Tuesday, April 27, 2010

running, biking, panting, gasping, waiting, hoping for a cure

I've got a couple of races coming up. Both use the word 'cure' in their titles. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is coming up in a couple of weeks and is a fundraiser for breast cancer. I will be volunteering at this event and also running a 5k. I went to this event last year and I have never been at an event so large before. There will be thousands of people and unless you finish up front (not me) you will have to walk across the finish line because it gets so crowded. When I ran this race last year, I had no idea about the cancer brewing in my breast. I was there to support my sister-in-law and get some exercise. I fear that I will be overwhelmed this year and it might be hard for me to breathe well enough to run. Not only will I be there as a survivor but it is 2 days before wondertwin's pbm. damn

The other race I'm training for is the ADA tour de cure coming up in june. This is a fundraiser to find a cure for diabetes. I will be biking (or at least attempting to) 100 miles. I have done this race once before but only did 100k. I have a lot of training to do since I usually only ride 20 miles at a time but I think I can do it. It's a big year for me and I want to do something special. Last month I celebrated 25 years of living with type 1 diabetes. That's huge. Something I never really dreamed of. Outsiders don't always understand why we are looking for a cure. They think we already found one. While it's true that diabetes is no longer an immediate death sentence, we still would like to get rid of it! It's ironic that I've always been hesitant to complain about living with diabetes because cancer overshadowed it. The week that I got out of the hospital after my diagnosis, my classmate died of leukemia. How could I possibly feel sorry for myself when I was alive? As the years went by, I did start feeling a little sorry for myself, especially as my anniversary approached each year. But then my mother died (from cancer) and since I was diagnosed on her birthday I could no longer feel sorry for myself. Instead, I thought of her, and cancer. And now I survived cancer so I think I have the right to admit the truth to myself. Cancer is awful. Yes, yes it is. But it is still ok for my diabetes self, mutant 1, to want something better. To hope for something better. It's ok to say that I wish I didn't have diabetes.

I have been waiting for the cure for many years because I was told this would happen in my life time. A cure would be outstanding but it won't bring back the 16 year-old whose body just couldn't take the constant ketoacidosis. If a certain 24 year-old can turn things around and live long enough to see a cure, it still won't return the feeling to her feet, fix her vision or reverse the damage done to her kidneys. If we are lucky enough to see this cure it won't take away the nerve damage in my sister's stomach that has left her with gastroparesis, a potentially life-threatening complication. It may be too late for some of us and some of our complications, but this disease is like brca in that it is hereditary. So we dream of the day we stamp this out and none of our loved ones have to deal with it.

Seeing as this is my 25th anniversary, I am concentrating my fundraising on the bike ride this year rather than the breast cancer race. Here is a link to my fundraising page if you would like to drop a dime or two. Mutant 1 thanks you:)

3 comments:

  1. It IS okay, my wonderful little sister, to not want diabetes. Diabetes sucks. The whole kit and kaboodle. Pain is pain and suffering is suffering, so it's okay to say it sucks even if there are other horrible things out there that aren't so fun to live with either.

    So, many weeks ago I asked both surgeons if they wanted some kind of medical clearance before my PBM, considering my 33 years of diabetes. The PS said, "Oh, that might be a good idea." Then when I said I would need my PAT results 1st (pre-op blood work), his office that had insisted they'd be covering the PAT changed their mind and said, "We don't do that. You'll have to ask the BS about that." So then the BS office said, "No, you won't need any special clearance. Oh, you have diabetes? Let me add that to the chart." Hmmm, diabetes is all the BS talked about while she was doing my biopsy. Anyway, at my pre-op with the BS last week she said, "So, who's going to be in charge of what medications you should be taking?" Ummm... you? No, she meant how was I going to handle the blood sugars for surgery. Then today at the PS pre-op, the nurse asked if I could please get a letter from my endocrinologist clearing me for surgery. Oh, you mean the one I'm having in less than 2 weeks? Good thing I already made an appointment since it takes 3-4 months to get in. And my PS seemed to think I would keep my insulin pump running while receiving IV insulin at the same time, despite the fact he would rather have me be "high instead of low", even though he admitted having my blood sugars too high increases my risk of post-op infection. At least he agreed that I do not need to have a Foley catheter placed. I told him I'll just pee on the table and avoid another UTI.

    You have to be constantly vigilent about diabetes, even if you're not taking close care of it! It's a never ending battle. Hang in there, sissie. And ride on.

    wondertwin

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  2. Hey, shoot me an email on Friday (payday) and I'll donate to your cause - I don't have a bunch, but some is better than nothing.

    And congrats on being such a rock star!

    Janine's w/t - are you serious? I can't believe all that rigmarole they put you through! The BS for a title seems aptly named. And good luck to you!

    Teri

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  3. Thanks Teri! Every penny counts.

    Hang in there, wt. It will all be over soon.

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