Tuesday, January 20, 2015

This Shit Never Gets Old

I was sick with a head cold last week.  Pretty darn miserable.  Then I went to an agility trial.

Fin was super happy and speedy.  No "Q's" on day one, but oh what a ride.  Walking to the line with Fin is like getting on the best roller coaster money can buy.  She is super fun and gave me tons of attitude this weekend.  Loved running her.

Olive was a superstar too. 

Given where we were last year (couldn't even get her to run in a group class), I gave her time off and started her back to agility after the babies went to their new homes.  When people ask me when I'm going to show Olive, I tell them that Olive and I are on Terrier time. 

Olive and I started back in agility just the two of us, playing in the back yard and then eventually at the agility field.  Once I felt the love for agility was building, I put her in a group class.  Group class seemed to be getting better and better....so we went to our first fun match.  It went very well. 

I thought, let's just sign up for one run each day.  She was AMAZING!!
Although I've been sick and feeling sorry for myself.  You could not wipe the smile off of my face.

I simply love this sport.  I simply love my dogs.  I am incredibly grateful for the friends that I have and the support that I receive through the agility community.

Thanks to Ian from Ian Coggins Photography for the photos!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

LIfe Goes On

Fin and I are back at it this weekend.  SMART trials are very fun and it is here in Morgan Hill.  10 minutes from my house!!  I might even have a run or two with little Olive.  We will see how she is in the environment.

Weather looks cold but dry.  Good for the dogs.  Great for agility.  I am very excited about trialing again.  I've literally been to one day of one trial just before surgery.  Fin Q'd in Steeple (yeah!) but now we need a ton of Q's for Nationals next October.  Going to be a bumpy road but I'm hoping that we succeed.

Fin is very excited about getting out and doing agility again.  I expect a high crazy dog (the way I like them).  Olive, I'm hoping for some focus.  I'm not planning on trying to Q, just planning on running as fast as I can and see that she runs with me.  A good test for the Spring trial season.

All is good in crazy cancer land.  Start my radiation today.  The worst is behind me I hope.  Exercise, eat right, and stay focused on the good stuff.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

No more Decisions

The Dr.s have made the decisions for me.  I was leaning toward not doing anything.  They lean toward radiation.  NOW! 

Good news.  I will be done before February 11. 

Bad news. Side effects...if they happen.  Hopefully with my sunny disposition, those side effects will not impact me.

I continue to be optimistic and look forward to February 11 when all this will be done and I will be in Hawaii.  :)

Then it will be a busy, busy, trial season for me.  Catching up on lost trials and qualifications.  Looking forward to perhaps getting Olive started in April!  Whoo Hoo!

Today I am grateful that I stuck to my healthy eating all week.  I am grateful that I have friends who helped remind me that I must get my walking in.  I am really thankful that the scale reflects the hard work I put in.  Next year... it is going to be a good one!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Decisions, decisions, decisions.....

 I am fraught with indecision.  To get more treatment or to not get more treatment.
All options have consequences.  Doing nothing, surgery, radiation.  Surgery sucks.  Radiation really sucks.  Doing nothing is scary.
Meanwhile I have life.  It does go on.  Have a trip I have planned for February.  I have trials that I want to attend.  Trying to fit radiation into my schedule is seriously inconvenient.  Do I go ahead and do it now and risk suffering from side effects while I'm on vacation.  Do I forgo the radiation completely?  Do I wait and do it after vacation and risk missing dog agility trials?
I have trialed ONE day since cynosports.  ONE DAY!!!  Yes I got a steeplechase Q because Fin is awesome, but I need a ton of Q's for Nationals and feel like I'm running out of time.
In the meantime, I am eating healthy.  Walking daily.  Letting time go by. 
Yesterday.  Today. A bit of a funk.  I'll get out of it.  Nothing to be done until December 17 when my Doctor comes back.  Doing nothing.  I can do that.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Things have changed...yet they remain the same.

Damn Cancer

I feel normal most of the time.  Just a regular Joe.  It is easy to not think about...just like with any problem.  Dust Bunnies?  Nope I don't see them.  Leaves on the ground?  I'll get to them later.  Diet, oh hell, I'll get to it Monday.
Then I'm reminded.  I have to deal with the reality.  Dr. Visits coming up.  Got to fill out more forms than when purchasing a house.  Have to plan my questions...do I even want the answers?
Gotta check the box marked cancer.  Makes me feel weird.
I'm really lucky as my cancer is seriously not bad.  Stage 1a Uterine cancer can be cut out and be done with.  Sometimes it is a little more complicated and decisions have to be made.  In my case I may have to have (ok reality check)...will have to have radiation.  I'll find more about that next week.
Family is bugging me to make sure I make my appointments.  I don't want to be bugged.  I like feeling great and not thinking about it.

I've been living a life that makes me sick.  Not everything, but I've got to change and clean up my pond.  In some ways I feel the Party's over.  Never thinking about my behavior has been fun.  Thinking about change makes me feel less fun.  Much of what I perceive as fun is associated with food (and sometimes drink...but generally food).  This has to change.

Although not thinking about my behavior is easy, never thinking about my behavior has consequences.  Things for me are changing.  I'm looking at the world around me and seeing how I can change my lifestyle to give myself a better chance at a healthier life.

