6 months ago I parted ways with my stomach. In about 8 days I’m going to be competing in my first triathlon since parting ways with the vital organ. I have been absolutely blown away by the support that we have received from friends, family and even strangers as we race to benefit No Stomach For Cancer. Our goal was $500, and as of this morning, our total is now $800. We are now hoping to make it an nice even $1k! I got a message a couple days ago from a fellow CDH1 patient from England who decided to contribute the cause, now that’s a show of “Dunkirk spirit”, as they say in the UK! Yes, I had to look that up. According to the British idiom dictionary, “Dunkirk spirit is when people pull together to get through a very difficult time.” Just in case I am using that idiom out of context, we’re just going to say it is for #outofcontextsaturdays.
As for the training: last Saturday I broke a personal record running a little over 5.3 miles without a stomach and it felt awesome! I’m a little worried considering the fact that I haven’t climbed into a pool to do laps in quite some time, but I’m hoping the wetsuit and taking it easy will help me cruise past that 500 meter swim. The Pacific Grove Triathlon swim is unique in the fact that you start at beautiful Lovers Point with perfect sand to enter into 63 degree water and swim through a kelp forest. It can be a little disconcerting at first because the kelp starts to wrap around your legs and you can’t see the bottom, but once you get in to a rhythm you can use the kelp to your advantage by “crawling” through it. The good news for me is that your wetsuit makes you extremely buoyant and the kelp means I do not need to be in as good of swimming shape.
My favorite part about the process has been training as a whole family. Kate has been kicking butt and has lost almost 15 pounds in the process! Evangeline is constantly training with us helping us with push-ups, giving us resistance training as she rides in her Burley trailer on our rides, and cheering us on as we push her on our jogs. Yesterday we went for a 4 mile “hike” that turned into a job because she wanted to go faster. We had never been to Lake Chabot before and all the hills made for some solid training especially when Evangeline wants you to go faster. Good golly child, I’m not a machine. Thankfully, I think all the extra weight and resistance has helped tighten up all the loose skin I have around my torso. I still jiggle like J-E-L-L-O when I run, but being able to stretch out that loose piece of skin like pizza dough during show and tell about my scar is comedic gold. I’ll take it.
My health and my nutrition is going well. I’ve actually managed to put on a couple pounds, but I think it’s time to improve the quality of my calories. The steady diet of candy, chips, gelato and popcorn is not going to cut it. I’ve also decided that I’m giving up on bread (read bread, not gluten). I swear that bread is getting worse to get down and is causing me more issues than it is worth. While I will mourn the loss of scones, croissants, and sandwiches (the ultimate man food), I think my bowels will thank me.
Thanks for following my journey and if you want to contribute to our family in support of No Stomach For Cancer, you can still do so by clicking here: I LOVE THE DANG’S AND I LOVE NO STOMACH FOR CANCER.