“The Climb”, Part 1

26 03 2014

Last October, during one of her class “Write to Music” assignments, my younger daughter, Brynn, wrote how she was sad that our family could not do things together because of my cancer. Her words make me cry.  How dare this bully enter our lives AGAIN, to a SECOND parent, to worry my sweet babies who already went through this before.  But to read Brynn’s words written in response to hearing the Miley Cyruses song, “The Climb”, I am moved and I am inspired.  I believe all will be well:

“I love that song it is a good song to listen to and life has struggles and we get through. And nothing can stop us from what we want to do.  She says in the message of the song, “there’s always gonna be another mountain and I’m gonna have to make it move”. It makes me sad because its sad to think about my mom and whats going on even though she is going to be fine.  So it is true that there is always going to be another day that we can do things we haven’t with each other and that will be and always will be another mountain.”

The 5th grade teachers had considered changing the 5th grader’s annual outreach project from one in which cans of food were donated during a community service project.  After Brynn wrote the above essay, the idea was discussed once more.  It was this paper that inspired her teacher, Kristen Yockey, with a defined purpose: the community service project would benefit a family from the school, and since Brynn is a 5th grade student, the project would be more meaningful for the students.  A perfect fit.

So began approximately 6 weeks of gathering materials and donations and creating crafts which the students then sold to the younger students.  All three fifth grade classes and teachers were involved with the project.

In the next “Write to Music” assignment, the students wrote to “I’m on top of the World” by The Imagine Dragons.  Brynn wrote:

My mom said that it is okay to tell people what is going on in my life.  This whole thing you are doing for us Mrs. Yockey, my whole family is touched. (It’s true. I would cry everytime she would come home with an update, how many materials were donated, how all the kids were enjoying the project. Happy tears. LOTS of happy tears!) I love to have someone feel special and I love that this time its my turn and I love to come to school and have people ask how is your mom and I say she is doing great because she is.  I know everything is going to be okay.

The students raised enough for our family to plan some serious family fun time.  In addition, a parent, and local restaurant owner, Vince Stewart, contributed by gathering donations for a Kalahari Waterpark Resort package, complete with transportation. “Overwhelmed” is an extremely underwhelming description of how touched and flabbergasted we were by the effort of the student, the teachers, Mr. Stewart and the community.

A snow day interfered with the 5th graders presentation of the project results to us so the teachers stopped by our house with a wonderfully written description of the project history and a video of the students in action.  More happy tears- they would not stop! I could not believe that, being so new to the community, our family would be wrapped up in this great big hug!  The efforts by everyone involved inspire me to stay positive and helps me to believe that all WILL be well.

In a “Community Outreach Reflection”, Brynn wrote the following:

  • I’m happy we got to do something for my mom.  She needed a little cheer (very true!)
  • Usually we help other families but people are helping us this year (it’s a wonderful feeling to help others)
  • I had a great time meeting new people from the other classes and working with them. (very cool way for her to meet new people!)
  • I liked that we did not just help my mom we also helped other kids who could not go to the store to buy gifts for their family so that was cool. (Christmas shopping right at school, can’t get better than that!)

The Kalahari trip was this past weekend.  I’ll write a Part Deux later this week.  Until then, I miss volunteering on the Speaker’s Bureau and raising funds for Ele’s Place, a healing center for grieving children that helped both me and Asher after the death of her father. I miss helping local widows with young children.  However, we started paying it forward last Fall when Fred and the girls took part in a couple of fundraisers for a few families struggling with their own cancer issues.

We are not wealthy people, but we are making it through.  A small donation of $25 or so once a month is easily squeezed from our budget. And for such good causes.  People in need.  Locally.  I post about them on my Facebook page, KindergartenCrush from time to time so feel free to check it out if you’re feeling a little Robin Hood-y ;)

There is ALWAYS going to be a mountain to climb but if we face it head on and keep taking one step, then another, it isn’t that bad.  Giving is a great way to make you feel better about your own mountain.  Keep those chins up, Peeps. :) xoxo





What Up Recipe Wednesday!

