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I Think I Need a New Tattoo - Not Dying Reward

Today I am off to the hospital for a bone scan. Later this week I will get the results. There is a lot more health stuff to do before the year ends. I have to go back for an ultrasound of my heart. It’s my six year follow up to congestive heart failure.

I will also be back at the orthopedic surgeon to check the progress of my broken femur.

I came to MFP to be fit, and all it seems that I have done if chase one medical problem after the other. 2 years after having congestive heart failure, I was feeling very healthy.  I was eating the right things, running and in general, felt better than ever.

In 2013 I had my first cancer diagnosis.

Except for that, I was very healthy until 2015. I ran 4 marathons in one 1 year – 3 in 3 months - plus I ran all the way across Rhode Island. I had personal best time in every distance. In 2016 my running trailed off due to some other health stuff.

Except for my blood pressure meds which I have been on for a very long time, that was all I took.

I take most things in stride, but it bothers me that I work so hard at this and I still can’t avoid the doctor’s office other than a yearly physical.  The cancer follow-ups every 3 or 6 months can wear me out.

One cancer survivor called it PCSD. Post Cancer Stress Syndrome.

In 2016 when I was feeling low about running and my health, I got a tattoo to commemorate my running 3 of the 6 Word Major marathons. Despite braking my femur 7 weeks ago, I am running London and I will finish.

Then I need to find a way to get into Tokyo for 2019.

Without a goal, this whole thing becomes very depressing. Some days people telling me “be strong,” and “you got this,” isn’t enough. I need to rely on my faith and those close to me who let me vent.

I am holding my own with the food. 

I haven’t done more than 1000 steps in a day for over a month! I haven’t run a single mile. I did, however, get to level 124 in Bubble Witch Saga 3. I also have lots to be grateful for. It bothers me that I have to strip down for strangers. Again!

I Don't Want to be Obese Again! But...

It has been more than 5 years since I started this journey, but not yet 10. I lost the first 5 pounds and then the first 10 pounds. I ran a 5K and then a 10K. 

Finally I lost over 70 pounds. I also ran 8 marathons.

This is my first blog back since the wedding. Me and Ruth couldn't be happier! It is amazing what connecting with the right person can do. She supports my career goals, my diet and comes to every half or full marathon to cheer me on. The rest she runs with me.

I have written about my broken femur. Well, it's healed!

6 weeks ago I ran a half marathon and stepped in a pothole about an inch deep. It was just enough to force me to put too much weight on my left leg. That was somewhere between miles 9 and 10. I finished the race and could not wait to sit down!

I did the guy thing and waited a week before seeing a doctor.

I thought it was a flesh wound, but the doctor found a crack in the femur at the knee. Originally they though it even looked healed - an old football injury. Or in my case, motocross or hockey. 2 weeks out I went to the orthopedic surgeon. They did an MRI and found a rather large subcutaneous fracture.

Did I tell you I also had a fracture in my foot not long ago?

All this got me to thinking about why I had 2 fractures, yet I easily finished a full marathon in September. I messaged the doctor and he is going to have me in for a bone scan. It could be related to my medication, or something more sinister. I don't know.

Yeah. :(

I decided to do something more than just see doctors. I am a believer in the power of prayer (and working hard to achieve results). This past Saturday while Ruth was out shopping with her son, I went to the healing rooms and got prayer. In just a few minutes I went from walking on crutches to getting around pretty well. The bone pain was gone, Really gone!

My leg is still stiff and weak from non use, but that is manageable.

All this not running, laying bed, resting, and taking it easy make my food consumption a huge risk. I want to be back in onederland. Currently I am at 217. It sucks because I was doing so well. I always look forward to stepping on the scale when I go for my yearly cardiology check up, which is next week.

The doctor continues to smile at my progress and sticktoitiveness.

This weight loss thing is so fragile. I am doing what I know how to do and will be more and more active in the coming weeks. Portions are the key as my diet is still really good, I cut down on the fruit and upped the protein a little more. Less sugar and less carbs (which turn to sugar and stored fat).

I don't think I could manage my weight without activity. I do no't want to be obese again!

I am in for my 4th quarter checkups with half a dozen doctors. I have to get my blood drawn for PSAs next week. I expect those to be better too!

Thanks for the votes and comments, but most important, thanks for your support.

Why I Put Xanex in the Turkey

In the US it's Thankgiving week. For Americans that means at least a half day off from work, more food that we usually eat, our crazy families, and being thankfiul for cash to buy Christmas presents.

This year is different for me.

