Sunday, April 27, 2014

Getting my groove back.

So tomorrow is menopause day as I have started officially calling it in my head, I am hoping to start the day off happy with my normal morning swim squad session before a coffee and play with Hugo.  I am trying hard not to concentrate on the fact that this rules any chance of a baby out for six months, instead I am focusing on my wonderful family, and the training and running goals I have for this year, but, it is exhausting.

Keeping a happy persona all day for everyone around me when sometimes all I want to do is scream is tiring, keeping busy for the kids has been at once my saving grace but also difficult when I just want to crawl back into bed and mope.  Don't get me wrong, it isn't all bad, the happiness isn't all forced, just sometimes, but that is life, and I really am very lucky.

I have taken the last few weeks off running and training, a few sessions here and there but slow and steady, nothing to really write about.  I finally decided that this weekend I would get going again, I have no need to be cautious while training and on this medication so I may as well chase those goals down and get excited for them, back to Parkrun it was.  Considering it was almost a month since any serious training had been done I wasn't optimistic and mostly just wanted to see how I would go.

I am pretty happy with the results, 27:28 my slowest run to date but not by much and I am happy to cut myself a bit of a break, the best part was that I had a great time, felt the happiest I have in the last few weeks and reminded myself why this is such an important part of my week, but also my sanity.

Menopause, I am ready for you!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Finding my joy.

Almost three weeks ago I was sitting at this very computer, in this very same spot when I looked down beside me and smiled yet again, I was beaming, once the shock wore off I was on cloud nine, surprised does not even begin to explain seeing that positive sign on the stick.

I have never had the pleasure of a surprise pregnancy, of my three pregnancies I have two healthy boys, both planned in doctors rooms and with plenty of time to prepare ourselves.  This pregnancy took our breath away and continues to daily.  For that whole first week I would smile just to think that we had done it, all on our own, no doctors, no tests, no bloodwork, no scans, no probes, no tears or heartache, just two people who love each other doing what most people do all on their own.  It certainly wasn't the best timing, a house to renovate, a new FIFO (fly in/fly out) job that takes my husband away during the week and two boys that take all my energy and time, I thought of the goals I had for my training this year but none of it mattered we would make it work.

Almost a fortnight ago I was here at this computer once again, trying desperately to remember if I spotted during early pregnancy with either Otto or Hugo, being at once reassured and concerned by Dr Google.  Han was due to fly out again early the next day so we made the decision to head to the doctor due to my increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, and from there we were sent to the hospital for a scan.

As you can imagine, waiting for that scan and the blood test results was excruciating, I kept rebounding from assuring myself and Han that I was just being a worry wart and it would all be ok, to thinking the worst.  Finally the radiographer arrived and we were in the cold lifeless scan room waiting to hear our fate, that booming sound of silence from both the radiographer and the screen soon told me all that I needed to know.

No baby, not this time.

What can you say, what can you do, when that flood of emotion comes racing at you like a tidal wave, ready to destroy and obliterate all the joy not only from you but from those closest to you.  We go through the motions, try to say the right things, "something wrong with the baby"  "better to know now than continue on until the 12 week scan"  "Someone else is fighting a greater sorrow than us right now", but nothing takes away the pain of a little life that we will never get to know, for whatever reason it wasn't meant for us, but that doesn't make the sadness any less.

I am however a rationalist and a realist.  I gave myself a few days to feel sad, ironically kept myself busy helping two friends that had just given birth and looking after the boys, acknowledging the sadness but at the same time keeping myself aware of the joy that was around me.  The boys and I headed up to the coast for a night to catch up with family and friends, breathe deeply the ocean air that always restores and calms me and soak up the sun and salt before summer slips ever so slowly into winter.

While we were there I noticed some pain, nothing too serious but certainly persistent.  It continued to grow during the day but I was busy keeping the boys from drowning or falling of high objects, by the time I started to drive home that night I noticed that it was pretty uncomfortable, took some panadol and headed straight to bed.  The next day the pain was still there, I just made sure to take it easy and not lift or bend too much.  I have had this pain before and it was investigated surgically towards the end of last year where some Endometriosis was discovered (I was diagnosed with severe Endometriosis in 2007) and removed, the pain had been manageable since then but this time it was clearly escalating quickly.  By the afternoon it was becoming obvious that I would need some medical attention, as the pain is centered around my diaphragm it makes breathing difficult and painful so for the second time in a week I went to hospital, this time in the middle of the Easter weekend.

I was upset, the boys went to bed without us so we weren't able to talk about, or get ready for the Easter bunny to visit together, at that stage I thought I might have to be admitted to hospital and didn't want to miss the Easter egg hunt or my birthday (also Easter Sunday) with my family, mostly I just felt like such a failure.  The miscarriage was sad, but I felt as though throughout the week I had come to terms with it, I felt ready to take a deep breathe and move on, but this pain was holding me back, holding us all back from moving on.  Once I was comfortable and yet another scan was performed I was allowed to go home, with an appointment to see my specialist on Tuesday.

I was ready early Tuesday morning, armed with questions and information when my brilliant minded but terrible mannered doctor bluntly told me that the only option moving forward was to start on a medication I had taken 7 years earlier just after being diagnosed.  Zoladex.  This medication hinders the release of oestrogen, the hormone that feeds this disease, with the hope that it will kill the patch that is sitting in my diaphragm.  While taking this medication I will be forced into a chemical menopause which will be reversed once I stop, after six months.  I wasn't expecting this at all, last time it didn't work, hopefully this time it does, the disease we are treating is in a different area now and the medication has proven to be effective for this type of spread before.

