The past couple of weeks since the Bearscat has been all about rest and recovery for me. I still rode a little but not with any real intensity. I had caught a nasty head cold the week following the race, so I tried to take it easy and honor my body. I have made my body work extra hard this year and I owed it a little break.
Feeling well rested, the break is over and I am back to training with some focus on my speed. This was the least important thing for me during the past 5 months. I have put the base miles in my legs so now it’s time to ramp things up a bit.
During this recovery period, our local mountain bike club- WMBA- had their annual Fat Tire Festival at Blue Mountain Reservation in Peekskill, NY. I look forward to this event every year. I was unable to ride last year, as I was only 2 weeks post op and could hardly move. So this years attendance meant a lot more to me than normal.
I had volunteered to lead the woman's ride again. My friends Helen and Kim helped as we took 12 women into the woods. For some, this was their first time on real single track and rocks were not something they considered 'rolling'.
|Just look up and don't hit the brakes!|
|And away she goes....|
Helen took some photos, while Kim and I stood at the base of this rock shouting out encouragement to the beginner rider. I'm so glad that Helen caught this moment because that is what leading that ride is all about for me: Giving at least one woman the confidence on her bike that she may not have gotten on her own. She did her first rock roll down and I was so proud of her. When I saw her later on that day at the festival, she was still smiling.
|YES, she did it!|
We were all smiles that day at the festival.
|What a great day! ♥|
I am feeling pretty good these days. I have been hearing from a lot of people comments like, “you look so great”, “wow, you would never have known...”. While all those complements feel great, I have to remind people that it was a lot of work to get my physical self back together. The hair was going to grow, that was a given but the extra chemo weight and building up my strength again was all me. I had a lot of help and motivation from G and I still can’t say enough good things about the pilates program through Body Wise Connection: what Joy has done for me has been really tremendous. Now if I could just have the emotional healing catch up to the physical healing…..
It seems all my 3 month doctor follow ups hit at the same time. It started with a follow up appointment with my breast surgeon. I am happy to say I have nothing to report there. All looks good- phew. The following week I had my routine Echocardiogram and according to the tech “you have a beautiful heart”. Aw, shucks! But seriously, this is a very good thing to hear. The Adriamicyn (the red devil chemo drug) and the Herceptin both have a very high cardiac toxicity so hearing those words is a relief. It also means I was clear for my Herceptin treatment last week. I did not have to see my oncologist so I was in and out of the chemo suite as fast as they could move me. The next follow up was last Friday with my plastic surgeon. All looks good there as well. We spoke mostly about the next steps in the breast reconstruction process- no, I am not done! We discussed what the procedure would be like to exchange my tissue expanders with the silicone implants. She even let me hold some sample implants to see what they feel like. They are so much softer than what I have now and I can’t wait! Well actually, I can wait. I am choosing to wait until October to have my exchange surgery for two main reasons. First, it is summer and I do not want to be off the bike again. I lost last summer because of surgery and chemo and I am not willing to give that up on purpose. Second, the longer my skin has to heal from radiation, the better chance I will have for a successful surgery. There is always a 50% chance that the new implant will not work out for me because of the radiation. I knew this but it is still a tough statistic to swallow. I am just keeping positive and I will continue to take this whole process one step at a time.
In the meantime, I plan on continuing to enjoy my summer.