15 01 2014

When I was first diagnosed with cancer, and recovered from the initial shock (lol…), the first thing I wanted to do was, what I call, “Feed to Fight”.  Feed to Fight is eating to kill cancer.  For a long time, I couldn’t stomach many, many of my favorite foods, namely vegetables.  Now that I am more mobile and off of assistive oxygen (i.e. no blowing up the house while using the gas range LOL), I’ve started juicing and cooking.  Following is the recipe of one of my all-time FAVORITE teas from the book The Cancer Fighting Kitchen by Rebecca Katz with Matt Edelson. Cinnamon Ginger Tea – isn’t it pretty???

018

Cinnamon Ginger Tea

4 cups water

4 1/2″ peeled knobs of ginger

1 cinnamon stick

2 tsp honey

Bring the water, ginger and cinnamon stick to a boil in a saucepan, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove and discard the ginger and cinnamon stick, and stir in the honey.

Personally, I prefer to turn off the heat and let the ginger and cinnamon steep awhile longer.  I taste it every five minutes or so to make sure it’s not too gingery or it can become quite spicy.  I love a heavier cinnamon taste so I take the ginger out when I’ve reached a preferred taste and leave the cinnamon stick in to steep until the tea becomes this beautiful amber color.  So yummy and so good for you.  Enjoy!

Much love to all of my Warrior Peeps, Yetis and other friends ;)





Walking Like an Egyptian…Almost!

2 12 2013

No oxygen machine, no walker or cane…I may not be walking completely normally, or like an Egyptian (yet!), but I am walking unassisted BABY!  Woo hoo!

I feel like a toddler, walking unsure, unsteady and stiff-legged.  Thank God for this and thank God, I am able to climb a step or two.  Each time I do, I remember how I couldn’t even manage one 4″ step into the house not very long ago.  The frustration of not being able to support myself muscularly just to step into the house was maddening- my heart rate would escalate to abnormal heights and it would take every ounce of energy I had for the entire day.  Maddening.   My brain would scream, “WHAT THE HECK?!  Didn’t I run 740 miles last year??? And now, I can’t manage this one, tiny, transitional step???”

Oy.

Thank God.

Next week, I have one “last” chemo treatment.  Mentally and physically exhausted, I am trying to rest up this week.  My brain hurts as I work it to schedule appointments and manage my everyday tasks.  I hope and pray this is the end of my war with cancer.  A PET scan will be scheduled sometime after this last treatment and we will learn the next step, if there is a next step needed.

Until then, I am going to keep listening to The Bangles and practice walking like an Egyptian.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support.  It means SO very much. Pray on my Warrior Peeps and Crushers! xoxo





Pic’n and a Grinnin’

10 06 2013

Very glad to report that I had a pic line placed this morning. A pic line is an intravenous transport which will be used for both the chemo meds and drawing blood samples. Obviously, for those of you who regularly read this blog or follow my posts on my Kindergarten Crush Facebook page, you are familiar with my twice daily plight about the vampires, a.k.a. phlebotomists, who needle around my veins, trying to find a source of my liquid gold, a.k.a. my blood.

For one thing, I have tiny veins. For another thing, chemo shrinks veins. Imagine how much fun it is to have vampires using a needle to root around trying to draw blood samples. At 5am and 5pm daily. Lets just say it makes this usually chipper girl pretty damn grumpy.

So I’m doing a happy dance for the pic line :)

I’d post a picture but you don’t want to see it.  Just small tubes hanging out of my arm ;)

Sometimes I wish doctors and nurses didn’t have to explain the impending procedure. I was good with what I knew: somehow, as if by magic, a thin tubing would just find its way into my vein for transporting chemo meds and blood. That was plenty of info for me.

It made me nauseated to know this thin tubing would be threaded through my vein, connecting to an artery (I believe that’s what the pic line nurse said. Kinda blacked out for a moment while she explained the procedure LOL). The procedure took about 30 minutes. I tried to think about other things as I was growing quite warm, feeling like I might pass out.

Finally, it was over. Didn’t feel a thing other than the lidocaine shot.

Whew!

Chemo Round #2 began yesterday through my IV. YAY! Finally, we are past the complications s of blood clots, lung infections, pneumonia and whatever else I’ve dealt with these last two weeks.
Warrior Peeps, I ask that you pray for no more complications. I admit, I am fearful of more. I would expect them in another two weeks. Please pray.

