Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Record in Terry Fox 5K

1:10:05: One hour, ten minutes and five seconds. It is my new record for jog/walking the five K. The Terry Fox was a 5K to increase numbers. So bigger this year but later in the day at 10:30, and the rain was gone, the sun was shining. Some people had hair shaved for Cancer charity fundraising including Olympic medal winner Silken Laumann (whose went on to get bronze instead of to the hospital after a injury that shredded her leg to the bone).

I ran for the first kilometer with a woman with a leg amputation but she was powering on and by 2 kilometers she left me in the dust. Due to the sun, I had a ‘cool bandana’ with crystals to cool my brain stem, and water poured over me to cool my body. My hands swelled, so much that I couldn’t hold a drink but took water when I could, with Linda and then Cheryl using the wheelchair as a portable station for holding drinks, bandana’s, oxygen, and even an ambi-bag for breathing.

While the event isn’t timed, it doesn’t stop some people from getting ‘serious’ from the 7 or 8 year old in this picture doing stretches, to the runners flying past, fingers on their neck pulse to see if they are reaching ‘optimum heart rate.’ But for most it was a family event or personal remembrance to raise funds or awareness of cancer. There were two wheelchairs besides mine. The guy with the hip amputation was back, having seen him in 2008, 2009 and this year, doing the 5K on crutches. With sun and no sweating, I quickly swelled up all over my body, and not only was I taller than they rest but a blimp to boot.
Some of the racers, or walkers thought the event was more of a fashion show, or fitness show but I was running my race for my reasons, just like a lot of people on this particular race. The scenery was nice, though I spent most time trying to stay upright. My left side didn’t respond much, either in arm or leg movement, and by the hill at 3.5 kilometers we were at the back. But just getting PAST the cemetery was a motivation. Cheerful place to put in the center of a cancer 5K, no?
I was wearing Columbia hiking shoes/boots as they had the support of my tendon and ankles to stop them rolling over. When I lost balance, I would suddenly go sidewise a few steps, or diagonally. Having the support to get my balance back and heading forward helped. Having Linda there to provide water to pour over my head and drink, as well as Cheryl to pace helped a lot. I am tall, I felt like I was the tallest person there. Kids stared, I waved, teens stared, people stared, oh well.

The people doing the 10K had passed us and finished, and so had mostly everyone else. People were heading home in their cars, but we were still going. One guy running by yelled at me, ‘You’re holding up the end of the race.’ Classy.
As we were alone, Linda and I, then Cheryl and I played the ‘what damage or diseases DON’T I have.’ Game. After an hour of pain and sun, with people gawking at the wheel chair and me, this was humor.

‘I don’t have Lupus!’

‘or HIV’ said Linda

‘Cancer, though after four years without even an x-ray, who knows’


‘Well, lets see, damage to heart, lungs," I staggered on like a wound up disability doll, continued, "oh and the circulatory system, blood, brain, nerves, spine,”

‘liver’ Linda added, as the blood tests showed that was damaged.

‘Kidney, connective tissue’, I added, from the blood test results

‘Immune compromised.’ Linda added also from the blood tests

‘Brain Damage, stroke, seizure disorders, cellular edema’

‘I don’t have Bird Flu!’ I finished.

The final stretch was uphill but Linda was up ahead at the finish line, waiting for us. She did the whole thing with a backpack full of medical supplies to support me. Thanks.

I did it, (and so did Cheryl and Linda) without stopping or resting, I went on and on, as fast as I could. I thought a lot about Terry Fox as people passed me, or stared. I'm going as fast as I can. Terry used to write and say that a lot too.

I sat in the chair and Linda got oranges and water. After three oranges, I wheeled out, starting the 5K I was to do in my wheelchair. 5K walking/5K wheeling, makes sense right? Apparently not so much to Linda.

I wheeled a bit (Linda later showed me, it was only 50 yards or so), and rested in the shade of a tree so the cool breeze from the ocean could cool my core. And that is all I remember.

I passed out, Linda saw me unconscious from where she was at the finish line, came over and wheeled me to the St. John’s ambulance. I wasn’t breathing and passing out. There was a guy doing training who learned how to do the ambi-bag. He was doing it for 10 minutes while I had stopped breathing. The supervisor saw the one in Linda’s bag while she was getting medication and Cheryl noticed and told him, “Well, you’re already using yours.” (I was told this after, by Linda and Cheryl) The EMT's seemed a little surprised that we had a mobile ambulance in backpacks and under the wheelchair.

