Monday, March 23, 2009

The best laid plans...

Okay, so I had full intentions of going on a 7-8 mile walk this weekend with my friend Sue. (I think you can see where this is heading.) I don't feel too badly about missing it because I have been really good lately, and we still haven't reached the 16 week mark. When you do the 3Day they send you a handbook, you know, the one that I told you is emblazoned with my photograph? Well, in this handbook there are 2 training schedules--a 24 week one and a 16 week one. Last year I did the longer of the two, and I was so done with walking by the time August came. Granted, this year the walk is almost one month earlier, but I keep convincing myself that I will be fine. Last year, I was more than prepared and sailed through the 3 days with the exception of my blisters caused by the torrential downpours on the first day. This year, I will be bringing my own supply of moleskin, second skin, and powder. Other than my feet screaming, "Are you on crack?!?!" I felt really well. As you can see from my photo, I was even able to smile. This was on day 3 in Quincy. (I am with two of my teammates, Mary, on the left, and Sue on the right.) So now that I know what to expect, I have started to train a little more slowly this time. I know that I can go out and walk 10-15 miles no problem; its the other 45-50 miles that concern me. I walked 3 times last week and of course did my Wii Fit every day. Again, it is the weather. 30 degrees today! Are you kidding me? Once it consistently stays warm I anticipate being out there almost every day.

So like I said, I planned to walk 7-8 miles yesterday. The reason I didn't wasn't because of the freak snow squalls at my house, or the fact that we had an impromptu visit from two of Andy's brothers. No, Tara is completely to blame, well her husband Woody too. Tara is my sorority sister (AXO), roommate, and best friend from college. She had to go out and turn 40 on Saturday (Happy Bday, Sis!) and her husband had to throw her a rockin good time including a pimped out party bus, Chinese food, the "king pin suite" at the bowling alley, and after hours at their house! (Did I mention he also gave her a trip to Ireland?) After an evening this exciting, dancing in the kitchen til 2AM, I was hardly ready to get out of bed and shower, never mind walk 7 miles. Needless to say, my day consisted of visiting with family and napping on the couch.

So in terms of my social life, this is probably the last you will hear of it. I really don't have one. Looking at my most recent posts, one would think I am a socialite; however, those are pretty much the only 2 times I have been out in the last year. I usually spend most of my week working and driving in my car, so that when the weekend comes, I am ready to chillax, to quote my six year olds.

Thanks again to everyone who has donated. I will continue to keep you all posted. I am almost at the $2000 mark! I can train until I look like a supermodel, but I couldn't do this walk without all of you. You are the best!

Ta-ta for now!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Video Games Aren't Just for Kids

I am so excited that the weather is continually getting nicer; the only problem is that baseball is starting, and it tends to be more difficult to find time to walk between gymnastics, practices, and games. If you know anything about my family, especially the Ziomek side, you understand the importance of baseball. If your last name is Ziomek, you NO QUESTION, MUST, ABSOLUTELY, HAVE TO play baseball. My father-in-law has been the President of the Amherst Little League for over 50 years, if you can believe that! I, like the rest of my family, do love baseball, it just makes training a little more difficult, but I think I may have found a solution.

Last weekend our family went over to Sue and Cliff's house for yummy food (Sue is a great cook) and thirst quenching libations (Cliff is a great wine connoisseur). Sue and Cliff are our former neighbors, and Sue was a Tough Warrior Princess with me last year on the 3Day. Sue loves to workout, do yoga, and she is a great walking buddy. After dinner, the kids started playing Wii. We have Wii at home, but we do not have the balance board or Wii Fit (something that Zach has been saving up for). Cliff and Zach came up with the brilliant idea that Sue and I should box. That would be a sight to see! What we did do however, was play Wii Fit. Everyone was taking turns, and before you knew it, it was almost 11:00! We had so much fun! Thanks Cliff and Sue! As I said earlier, Cliff knows his wine, so when Zach caught Andy and me in a weak moment and asked, "Can we buy Wii Fit?" Both of us immediately replied, "Sure, we'll go get it in the morning."