My kids will be here from California, Rhode Island and Masschusetts. We'll be going to my sweetheart's family for Thanksgiving. Thusday we have lunch with her uncle and aunt, and then dinner at a cousins. Friday brunch with my kids, lobster dinner with another cousin, and our big day is Saturday.

I am going to manage without the crutches on Saturday.

I broke my leg 4 weeks ago and it has been tough. I have mostly been leg up in bed. Despite applying the finishing touches to a very big celebration, doing my part to cook for the festivities, and working from home, I am hanging in there.

I miss running so badly!

So this year I have lots to be thankful for. I have a wonderful woman to share my life with. My kids will be here for the holiday and that hasn't happened in years. 

There is one more thing.

Ruth's mother has stage 4 cancer and it's very likely one of the last times she will be able to attend a family function. So wherever you are in life, make sure you focus on the people you love. You can't order those online.

Happy Thaksgiving to my American freinds. The rest of you get back to work. 

I Suck at Willpower!

If this journey was up to willpower alone, I'd be 400 pounds by now! There were a bunch of things I tried to do to lose weight. I tried not eating, eating diet meals, shakes, fads, and I thought of vomiting it back up too. I didn't.

I just don't have willpower.

Basically I am addict. I smoked too much, drank too much, and I ate too much. I couldn't fix any of that. I was lucky enough to enjoy sports until I was in college - then I switched to drugs and rock music.

Maybe that was just a generational thing. :)

I tried quitting all kinds of things I started. I just couldn't hold on for too long. I am pretty strong-willed, but that could not win. In the end, I failed miserably. I always quit quitting.

Even prayer didn't seem to work.

So how did I get out of the willpower trap? I became dedicated. Willpower says I won't _______. Dedication says I will _______. I identified the things that I should be doing instead of concentrating on what I shouldn't be doing.

I stopped making excuses. I stopped giving myself permission to fail.

Instead of dieting I dedicated my efforts to changing my lifestyle. I changed my relationship to food, drink and even exercise. Dedication is a commitment to doing. Willpower is a frail attempt to fight off cravings.

David's Top 10 list of things he is dedicated to:
1: Portion Control - I got a food scale, smaller plates and food tubs.
2: Reading Labels - even though I don't log daily anymore (I did for a long time), I read a lot.
3: Running - I run 3 days a week, sometimes 6. I do body weight strength training and stretch daily. (I am down due to a knee injury, but I will be back!)
4: No Cheat Days - There are enough holidays and special occasions to make for some tough choices.
5: No Junk Food - I do not keep anything junky in the house. If I go for a special occasion or treat, it's out, and it's over and it's done with.
6: Organic/Whole Foods - I eat mostly fresh fruit and veggies, lean red meat, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy, and do everything I can to stay away from food in a package except Ghirardelli dark chocolate. I still eat canned beans and an occasionally artichoke hearts and olives. Of course, low-fat dairy is still packaged.
7: Weigh In Weekly - No better ways to keep an eye on things.
8: Water - lots of water!
9: Bacon and Eggs - It's my favorite. A world without bacon is boring. Usually, I eat nitrate free from grass fed pigs.  I would add that a lot of protein has been essential to my weight loss journey.
10: Regular Check Ups - it seems that the doc is a solid partner for my weight loss and that helps keep me on track.

I do log in here every day to see what everyone is up to. I used to be dedicated to it, but now it is one of my daily routines.
Thanks for the votes and comments! 

Excuse me! Umm, no...

Is it me, or just the posts that I happen to read? I have read some pretty creative excuses for falling off the wagon, overeating, and not succeeding at learning to eat healthy and exercise three times a week.

People are pretty lazy. That is my perspective.

I am at the top of the list. I have a million excuses for not losing and maintaining my weight. Since I ran Berlin i have gained back 9 pounds. WTH is wrong with me?

Even the one committed to cardio has excuses.

I had a heart trauma in April '11, and what I heard afterwards was this: 57% of those that have had a heart attack don't even continue to take their medication after the first refill! Worse, almost 80% make no significant lifestyle changes!

If you are telling yourself there is some reason you cannot lose weight or can't get cardio in, you probably won't!

Last week's knee injury is not healed. I went and had an x-ray yesterday. Nothing there so it's onto the othopedic surgeon for an MRI and hopefully I can find out what's really wrong.

On top of feeling sorry for myself, I can't run right now. I am signing up for a gym so I can do something. I am also signing up for a weight loss clinic. I need some motivation, because I have a long list of excuses.

