Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New York state of mind.

In 24 hours, I'll be on a plane flying out to Lake George, NY for the Colondar photo shoot (I still shake my head ... ).  Feels like both an hour and a month away.  I have a boat load of stuff to put in the "out" box today at work before I can unplug, start packing and really start turning my thoughts to New York.  And yet ... tough to focus on work.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Downs and Ups

Continuation of the previous post ...

Down - One of my aunts was diagnosed with breast cancer (making this three out of four women in my parent's generation who have had breast cancer (my Mom and 2/3 aunts)). 

Up - She's doing well!  The cancer did not spread to her lymph nodes, she had surgery to remove the tumor, and looks like she'll recover well enough to enjoy her son's wedding coming up in about a month!


Down - I'm working through the weekend to finish up a patent application that needs to get out the door before I fly out to New York.

Down - It's Memorial Day weekend.

Down - The patent application is related to cryptography. 

Down - I know very little about cryptography.

Up - I'm learning, quickly. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ups and Downs

Up - Next week I'll be in Lake George, New York for the 2013 Colondar Photo Shoot!

Up - I did the Pole, Pedal Paddle Race last weekend in Bend, OR.  Great fun.

Down - I didn't exactly finish the race.  Pounded out the bike leg - shooting down the mountain at 35-40 mphs, but only made it a mile into the run.  My heart was sending out signals that said, "If you go any further, I'm going to make you pay."  So I stopped.  Took a rest, tried again, heart said, "I said, No."  Did that a few more times, wasn't gettting anywhere, so I was done.  My teammate came out, ran the remainder of the 5-mile run, and finished the race.  (He totally carried the day - he did the downhill ski leg, the cross-country ski leg, most of the run, the kayak leg, and the spring to the finish.  Me, I pretty much just coasted downhill.)  Saw my doctor yesterday, and we're going to do a stress test to see if we can find any problems.  I've had this happen to me three times in my life, all during times of heavy exercise, but twice since I went through cancer treatment.  Do I think there's something wrong with my ticker?  No, I really doubt it, because I exercise hard quite a bit, but we just want to rule any crazy stuff out.  I've battled too hard to have exercise kill me.

Down - I just found out that cancer claimed the life of an assistant director of the marching band I used to play in while I was in college.   This guy was also a middle school teacher, and I got to know him a little bit better of the years during my trips home, as one of my good friends taught with him.  He was a great guy -- very positive, lots of energy, and fun to be around. He was diagnosed with Stage III kidney cancer in 2011 and wasn't able to beat it.  I mention this "down" as it always strikes me how indiscriminate cancer is - literally hundreds and hundreds of people knew Bill through his teaching and directing, and his loss is widely felt back home.  Nobody deserves cancer, but here ...  just seems particularly unfair.

Even though cancer took its pound of flesh from me, I feel incredibly fortunate to still be here, to still be doing so well, and still being able to do (just about) everything that I could do before.  Hearing the news of this and other passings, and seeing others battle with recurrences -- it gives me a boost of motivation to live a good life.  Which is good.  But the responsibility/pressure I put on myself to life a good life -- it weighs on me sometimes.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Just a quick hey y'all

It's easy to not keep on blogging, especially when things are going pretty good, so I wanted to let everyone know that yeah, things are going good.  On pretty much all fronts.  Physically, I haven't been in this good of shape since I started my job.  I put my health first now.  That means I keep exercising and keep eating right, even when the poo hits the fan in other areas of my life.  Had a regular ol' physical recently, and my new primary care doc (I had to switch ... ) said I'm in good shape.  Even all the blood counts that were out of whack (cholesterol, triglycerides, etc.) are all back in line.  Amazing what regular exercise, eating less, and eating better can do.  

Only 2 1/2 weeks until the Colondar photo shoot in Lake George, NY.  Still pretty excited.  It's going to be a great time, and I'm really looking forward to meeting all the other "models" and hearing their stories.  The photo shoot has been good motivation to keep up with my training, too.  Funny how something like a being in a calendar can give you that extra motivation to stay in shape, when, really, battling ass cancer should be all the motivation you need.

It's a fantastic day here in the Pacific Northwest.  Think I'm going to go on a long run ...