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Pokemon Go 10K Walk

I downloaded Pokemon Go probably a week after it came out but I only was interested in catching one of each Pokemon because I didn’t really know anything about the game. Around the time I got the major headache, Emily’s boyfriend at the time finally talked her into downloading it. I then learned all kinds of stuff, like how to evolve one Pokemon into another. I always had it up and running on my daily walk to U-Gas for coffee and one day one of the young kids told me they had Facebook groups for Pokemon Go . So I found the one for St. Louis and learned even more stuff, like where the nests were, what events were happening and who caught what. The group has a lot of really nice people in it. Emily joined too and we played a lot together until she moved away.

A few months ago, I noticed a kid with the screen name Tony Bologna had never caught a Porygon and he would make jokes about it.

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It then became the standing joke that anytime anyone caught one or hatched one he would get tagged in the post. He would always make the angry face in response. Some people even started naming them the Tonygon. He was a great sport who then asked the question would anyone want to walk with him while he attempted to hatch one. I thought this was a great idea and Porygon can be found in 10K eggs which meant a 6.2 mile walk. So after a bunch of talking in the group it was decided to do a walk to benefit Stray Rescue. I got the best dog ever from them so I was all in.

The walk was this afternoon and I skipped the Halloween 10K this morning because I was up half the night with stomach issues. I attempted to talk myself out of going to this as well but I had bought t-shirts which I needed to pick up. I didn’t know anyone that was going so I put myself way out of my comfort zone and showed up. Tony is a nice kid who never STOPPED talking. I felt like I was back out hunting with Emily who also never stops talking. He made me realize how much I miss her but since he kept on talking I got over that rather quickly. He started off by leading us down the wrong path so we all had to turn around. I love this guy as I would have done the exact same thing.

It was like eight loops around the lake or maybe it was seven. We started out with twenty-five people and ended up with five or six that did all of the laps together. Some of the others left early and some walked a little slower. It didn’t help that it started misting and continued on for a couple of miles. It didn’t bother me at all after the half marathon Emily and I ran with the first nine miles being pretty much a downpour requiring our phones to be in plastic bags. I was thinking I cannot believe we are doing this many loops until I reminded my crazy self my 50K consisted of a .8 mile loop and I ran 26 miles on a cruise ship and 336 laps (28 miles) at the rec center this summer. The kids walking with me had no idea what a total nut job they were with. They were probably thinking this old hag is in pretty good shape.

To hatch eggs in the game you have to put them in incubators. Tony had been saving his 10k eggs so that he had nine of them and could walk and hatch them all at once. The game gives you one unlimited incubator but if you want more you have to buy them with coins. You either get coins by buying them with real money or earning coins by leaving your Pokemon in gyms. (Ok I admit this sounds almost as crazy as trying to explain soap operas.) So we came to the end of the 10K and his eggs started hatching but prior to this he shared a really cool story with us and this is why he has made my blog.

This past week he was at Des Pair park and he came across a Porygon in the wild but he did not attempt to catch it. He walked on right past it as it would have ruined the walk since the whole point was help Tony hatch one. Here this kid has been trying to get one for a year and a half and he has the opportunity right in front of him and he bypasses it to make the walk legitimate. As soon as he told the story I texted Emily and said he’s making the blog. It’s a real good thing he’s already married because after spending two hours with him, I think he’d make a fantastic son-in-law. His wife’s parents are very lucky.

So his eggs started hatching and I was nervous for him. The first thing hatched was Dratini and then something else. However number three was a Porygon and so was number four, so he could evolve one into Porygon2. His wife’s reaction yay he can finally shut up about not having one. He then said no reason to play the game anymore except he doesn’t have an unknown or a shiny and neither do I. So I am pretty sure we will both keep on playing. He would like to have another event next year but is cutting it down to a 5K. I thought about suggesting a fifty mile and who ever finishes it gets all the prizes. Hahahaha, just kidding, I am not doing that again.

 

Mole Moral~ People can be whoever they want on the internet, some people are even cooler in real life than Facebook. Tony Bologna is one of them and even though I don’t believe that is his last name it was awesome meeting him today!

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Breast Cancer Awareness

One of Emily’s friends who just finished chemotherapy and surgery for breast cancer told her that I needed to write a blog about breast cancer and self exams. She seems to think I have a lot of readers and I am a nurse and I should just do this. However, my initial thought was my blog is about my family and not about social topics so that’s not possible. And in the next thought, it was as if God picked up a big old bat and smacked me upside the head and said idiot you have breast cancer in your immediate family and Emily’s friend is like twenty-five years old. And so here it goes as only I could talk about it.

I knew for years that my Grandma Carty had breast cancer and that was back when they did a radical mastectomy and removed muscle. She had to learn how to use her arm again and it was horrible. I always thought she was around thirty-five but my mom informed me not long ago that is was after my dad was born. She had my father at the age of forty-five so I had the age all wrong. She lived until the age of ninety-three I think. I am really bad with ages as you will see.