I'm already up and out walking the dogs.  Working my way up to 4-6 miles.  I'd like to be walking six miles  and the Mt. Madonna loop by February 15.  That's 10 weeks.  I'll get there.

Changing eating habits.  I was doing so well right after surgery.  Then, I started making bad choices.  I noticed that hard won 15 pounds was slowly disappearing.  A good kick in the arse by a friend and I created a food plan.  Part of that plan is joining weight watchers.  The accountability is what I need.  I know how to eat, I just don't want to.  Specific things I'm doing:
  • Cooking - it is easy for me to go purchase food and eat it.  But I am making a commitment to cooking my own meals.  The results are astounding.  Food is really delicious.  I have some challenges coming up with the holidays.  But I'm up with it. 
  • Not eating out - I can eat out a bunch.  Love to go and have lunch with my husband.  Not doing it right now.  I can have a meal out once in a while, but honestly I have to choose better.  When I do eat out, I will have a plan before so I make good choices.
  • Measuring and documenting - I am tracking everything on my IPhone.  Making choices that keep my calories at a minimum.  Not eating anything I can't track.
  • Beef - giving it up.  One of my true weaknesses.  When it comes to beef, I don't believe in lean.  I love a good fatty rib eye.  I'm leaving the cows alone.
  • Organic - I am choosing organics when available to me.
So in a way life is better than it has ever been.  It is also harder.  Waking up with bright thoughts.  Waking up knowing that I have to follow my eating and exercise plan is hard.  Sometimes it is day by day...sometimes it is hour by hour. 

I am confident that I'll get it done.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The More I know, the Less I Know...

Today the blog-o-sphere is talking about continuing education.  Read more about it here:

I remember long ago when I knew it all.  When I was a teen, I told my mom all the time that I knew  so much more than she did and felt the master of my universe.  Those were the good old days.  Now I look at things differently.  Knowledge has opened up the wide universe to me and I begin to comprehend how much I do not know.  It is intimidating.
In an effort to make myself a better person I seek information about things.  I like to learn things and in learning things I open myself up to understanding that the more I know the less I know.  Those scales will never be balanced because there is always more to know. 
As I look at my dog training and agility life, I am interested to know how to train better.  There are many resources available online now, it is a very exciting time.  In my endeavor to make my dogs more competitive, I seek the next topic that might help me with my current dogs or even future dogs.

Fin is trained.  However, I still need to fix her contacts and as I watch my videos with her, I can see that I can work on tight turns.  Also, teaching her some new moves to help me get where I need to be is a possibility.  Learning more is exciting.

Olive is not trained.  She has opened up my knowledge to learning to work on Terrier time.  I find myself looking for classes and/or reading books on motivation and drive.  I spend time with her differently than I spend with Fin.  With Olive we are building a love for the sport and tight turns are not really important.

Is Vici Trained?  For my handling, I am constantly looking at how I can improve.  I often watch my video or look at a photo and ask myself, "what in the heck was I thinking?"

All in all, for me continuing education is what makes this sport so rewarding.  It is because no one has all the answers, that finding the answers makes it much more interesting then if I trained my dogs and we worked like clockwork. 

That said, sometimes it is difficult to find the learning resources that can help in expanding our knowledge.  Two of my favorite resources are Denise Fenzi and Susan Garrett.  I truly appreciate the information they provide and the biggest difficulty I find is finding the time to take all the information in.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Uterine Cancer

I really didn't know about Uterine cancer before October 2014.  Cancers that scared me were Ovarian, Lung, and Breast.  I didn't even think about my uterus until September when I realized something was wrong.  Sorta like anything that works I guess.  Not really on the radar until the engine starts to sputter out.  That's when you find out you can't live without it!

Cancer is bad.  Really bad.  But if I've got to have cancer, Uterine cancer is a cancer that when caught early can be treated and cured.  I will still run just fine without those parts.  My humor, good vibes, and dance moves will still be intact. 

However, my cancer is not my friend.  It is evil and alien.  Sinister in it's approach, it gets inside and comfortable and then starts reproducing like guppies.  Bastard!

Fortunately for me, we are in the very early stage.  Surgery is the first line of defense.  Cut off the monster before it can spread it's invasion.  Second line of defense (if needed) is radiation with possible chemo.  I am hoping to skip all that but won't know for certain until meeting with my Doctor next week.

Finished with surgery and now waiting to find out whether the beast was able to get to the lymph nodes is at once relaxing and stressful.  I am relaxed knowing I've done what I needed to do.  I am stressed with the waiting.  I hate waiting.  Waiting sucks.  But the thing I'm finding is that time passes.  It just does. For me I'm working on my Zen "time passes and we all get where we are going so smell the roses."  Hmmmmmm...Hummmmmmm... Oh shoot, only 3 minutes have gone by...ahhhhh.   

The cancer is now in a lab somewhere contained for scientific study and I have become an interesting lab rat.  I am now part of a statistical study and I'm determined to swing that bar over to life.

Update:  My friend who I mentioned in the previous blog also took action.  She is an amazing woman and so freak'n strong.  She is free and clear.