Here is my list of excuses:

I don't have time. 
- If it was going out to dinner you probably would. Look you have time for lots of things, you need to schedule it. If working out is not in your calendar, it is unlikely that you'll win at this game.

I still have time. - You may be young enough where your food and lack of exercise is not a problem, but for most it doesn't work forever - especially past 40. Yeah, I know about your grandmother that drank a case of beer and smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day, only ate fried food, dated 5 men at a time and lived until 145. Let me know if you make it.

Everyone in my family is fat. - Why is that? Could it be diet and exercise?

It's a cheat day. - Get out your stones and excuses about shaking up your metabolism blah blah blah. The truth is that cheaters are in the group of roller coaster dieters, from which nearly all of them eventually gain back the weight they lost the other 6 days a week.

I have kids. - Yeah, so take them for a run. I take my 11-year-old walking, running, riding bikes, rollerblading, every chance I get. We plan vacations near bike trails so we can ride. When she was a baby, we just put her in the front pack, or bicycle trailer. My YMCA has kids care as well.

I'm too busy. - Well, health is a choice; it might be time to make it.

The dog/kangaroo didn't eat it. - If you are full at the restaurant, you'll be tempted to eat whatever you bring home before lunch the following day. If that is the case, leave it.

I don't know what to do. - I don't know about you, but most of us here do not have degrees in health and nutrition. MFP is a good guideline for the amount of food, and balance of what we call macros: carbs, protein and fat. Here's a tip, if it is low-cal junk food, its still junk food. Cardio which is truly healthy is when the heart rate goes above 120. This requires walking at 3 mph or possibly higher.

It's too hard to lose weight, I've already tried. - You are correct, and you've proved it. That is why you need to forget dieting. You make changes you can do for the rest of your life.

I can't afford healthy food. - I will agree that a variety of healthy food costs more. Here are some tips for saving money. Drink only water, it's free. Many grocery stores have fruits and veggies that are discounted because they are past fresh: we buy 6 apples for a dollar, 2 peppers for half a buck, and 3 bananas for even less. Over all we find them to be a good value. Brown rice is the same price as white and far better. You'll be eating less, usually 3-4 ounces of meat or fish. You can buy packaged ham and cheese in bulk and freeze it. The same is true for some fruits and veggies. Frozen food isn't horrible, and most canned food can be rinsed to reduce sodium content.

It's too late.  - I'm already _____ years old. - Yup, and tomorrow you be that plus one day. I don't get it.

I'm afraid of failure. - I have met a few folks on MFP that have a lot weight to lose (me I was close to 100). It is a daunting task, and it takes time. Read the Success Story forums and friend those folks who have done what you need to do. I find it inspiring. On average, those that work at it can lose 40-100 lbs in a year. (Yes, I am sure there are some with medical reasons who cannot and I am not talking about them.)

I'm afraid of success! - Being obese for a long period of time becomes a way of life. We set up our enablers, buy cars, furniture and even our personality changes to accommodate our physical state. I sat with a guy the other day that could not fit in the booth at a lunch place. It was sad. Then he ordered a 3000 calories steak bomb.

My significant other doesn't care why should I? - Most mature adults are smart enough not say "I would love you better thinner!" I suppose there are some that have spouses that like them in an unavailable state, but for the most part, our health is our concern. Losing weight has many benefits other than just looking and feeling better.

I can't exercise, there's no place for me to walk/run. - We need to start where we stand. The goal is eating well, and getting in three 30 minute cardio session a week in which we get the heart rate over 120. You can walk in place, by home gym resistance bands, and an array of other things. I bet you can find a treadmill on Craigslist for cheap!

I love to eat. - Yup, me too. I am just enjoying eating better, and less.

I do a lot of traveling for work and find it hard to stick to my weight loss plan. - It is not an easy task to eat out all the time, but many places I have stayed at had a refrigerator and a grocery store nearby.

I've heard that running puts me at risk for knee problems and arthritis later in life.LOL, that's BS. But you can try swimming, use the elliptical or riding a bike.

I Have Bad Knees (bad ankles, bad hips, bad a$$): From here it looks like they can get you back and forth from the store, the bathroom and the refrigerator.

It's just one. - One breakfast muffin is equal to two 30 minute cardio sessions.

It's the holidays. - So? The Bermuda Triangle: Thanksgiving Christmas and New Years. (Or Memorial Day, the 4th and Labor Day.) Flag Day, the dog’s birthday. There are lots of holidays!