They called the Ambulance Service (two of them).

I woke up as Linda was finishing explaining my disease to the St. John’s people and the EMT’s. “And she walked it??” The senior guy asked, “The WHOLE way?”

Linda said yes and they looked at me, and I gave them a thumbs up and said, “A-okay”, which would have been more convincing if I had not been out for about a half hour. The EMT’s allowed me to leave, though in taking the blood for the diabetes test, the blood pressure from that needle stick flowed down my fingers, and onto my other hand. I guess the pressure was a little HIGH.

Happy we were not going to spend 3 hours in the hospital, we went to Beacon Drive in instead and had Ice Cream. I had a hot fudge Sundae.This was MUCH better than the hospital. After that it was only home, an assisted shower after I post this and then off to bed!

Thanks for your support. I set a new record for palliative…er, system dying, autonomic function impaired individuals for the 5K. Woot! (Now, for the next few days, I just have the pay the cost, sleeping in my Hello Kitty Pirate Sleep shirt I love how she has the muli-piercing earring AND the heart shaped eye patch, although if you are doing the whole skull and bones of dead people, adding a pink bow tends to diminish the fear factor).


Bonnie said...

Yeah, but it's Hello Kitty! She's GOT to have a pink bow.

Glad you made it to the race, through the race and had ice cream instead of hospital.

Rest well the next few days.

Lorna, Bob and Liam said...

Dude. Just... awesome.

Rest, recover, reflect, and celebrate!

Glad you're still with us... thrilled you (once again) met your challenges.

Much love,

Lorna, Bob and Liam

Lene Andersen said...

Wow! Congratulations!

SharonMV said...

O Beth, I am so happy & even more proud of you. Kudos to your team, Linda & Cheryll & many thanks to them. Glad you got to go celebrate with ice cream. And don't forget about the champagne Linda has waiting. Maybe that will wait until after the recovery period. Keep a bottle on ice & you can use it as a cold pack.

Great pictures too. Love seeing that celebratory smile Beth.

Now rest for you and quiet sleep I hope. Good dreams. Tolerable pain levels and no limb-lock.


Raccoon said...

Bird Flu. Yeah...

And then, ice cream. That's a good way to finish the day.

I'm glad you stopped under the shade. If you had gone further, Linda might not have seen you. But, you managed to walk a 5K!

Hopefully you at least got a ribbon?

Alma said...

Beth, I'm without words ! You did it, walked the WHOLE way, what an achievement. I'm in awe of you, of your strength, determination, perseverance.

Most people (myself included) give up way too easily in life, and don't even have any illness. you are an example to us all, and what an inspiration.

I am so glad that you're still here with us, to keep blessing us, inspiring us, teaching us for a while longer.

Congratulations of what you did today, but even more than that, thank you for being YOU.

Lots of love and hugs,


Anonymous said...

You have balls of titanium man. You are AWESOME. o___o You relax now. *two big thumbs up*

Anonymous said...

And, err, that last comment was mine, from Laura, the pink-haired girl lover. XD *headdesks* said...

Congrats Beth. You are an inspiration every day to live rather than just getting by. Since I started blogging (and reading your blog), my fiance and I have been doing a lot more. I've had an uptick in pain the last two months that has made some days unbearable and all days extremely difficult, but regardless of how I feel, if we decided to do something, we're doing it, damn it! The weekends have been blissful. Like you said in a previous post about the 5k, the option is to do something and be in pain, or to not do something and be in pain. As long as I can keep the pain at bay enough not to get moody and mean to my girl, it's totally worth it. I've gotten in a lot more living the last month than in many months previous, and for that I thank you. You've really touched me.

wendryn said...

Woohoo! I'm so glad you made it! Congratulations!

Rest now, please. :)

Neil said...

You did it. You DID it!

Beth, You are incredible. And I'm also glad that you got ice cream instead an IV in the emergency ward.

I wore the Gotta Fly shirt to a meeting of the Society for Creative Anachronism. The meeting tonight was about heraldry, so we were blazoning the shirt (describing it in heraldic terms): Gules, an angel displayed riding in a chariot, Or. That translates as a background of red, with an angel with wings spread, in a chariot (wheelchair), all gold. Wheelchairs weren't common in the Middle Ages, so calling it a chariot might work. :)

I'm just glad, Beth, that you're not an angel tonight. I know you'll have a devil of a time paying for the walk, but you DID IT!