Just Born Marshmallow Peep

Just Born Marshmallow Peep





Benched :( So Let’s Have a Give-Away!

5 12 2012

Hi all! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  I sure did :)

Even though I have completed my running goal for the year I want to beat it and exceed it, baby! Unfortunately, I have been benched by viral bronchitis.  Boo! :(  This lovely virus make wreak havoc on my body for up to 30 days.  30 days?! That means little to no running/working out.

Not only can I not run, I can FEEL the muscles in my body waging war against the fat cells.  I think the fat cells are losing because it sure seems like my body is already softer (for lack of a better word).  Actually, I just did a mirror check and I can see there is less muscle. I am TOTES bummed. It took an entire year for that muscle to ‘grow’.  I know it will return but I’m panicky.

Voice in my head:  “All right, Lisa…talk yourself down from the ledge.  You were giving yourself another whole year to achieve a fitter body.  There is no deadline, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…what do we do, we swim, swim, swim….”.  Sorry, I went all Nemo on y’all.  :)

Dory from

Dory from “Finding Nemo” Perez Hilton

My appetite has been nonexistent this past week.  Mostly my diet has consisted of chicken noodle soup, green tea, water and coffee.  I’m definitely not consuming fatty foods…sigh…

I cannot wait for the war to resume when my muscle cells will beat down the fat cells…. KABOOM!

Anyways, let’s turn positive here and have a GIVEAWAY! WOOT WOOT!

Ever tried Lock Laces?  I love ‘em!  The people at Lock Laces were generous enough to provide samples of their hot pink Lock Laces for me to review and giveaway.  So here we go:

Thrilled to receive their package, I quickly grabbed a set to use with my running shoes.  But when it came to removing my laces, I stopped.  How could I remove my Sweat Pink laces???  I was honored to be named a Sweat Pink Ambassador, wear the pink laces and encourage other women on their fitness journeys.

Ever the upcycler, I removed the laces, thinking, I’ll wash them and use them as a lanyard or something cute :)

Okay, onto the review!  I LOVE the Lock Laces.  What can I say, they are easy to install (see directions below), can be used in a variety of shoes and you can easily kick on or kick off your shoes.   As a mom, I could not recommend anything better for kids.  So quick and easy.  So who wants some hot pink Lock Laces???

Tweet me @kndrgrtncrush and tell me you want to “#RockTheLock” and follow @LockLaces on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. :) Get ‘em while they’re HOT!

Hot pink Lock Laces, ready to give away!

Hot pink Lock Laces, ready to give away!

Just remove from package...

Just remove from package…

Remove old laces, then thread Lock Laces...

Remove old laces, then thread Lock Laces…

Insert Lock Laces through locking device...

Insert Lock Laces through locking device…

Trim Lock Laces so they're not too long...

Trim Lock Laces so they’re not too long…

...and tuck under!

…and tuck under!

Sorry about the long list of pics, I couldn’t get WordPress to cooperate!!!

 





Who Just Ran Her 700 th Mile? This girl! WOOP WOOP!

8 11 2012

Guess what I just did?   I just ran my 700th mile, which means next week, my goal of 720 miles in 2012 will be complete.  Can I get a WOOP WOOP?

Can you believe this? I can’t!  LOL No, I knew I would accomplish this goal, I just thought it would NEVER end! ;)

Setting this goal was the BEST decision.  When I first determined the number of miles I would run this year, the number looked pretty daunting.  In early 2011, I tore the meniscus in my right knee during an unfortunate first time cross-country skiing.  I was very lucky to rehabilitate it and have virtually no issue with it except for a tweak every so often.

I have also been incredibly lucky that I have run every mile without incurring pain or an injury.  This is way cool considering I turn 42 years old next week!  Maybe it’s because, in my head, I’m still 26. LOL  Actually, I feel 26.

I’m thrilled to be on the verge of my 720th mile.  It took a looooooong time for my muscles to tone but I slimmed down within the first few months.  I didn’t think my middle was bad but I lost FOUR inches.  Crazy!  My legs are probably show the most difference in that they have slimmed and slenderized baby.  Oh yeah!   Maybe I will post pics next week….maybe.

Hugs to all of you who have cheered for me, liked/commented on my blog and just supported me.  You all rock! xoxo





Like, No Weigh!

