So I'm trying to wrap my head around some very surprising news. Just got diagnosed with what my surgeon is calling "extremely early, very treatable" breast cancer. WTF? I have spent my whole life being the healthy one - not just because I exercise consistently, but because my BMI is good; my bloodwork is perfect; my heart rate, blood pressure and cholesterol are low. Yes, I have health hubris. This stuff doesn't happen to me. Except it just did. I'm still not sure I believe it.
I'll be having surgery in a couple of weeks, followed, most likely, by radiation. So running will have to take a back seat for a little while. I'm expecting to bounce back fast though because that's just the way it's going to be.
In other news, I retired in January. (I know, such a cliché … retire and get a diagnosis 10 days later … come on, that's ridiculous). My big goal in retirement is LEARN NEW STUFF, especially stuff I think I'm not interested in. For example, I've spent most of my life "hating" science, so I'm taking a class about the 7 greatest scientific discoveries in history. There's plenty of science to make my head spin, but it also covers the lives of the scientists who made the discoveries - and provides historical, cultural, political and social context. The teacher is great and it's really energizing to jump into something so different. I'm also taking a class called "Learning about the world through documentaries. Each week there's a new topic, a new documentary and interesting discussion. Much more fun than working.
Also on the retirement agenda: leading a team from my church that's figuring out how to distribute $100,000 to nonprofits that are serving people who have been marginalized. We received a big gift and plan to put it back out into the universe, but want to do it intentionally and in a way that can help the most people. Very exciting stuff. Again much more fun than working.
So, as you can see, I have no time for cancer.
Now for the running update.
I ran the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon in December. Who runs a marathon in Mississippi?
Well, my best friend lives there now, right on the race course. (She always says she lives just outside of New Orleans. That word - "Mississippi" - kind of sticks in your throat). Anyway, it's actually a great race in a beautiful place. I'd recommend it to anyone.
It's point to point along the Gulf Coast - 500 ish people - well organized - really beautiful scenery - which you can't tell from this angle. (Gulf is on my right).
I had 21 consistent miles, then endured about 5 miles of suffering. Better than my last marathon where I gave up mentally by mile 19. It was a fun day, even though I didn't do as well as I had hoped. (I took three 5-day trips in November which was peak mileage time, so my training was really off … but I was hoping that sea level would pull me through. It did not).
Despite my bonk, I did end the race in style - wearing my friend's mink. (One of her minks, actually ... we are VERY different).
So that's my update. Looking forward to setting new goals as soon as this health shizz is behind me.