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Reflections 9.27.10

Monday, September 27, 2010

This is a difficult blog to write, but I am writing it to honor the patient and his family.

Last week, I supported a young woman and her teenage daughter during a very difficult time - a couple of days before and the day of removing life support from the husband/dad. The patient had sustained a closed head injury with a large bleeding in his brain after a motorcycle accident.

When I spoke with the wife for the first time, she shared a couple of significant pieces of information with me. One of which is the reason for this blog. Advanced directives and power of attorney.

If you fall and hit your head on the ice and cannot speak for yourself - or something else happens where you are in a terminal condition - do you have someone who can make the decisions you would make (Power of attorney for health care decisions) and does he/she know what you want? (Living will)?

When we realized the severity of this patients illness we had a conversation with the spouse, she know exactly what he wanted or not wanted (if you will), and his position on donating organ and tissue.

I will tell you, this family taught all of the nurses, physicians, social workers so much and how to prepare for this unthinkable situation. The wife and daughter were incredible, and I think I know them well enough that they would want me to share this blog with all of you, so if something happens to someone in your family - you are as prepared as they were 'when disaster struck'.

I had the privilege of spending several hours with the wife and the daughter. I will spare you for the details, but these two people taught me so much, and their love for each other as a family, their courage in this situation will not soon be forgotten.

If they were standing in front of you - they would tell you - take the elephant out of the room, get the forms, and discuss what needed to be discussed when it comes to living will and decisions towards the end of live. Completing these documents represents love ...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HARMONYBLUE 9/28/2010 9:50AM

    Good idea. The hubby and I have discussed six ways from Sunday after my stepbrother died but have nothing in writing.

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    Once again Jan you bring to light truly important things for all of us to deal with.

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ANGIEBILL 9/27/2010 11:02PM

    Sounds like a terrific family. Thank you for sharing a very important piece of information.

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IRISHLASS117 9/27/2010 10:04PM

    Tough conversation to have but the most important one you don't want to skip. This takes the pressure off those left that have to make your choices known and gives them the peace of mind knowing they followed your wishes. This is an act of love and a gift to family and friends.

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RENA1965 9/27/2010 9:56PM

    Great blog- I asked my own husband how he wanted things.. I however couldn't let him die from gangrene, so I told the doctor to take his leg. Thats a big decision, but I can live with myself if we see each other again. My kids needed a dad a few years more- they were only 8 and 10 years old -he died anyway.. We had a chance- it didn't work out anyway.. I have no regrets... My kids miss him- I want them to know I did every humanly possible... When he passed away I asked them not revive him... He had to have the will to survive himself..
He got the send off he wanted- the people he asked to read at his funeral, his best friend singing in the church and right down to the stone and whom carried the coffin..
He didn't have anything easy in life- so passing away I get him his last rights to decide... He loved his kids and wasn't happy about dying- so let the doctor avoid keeping him on life support.. He did get better lossing his leg- but blood clots and heart disease with diabetics go hand in hand... I still have I miss you days, but no guilt about how I acted..

Comment edited on: 9/27/2010 9:57:26 PM

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BRADIA 9/27/2010 9:39PM

    It is difficult for many to talk about the unexpected, but how right you are!
It takes a smart person to plan ahead and make the family know that wishes they need to be followed at ocassions like the one you are talking to us about.
Thanks for sharing your experience.

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DJS-DEBBIE 9/27/2010 9:18PM

    You are so right...we should all do this. Thanks for the reminder.

My prayers for the wife and daughter.

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B-N-ME 9/27/2010 9:02PM

    I totally agree with this. I have done my part, my wishes are known. Why leave it for the griefing family to feel guilt over not knowing if they have done the right thing...the thing you would want.
Thank you Jan, for pointing out the elephant in the room.

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Reflections 9.26.10

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Many of you know John Bingham's quote - the miracle isn't that I finished - the miracle is that I had the courage to start.

Yesterday, as I was running the marathon, I saw so many people who exemplify that quote. For all I know, some of them could be Sparkers. However, it was very clear to me that these people were out making a difference for themselves and their health. And you know what - I was smiling. Smiling on their behalf because I cannot even imagine how good they must have felt - trained and completed what ever event they did.

I am also privileged. Privileged by being with people who are making a difference to them - to their lives. I have to be honest - some times when I run along some of these folks, I wish I could talk to them and hear their story why they are doing this, and congratulate them for having the courage to start.

Each one of you I know from the Spark site - represent these people I don't know on the run course, on the bike course, on the tri course and I am proud of all your accomplishments.

I am not the skinniest guy, nor am I the buffest dude - but I am healthy and I continue to work on my healthy life style. Through exercise and eating habits - I have diminished my risk of getting diseases related to overweight. As I mentioned in a previous reflection - losing weight is not the only measure of being healthy. Look at yourself in the mirror - compare yourself to when you started your journey - and you will find yourself a whole lot more healthy than you think you are!!!