I don't cook my own meals. - It's hard to control what others do. I made an agreement with my ex-wife over what I was willing to eat each week. Communication helps, and filling up with a large snack before meals is also another option. If you eat half a bag of baby carrots, you are probably not going to chow down on the fried chicken.

I Have Slow Metabolism: Right, and if your body was a car, it would be in reverse. Personally, mine hit a speed bump at age 40 and broke the steering column.

My Parents didn’t Teach me How to Eat: - Are you kidding, have you looked in the mirror? You are probably good at eating, in fact very good! For God’s sake, birds manage to get south.

It’s Vacation: One of my personal favorites, lots of eating out, and lying around (actually that sounds more like work too). Staying in the hospital is not a vacation.

I Don’t Like Healthy Food: Let me know when the pity party is over. Trust me; you are not going to like heart failure either.

It’s Emotional:
 WTH? It’s food, nothing else.

I Can Eat Anything I Want! Apparently.

I’ll Start Over Tomorrow: It’s here, now what?

Water Makes Me Gag! Well I guess it’s a good thing you are not a dolphin.

How about you, can you share some your most creative excuses for staying the way you were?

Disclaimer: Look, there are people who have legitimate medical reasons for being where they are. However; if you can get out of bed, you can probably begin to exercise. Seeing as diet is probably 85% - 90% of weight loss, you can make better choices.

Thanks for the votes and comments, I very much appreciate them.

Set Backs are Never the End

Have you ever felt defeated on this journey? The scale talking back, your favorite pants popped a button and took out a migrating sparrow, or worse, you have an injury and can't exercise!? Most of that has happened to me.

I started my fitness journey at just under 300 pounds. When I finally joined MFP I was 267.

My lowest was 197.2 and since then I gained some back. My lowest in the last yeas was 209. I have a few pairs of pants that don't fit like they should. I was down to 32" in the waist and now it's 34". I keep telling myself I should accept this, but I can't.

I need to require more of myself.

Sure I have dealt with a lot since I got to MFP. Hell, I started by having congestive heart failure; then I was diagnosed with cancer, not once, but four times! Some of it was removed and came back. I lost a couple of jobs due to layoffs and MFP folks helped me find new ones. And then there was the divorce. None if this is an excuse.

I still want to be healthy, fit, and under 200 pounds.

Every one knows I like running - I am the quintessential pathetic runner. If you search for "pathetic runner" on Google or Facebook, I will be there. Since I joined MFP I have run 87 races. Eight of those were full marathons, sixteen were half marathons, and the rest were shorter. I also ran across three states including: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and half of New Hampshire.

Running makes me feel good and is a way for me to raise money for health related charities.

This past weekend I ran the Ashaland (MA) Half Marathon. Holy hills! If you are from the Midwest it's pretty unlikely that you've experienced hills like this. They just kept coming. There were six major peaks and a bajillion little ones.

Oh yeah, I am feeling all bad@$$ after that run.

I was also nursing a very sore left knee and the outside of my right foot gets my attention with the slightest amount of pressure. I really pushed myself. There were a couple of guys I have run with before. I caught up to them about mile 10.

Why not beat them, I thought?

Well, I pushed really hard. My average 10:30 mile pace dropped to 9:00 over the next few miles. I easily passed them on one of the last downhill sections. One of them passed me on the final uphill. We crossed the finish line with me in the middle.

That's when the pain started. 

I feared that I had a torn meniscus, but I am happy to report, my knee is feeling pretty good this morning. It's a little stiff, but doing its job perfectly. My foot is another story. I did a little research and who knows, maybe it's a stress fracture. I have had them before. I am mad because I have been injury free for over three years. 

I learned a few things during this race. It was my first half marathon in over a year.

-1 I can do this running thing despite life circumstances.
-2 I am not in as good a shape as I could be. Ending a race injured is a sign of poor training.
-3 I need to lose some of this weight for my joints sake and my speed.

I do have some good things going on. Like a wedding to attend, a job, health insurance, and people who love me.

Now if I can just make friends with the damn scale, life would be perfect!

It's time to focus on my health. I am registered as a charity runner for the London Marathon. I am committed to raising money, and I am already at 35% of my goal. Now I need to train well to do well. I realize that for a fat old guy finishing is a win, but I want more.

No sparrows were harmed in the writing of this blog.

10 Things Which Really Helped Me Get Fit

After years on MFP, I have figured out a few things about weight loss, fitness, and running. Most of it I didn't learn in the forums. ;)

The most important is this, weight loss and fitness is fragile!

