Sunday, January 17, 2010

what happened after all?

hello friends -

it has been a long time i know, and as i was reading back i realized i never gave you a proper and final update to my double-stress-fracture adventures. before we start new chapters, we must close the old ones, so here is the letter i sent out to my people. some of this will be old news but it is a good round up and apologies for not posting it here earlier...

"It has been a while, and for that I apologize...I'm afraid that I've been procrastinating breaking some bad news, so without further ado, I'll get to it (settle's a long one).

You may be wondering why (or maybe are simply thankful!) I haven't been harassing you all with training and fundraising updates this fall. Well, last month I was diagnosed with not one but *two* stress fractures and so was not able to complete my training and will not be running in this Sunday's NYC marathon.

The trouble started in late August after what I thought was a very successful run in Prospect Park...a successful run apart from a nagging pain in my right shin that wouldn't seem to go away. I took a break, and saw a physical therapist, figuring (hoping) it was a muscle strain. After a few sessions and a few runs that we simply eh, one morning I tried to go for a run and my leg simply said no.

After having run a few marathons, I know the sort of pain you can muscle through, and sadly for me this wasn't one of these.

I went to see a very good sports medicine doctor who immediately recommended a bone scan and said I should go "aqua jog", and I had visions of me and a few older ladies jogging laps at the YMCA and wanted to cry a bit. I called to schedule my bone scan - and it would take me a week before I could get in there for one. All the while all I could think of was the days and weeks slipping away. While marathons aren't about time for me, until these moments I had been feeling so strong and! (Well, fast for me.) And if I couldn't run this marathon...I wouldn't be running a marathon this year for Bouv and that made me even more gloomy.

I went in for my scan and was surprised to learn having a bone scan meant getting shot up with radioactive material. But don't worry, as the technician kindly patted me on the arm she assured me there are no side effects. This was still troubling.

They took some base scans, injected me, and then told me to come back in two hours. When I did, the lady technician called to the "younger" guy asking if he wanted to "scan the cute young woman". I scowled. As I laid there in the machine, the technologist asked if I was a runner and when I explained that I was training for the NYC marathon, thought it would be an excellent idea to lecture me on the evils of running and how terrible it is for your body. I gave him a dirty look and didn't say anything until the scans came up on the machine...where right on the spot of my pain was a big glowing patch of light.

He said "That's where it hurts?"
"Mmm yeah. Is that a fracture?" I asked.
He said "The radiologist will take you through the scans."
All signs pointed to yes.

The surprise came when the radiologist and his two med students pointed out a second point of light on my left leg scan which know it! A second stress fracture. I still needed to get the "official" call from my doctor with the recommended course of action but there I was with two broken legs. When Dr. Bartoli called a few days later and said no running until early October, reality set in that this season was over. I would be lying if I said I wasn't devastated. The first few weeks I was just so sad. I cursed myself for training too hard. I cursed myself for not cross training more. I cursed myself for not going to the doctor earlier. I felt badly that I had already raised over $2,000 and would the donations carry over and how would you feel about having sponsored me? I was disappointed that I wasn't going to be able to run NYC, but more than that, I wouldn't be running one for Steve like I wanted to.

The good news is that all your donations carry over specifically towards fundraising for my next marathon. Thank you so much of you who donated early on...I hope that you know that your funds are in good hands. Even if I would have to walk it, there is at least one more marathon in my future, I promise!

I will start my next marathon with a fundraising base of $2,228.00 thanks to my awesome supporters!

I hoped by waiting to send this email that I would be able to tell you *which* marathon I will be running in the place of this one, but after a follow up visit to the doctor last week, I still have a bunch of physical therapy to do before I can even start training again. Once I am back on the road, the blog and facebook updates will resume but for now...there's not too much to report.

So after my sad news...I have a story that makes me very happy to share.

Right around the time that I decided to run my first marathon, my co-worker's husband Anthony was diagnosed with leukemia. He needed a bone marrow transplant and we held a bone marrow drive at the office for him. He was a marathon runner himself and I was happy to run in honor of him and his fight with the disease. We exchanged a lot of emails, he enjoyed watching my progress as I learned to run, and was amazing at how generous people were at my fundraising efforts.

About a month ago, on a day I was feeling particularly cranky and sorry for myself, I opened my email to find and email from Anthony that put a big Bouv-style grin on my face. Three years later, Anthony is in FULL remission and running his own marathon to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society this January in Miami! I am so excited for him, and so proud. In one of his emails to me what seems oh-so-long-ago, Anthony talked about how he hoped that once he was in remission, he would be one day be able to run a marathon for TNT. So I leave you with a few of his words, and a link to his fundraising website. If you had a few pennies saved for me, I wouldn't mind if you sent them Anthony's way instead. He is a great man and another testament to why we run.

"As you may or may not know, I'm a survivor of Leukemia, I was diagnosed with A.M.L I am happy to say that with the help of this very good Clinic and the great staff at North Shore Hospital, I'm in full remission. Though I can never repay you as much as I would like to, and know that I could never donate my blood or platelets that is much needed in surviving many like diseases. I still want to give back for the wonderful help you have given me, so in January I am going to run a full marathon for the Leukemia, Lymphoma society in hope of raising for the now suffering patients who have to go through cancer treatments. I know it will be hard, but compared to dealing with chemotherapy I rather run ten.

Runners run forward, never away.
- Anthony Zagami"

thank you as always for your support of me and the LLS, and i promise - i will be in touch very soon with more adventures in running!

much love