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You are currently browsing the blog archives for October, 2008.

Oct

29

3800

By Leesa Gabel

Today we reached our minimum half way goal amount – $3,800!! That’s the most money I’ve ever raised. We still have another $3,800 to raise and less time to do it in (I’d really like to see us reach the $10,000 goal). Now’s when we’re going to get creative. We’re planning a dinner fundraiser — I’m thinking Italian. I also think we’re getting together some nice items to raffle off. And, with the help of my good friend and neighbor Sue, we’re doing a team fundraiser that involves Premier Design Jewelry. So if you’re looking for some sparkling Christmas gifts get in touch with me!!

Oct

28

Remission

By Leesa Gabel

Got the call today that my bone marrow came back clean!!! I’ve now entered a period of remission and ‘watchful waiting’. I don’t go back until December for more testing. As long as that comes back good, I won’t have to go back for three months and then six months!! I’d act more excited by the news, but I’ve come down with a slight cold and it has just zapped my energy. All I want to do is nap. Before CLL it really took a serious cold virus to knock me down like this. The quilt I received has been put to very good use these last few days. I just curl up on the sofa and do absolutely nothing. I did do some yoga stretching today, but that’s about it. Unless you count loading the dishwasher as exercise.

I think perhaps I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that the cancer has left my body. I am happy for that….and humbled. I know it’s not that easy for others. Some really have to fight the cancer — they have to lie in a hospital bed and take their medicine by IV, not a simple pill. I pray for those people every day. The ones who aren’t as fortunate as I have been. I know that the possibility that the cancer will return is very likely for me. But that’s a bridge I’ll cross when the time comes. I’ve kicked it out of my body once, I can do it again!!!

Now it’s time to focus on getting my energy back to where I need it to be so that I can get out there and WALK MY BUTT OFF!!!

Oct

26

12 Miles

By Leesa Gabel

Today my alarm went off at 5:15am. For once it wasn’t because of TNT training, it was due to my son needing to be at his swim meet before 7am and we had to be out the door by 6:10am in order to make it on time. We returned home around noon and by 1pm Craig and I were out the door in our running gear. There’s a great trail just down the street from our house. I’ve only been on it once and I vividly recall the numerous hills within the first two miles. Craig reassures me that the course flattens out after that. OK…..because I really don’t like hills. We agreed that we’re still training for the full even though we’re going to run the half at Disney (we’ve decided that I won’t be able to push my body like I need to at Disney for 26.2 miles), but Craig let me off easy because only the first half would be run for time, the remainder is just for distance. I did my fastest time ever for the first mile today!!! A great improvement. And it wasn’t so bad. I even jogged up a hill — granted, it was small, but a definite incline none-the-less!! The air was crisp and the wind was wicked!! It blew against us the entire way out — from the north of course!! By mile 5 I had had enough of it and was ready to turn around. Craig held my hand the remainder of the way — not sure if he was pulling or just trying to keep me warm. By mile 7 I was ready for him to run ahead and come back to get me. I was tired and cold. A GU and water break helped me push on. I’ll admit that I can be a complainer while we walk…..but I really am enjoying myself and know that I’ll be very please after completing the mileage. I just need to talk thru what I’m feeling — mostly pain and fatigue.

We walk on very wooded trails and there are lots of obstacles. Our Saturday TNT route is walnut heavy. Today’s route it was Hedge Apples — those round yellow thingies that look like an apple from a distance, but aren’t. We’ve often joked about one falling on me — I have that kind of luck. But it’s never happened…..until today!!! We’re walking and a huge breeze comes up. We can hear something falling in the trees and we both kind of duck and cover our heads. Craig wasn’t fast enough because a hedge apple hit him smack on his back!!! A couple strides slower and it would have been the top of his head!!!

Mile 10 — I still couldn’t talk Craig into running ahead and coming back with the truck to pick me up. Trust me, I tried. But he reminded me of the “Never Give Up” award….so I walked on. There’s no way I could or would have made it 12 miles today without his help. He’s not only a great encourager, but he also helps me up the big hills and is my own personal Sherpa — he carries the water and GU.

