Thursday, February 24, 2011

Killer Yoga

I couldn't figure out why my quadriceps hurt so much Tuesday. Used to the aches and pains of old age and graft versus host disease, my first thought had nothing to do with the yoga class I took on Monday where I overtaxed my quads. It was a great class, but some of the poses were really difficult for me. I need to run more. Or go downhill skiing. I'm so afraid of falling though, especially with my brittle bones.

I've been exercising every day, either jogging outdoors or biking at the gym. I also do core work and stretching. Yoga is great though, my favorite exercise. I only go to classes though when I'm at my country place, which isn't often enough. I can't afford Manhattan prices, and I need a drill sargeant to make sure I stay on course, something I don't get from the yoga channel. My leg pain is starting to ease up. What a wimp. This reminds me of my neighbor at the lab Tuesday who was so generously donating stem cells but whining the whole time. They had to give him two Ativans before they could begin, and then once the needle was inserted, he complained of pain and asked for Tylenol. It was really comical, but not to the nurses who were exasperated by his neurotic behavior. Saint Kvetch was still moaning when I left.

After being on hold for over an hour with the Rhode Island DMV (I even took a shower, wrote emails and got dressed while waiting), I decided to go out and do a few errands. I dropped a book off at the library, went to Borders which was having a fire sale at my branch since it's due to close, and went to the drug store for some heavy duty eye drops. When I got home, an hour later, the line on my phone was dead. I guess I got through after all.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I haven't gone running in nearly three months. Part of the problem was the weakness in my legs, weighed down by the concrete blocks on my feet. The weather also had something to do with it. Even though I ran in the winter in Rhode Island, the snow here has made it too dangerous for a wobbly woman like me to navigate the streets.

Today I'm back.

The inspiration came from my son Mark. Last night we went to see him run the mile uptown at the Armory. The race was rabbitted, meaning that another runner set a speedy pace for the first 800 meters. Mark had been in second place for most of the race, alternating the lead with a fellow Lion. Before the race began, and to clear my racing mind, I made a vow to myself that if Mark broke the 4-minute mile, the holy grail of running, or even if he didn't, but he won, that I would start jogging again. Mark won in 4:07.88, a personal best.

Early this morning, I found my warm running clothes and double-laced my sneakers. I had no idea how this was going to go down, but I set off in 29 degrees determined to go a mile. Heading south, I saw Lady Liberty lifting her torch to me. It was cold and windy, but I felt good. It took me four times longer to run a mile than it had taken my son (plus I picked up the weighty New York Times as I neared the end), but I was proud of my effort, almost as proud as I'd been last night at the Armory.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


My son Mark turns 20 today. The video shows Santa Lovey singing Happy Birthday. Lovey was a really soft stuffed bear that Mark slept with every night when he was little. When I saw the identical bear in a toy store, I bought it as a back-up. This was fortuitous because one night Lovey I was involved in a vomit incident. Lovey II came to the rescue. Eventually, Lovey I and II were indistinguishable in appearance, but for the fact that one was softer than the other. Then, our dog Spree attacked one of the Loveys, biting off his ear. This Lovey needed a makeover anyway, so I sewed an outfit on him, not intending for him to look like Santa. He became Santa Lovey.

Both Loveys traveled with us to Costa Rica. Mark took non-Santa Lovey to preschool one day and he (Lovey) never came back. Thank goodness for Santa Lovey, who we placed under house arrest. He returned with us to the States, but spent most of his Rhode Island years in the closet. An 11-year old doesn't want to be seen having a Lovey. When I was packing up Mark's room last summer, I discovered Lovey buried in the closet. We took him up to our house in Jeffersonville and placed him on Mark's bed. The reunion at Thanksgiving was uneventful. The last time we were at the house, Marty made the video.

We sent the link to just three people, all family. Even so, Mark is going to kill us. I thought it safe to share with you guys, to bring a smile to your faces on this frigid February day.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Getting Back What Leukemia Stole

It'll be five years that I've been duking it out with cancer. I've lost a lot but I'm working on getting some of it back.

As I type, I'm coloring my hair. It's not nearly as thick as it used to be but the gray is starting to bother me. I'm trying to shore up the wreckage of my once strong, nimble and balanced body, and I'm clothing it in somewhat fashionable items that go beyond baggy sweatpants and loose tops. I bought myself a mauve sweater this week and a pair of purple shoes. So there.

Yesterday, I applied a little make-up, just enough to boost my ghostly pallor. I wasn't going anywhere special, the hospital in the morning for my non-spa treatment, later on to the Armory to watch my son race. The effort made me feel good, and no doubt look a little better.

Pizza and a movie ended my day. Better go rinse out the color.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Weather Makes News, Not Me

I think I've told you everything I know about photopheresis. Frankly, I'm bored with the topic. As my sister-in-law says, boring is good. What's not boring at the moment is the weather. We are being crushed by a supernatural ice-grip that threatens life and limb. I haven't been out yet, but I'm told it's a skating pond out there. I'm unbalanced enough, so I'm not sure I should pull on my boots and take the risk.

But you know I will. I need to shape this day beyond the food I plan to eat. If I don't get out of the apartment all day, I feel trapped and useless. I plan to visit the local library and do a little research, followed by a stop at Gristede's to buy some taco shells for dinner. We're priming our bodies to handle the garbage we plan to feast on during the Super Bowl, Buffalo-style chicken wings with celery and blue cheese. Marty wants to deep fry some other foodstuffs as well, maybe the pickles.

It's time I start slip sliding away.