Monday, November 24, 2014

4 Years Post Bone Marrow Transplant!!!

It has been some time since I have posted to my blog.   As most of you know, my transplant was a huge success.  The first few months were pretty rough, but after a year,  I was pretty much back to normal.  Aside from being bald now..  I still get close to 100 hits weekly on my blog.  Mostly from people recently diagnosed with Leukemia looking for any information they can find about this horrible disease.

I hope after reading my blog, they have hope!  Leukemia is beatable!  I am proof.  I live a completely normally life now.  If you a a newly diagnosed leukemia patient, don't spend time on the Internet researching the probability of surviving leukemia.  I remember spending many late nights in the hospital looking at these terrible statistics.  These were some of the worst nights in the hospital away from my family.  Instead, focus on blogs and websites the highlight success stories.  And most importantly, stay positive!!  It will help you and your family make it through the worst of times.  Make it a point to laugh everyday.  Find the humor in things around you.  Laugh at how bad the hospital food is, laugh at the fact you have tubes going directly into your body to pump drugs into you, laugh at the fact as you finally fall asleep in an almost sitting position in your hospital bed because your lungs will fill with mucus if you lay flat will cause your oxygen to drop,  the nurse comes in, and turns all the lights on to check you vitals. Etc....

So, over the last year, my wife and I have run a 1/2 marathon (Harvest Half), did an Oly Tri (Rev3) and did Sunday Rivers Tough Mountain Challange.  Hearing that, you make think I am in good shape.  That is absolutely not true!!  I am overweight and only am working out maybe once a week.

Over the next few months, I will document my journey to drop 20 pounds and goal of getting back to a sub 22 minute 5K.  Right now I am at 181lbs running a 30 minute 5k.

Tonight I ran 2 miles on the treadmill and did some weight training.  Total workout time was 40 minutes.....

Check back soon!!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Relayed the Rev3 in 2012

It has been a while since my last post. Last summer, we did end up relaying the Rev3 Oly. It was a great time. My sister Rhonda swam, Crystal biked and I ran. I had a tough time on the run. I had not trained enough. I think my pace ended up being around 10 minutes.

.We brought our bikes up to Freeport Ski and Bike today.  Jamie is going to get them ready for Spring time riding.   We are both replacing our chains and cassettes.  Neither one of us ever have.  Mine is over 5 years old and Crystals is a few of years old now.

I have just signed up for the Urban Runoff 5K, the Rev3 Oly and the Harvest Half Marathon.  Can't wait for the snow to melt.  I think I am going to try to start swimming at lunch a couple of days a week at the South Portland pool.  Also looking at the new Phelps center for some possible lessons.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Triathlon - Maine, Old Orchard Beach (REVOLUTION3 REV3TRI) | REVOLUTION3 Triathlon (REV3TRI)

My sister Rhonda, my wife Crystal and I just signed up to relay this race.  We will be doing the Olympic.  Rhonda is going to swim, Crystal bike and I am going to run.

Triathlon - Maine, Old Orchard Beach (REVOLUTION3 REV3TRI) | REVOLUTION3 Triathlon (REV3TRI)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

1 Year and Counting

During the month of November, we celebrated my one year bone marrow transplant anniversary.   Crystal made a birthday cake and her, I and the kids celebrated my first birthday with my new immune system. 
I was also released by the doctor to return to the office full time.  It is an amazing feeling to be contributing to society again.  I have signed up for the gym.  I have been running at lunch.  Over the next month I am going to start swimming again.  I am also mixing in P90X and weight training.  It feels good.  Really good!

I still have not grown my hair back.  Paige keeps asking when it is going to grow back.  At this point, we are starting to wonder if it will grow back.

Last weekend I spent time with my 3 best friends.  It was the first time we have hung out in a long time in proper fashion.  These are the kind of buddies that when we all get together, we retell the same stories from 15 years ago.  You know the stories.  We all have them.  Every time we tell the stories, they get funnier and funnier.  We sometimes do not all see each other for years at a time.  When we all get together though, we pick up right where we left off.   True friends are always there for you and these guys have always been there for me.  Thanks guys..

When I was discharged from the hospital, the doctor told me that I had to start weaingr a Medic Alert bracelet to let emergency personnel know that I have had a bone marrow transplant.  It is bright orange to symbolize leukemia.  A friend recently asked me how long I needed to wear the bracelet for.  I told her forever.  I then thought about my response to her.  I followed up my response to her by saying something like. "This bracelet is a good reminder of the important things in life. Occasionally, the bright orange catches my eye and regardless of the type of day I am having, I am reminded how lucky I am."