Mile 11 — a little overcome by the distance and how tired and sore my body was, I started to tear up. That last mile was a tough one!! But, I made it!!!

I walked 12 miles today — take that cancer!!!

Oct

24

Waiting, No Longer

By Leesa Gabel

Initial blood work has come back cancer-free!!! I won’t know about the bone marrow results until Monday. But not having cancer cells showing up in my blood is a very good sign!! There is a down-side…..my red blood count hasn’t gone back up like it should have by now. Going to give it another week or so and then recheck. In the meantime I have vitamins to take and iron-rich foods to eat. Bring on the liver!!!

Oct

24

Waiting

By Leesa Gabel

Still waiting for the results from my tests yesterday. Didn’t sleep well last night because my hip hurt so badly. It hasn’t hurt like this before. I’m hoping a few laps in the pool will help. Either that or I’ll resort to Craig’s suggestion of a few shots….

Oct

21

Tuesday Evening, Already?!?!

By Leesa Gabel

The week is already flying by. It’s Tuesday night — 8:45pm. It’s been a quiet week in the Gabel home. That’s a good thing. I’ve been running a fever on and off since the weekend. Although, I’m not sure if it’s a fever or hot flashes. I feel it in my ears and then my cheeks heat up. Natural blush!! No other symptoms — so I’m not too concerned. I go in for follow-up tests on the 23rd. I’m nervous. I feel like I did when I was pregnant with both the kids and would go in for ultrasounds. Having had six miscarriages before Alex was born, I was always so nervous that something wrong would be discovered. Not a fun time. So now, here I am…feeling the same way. Only this time, when I leave the doctor’s office I still won’t know if something wrong was discovered; I’ll have to wait a day or so. And the last time I went off chemo, I ended up needing another round — I really don’t want a fourth!!

I’ve been keeping up with my training this week. Monday was a lazy day, but I managed to get in a little over a mile by joining my son at his walking club. Today I swam for an hour and then walked for about 2 miles. Which then allowed me to enjoy some apples (honey crisps are in Hy-Vee!!) dipped in caramel. I love the perks of exercise!!!

Fall has arrived!! I’m so very thankful for the quilt from Jolene. Not only is it beautiful, but it keeps me toasty warm!! I still need to post a picture. I’ve used it every day since we returned on Sunday. I’ve been in a reading mood. Just finished American Wife by Ms. Curtis Sittenfeld and am starting on Nicholas Sparks latest. I just adore his books — can’t believe that such wonderful love stories are written by a man!!

Thanks for all the encouraging comments, emails and cards. I really appreciate them!! And they’ve helped me get past the low period of the last few weeks. Please keep praying — I really want to pass the test on Thursday with flying colors!!!

Oct

15

Short Week

By Leesa Gabel

Nothing profound to share as of Wednesday. So far the only highlight of my week was receiving a beautiful handmade quilt yesterday. The maker? Jolene Torgler. Who? The mother of the stylist (Stephanie) who shaved my head. I know — you’re as amazed as I am!! The random kindness of strangers. It is a gorgeous quilt — pictures online soon, I promise. It is a gift that I will cherish for many years to come — snuggling under it will be like getting a warm hug from a friend. I love it and am so very thankful for it — and for Jolene and Stephanie!!

Going to be off-line for a few days. Leaving for a camping trip with the family in the morning. This mini-vacation is long overdue and very much needed. The weather is perfect for camping. There’s lots that Craig and I have to talk about as it pertains to WOBO — training, fundraising, half or full — and I can’t think of a better place to talk about things like that than sitting around a fire, roasting marshmallows and sipping coffee!!!