Gaining control of your health is a real gift. Since day one I have learned how to run (rather pathetically), received a few medals (None for being a smartass, but thank you for thinking that!), and ran a marathon or two. I have met a few of the MFP clan in real life. There are some nice folks here.

I have also learned a few of you reach your goal weight, but sadly, many more don't make it.

The last few years have been pretty rough. Despite all my hard work on my health and fitness, I have had 17 surgeries of varying degrees. I am minus three small colon tumors and down four patches of melanoma. My heart valve continues to open and close. The prostate tumor, however, remains. It's like an old friend.

We have done eight marathons together; four of those world majors.

Last Friday I got my blood tests back. My PSA is up to 7.1. Although it's not a great indicator of cancerous activity, it has agreed with my biopsies over the past 4 years. I will have to retest and I am scheduling another damn biopsy.

I hate cancer.

My bucket list is to run the six Abbott World Major Marathons. I have completed four and I am signed up as a charity runner for London in April 2018. You can track my efforts HERE.

So how fragile is this thing we call fitness but really mean getting thinner?

I had gained back almost 15 pounds in the last year! That is almost 25% of my total weight loss! One would think, with all that I have learned, that I would have cut back the calories when I am exercising less. Nope. No. Can. Do. I am happy to be back down 6 pounds.

So what are my secrets to success despite all that is going on?

-1 I weigh myself every week. My clothes measure me everyday.
-2 I measure my food portions and for the few food items I buy with a label, I read that too.
-3 I buy new underwear when I need it. It's my secret pleasure.
-4 I make time to sleep 8 hours. That isn't always easy.
-5 I take a few supplements that seem to work.
-6 I run 5 days a week no matter what.
-7 I walk 3-4 miles a day plus I use the 4 floors of stairs in my building often - about 20 floors a day.
-8 I stick to superfoods as often as I can. Fruit, veggies, nuts and spices are on that list.
-9 I don't eat sweet drinks or food (with or without real sugar) except an occasional piece of birthday cake.
-10 I don't eat fast food, pizza, white flour, rice, white potatoes or tofu 363 days a year. Tofu is 365!
-11 I am a vegetarian who happens to eat beef, lamb, pork, turkey, chicken, and fish in small quantities.
-12 I don't have junk food in the house or I will eat it.
-13 As much as I would like to, I don't smoke crack.

I know, that's more than 10. The same thing seems to happen with food.
Thanks for your votes and comments. Your support is amazing. 

Weight Loss, Running and Cancer

Last week was a tough one. I was dreading my Friday oncology appointment, trying to find ways to not eat everything in the dang house, and be nice to the people in my path.

Yeah, I was on edge.

I hate living from one appointment to the next. 6 months ago I had a biopsy. The doctor and I had a talk about my slowly progressing cancer. He and I both know it ends in life-changing surgery. The good news is, I haven't had that surgery! The bad news is, I still have the cancer.

"It's more worrisome." he said. That is all I remember.

I informed him that I wasn't going to miss running the Berlin Marathon. In April he scheduled last Friday's appointment - hardly 2 weeks after running Berlin. I also had two small colon tumors removed in August along with a few polyps. I wish this potential surgery was that easy.

I admit I was pretty nervous - I really didn't want to make any big decisions.

I just kept focusing on running the Berlin Marathon and living life a day at a time. I guess it's a form of denial. Whatever - I had it until about 24 hours before I was supposed to go to his office. Then it hit me. The next morning I got dressed, put on my lucky underwear, and got in the car. I don't really know what I was thinking except for my answer to his request - if he asked.

I can't make that decision now. That was going to be my answer.

I had my regular exam (I was number one with the Nurse Practitioner). She went over the five previous biopsies of my man parts in detail. She talked to me about the progression. Slow, but "worrisome." I don't like those words. I don't like fingers in my .... or the smell of surgical gloves.

I don't like it all.

Then the doctor came in. We shook hands. He asked how Berlin went. Last time it seemed like he wanted me to consider surgery. I wasn't sure what he would say this day.

"I have a few questions for you." I said.

"Of course. What are they?"

"I have been doing some reading and it looks like there is a 5 in 6 chance I will have serious side effects from surgery. I am having a hard time with that."

We talked about incontinence, ED and rectal bleeding.

He decided to redo the exam earlier exam. I guess they had a two-for-one special that day. "I don't feel anything that I am concerned about." He said. "How about you come back in 6 months and we'll do another biopsy."

As much as I HATE those biopsies, they suck for a few days, not a lifetime.