Now make it a terrific day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERYLD02 9/27/2010 8:09AM

    I also would love to hear the stories of people who run in the races I've run. I'm sure each and every one of them would be different and insparational.

Great blog!

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ELYMWX 9/27/2010 12:03AM

    Jan, every time I think I'm over how I look in the mirror, I get surprised by it. Maybe one day this will change, but I have to admit that I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

For me, running is something that I apparently always wanted to do. I didn't run to lose weight. I lost weight so therefore now I can run.

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DREMARGRL 9/26/2010 9:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
BRAVO, Jan. Thought of you running your butt off all day and knew you had that smile on your face and twinkle in your eye. Hope you pampered yourself all day today.......
I'm proud of you......and love your emoticon my friend. XO MaryAnn emoticon

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BOBBYD31 9/26/2010 8:34PM

    great blog jan! i would love to hear their stories too. you are such an inspiration and i enjoy reading your blogs, i wanna be like jan!

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LAURIE5658 9/26/2010 7:58PM

    Jan, the first and foremost reason that I started running was to be proactive with my health since I need to be seriously concerned with breast cancer. I can't fight Mother nature and the genes I have been given, BUT I can control my fitness level and general health. It is my responsibility to myself. The accomplishments I have experienced along the way is purely icing on the cake and how sweet it is!!!

Love you, my friend and THANK YOU for being a part of my life!!!


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LAGREBE 9/26/2010 6:52PM

    Congratualtion on your journey and the marathon. I am at the beginning of this "running thing." Next time when I'll see one of these accomplished runners whom I admire and who intimidate me just a tad I will be thinking of you... and just absorbe the positive running vibes!

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ANGIEBILL 9/26/2010 6:24PM

    Jan, what you said about being healthy is so true. It took me along time to realize that being a certain number on a scale is not as important as being healthy. I have accomplished that this year and I am proud to say that you have helped me get there. Will I still stumble yes, (proved that this week), but then I am only human and I will once again get the mindset that it took me so long to get to. I am more healthy now than this time last year and I will continue this journey knowing that I can only improve!

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BUGSMOM211 9/26/2010 12:33PM

    Congrats on your marathon..That was a terrific blog, how inspiring!

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    Jan you are so special - I owe you my life as a runner - I probably would of postponed going to the foot doctor - and I would of ended my career totally as a runner forever.

You may not be able to talk to each person, but just the fact you think about them and their journey and tell us that you think about these people - you give their journey and their stories life.

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JUST_TRI_IT 9/26/2010 11:16AM

    I agree!! I often wish I could stop to hear the stories. I'm sure many of them as deeply inspiring. To feel the positive vibes of health all around you while in an event is just FANTASTIC! So much of what seems impossible you realize is simple DOABLE if we put our hearts and minds to the task.

Here's to a fine day to you too :)

Comment edited on: 9/26/2010 11:16:13 AM

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B-N-ME 9/26/2010 11:07AM

    Great blog Jan. Everyone is on a journey and many at different points on the road. emoticon to you on your journey and all you have accomplished!!

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CUTEANGEL79 9/26/2010 9:53AM

    congrats on running the marathon thats a major accomplishment

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Akron marathon 9.25.10

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Today was my 20 mile training run in preparation for the Columbus marathon in three weeks. I did something daring and decided to run the Akron marathon instead. I am home and it went well.

Because it was a training run, I wanted to aim for 10:30 pace, and I did 10:31 according to my Garmin which I am very happy with. I am not sure what kind of watch the pacer I started out with was using, but he passed me with one runner at about mile18 or so - I think he was a lot 'faster than advertised' and finished way before me.

I was really concerned yesterday how this was going to pan out. I am really stuffy and have some cough. I was actually prepared to throw in the towel if need be. But i did not!!!

The weather for this run was incredible - clear sky this am with a temp of 59. There were little or no winds. Things were looking up for us. I have not done the 26.2 in Akron before (also known as 'running the bird' because Time Warner is the presenting sponsor). I have done it as a relay - and I have done the half twice. But there were lots of spectator support along the way. Law enforcement was there in full force to make sure cars went the right way and did not cross the streets we were running on. The organization of this marathon is incredible.

We ran through some neighborhoods and they had block parties. The support from everyone is just incredible.

I did mention the hills. Yes, they were there - and yes they were a bear. But I ran them - and I am putting them behind me. Columbus is FLAT.

Towards the end of my run - it started to cloud up and now it is overcast.

Here is something I have never seen at an event before - right after you cross the finish line - who greats you to say thank you for running ... the race director. How incredible is that?

