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Three Things Monday

Not because I want to start a new trend, or bite off Three Things Thursday or any reason except it is Monday and I have three things I want to talk about.

1- Through my blogging absence, I kept in touch with a few people that I became friends with outside of blogging world.  Here’s the thing- when you stop blogging, you don’t disappear from life.  Just because  I wasn’t blogging, didn’t mean I wasn’t existing.  Thankfully, a few of my loyal readers (FRIENDS!) realized this and kept in touch.  It was a needed connection between myself and blogging through a really tough time in my life.  And I am very thankful to those who stuck around…and to those who are still here.

One of those people I kept in touch with is Kandi.  We talked a lot about running, injuries and life in general.  Even though most of our conversations were though G-Chat while we were at work, they were so helpful in my recovery.  Kandi was a listening ear when I needed one.  She never belittled what I was going through and when I was ready to get back into running she was super supportive.

Last Friday, I came home to a package in the mail.  A random act of kindness and a simple reminder that someone believed in me.  And it couldn’t have come at a better time.  This package was clearly sent before Jessica passed away but I needed it most when it arrived.  Perfect timing.  And I am so thankful for small gestures and great friendships.

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2- I am too young to have friends dying.  And I am pissed off about it.  I lost my friend Jimmy at age 19.  Not a single day goes by without me thinking of him.  I will never get over the heartbreak of losing my first close friend.  My friend Mike died of a heart attack at age 25 (a heart attack at 25!!!) and although we hadn’t talked in a few years other than when we would bump into each other, I was still close with his sister and losing a friend still sucked.   And now Jessica has passed.  She had been sick her whole life; I have never known Jessica to not be sick.  I have always known that Jessica was going to die.  When she informed me that they were taking her off the transplant list because her body couldn’t handle the surgery…I knew what that meant.   The deaths of Jimmy and Mike were sudden.  The pain of losing them was so visceral because there was no chance to say good-bye.  When I left Jessica’s beef and beer in November, I was certain that was our good-bye.  I had hoped to see her again but by Christmas she just wasn’t up to visitors.  I knew I would never see her again.  I was naive enough to think that when the day came I would be prepared.  I wasn’t prepared.

Currently, I have two friends both battling stage 4 lung cancer.  Stage 4.  Ages 30 and 31 respectively.  One of those friends is in the ICU at Penn right now with a very uncertain future.  And I am pissed!  I mean, really…what the hell?!?!  It is too damn young.   This shouldn’t happen at any age, but definitely not at my age.   The sad part is, lung cancer gets VERY LITTLE support.  Every 2.5 minutes someone gets diagnosed with lung cancer.  There will be an estimated 160,000 lung cancer deaths in 2013.  It is a staggering number and more than the total for breast, colon, ovarian, melanoma, brain and leukemia combined.  Much of the reason why the funding is small and the advancements are little is because of the smoking stigma connected to the disease.  Now, I want to tell you this fact: Neither of my friends with Stage 4 Lung Cancer have every smoked a day in their life.  I could go on about this, but I found a great article that articulates it much better than I can.  You can find it here.  If you need a good cry and want to put a face to this disease, watch this video of my friend Will. (The video also features my friend Barb, fighting the same disease.)

3- I have to talk about something good too, because truthfully, not a whole lot feels good these days.  Perspective is everything and I am getting a major dose of it in this last week.  Focusing on my training has been my saving grace.  When I go to ballet class, I feel calm and relaxed.  When I run, I can beat out the emotions on the pavement or treadmill.  I can lose myself in the sweat and the tears of a good workout.  Thank God.

My official half-marathon training started.  I have been building a base for the last month with short runs…and following that 10% rule like it is my job!  In addition to training smart, I am eating smart.   Starting with the day after Christmas, I stopped eating bread and pasta.  And I stopped drinking.  With the exception of a bachelorette party and a few random glasses of wine, I have stuck to that plan.  I haven’t lost much weight but I feel SO MUCH BETTER and I LOOK better.  It is so easy to get caught up with the number on the scale that I forget sometimes it is more about how I look.  Between ballet and my training, I know I am getting back in shape.  My runs are still relatively short, even my “long” ones, but they all feel good.  And damn it feels good to feel good running again!

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8 thoughts on “Three Things Monday

  1. Ahh! How do you survive without bread and pasta?! JK 😛

    It’s so nice when a friend sticks with you and thinks of you and is just… super thoughtful. So happy Kandi is that for you 🙂

    I have a friend who has a close family member with lung cancer and was talking to me about how little recognition it gets too. And that not everyone is a smoker. It is shocking that you have lost so many young friends. It just blows my mind 😦

  2. Jill, thanks for your kind words. The timing definitely wasn’t planned but I’m glad it got to you when you needed it most.
    Having friends die at a young age definitely sucks. As I’m sure we’ve talked about before, I lost one of my best friends when he was 17 (I was 18). It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through. A few other friends passed away within a 4 year span right after high school and it never got easier and never gets easier.
    I’m glad your running and other workouts have been going well and you are finding your groove again. 🙂

  3. So sorry to hear. They were so young!!! And yes, bread and pasta are my mainstays as well as sugar. Glad you are running. I am training as well.

  4. I can completely relate to your comments about lung cancer (since I’m the friend Kim mentioned above…). My brother’s long-time girlfriend was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in March, and it was devastating to us because not only had she never smoked, she’s a nurse and a runner! She had done everything right, and still ended up with lung cancer. She has a tumor the size of a tennis ball in her lung, and developed another one in her brain. Fortunately she’s doing okay right now (she’s even outlived her original prognosis by a couple months!), but the stigma is so frustrating. I formed a team for the Chicago Lung Run last year and did fundraising for the cause, and it was so frustrating and disheartening trying to get donations, especially when you see how many people give to help find cures for other cancers, but not one that people “deserve” because they smoke. No one deserves cancer. Even smokers don’t.

    Anyway. I’m so sorry for your friend in the ICU, I really hope things turn around and they pull through.

    • Thank you for this thoughtful comment.

      I have a read a lot of articles on lung disease research given my friend was dying of rejection and my friends with cancer. In one article, someone actually said that “smokers did this to themselves” and I was horrified. I used to smoke. Was it smart? Definitely not. Do I deserve cancer? Definitely not.

      I am happy to hear your brothers gf is doing well for now. It is a scary and sad reality. And I agree- while I think it is noble for people to raise money for any cause, it is disheartening to me when so much goes to one and not another.

      xoxo

  5. I’m sorry you lose friends as such a young age and have friends that are sick. I believe smoking is bad for you and you have bigger chance to get sick but I also believe anyone can get cancer, no matter how healthy you are. It’s very bad luck in my opinion.

    I tried no bread and pasta to get over my IBS problems but didn’t help. Now I’m doing WW and just eat healthier than I did the past 2 years and my problems are totally gone. I’m glad too because I love me some bread and pasta.

  6. That is some sweet timing. Kandi is very cool even though I only know her as an internets friend. I’m glad you have your endorphin-releasing outlets to work out the stress. Don’t bottle it up – let it out whether via sweat or ranting to a friend.

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