Understanding the importance of following through on what you say (doesn't that usually just have to do with punishments?), on Sunday morning it was off to Toys R Us to find it. Luckily for us they had a few in stock. I guess it can be difficult to find. We brought it home, and surprised Zach when he got home from a birthday party. Since purchasing it my only concern has been, will the kids be able to share and take turns? Anyone with kids knows how trying this concept can be. Well, fortunately it really hasn't been an issue because Mommy wanting to use the Wii Fit trumps everyone else! I have been using it daily and I must say that I am quite the hula hooper! I never thought that using a hula hoop would be such great exercise. My butt and thighs are really feeling it. It has been great for me to get a few minutes in, here and there, while I'm cooking dinner, or before PTA. Believe me, it has not taken the place of a good 4 or 5 mile walk (which I did on Sunday). It is just being used to supplement my daily training.

Anywho, it is beautiful today, so the plan is to get out there for a few miles after school. Wish me luck!

Ta-ta for now!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More fame...

Well, I was really happy with the weather this past weekend, but since then it has all gone down hill. After coming home from work on Monday I started to feel lousy, and by the end of the night I had a 102 fever! Needless to say, no training has been going on here. I have been out of work for 2 days, but am starting to feel slightly better now.

However, I did receive some good news. It seems my "poster child" fame is ever increasing. I'm sure my teammate Tracy is going to love that! LOL See her blog for her thoughts and comments on my fame-- (If you read hers you will see that she is a much more interesting and funnier person than I am.)

Anywho, my old, I mean former, college roommate, Annie, told me that my photo is in a 3Day advertisement in this month's Shape magazine. Thank goodness Annie is a fitness guru, because there would be no way that I would be getting Shape! Next time you are at the news stand or grocery store, check it out. Of course I went to the store and bought a few--you can never have enough fame, as far as I am concerned.

Not much else to report as of now. I am trying to post a slide show of pictures from last year's 3Day, but am still having some trouble. Hopefully it will be up and running soon!

Ta-Ta for now!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Chaos ensues Part 2

Again...this will probably be the longest blog I will ever write, so please bear with me and don't give up.

While snuggling with Zach one night, I noticed a lump kind of under my arm. My initial reaction was to not panic. My oncologist always says wait a few days to see if it is something to be concerned about. So I waited, and waited, but the lump didn't go away. Before you start to get too worried, remember I said everything was just ducky now. So I called my doctor and she wanted to see me that day. That was a week ago Friday. I went in, had an exam, and she tried to assure me that she, "thought it was nothing." Those of you who know my story are aware that I had 2 doctors say that same thing days before I was diagnosed. I was terrified. She said that she wanted to do an MRI, "not because she thought it was anything, but because I hadn't had one in a while." So the MRI was scheduled for this past Wednesday--"Cancer Day."

I had never had an MRI at the Brigham before, so I called my dear friend who is starting treatment this week. (Good luck, Patty!) Patty suggested that we make a day of it. I would go wig shopping with her in the morning and she would come with me to my appointment at DFCI later that afternoon. Thus..."Cancer Day."

So Patty and I had an appointment with Sylvia at 11:00. When we walked in, we realized we were in for a ride. One look at Sylvia's hair, and we knew there was no way in hell Patty would be purchasing a wig here. We originally thought her hair was a wig, but after looking at it closely, we found out it was just really bad hair. Sylvia was a trip--she continuously walked around her salon looking for "her"--she calls all of her wigs "she" or "her." This was a little disturbing to me. Needless to say, we made a run for it to enjoy lunch.