I am home, showered, and an experience richer. It was a great day at the office.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERYLD02 9/27/2010 8:13AM

    Great job Jan! You are awesome! Now on to Columbus! Good luck on the 'flat'!

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LOREENYK 9/26/2010 12:43PM

    I have wondered why they would keep registrations open right up until race day - now I know!!! Good luck on your next one!!!

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JUST_TRI_IT 9/26/2010 11:12AM

    Running a race to training for a race! WOW :) And to be able to look forward to the flat route in your next one after thriving on the hills in this race, YEAH!!! Flat might almost feel like downhill.

You have tickled my inspiration to keep working on my runs. My first half is not until June but I have LOTS of work to do before that point :)

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CUTEANGEL79 9/26/2010 9:55AM

    good job on the marathon so far ive done 3 5k walks two were at 49 minutes and the 3rd was at 46 but thats due to that it was the same course i did the year before. Planning on doing my 4th one in Oct ( that will make 3 this year).

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DJS-DEBBIE 9/25/2010 11:40PM

    You are awesome!

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GOEGIRL 9/25/2010 9:48PM

    Wow! Terrific pace - congratulations! What a feat - to be able to just jump in and do a marathon as a training run. You ROCK! Well done!!

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MARYMARY611 9/25/2010 8:31PM

    Great job!!! Glad you reached your goals with your pace, hills and finishing strong. You will PR at Columbus!

FYI - Brett is still steamed at how he blew up on this marathon last year. I have a feeling we'll be back there for redeption in the next few years.

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GRACE612 9/25/2010 8:14PM

    You rock!

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BILLALEX70 9/25/2010 5:32PM

    Always amazing!

You're one of the few people I know that would run a MARATHON to train for another MARATHON!

See you in 3 weeks.

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ANGIEBILL 9/25/2010 5:29PM

    Thanks for sharing your day, I was wondering how things went for you. Congratulations on a great finish!

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TTLEELEE 9/25/2010 4:50PM

    DUDE- BOOYAH!!! on that one. Keep feeling better and knockin' our running sneakers off emoticon

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    Jan - you did awesome what a pacer you would be have you ever thought of doing that someday?

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B-N-ME 9/25/2010 4:12PM

    You never cease to amaze! I am not surprized to hear you ran even though you weren't feeling 100%. I remember a couple of years ago you had an injury but did Lake Tahoe anyhow....
A force to be reckoned with, a man with a big heart, a man on a mission!!!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/25/2010 3:21PM

    That's some training pace for 26 miles! It's almost goal race pace for me.
Have a great taper.

Comment edited on: 9/25/2010 3:22:32 PM

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ETTEZEUS 9/25/2010 3:19PM

    Excellent run!
Thanks for sharing!

Enjoy the rest of your day.

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LAURIE5658 9/25/2010 3:15PM

    Jan, I have been wondering how it was going for you and now I know. You RAWK!! Congratulations on the finish and a great one at that. Great things await you!

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BOBBYD31 9/25/2010 3:14PM

    you da man jan!! great pace today and glad you are feeling well after. now are you going to taper for or just keep training for an ultra????

great job!

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Reflections 9.23.10

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Last year I met one of my colleagues somewhere where I did not expect her. Although she is an oncology nurse in my hospital, she was in street clothes in the outpatient cancer center. I asked her what she was doing there and she told me that her son Chris was there for treatment.

I got to meet Chris. He was 26 at the time. Newly diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma - getting his first chemo. In addition to his mom and his wife, he had several of his friends there. We got to talk and it happened to be a week before the Cleveland marathon we got to talk about that. When he found out that this loudmouth was running the Ceveland marathon, he made a comment that one day he wanted to run a marathon. He had been a runner in college, and running a marathon was something he always wanted to do.

Chris and I got to know each other better, and when we had the kick off event for the 2009 Cleveland marathon - who was there but Chris. He has signed up for the Cleveland marathon with Team in Training to raise money for the leukemia and lymphoma society.

He trained and trained and trained .... and on race day - he was at the starting line. Ready to rock and run the Cleveland marathon. (I was running the half - as a non fundraising team in training alumni Two weeks prior I completed the half ironman distance and raised more than 9k for the society).

I finished my half - and once I had escorted my DW across the finish line (she walked the HM)... I went out on the course to meet Chris. I met him about a mile before the finish, and got to run in with him and his brother and one of the TNT coaches. Chris was having a rough time, but he crossed the finish line in style... one year and one week after his first cancer treatment.

I am writing this to you because Chris is a role model for all of us. Can you imagine - you have to change your entire life - including wedding date - because you are diagnosed with cancer.
I did not tell you - within hours of getting married - He was receiving his first chemo.

Oh, did I also tell you - he was back on the basketball court even before his treatment was done.