Back in 1994 my mother had a mammogram in April and she never received the results. She didn’t think too much about it until six months later when they contacted her to tell her it had gotten misplaced and she had a suspicious area. She knew right then it was cancer and our family doctor told her to calm down as she was ten steps ahead of the game. My sister was headed to South Africa for Christmas so we kept it a secret from her and she had her biopsy in December while Karen was out of the country. I took her of course and I remember the doctor telling us that he was 99% sure it was cancer but we were to wait until the pathology came back. It was only in one boob but she wanted them both removed. They refused and said that was overkill and only removed the cancerous one. She would then need yearly mammograms and be charged full price even though she only had one boob as she did not opt for reconstruction. We then met Dr. Greco the oncologist who was recommended by one of my burn unit buddies. He was running two hours behind but when he finally came in, it was like we were the only people on the planet and he was wonderful. She was put into a study and had four rounds of chemo and then took either a placebo or tamoxifen for the next five years. (She eventually found out she took tamoxifen). After her third round of chemo she told Brian and I that she was dying. In his usual I can’t handle this emotional stuff he told her that was stupid that dying people didn’t carry on they were dying and she would be fine. She was of course fine, but a nurse he is not. She made it to the five-year cancer free mark, then the ten-year and is currently at year twenty-two. She still smokes and the doctors still blame everything health wise on her smoking.

Her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer maybe three years ago. I cannot remember her age but she was already in assistive living as she was blind from macular degeneration and nearly deaf. She decided not to do any treatment and is in heaven.

I will be honest and say I am not good on keeping up with self exams but I have had a mammogram every year since the age of thirty-five. I think I missed two years because life got busy. I so often hear people say they hurt too much and all other excuses. I am not going to lie, I do not enjoy having my boobs manhandled by a stranger and jammed into a machine. A couple of times it has felt like my collar-bone was meeting my waist but it lasted at the most fifteen seconds. Fifteen seconds of discomfort was more than worth another twenty-two years for my mother. No one could feel her lump, even when the doctors knew where it was they still could not feel it. So a mammogram saved her life and in the back of my head it might be an excuse for me skipping the self exams.

A nurse I use to work with on Women’s Health was diagnosed five months after having her third daughter. She felt a lump and at first the doctor office (not sure if it was her doctor or a nurse practitioner) was like it’s probably just a milk duct but then decided lets send you for an ultrasound (I think, its her story not mine and I suck at details). She was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer with mets to the liver. The survival rate is five years so. I mean it just sucks. She is currently in remission but every PET scan is a nightmare until the result are back. I cannot imagine what she goes through on a daily basis. She just had a second birthday since the diagnosis and you better believe your life she was grateful for it.

Since my mom did not have reconstruction she had a breast prosthesis that she wore in her bra. The thing looked and felt like a real boob. Emily was two at the time and she would put it under her shirt and say she was having a baby. My mom and I thought it was hilarious but it would make my sister so made she could have spit rocks. She really did not have our sense of humor. In the grand scheme of things it hurt no one and I never took any pictures or might have just added it to this post.

 

Mole Moral ~  Do your self exams, see your gynecologist yearly and have your mammograms in the intervals they are recommended. No excuses!

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Mo Cowbell Marathon

The Mo Cowbell half marathon replaced the Lewis and Clark marathon back in 2011. I ran the last Lewis and Clark half marathon and then the first Cowbell marathon. Four years ago the full marathon was added as an option. That year I had plantar fascia release on my right foot and the next year on my left. The third year it was two weeks before my fifty kilometer race so it was out once again. I decided I was running it in 2017 no matter what. I had originally planned to run the fifty in April but due to the headache from Hell I had to postpone it until August. This meant I had six weeks between races.

I had decided to do the ultimate reset and took three weeks off from exercise. I had a hard time having enough energy to walk much less consider running. And the next three weeks I just kind of ran but not super hard. I have done the half marathon three times so I remembered the course well. The second half was much tougher. I thought it was an out and back on the Katy trail but it wasn’t exactly. We somehow hooked up to a connector trail or something and I ran past one of the cake locations that Allyson and I only found by seeing the bridge in the picture and driving to it. It was close to the Family Arena. I felt great until mile 15 and then not so much. The same thing happened during the fifty mile. By mile twenty I was pretty sick of running. I only got through it by reminding myself I only had six more miles instead of thirty.

Around mile sixteen I started receiving texts from Emily. She was at urgent care with a massive kidney infection. They gave her three shots, one was an antibiotic, one was anti-nausea and the other an anti-inflammatory. They also checked her for strep and felt she most likely had viral strep and put her on an oral antibiotic as well. They were considering sending her to the ER. I think I finished the marathon about the time they decided to send her home and told her to come back the next day for another antibiotic shot.

I could blame my time on texting while running but it’s really because all summer I did not train for speed at all. I trained for endurance to make it through the fifty without dropping dead. I also didn’t want to push it too hard and injure myself and not be able to run the fifty. So this winter I plan to work on running a lot more and walking a lot less. I don’t plan to be super fast or win a race but I would like to beat my very first marathon time which was 5:25:00. We shall see if I can actually not have something else happen to make me start all over with running for the fourth or fifth time.

 

Mole Moral~ The faster I run, the sooner I’m done!