After lunch we headed to the Brigham for my MRI. I vaguely remember having my last two. I had no idea how long it would be. I was okay until the tech told me it would be 1 hour and 20 minutes! That's longer than it takes to walk 4 miles! I put my game face on and gave myself a pep talk, you know, "one for the Gipper" and all that. I'm sure most of you are familiar with MRIs--the incessant banging and buzzing, and the freezing cold temperature of the room. Well, what you may not know is that when you have a breast MRI you lay face down, with your boobs hanging through 2 holes--yes, you heard me correctly. You then put your face on top of some plastic mold, which is covered with the most irritating tissue paper, like the kind that came in little squares in the elementary school bathrooms when you were a kid. After that you have to raise your hands above your head and hold the little ball to squeeze in case of emergency. I hadn't even begun yet, and was ready to squeeze away. Then they start to move me into the tube. The one benefit of being face down is that you can't see that you are literally in a coffin. They have a small mirror that reflects up so that you can look at your hands--like that is supposed to make you feel less like a sardine! The breathing quickens and panic sets in as the rapping and tapping start. I try to meditate and slow my breathing. It begins to work until the rapping turns to buzzing and I almost hit my head because I jump so much. After about 15 minutes I decide that I can handle this.

Then it happens...I have a hot flash! For those of you who have ever experienced a hot flash, you know where this is going. For those of you have seen someone having a hot flash you do too. The next thing I know I have droplets of sweat in my eyeballs! I am drenched and have this insatiable urge to scream; however, I keep my composure until the end of the 7 minute test. After asking several times for the tech to take off my blanket, and completing another 3 minute test, I am relieved by the gentle wafting of air from the fan. Now, I ask you, if someone is going to be enclosed in a tube for 80 minutes, wouldn't you offer them a fan from the start?

Okay, so traumas one and two averted. Did you think there were only two? Well, obviously you don't know me very well. Wouldn't you know it that within 2 minutes, my right arm falls asleep. Not just a little, but major pins and needles. Again, panic. This time I squeeze the button knowing that I still have at least a half hour of tests left. The gracious tech tells me that I can move my arm JUST A LITTLE, but to be sure not to lift my chest! Are you kidding me? Of course, I do exactly as she says and am comfortable for the moment. Can you tell where this is heading? I do have 2 arms! This time I don't even ask. As soon as the next test is over I just move. Luckily I didn't get scolded.

The rest of the test was uneventful except for the fact that the tech said the last test was 3 minutes and it was actually 3 minutes and 45 seconds, counting slowly. As I went out to find Patty, the look on her face said it all. I looked like I had been through the ringer, and I hadn't even waited for my results.

So my oncologist said I would get the results in one business day, which was perfect because I don't work on Thursday. I was terrified, and I think Andy was in denial. Mom came over to be with me when I called. Okay, so they need to specify that the next business day means a full 24 hours! I had to wait until Friday!

So enough of the drama...I called on Friday, from work, where all of my colleagues were super supportive! As I said earlier, everything is just ducky now! My MRI was fine. Yea!

Now that I have all of this chaos behind me, I feel like I can really start to focus on the task at hand, training and helping to find a cure for breast cancer. With the beautiful weather this weekend I was able to get outside and do about 4 1/2 miles! Thank you to all that have donated so far. I already have over $1,400! If you haven't donated yet, and wish to, just click on the donate button on my blog. Most importantly, thanks to everyone for all your support.

Be sure to visit my blog often. I will definitely be updating more frequently.

Ta-Ta for now!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Chaos ensues

Okay, so it has been a long time since I have written. You may think that I just fell off the earth, or that I completely gave up blogging because there is no way I can keep up with my over-achieving teammate, who has the most hysterical blog around, talking about underwear and sports bras! While I am inclined to think that the latter is partially true, I do have other reasons for not writing. I want to warn you that I have a lot to say, (something new and different) so this will be a long post First let me preface this story by saying that everything is just ducky now. So here's a glimpse of my life recently...