Chris was also the guy who called a couple of months ago and started talking about running the Columbus marathon (I am running the full - he is running the half)

Chris says - having cancer have taught me a lot. My friend, Chris' story can teach you and I a lot. It is about focusing, preserverence, having goals and reaching your goals. If you want to have a healthy life style ... it is about focusing, preservence, and goal setting, keeping in mind healthy lifestyle is not only about losing weight.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DJS-DEBBIE 9/24/2010 12:14AM

    Thanks for sharing such a great story!

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DREMARGRL 9/23/2010 3:35PM

    You know I love your reflections and your love for people! What more can I say, except that you are a warrior and inspiring man. Chris was encouraged by you, I'm sure, and that is a treasured friend. Cancer does change ones life...Whether you have it or are a caregiver, it can be a positive in so many ways.
XO MaryAnn emoticon

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B-N-ME 9/23/2010 2:38PM

    Wonderful story, truly an inspiration.
Thanks for sharing.

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2WHEELER 9/23/2010 12:43PM

    Great blog. I hope he's still running years and years from now.

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CHERYLD02 9/23/2010 12:38PM

    Very insparational story. Thank you for sharing.

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LILPAT3 9/23/2010 12:16PM

    Thanks for sharing!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/23/2010 10:34AM

    So true! Believe in yourself and go for it.

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LAURIE5658 9/23/2010 9:39AM

    What a wonderful wonderful story. THANK YOU!

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RUNSWITHDEER 9/23/2010 9:28AM

    Thanks for the post. Cancer seems to be the prevalent diagnoses in many close friends and family lately. Exercise and healthy eating seem to combat its reign. May your new friend Chris have a long life!!!!!!!

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BECKA525 9/23/2010 8:56AM

    Thanks for sharing. God has put these stories in front of me today to get my motivation going again. I was going to blow off my workout today but I don't think so anymore. I truly want to be the healthiest that I can be and that means I have to exercise most days to do that.

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PAMINHALF 9/23/2010 7:51AM

  Thank you for sharing this. Very touching.

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JEM0622 9/23/2010 7:23AM

    What a tremendous and touching story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. emoticon

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    Jan - you meet so many inspirational people. Thank you for passing this story along to us. It makes my problems seem so small.

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IRISHLASS117 9/23/2010 6:37AM

    Thank you for sharing Chris with us Warrior. Your Warrior Team is growning!

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BILLALEX70 9/23/2010 6:32AM

    So very true.

Live each day to its fullest!

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KRAFTIJAN 9/23/2010 6:30AM

    Thanks for your story. One of my niece's has just been diaognosed with Hodgkins. She starts her treatment this week.. It give me lots of extra hope for her. The family knows she has the right attitude to face this demon so I know in the end she will be like your friend Chris.

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Reflections 9.22.10

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In her status SP_COACH_NANCY wrote "wonders why so many of us, me included, put so much emphasis on the number on the scale, when we should be focused on the numbers that detemine our health! SparkPeople and Running equals health! "

Coach you bring up an excellent point. Why are we so focused on the scale when there are so many other indicators of healthy living and behaviors. I think we have created the wrong impression when people frequently feel they have failed by not losing weight every single week, or if their weight goes up one or two lbs.

I have spent a lot of time looking at peoples personal pages. It is very interesting reading, and I feel many should take a step back and look at 'what do I want to accomplish'? Perhaps they should adjust the goals to things that are more achievable and then adjust the goals as they go along. Losing 4 lbs over x-time is a lot more manageable than losing 40 lbs in the same time period.

In my readings I have also found an incredible number of people who are not slowing down despite injuries, but that is for another reflection.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LILPAT3 9/23/2010 12:28PM

    I lost a bunch of weight and I had soooooo much loose skin. I started lifting again, took care of the loose skin problem but gained muscle weight. I still have some weight to lose but I do not weigh very often and use the way I feel and the way my clothes fit to determine what my next move will be. I may be destined to compete in triathlon as an Athena the rest of my life....but I can deal with that! emoticon

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BILLALEX70 9/23/2010 6:02AM

    I thought that Coach Nancy's reflection was very interesting as well.

As you know I've been struggling with the scale numbers, but all of my other numbers are good; triglycerides, cholesterol, glucose and all of the others. I've not let the scale dictate what I can or cannot do; nor do I plan to let it. Eventually the scale will start to drop again and that will only make me more of a force to be reckoned with.

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DRPOOH63 9/22/2010 10:06PM

    Very interesting - I think the same thing when I read many of these blogs. Focus is on the scale not the health. I do wonder if there is a fear when you get injured that all the hard work you have accomplished will go away. That by stepping back and healing that you will undo everything so far -- too easy to fall back into old patterns.....

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