Oct

11

Jared Coones Pumpkin Run

By Leesa Gabel

Today was the Jared Coones Pumpkin Run/Walk !!! This was our first official 5K – and when I say ‘we’, I mean ALL of us – Craig, Alex, Ashlee and me!! The kids had a hard time with the fact that the sun wasn’t up yet when we left for the event. It was local – held at the elementary school that Jared went to. Who’s Jared? Jared Coones was diagnosed with leukemia at a young age and after a long, courageous battle he passed away on October 5, 1998. Today was the 10th annual event in his honor. If losing Jared wasn’t enough for the Coones family – in December 2006, his mother Jayne passed away after losing her battle with inflammatory breast cancer. Tom Coones – Jared’s dad, Jayne’s husband — is a tremendous source of inspiration for me (and Craig). He is an amazing man — I’ve only met a handful of people in my life that possess the strength and courage that he has. He could have just given up after losing Jared, but he didn’t. He didn’t let Jared go away quietly — instead he started the pumpkin run. And after Jayne passed, he still didn’t give up — he kept going with the run. Last year there were about 2400 participants in the run, this year there were over 2900!!! The event keeps getting bigger and bigger!!!

Right before our start countdown balloons were released — red for Jared (his favorite color) and pink for Jayne. 8am was our start time — and the line was crowded!! Lots and lots of families with little kids. Some in strollers even!! We walked around the neighborhood that Jared lived in – right past his house! The way the neighborhood and community came together was just absolutely amazing!! I saw a few of our TNT teammates! I love the smiles and hugs I get from them!! Although we were at the end of the pack, it was so much fun to cross the finish line as a family. I’m so proud of the kids — I don’t remember either one really complaining. Just asking how much farther — of course! Lots and lots of volunteers along the way – a water stop at the 1-mile and 2-mile marks. And neighbors sitting out in their driveways cheering everyone on! So much fun!!

We were inside the school enjoying yogurts and chocolate milk when it was announced that the last runner was about to cross the finish line. Tom asked everyone to come out and cheer her on — a very touching moment. Back into the gym for the awards ceremony…..

Today I received the Jared Coones ‘Never Give Up’ Award!! I knew I was going to receive it, Tom had contacted me ahead of time. But I was still so touched and just in awe of the man presenting me with it. So much so, that I forgot to introduce Craig to the audience — whoops! I’m so very thankful for the award. I’ve had some time to think about it — even before I had it — and it’s really helped me to get back into training. I’m ready to get back out there and walk my butt off!!

Oct

9

Slipping into a Funk

By Craig Gabel

This week has been rough. It’s all about making the distance this week. Times have been declining all week. Swim on Monday was very strong. My best time so far for a mile…just under 25 minutes. I had a good Tuesday 3 miler. Time was good on Tuesday…at 12:40 pace. Then yesterday hit and I felt very tired. I got in my 2000 yards in the pool, but it was slow going. This morning I just finished my 4 mile run and felt sluggish…at 14:27 pace. I haven’t been eating well this week and have gained weight above my goal. Just feeling a bit down. Leesa is job hunting and I guess all the stress of her looking for a new job and the stress of daily life is bumming me out for some reason. I think I see Leesa feeling down and then I feel down as well. She has been having a hard time finding the energy to get out and train. It is understandable with all she has been through but we’ve got to get back into the groove quickly. I like it when I feel really good after training. I just haven’t felt it this week.

Oct

6

Walking Club

By Leesa Gabel

Today was Alex’s first day in the walking club. It was the first day for the club, period. A group of 30 third to sixth graders. And it was organized. The kids have to do 15 laps in the gym to equal a mile. As they pass the table they collect sticks – 15 sticks = 1 mile. When the whistle blows, you continue around to the table, grab a stick and begin counting. Alex did 22 laps today. After all the sticks are counted, for every 15 the kids get a little foot bead to put onto a chain. Any laps over 15 will be saved and counted toward the next week’s meeting.

It was fun. I’m very glad I was able to go walk with Alex. I walked with him and two of his friends. The same two boys that are in his scout den. I hope the three of them will be able to remain friends after elementary school — I like both boys very much. Especially because they call me Mrs. Gabel and say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ — very polite!!

All-in-all my first Monday of not working was awesome!!