As many of you know, both my husband and son had surgery right before February vacation. This, in and of itself, was difficult. Andy was in the hospital for a week and was home recovering until last week. Zach's surgery was not as difficult, but if any of you have ever tried to keep a 9 year old sitting still for any length of time, you can understand what my life was like--there is only so much Nintendo DS a kid can play without losing his eyesight! Everyone was recuperating well and gaining their strength back, then I found it...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Shock & Awe
Thanks to my amazing friends and family, I have cleared the $1000 mark--only $1500 left to go! I am awed by the generosity of people. It was a difficult decision to ask people to support me as I take this journey again. Everyone has been so amazing, donating the same, if not more than last year! In light of these economic times, I appreciate you all more than you know. comes the shock part...
Last I had written, I had just received my 3Day brochure, with me, yes me, inside it. Since then I have perused 3Day paraphernalia with a much keener eye. Imagine my shock when I realized that my photo was used on the 3Day homepage as well!!! It is the last of 4 scrolling photos.
Needless to say, I was feeling pretty famous already. Then the call not from my agent, from Tracy. She asked if I had received my 3Day walker handbook. I told her that my mail had not arrived yet. Shock again, when she told me that I was on the cover!!! She keeps teasing me saying that I am the poster child for the 3Day. Not a bad thing to be in my opinion.

So today Trace and I decided to take our picture for our team page. We are taking the "Teachers for Ta-Ta's" theme to a whole new level. You'll have to check out our team page in the next few days for the reveal.
Ta-Ta for now...

by Sherri Ziomek on Wed, Feb 25, 2009 @ 9:01 AM CT

HOLY COW!!! my phone rings this afternoon and it is my friend and former teammate Sue asking me if I received the 3Day brochure. I told her I received one a few weeks ago and threw it away b/c I knew I was already doing it. Well she and Denise are in it! HOLY COW! I could not believe it! I immediately went out to my mailbox and I had received one too. I opened it up and could not believe it. I assumed it would be a small picture, but it is 1/3 of a page! Again, HOLY COW! It is a really cool picture of the survivors walking in, holding hands. I knew that being in the front row, I had a shot of being in photos, but I never imagined. I was so excited and it just reinforced the idea that I need to do this again (and maybe again). My kids think that I am famous now!
This makes me really want to start training now! Gotta go walk!

by Sherri Ziomek on Thu, Feb 19, 2009 @ 7:24 PM CT

Money, Money, Money.....Money!
Well, the money has started to come in. One day, and I already have $400. Bring it! Now it seems real.

I can't remember when I sent out my information last year, but I think it was around the same time. I don't know if it is because of the snow or what, but I thought I was outside walking at least sometimes at this point. It is really difficult to motivate yourself to train in the basement on your treadmill. There is only so much 80's dance music you can listen to.

Also, my apologies for the 2 typos, yes, both were pointed out by my mom, (if you know her, this is no surprise) in the email I sent out. I proofed it several times and still missed them. You have no idea how much it bothers me being an English teacher and all.

I have got most of my hard copy letters photocopied, typos fixed, and will be mailing them out tomorrow or the day after. Just need to lick the envelopes and stamps--my least favorite part, maybe I can get the kids to do it.

In terms of our team, Trace and I have never talked so much. I am so thrilled to be doing this with her. It seems we are calling each other constantly with fundraising updates. We've almost got $1000. We would really like to update our goal, but it is so scary to do with the economy the way it is. I am honored with the generosity of those who have already donated.
Anywho...Ta-ta for now! (No pun intended of course! LOL)

by Sherri Ziomek on Wed, Feb 18, 2009 @ 10:35 AM CT

Well... I did it.

I bit the bullet again. I signed up, and believe it or not, I am very excited. Tracy is going to be so great to do this with. I just set up my facebook group, and plan to send out letters later this week. Now I have to really start training. Gotta go to Staples for envelopes and paper.

by Sherri Ziomek on Tue, Feb 17, 2009 @ 11:09 AM CT