"I can't come back in six months, how about seven?" I asked.

"I suppose you have something you need to do?" He said looking at me.

"Yeah, I am signed up to run the London Marathon in April."

"Good luck, and I will see you the week after."

Converting the Heathen

In the beginning of your fitness journey (Come on, we all mean weight loss, who are we fooling.), there is a lot of self-doubt and insecurity surrounding your ability to make this whole thing happen. Two days in you get mugged by a donut in the break room at work and your shopping cart automatically turns down the cookie aisle. Stage 1 is hell.

Then there is Stage 2 where you trip skinny people on the escalator because you are jealous.

If you stick with it until Stage 3, a light goes on. Like the time you walked an hour to earn 320 calories and ate it back with two Girl Scout cookies!

The transformation begins to happen; you start to notice what everyone else is doing wrong when it comes to their food and exercise. New reformers are a pain the butt to those around them. I know I was.

Here is some stuff I would say/do when I was in Stage 3:
- When I saw someone pouring a gallon of Ranch dressing on their diet salad I would say, "I've been to Hidden Valley and they have live stock - umm which poops - I am not sure if that is what those little black specs are."

- When the party next to me at Golden Corral is eating a tray of baby back ribs I would be tempted to say, "Did you know that pork is supposed to be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F? No, it's true."

- When I see someone drinking Diet Coke I would speak up and say, "Did you know if you leave a penny in that stuff overnight it will shine like new in the morning? And if you do it with a couple of quadrillion pennies you could make a shiny dent in the national US national debt."

- I would sit in the drive-thru at McDonalds and scare away business with fake vomit on my car door or put fake cow patties at the entrance to Burger King.

- When I would see someone at the salad bar filling their plate with bacon bits and croutons, I just sneezed in their direction. "You probably should get another plate."

- At Thanksgiving I would drop the gravy and the mashed potatoes on the floor for the dogs. "Sorry folks, just turkey, green beans and creamed onions which no one eats anyway."

- At Christmas I bought everyone new underwear that was one size too small.

- I put vitamins in a Ghirardelli bag and resealed it at Walmart.

- I put celery and carrots in trick-or-treat bags on Halloween.

- On date night I night I pretended the car ran out of gas in front of Whole Foods.

- At the dentist I would wear a fake tooth and talk about chocolate in the waiting room with the other patients.

- Post recipes on Facebook.

Nah, not really - well except for the recipes. I am shy, so you are safe.

So what do you do to convince others to try your way of life?

Thanks for the votes and comments (you can do both)!

What Do You Want to Be?

When I was a kid my friends wanted to be astronauts, cowboys and doctors. Me, I wanted candy for dinner or to be a superhero. Then I got to high school and I wanted to be a professional hockey player and rock star. I pursued both into college and left the sports behind for smoking pot and drinking beer.

Somewhere in my 20s I realized my limitations; I wasn't going ot make the NHL or play guitar for the next Pink Floyd.

Eventually, my life goals began to include family, church, and business. All that ended abruptly when I had congestive heart failure in 2011. Then I just wanted to be alive - and feel better. At 53-years-old, I remember thinking I had missed my opportunity to be much else in life.

Last week I wrote about my bucket list: To finish the 6 world major marathons.

This week I am faced with the reality of another oncology appointment. Our last two meetings have had me inching closer to surgery whose name begins with the word radical. It's one I am trying to avoid. This meeting could mean a major surgery - or it could mean I can remain on active surveillance for another 6 months.

I never wanted to grow up and have cancer.

Running marathons allows me to fight back. I didn't run any marathons in 2016. I ran five in 2015. Last week I just wanted to run Tokyo and London in 2018 and end my marathon career. Today I am pretty sure I am signing up for another marathon.

My first marathon (who you all read about in my book), was on Cape Cod.

The Cape Cod Marathon is coming up at the end of the month. I guess it could be my last for a while - maybe my last. Who knows. 

As long as I can run, I feel pretty good.

I need to be positive about my life, my health, and my journey. I also need to get out there and keep living. I spent a few hours with my three siblings this past weekend. For various reasons, we haven't all been in the same room since my mother died in 2001.

Life, you get out there and you live it.

I am not really sure where my health is leading me. I do know that losing almost a 100 pounds and running have given me a life I never could have imagined. Emotionally I am healthier, physically, except for the cancer, I am still breaking records and amazing the doctors. Add to that love, faith, and hope, and I am doing just fine.

Running marathons has allowed me to go way past a lot of self-imposed limitations.
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