So for now, I am preparing to enter menopause at 34, we have gone from such a happy high a few weeks ago to an exhausted body and mind low currently.  Previous experience has taught me that we will be ok, that these life experiences make us stronger and closer as a family unit, it is now more important than ever for me to find the joy in my little everyday with the boys and Han.  People all over the world face sorrow much worse than this, disease worse than this and a much greater loss than I could ever imagine.  If this is the hardest lesson I face than I will be forever grateful.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Life lately.

Things have been a bit slow on the blog, because thankfully life has been a bit slow.  I haven't signed up to any events for the month of April and decided to take a break from so much training.  I am still getting out there and running, riding and swimming, I couldn't imagine my life now without it, but some of the intensity has gone.  I have another half marathon to complete in August, so soon I will be setting training goals and pushing myself to hopefully make a PB of completing it within two hours, but for right now, I just need some rest.

The boys and I have been making the most of our current school holidays and exploring what is on in our wonderful city.  Our first port of call was the deep sea exhibit at the museum, Otto had been counting down the days until this opened for two weeks, which is a crazy long time when you are four!  It was a major hit, especially as the childrens area is themed around the Octonauts TV show.  I loved that it was such a well thought out exhibit, there is plenty to keep the children amused as you walk through the different areas and so many interactive stations for them to explore.  It also isn't a massive display, so for most of the time I could let the children move around on their own and I could keep my eye on them, it is always so much more enjoyable for everyone if I am not restricting them to a pram or holding my hand!

As usual we have spent some time at the local Koala Sanctuary, it is a school holiday, bad day, weekend with no plans staple around here.  We are lucky to be yearly members and live so close to such an amazing animal Sanctuary.  I imagine there aren't many kids who wake up and decide they want to feed Kangaroos that day and actually get to do it.

Of course, we have spent a fair amount of time lazing around at home, playing, building and creating general mayhem when I am not watching, one thing is for sure, life with two boys is never dull!

Otto put together this bubble machine with Han's work, it has been his pride and joy to see it work and blow bubbles.  Another Engineer in the making.

Another week of school holidays is about to start and we are all excited and happy, we have a great week coming with so many adventures, it will be hard to send him back to Kindy!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Park Run.

So I gave myself the week off after the half marathon, if you even mentioned exercise or running to me on Monday I would have felt sick, beside the fact it was terribly difficult for me to walk, and go up or down stairs!

The weather was awful, torrential rain with absurd humidity and heat did not persuade me any further to head out and pound the pavement or do some laps in the pool.  We wagged swimming lessons on Friday and spent the morning recovering at home, listening to the rain on the roof and doing fun things like covering the bath in shaving cream.

Hugo completely freaked out, found the only clean corner and started obsessively wiping it off with a washer, he is his father's son, and yes, I did rescue him from the evil that is shaving cream.  

I did find the resolve however to go to park run on Saturday morning. It is always such a lovely start to the weekend, plenty of people to run alongside, PB to obtain and a great park for the kids to play in once we are done and I have secured a coffee from the coffee van.  This Saturday was no different, there was a break in the rain but sadly not the humidity, however we powered on and got it done, a great start back into training.  Did I mention I signed up for another half in August, obviously I have gone mad.......

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


So last weekend I made a goal a reality.  When I first started the couch to 5km program in late 2012 my only goal was to be able to run 5km, once I achieved that I wondered how much harder it would be to do 10km, now that I had run a few of them I decided if I could do 10 then I could do 20!  Our bodies are amazing machines and I wanted to see just how far I could make it go, it had already given and nourished two healthy boys and taken me to many places throughout the world where I punished both my liver and legs hiking at altitude and riding down the most dangerous road in Bolivia.

So I signed up, paid money to put myself through pain all for the gain of a cheap medal and free t-shirt, but also the knowledge that I could run a half marathon, 21km without stopping just because I decided to.  That of course isn't to discount the 9 weeks of training that I put in to get me to that finish line, in so many ways those weeks were the hard ones, constantly pushing yourself to get out there, complete the program, there isn't anyone on the sideline cheering for you at 6am on a wet Tuesday while two kids whinge at the idea of going for a run, but we did it and there I was at 2 hours and 8 minutes crossing the line with my family cheering me on.

This particular course is 2 laps and we had been warned about traffic jams so decided I would head in earlier on my own and Han and the boys would come with my dad and sister an hour or so later so they wouldn't be hanging around the whole time.  The traffic ended up non existent so my entire family, including my mum and her partner were there when I started.  That first lap I felt really good, and spotting them as I came around the corner was amazing, I got a bit chocked up looking at my amazing family all standing there late on a Sunday night just to see me run and support me.  Their love and cheers really spurred me on through some of the harder km's yet to come during lap two, especially when my water bottle ran out and my music stopped with only a few km's to go.

As you can imagine, crossing that line felt huge, I had done it, I could finally stop running and have a big drink of water, I could tell my family just how amazing they were for helping me achieve it and I could pick up that cheap medal and t-shirt to remind me that no matter what, anyone can achieve what they want if they put their mind to it and commit.