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Race Recap and Health/Life Update

Had an awesome time at the Mainiac Tri.  Crystal and I relayed the Tri.  Our good friend Katy did the duathlon.  Her brother Jon also did the duathlon.  This was his first Tri.  On the way to the race on the highway, the rear end of his truck locked up while he was going like 60MPH.  His truck skidded out of control on the highway and eventually came to a screeching halt.  Luckily he was not hurt.  There was also a State Trooper right behind him.  The trooper said he was pretty sure he was about to witness a serious accident!  Question is, did he make the race?  He sure did!  Hard core John!  He called his wife and she came to pick him up off the highway to continue on to Biddeford.  I think he got there about 5 minutes before transition closed.

Crystal did great on the swim.  Since she was relay, she got thrown into the first wave.  It was the men's 18-35 age group.  She was worried about it, but she did great.  She had a great transition and also a great bike.

When she came back from the bike I was more than ready to start running.  My goal was to break 30 minutes on the run.  During training getting ready for this race, 38 minutes was my best time.  Before leukemia and the transplant, I could typically run a 5K in 22 minutes.  Since this was my first relay, it felt weird to wait around for my "turn".  I took off way too fast, but it felt great! I was actually competing in a race.  I wasn't sure this would ever happen again.  I had my heart rate monitor on because I knew I would be pumped and have difficulty pacing myself.

Sure enough, after about 5 minutes, my HR was between 177 and 180.  My "normal" race HR is 165-170.  I slowed down a bit and got my HR back into the 175 range.  As the 10 minute mark passed, I was starting to get worried.  I had not passed the 1 mile marker yet.   I picked up my pace a bit.  HR was cresting back up to 180.  I continued that pace until about the 15 minute mark.  The water station appeared as I rounded a corner.  There were mostly young kids there.  I asked what mile we were at.  One of the girls said, "Mile one I think".  I thought to myself, there is no way I am going to break 30 minutes at this rate.  As that reality started to settle in, I saw mile marker 2.  Looks like the water station was actually at mile 1.5 or so.  I looked at my watch and it was at 18:04.  I was pretty sure at that finishing under 30 minutes was going to be a possibility.

My pace picked up and up.  As I passed mile marker 3, my HR was 185.  I picked up my pace again.  It felt unbelievable.  By the time I crossed the finish line, I was pretty much at a full sprint.  After I crossed, I glanced down and my HR was at 192.  I have never seen it so high.

Crystal and the kids and my in laws were waiting for me at the finish.  The kids had made a big sign that read "Our Dad beat cancer, now he's back in the race!!!"  It was a tearjerker moment to say the least.  A year ago, I was in the hospital just finishing up my first rounds of chemo and dealing with the reality of being diagnosed with leukemia.

My recovery is going very well.  My doctor says that I am ahead of schedule.  My counts are still low compared to a "normal" person.  This means I am still very susceptible to catching something.  I still should not be around sick people.  I wash my hands constantly and am always carrying hand sanitizer.  When I go into the hospital for check ups, I still need to wear a mask and gloves.  It is a reminder every time to me that I am still sick. (Even though I feel great).  I still have little to no hair.  Not sure what is going on there.  I have yet to gain much weight yet.  I am still under 150.  I am eating everything in sight with no problem.  I am still limited to 1 beer a week.  This could also be contributing to the reason I am not gaining any weight.

On the work front, I have been cleared to return to the office 3 days a week.  I will work Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the office and Tuesday and Thursday from home.  It will be nice to get out of the basement home office!

Crystal is doing the Dempsey Challenge next weekend.  Saturday, she is running in the 10K and Sunday, she is riding a 1/2 century.  (50 miles)  She needs to raise a few more donation dollars or will have to pay from her own pocket.  Here is the link to her fund raising site. Dempsey Challenge Donation Page

Also, our friend Matt Wallace and his wife Freja Folce were recently involved in a bad car accident.  During a rainstorm,  an oncoming vehicle lost control while passing a car and crashed head on into Matt's car.  Matt broke both arms and both legs.  He is a tattoo artist and as such, may be out of work for some time.  A donation page has been setup.  Here is the link to that site to make a donation.    Donate to Matt.  Click on the PayPal icon and specify "Matt Wallace Fund".  Thanks!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Just Signed up for a Race

I just signed up with Crystal to do a relay for the Mainiac Triathlon.  It is a Sprint distance tri.  That is 1/3 mile swim, 15 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run.  It is on September 17th.  Crystal is going to do the swim and bike.  I am going to run.  Our team name is "The Dynamic Duo".  My goal is to break 30 minutes on the run.  In the past, I would not be happy about 30 minutes, but would be psyched if I could pull it off now!

For training, I have really just begun.  I am running 15 minutes every other night on the treadmill.  I go from 0% incline for 1 minute to 3% incline for 1 minute and alternate on the minute for the 15 minutes.  Next week I will increase to 20 minutes, 25 the following week etc.  On nights I am not running, I am doing 15 minutes on the bike trainer.  Next week I will increase to 20 minutes, 25 the following week etc.  Everynight, after the run or the training, I am doing 15 minutes of weights and abs.

