My account of life both on and off of two wheels...... "At least I'm enjoying the ride"

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thought for the week.

After my cancer diagnosis last April, I received many cards and gifts from loved ones, friends and even strangers.  One of the gifts I received was a book called The Attitudes of Gratitude- How to give and receive joy every day of your life.  At the time, I just looked at the title, thought about it for a minute and decided to put it in the basket in the bathroom for some possible future reading material.  

A few months ago, I picked up the book and randomly opened it up to a page and read it.  Each quote has maybe a page or two of reading to follow.  I have opened up to the same quote a few times now.  

"If you haven't got all the things you want, be grateful for the things you don't have that you don't want." -Anonymous.

Maybe it is that my head is in a much different place today, and while they all are pretty inspirational quotes, this particular quote resonated with me the most.  

Having a breast cancer diagnosis at age 36 has taken a lot of things away from me.  Some things more permanently than others.  It's hard not to feel for these losses.  It's also hard not to look at others my age and be envious of the things they have that I might want now or one day in the future.  

Do I have all the things I want?  Of course not, but certainly there are a lot of things out there that I don't want!  Seems so simple but sometimes the simple concepts are the hardest for me to grasp.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Training!

G and I were lucky enough to be invited to Florida for a bit of a reprieve.  We graciously accepted, packed up the road bikes and headed south for some spring training.  The change of scenery was exactly what we both needed. 

We flew out late on a Wednesday night. The following morning we woke up to the sound of palm tree leaves blowing outside our window and the birds already singing their summer repertoire.  Ah...vacation.

After a leisurely breakfast, G started to put the bikes back together so we could go ride and explore our new surroundings.  

G unpacking his bike box. 
He put mine together first- what a guy! 
G had done a bit of research about where the best places to ride would be and the conclusion was A1A was the only place to ride.  It runs up and down the coast so there was plenty of miles for us to pedal.  The road is well traveled but has a bike lane 70% of the time and when it doesn't, the shoulder is wide enough to share.  Oh and no potholes! 

There were signs like this everywhere. 

G navigating on our first day out.

Had to stop for the photo opp. 
We had great weather minus one day and it was perfect timing for a rest day.  Pedaling in Florida is as you would imagine- FLAT!  But the wind made up for the lack of hills.  I have forgotten or maybe I really have never experienced what it is like to pedal for 50+ miles non-stop with no coasting or downhills for recovery.  Did I mention the wind?  It always seemed to be the worst heading home.  We would mostly ride in the mornings after breakfast so we could be back to enjoy our leisurely afternoons. 
One afternoon, we borrowed the beach-cruisers to go to the market.

My guy on the low-rider with groceries in tow. 

Evening was vacation after all! 
Some afternoons we would just head to the beach.  I was not one for sunbathing as you could imagine my skin has seen enough "rays" for one year.  I was extra cautious to keep covered and wear lots of sun screen! 

Afternoon stroll on the beach.

Making friends.

Seeking shelter from a short rain storm.  We found this great little cafe for lunch. 
Part of our dinner one night.  It was so  nice to have such fresh local veggies! Cooking in was the way to go. 

For the 6 days that we were there, we mostly rode our bikes, relaxed and ate delicious food.  I realized that this was the first time I had been away from my home, overnight since our weekend to Maine over the July 4th.  It was wonderful to step away from it all, but it always feels good to be home again. 

As far as my overall health is concerned, I feel very fortunate to be able to say that I'm feeling stronger every day.  Over 250 miles of road riding really helped to kick my butt into gear.   There will always be something I can complain about-Like these darn tissue expanders!  I still have my headaches and some residual joint aches but I have decided to just convince myself that the joint aches are not from the chemo but from all my riding! 

Here's to the upcoming weekend.  Thanks for reading.