Holding up the end of the "race" indeed. Well, SOMEBODY had to be at the back.

Love, zen hugs, and a happy dance for your amazingness,

Anonymous said...

SO proud of you! That is an awesome, awesome feat! I also love the pics of you, Linda and Cheryl having ice cream afterwards.
Who cares that the people stared -- like you said, they stared at Terry Fox too -- well done!
Big hugs
Wendy in Saskatchewan

Olivia said...

congratulations Beth, what an achievement. And ice cream is almost always a better choice than hospital!

Neil said...

More comments. My Beloved sends her cheering for you too. And she says that some people go out of their way to show off how big a jerk they can be.

The 7 or 8 yr old is stretching, which is good before a run.

Linda and Cheryl look great in green!

And your pirate Hello Kitty sleep shirt is perfect, since tomorrow, September 19, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

I hope you don't have to pay too much for your walk. We're all sending healing thoughts and kisses (ew, gorss?).

Love and zen hugs,

cheryl g said...

That was quite a day. A litle more cloud cover or breeze would have been nice but bottom line is we did it!

Victoria EMT's sure seem suprised that sick people do anything other than lay in bed waiting to die. The senior EMT just couldn't seem to believe that you walked the 5K.

I have such a feeling of achievement tonight and I am so proud to have walked with you.

Baba Yaga said...

You made it! Your time is quite respectable, too: a good standard walking pace. I am, as ever, in awe of your determination.

Love the relaxed ice-cream photos. You three seem to have a real gift for enjoying the moment - and you certainly earned that one.

Cath said...

You are a true shining star, a real-life Wonder Woman (yes I grew up loving this heroine). You take an impossible task and nail it. I am so pleased that you achieved your goal and walked the 5km. I'm also so pleased you didn't have to go to hospital. I hope the recovery time isn't long and too horrendous for you. Take care and lots of love from Cathx

Linda McClung said...

I am amazed and so proud of you for walking the whole 5km. It was stressful at times, watching you walk, weaving back and forth. I kept hoping and praying that you wouldn't fall down. I am glad we brought the wheelchair and oxygen on the walk, even though you didn't have to use them.

I am relieved you have been able to sleep. I am hoping the pain will continue to subside.

Some people can be idiots - like the guy who told you to hurry up. Oh, and the tour bus operator who ignored the road closed signs and was honking at us, expecting us to get out of his way. Grrrrr.
I love the photo of you eating ice cream. You look happy, you have colour in your face, and your freckles popped out. I love your freckles - they make you look so cute - and young.

Kate J said...

Never was a hot fudge sundae so well-deserved! You really are awesome, Beth... when you said you were 'walking' the Terry Fox I just assumed you actually meant 'wheeling'. Your courage, determination, just plain stubbornness - I'm proud to be your friend. Hope you're having a proper rest, and that the effort hasn't done too much damage.
And bird flu... I love it!
Nice pics of you, Linda, Cheryl too.
Love and peace

Selene said...

All of this post is made of awesome, congrats on the walk and the avoiding of hospital! Rest up!

Christianne said...

Congratulations, Beth! You look beautiful in the photo of you with your celebratory sundae--must be that glow of accomplishment!

Kita said...

You're mad. Stark raving mad! But wow! What can I say? Just....amazing! You are wonderfully amazing!
Congratulations, Beth. I'm awe-struck. You are AMAZING!

lots and lots of love, as always. :-)

Noisyworld said...

Wow, amazing achievement!
I know you're not a big fan of the accolade inspirational but you've given me hope, pain is just pain, thankyou :)
Oh and ice-cream is *always* good :D

Kathz said...

If ever a hot fudge sundae was well deserved, that one was. Congratulations, Beth!

JaneB said...

You are mad, in the best possible way, and icecream is better than hospital.

You can't get away with NOT being considered an inspiration after this stunt though! :-)

Elizabeth McClung said...

Thank you for all the encouragement and the help and reaching the target to assist in cancer research and treatment. Thank you.

Neil said...

Silken Lauman is as incredible as you are, dear Beth. If one of our sons had been a girl, we had plans to include the name somewhere in the middle names (all three of what turned out to be our sons have two middle names).

I'm thinking good thoughts and positive energy for both of you.

Love and zen hugs,