I am gaining a bit of weight.  I am up to 146-148.  It varies day by day.  I am trying to eat better and take note of what I am putting in my body.  I want to gain about 10 more pounds, But would like them to be "quality pounds".

Here is a link to the Maniac Triathlon website.

Monday, August 8, 2011

9 Months Post Transplant

Next week marks 9 months post transplant.  I am still working full time from home.  Next week, I have been cleared to go into the office 1 day a week.  I cannot wait.  I am starting to gain some weight and muscle back.  Training is going slow to say the least.

Crystal had her Tri For A Cure race last week.  I put together the attached video of the race...
Tri For A Cure Video

Also, just wanted to encourage people to donate to a local family.  Their young son was recently diagnosed with leukemia.  You can get more information from their Facebook page located at Jeffrey Davis Fund

Monday, June 20, 2011

220 Days Post Transplant and Loving It

Haven't posted in a while.  Been busy with work and life.  My recovery continues and I am feeling good.  At the time of my last post, I was working 6 hours a day from home.  I am now up to 40 hours a week working from home.  It feels great to be using my brain again!  Paychecks are cool too!  If all goes well, I may begin working a few days a week from the office as early as next month.

My chiropractor has asked me to stop running until he can get me straightened out.  I was up to running a full 5K.  I was extremely sore though and getting bad migrane headaches.  He has been working on me over the past month and I have noticed a huge improvement in my posture, less headaches and less overall body aches.

I am eating pretty much everything I was before transplant, but just can't seem to gain any weight.  After the chiropractor finishes up this routine, I am going to hit the weights and protein and work on building some muscle back.  That is the kind of weight I am looking for.

Also over the last month, I attended my 20 year high school reunion.  It was great to see friends that I have not seen in years.  It is funny how easy it is to talk to friends you have not seen in years.  It is like there is a connection there that can never be broken.  It is priceless and I  had one of the best times I have had in years!

My Dad is still battling his cancer.  This fathers day was particularly tough for me.  His spirits are still up, but it is extremely tough for me to be around him.  My Mom is doing her best to be a caregiver, but she is not equipped to mentally and physically handle all the details.  My sister Rhonda has stepped to the plate and I cannot express how much that means to Crystal and I.  I am not dealing with this phase of my parents life very well at all.

I want to thank again my wife Crystal for being there for me over the last year.  I realize how hard it has been on her as the caregiver and basically being a single parent.  She had a lot of help , but it definitely took its toll.  Coming out this side of the process, it has strengthened our relationship 10 fold, but it takes it's toll.  I love ya hun!

The role of caregiver is a thankless job that no ones signs up for.  If you know a caregiver, treat them to a night off.  They deserve it and they will appreciate it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Training, Work and Life

Been a while since my last update.  Been busy living life!!!  I set a new post transplant PR today.  I ran 2 miles in under 30 minutes.  Does not sound that impressive, but it is a huge milestone for me.  Also, I ran the whole 30 minutes with no stopping.  Yehaaaaa!

That being said, today was the first day I got back on the treadmill in several weeks.  My leg muscles have been extremely tight for some reason.  They feel as though I have been running everyday.  You know, that soreness that is always there when you are training hard.  Problem is, I have not even been training.  I have a Dr. appointment this week in Boston and will see what the doc has to say.

Things at the Davis house have been hectic to say the least.  We are replacing all of our flooring on the first floor with hardwood.  Crystal has wanted hardwood for years.  She is now getting it under the pretense that it does not hold dust and dirt like carpet does and will make the house healthier for me.  She always gets her way :)  Crystal also wanted to paint.  I said "Have at it Hun!" 

So, she has painted the whole downstairs, removed the baseboard, ripped out the carpet and we now have a lovely AdvanTech floor.  Our neighbor does hardwood and he is coming over this week to install for us.  Can't come soon enough.  All of the hardwood (30 boxes) is stacked throughout our first floor to keep it room temperature.  The place looks like a bomb went off.

On the work front, I am now working from home 6 hours a day.  I have increased from 2 hours a day over the last month.  I am getting back up to speed.  The company and my staff has been great during my return to work transition.  We are pretty busy with close to 50 IT related projects slated for 2011.  I would be worried, but have a great team of people and great support from management.

Baseball season is underway so Nolan has been busy with that.  We have been working with him on his batting skills and he has really improved at the plate this year.  Now it is time to focus on the fundamentals of catching and making good throws.  Here are a few pics....

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bike Fit

Aside from going to a bike shop to be fitted, can anyone give me any advice on my bike fit by watching this video?