12 10 2012

Everybody SING:  “It’s been … 6 months since I kicked the scale underneath the middle of my bed.” :) Actually, it’s been almost a year. Had to ditch the scale when the numbers refused to go down! (*#$*&@%$^~!) More importantly, I had to alter the way I was thinking and reorder my priorities for the fitness journey I’ve taken this year.

As of yesterday, i have less than one hundred miles to run. 98 miles to be exact! Yay :)

Last week was full of cool stuff:
1) I won a gift card for Road ID from

2) A virtual 5k I completed. Received more bling :)

3) I was nominated for an inspirational blogger award byAnnely’s Fit Mama.  More on that later.

As a celebratory nod to my fitness achievements of this year, I signed up for 3 virtual races, one for each month I have left. My last run of the year: my first half marathon. So scared of that one but its time. Time to crush it and time to get it in my head than I CAN DO IT!  You’ve heard me say it before, I am not a great runner. I take breaks about every mile or two. My hubs, a.k.a. my cheerleader, cheers me on, saying, “At least you’re not running. Most people don’t.” He’s right. We’ll work on form NEXT year.

Back to the Very Inspirational Blogger Award

The Rules: 

1.  Thank the person who nominates you.

Thank you so much Annely’s Fit Mama!  You are so sweet to have nominated me and I’m so thrilled to be getting to know you via the blog world! :)

2.  List 7 things about yourself.

  1.  Sometimes, not often, I eat an entire bag of Cheetos.  So gross, so true. LOL
  2.  Loved this song in the 80s, but since the Warrior Dash in July it is now my fitness theme song: “The Warrior” by Scandal.   Sometimes I run on my treadmill while singing at the top of my lungs. LOL  It embarrasses my 12 year old  daughter to no end ;)
  3. I have two beautiful daughters, one who started cross country last year in the 6th grade. I encourage her to keep running by planning virtual runs with her.
  4. I started running in 2004 as a way of escaping my house after the death of my first hubby at the age of 34.
  5. I always advise people: Do not look back, do not regret.  Keep your eyes on what’s ahead.
  6. I also advise people: Never take back at ex.  You broke up for a reason, do you really want that hot mess back???
  7. I love to cook.  Moreso, I love to eat. I.E. my workout fanatacism ;)

3.  Nominate 15 bloggers and inform them

  1. Salty Running – a collection of cool blogs by cool running women :)
  2. She Is on a Run- an inspirational blogger/runner who doesn’t let cerebral palsy stop her from achieving her fitness goals.  A true inspiration!
  3. The Chocolate Mile – one awesome girl. I love her blog.  She is real, funny and honest.  But most of all, a good person.
  4. CaNdY FiT – she’s so funny and her FUfaces crack me up.  Great recipes.  Cool watching her get ready for her next fitness  competition. 
  5. Journey of a Canuck Mom on the Run I just adore this lady.  She is funny, real and a good person.
  6. Pen On Pointe  Can’t hurt that I’ve known Kay for 38 years (gasp! wha—???). She’s an awesome writer who adds a dash of humor to her blogs on ballet, motherhood and life in general. :)
  7. Fit Pregnancy and Parenting  Awesome tips and videos from a trainer/real mom who’s toddler often photobombs her video workouts! ;)
  8. Heavy Medal Lives by the credo  “if I can do it, then….yeah, that’s right. You can too!” She encourages friends to do events with me and  be more active in general. Best of all, she’s a ROCKSTAR!
  9. Project Girl Get Fit Casey is a darling young lady on the track to fitness.  Love her spunk and spirit!
  10. Newvine Growing A great blog revolving around conversation rather than the author herself.  
  11. Life’s Run Regina is an  inspirational chick who quick drinking and started running. Now, she is a Oiselle sales rep and training for her first marathon.
  12. FitnessMomWineCountry A woman after my own heart: “eat good food, drink great wine”! I love her already!
  13. Pumps and Iron She inspires my inner fashion diva, running diva and chef diva!
  14. Some Species Eat Their Young A must-read, his latest post on school pictures.  Hysterical!
  15. She Rocks Fitness  Took the opportunity offered by a lay-off and created a new life by becoming a certified personal trainer and a certified yoga instructor.  Truly awesome!







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