that I beat cancer and I'm my old (new) self again. Well, so much for that idea, a failure after only one day. OK, maybe it's not as bad as you think, maybe once you get warmed up the knee will be fine.

We buttoned up camp and headed out. The terrain was fairly flat, so I did a lot of spinning to get warmed up. The landscape was green and lush, lots of cattle grazing, with snow capped mountains to gaze upon.

Here we go the three biker chicks ...... on our way to Diamond Lake!  Only 56 miles to go.

 It wasn't long before we started climbing towards Crater Lake. The pain was getting worse. I had to get off and walk some of the stepper hills. Walking hurt and I couldn't bend my knee. "Holy-Moly" this is not good. I got back on ole' blue and tried again.

This is a pull out where you can look down into the ravine with it's out cropping of giant rocks. It was not long after this stop I had to make a decision. Keep pushing and risk more damage or quit and get it on ice.  Linda went on ahead to let the SAG know to come and pick me up. I started walking and it wasn't long before Ruth & Gary came to my rescue. I tied a small bag of  ice around my knee and downed some more Ibuprofen. So that was it I would be riding the rest of the day. I couldn't ask for better care or greater company.

Met up with the group at Annie Creek, which is the south entrance to Crater Lake.

Time for a little snack break and some picture taking.....How about that snow! We won't mention those snow mosquitoes. 

I'm getting a lesson in SAG operations. Ruthie's got her clip board, checking everyone off so we don't leave any one unaccounted for. My job, as we pass riders, is to check for thumbs up or thumbs down. Up is good, down need help. Best of all I get to cheer everyone on. Ya, Good job, you can do it!

The riders have a long, hot, up hill to peddle. We wait at this over look with water, bug spray and sun screen. Did I mention it's HOT! and the Mosquitoes are thirsty.

While we wait.... this is what Mount Mazama once looked like before it blow it's top and became Crater  Lake.

Here they come....Hot, tired and bitten.    Where's the bug spray?


Bruce and Glenn

Leslie on her first tour .... Looking Good!
Ann on her low rider

Linda chugging down ice cold Gatorade.

Shirley looking strong!

Rafael and Steve the red team eating red licorice.

Mt Thielsen and it's all down hill to Diamond Lake ....... and camp at Broken Arrow Campground

The palace is up, laundry done and a hot shower taken. We're off to have pizza for dinner!

Hanging out around the campfire....where's the marshmallows?  My knee's still on ice and I think I've emptied a bottle of ibuprofen.  But, what a great day this has been .... Life is Good!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cancer VICTORY Tour!!! Day 1

They came by train, car and caravan, thirty two riders, ready for the challenge of the Mid-Valley Bicycle Club's Loop Tour 2011, "View of the Lakes". 

I how ever was there to celebrate life, mine.

This is my "Cancer Victory Tour" 

We converged at the fair grounds, in Klamath Falls, riders off loading some of their gear to the Tour Sag's before we headed out, meandering along the bike path, as we wove our way out of town, to the west side of Klamath Lake.


Meeting up with the Sag.


A once beautiful resort - Lake Shore Inn
All along this side of the lake were fragrant lilacs and rhododendrons in bloom. Oh, just breath in, did you get a whiff? Ah....

A group of riders heading around the lake.

Klamath Lake

One of many sailboats on the lake.

As we start climbing, leaving the lake behind, we're greeted by the towering pines as we head to the summit of Doak mountain elevation 4776.

 Smile, we made it up the first summit!

Our first town, Fort Klamath, after a scenic ride through rich, green pasture land, dotted with  herds of cattle. Birds singing their songs as they preached on fence post along the way.

After grabing an ice cream bar, I spent some time visiting with this couple who were spending the day  traveling the back roads around the area on motorcycles. They had just left the park where we will be camping tonight and said it was a beautiful, well maintained campground.

We chatted about Fort Klamath and it's history. They asked if we had seen the original fort, or that the post office had been established in 1879.  The Fort grounds are now a museum and the only evidence remaining, flag pole, parade ground and the graves of 4 Modoc Indian leaders along with a replica of the fort guard house. We hadn't, but I found a link with the history of the Fort  and some photos.

Not far down the road we encountered an organic grocery, brakes on, u-turn, for a quick stop. It seems others had the same idea. How refreshing to find a great little food market on our way to camp. A few items purchased, and we're ready to push on.

Across the street from the market stood this large, strange building. Old hotel, boarding house? we could only guess. I wish there had been more time to explore, I could see some great photo possibilities. 

A headwind greeted us as we started out for Kimball SRA but as we turned toward camp tailwind.....
We get tents set up, sleeping bags laid out, next is dinner.

Candis and Joellen happy campers.

Ruthie fixing strawberries for our group meeting tonight.

After dinner we took a walk up to the headwaters of the Wood River. The water, cold and clear, flows out from under the rocks.

We couldn't stay long the skitters were hungry .... Time for bug spray!

Group meeting to go over any changes in route, problems and then introductions and how many loop tour we have done.  We had brand new 1st timers and old timers with 28. I fell in the middle with 14. We have a fun group, tour will be a blast as always.

Time for strawberries and Ruthie's homemade cookies!  Oh Ya!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Over the Hill

A few weeks ago, I took a little ride over the hill to Philomath. I added panniers for some extra weight and biked the twenty-five miles up and over the mountain.  I made a pit stop at Yew Wood Nursery for a quick rest before the hill and the owner offered me some ice cold water and filled my water bottle. I never turn down water. We had a quick chat and up the hill I went.

I pulled over at the summit sign and snapped a picture.

The day was sunny, the air still a bit cool perfect for riding. I put on my long sleeve shirt and headed down the hill as I reach the first corner it was apparent I would need a second layer, so added the wind breaker and off I went, as I dropped down the other side it became very dark, then the rain started, pelting  hail, yes, a down pour. I thought about stopping and waiting it out, under a tree, but decided to keep moving trying to stay warm. It finally let up as I reached Philomath.  Stopped at D-Q to dry out, then headed on over to Linda's.

 Remembering back many moon's ago, climbing up to the summit   and having to stop at every shady spot and rest, this time I couldn't wait till I got to a  sunny spots and only had to stop once for water.    Yahoo!  What a difference losing 40 pounds can make.  Still working on my stamina and lung power, and hope the knees hold out.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How did they do it ?

I have not pedaled my bike in three days,  I've been working arms, back, legs, butt and parts I didn't even know I had. For the last three days, I've been grubbing weeds and grass out of my garden.

I want to know how the early pioneers ever survived ....This is bloody #&%@)  hard work getting food to the table!   They made it look easy on "Little House on the Prairie".

Last year at this time  I was heavy into my cancer treatment and could barely walk to the garden, so not much got done no weeding, tilling or planting happened. With our wonderful wet spring weather here in Oregon,  the grass and weeds flourished, the sun came out for a day, they grew some more. Now, I have a jungle and it's June.

The Jungle

So, I  grub, removing all the grass, putting in raised beds with screen in the bottom to keep the moles from eating everything I plant. I may have it done in a couple of years if I don't keel over first.

Three full loads
The Dirt Sifter - great for the arms

Large Garden - I should be in great shape
 Gardening counts as training.   I'm going back to pedaling ..... much easier and a lot more fun!