I’m going to be doing my first ever charity bike ride in about 5 weeks.Â Saturday, September 29 I’ll be riding in the Bike and Hike the Berkshires event put on by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
I’m looking for sponsors for my ride, so that by doing the ride I’ll raise money for MS research, advocacy and education.Â It’s also a challenge for me, as I’ll be riding 50 miles through hilly countryside (my longest ride in one day previously is a bit over 30 miles).
I know multiple people who live with MS or have recently been diagnosed, and they are why I’m doing this.Â Having not done this kind of fundraising before, I set my goal low, but I’ve already gotten a few donations after sending out a mass e-mail, so I may end up raising the goal.Â We’ll see how it goes.
My personal fundraising page is here.Â You can donate online there, as well as find out more about the event, the MS Society, and what it does with your contributions.Â You can also contact me if you’d like to mail a donation.Â Chances are that almost all readers of this blog received my e-mail about this earlier in the evening, but I did get a few bounces from ISPs that don’t seem to like my domain name.Â So hopefully some will see this post who didn’t get that.
I’m happy to answer any questions, of course.Â I plan to write a full report on the ride here after it happens, and I may even do some live blogging during rest breaks (my cell phone has web access, and though typing is glacially slow, it is doable).Â I’m also going to look into what to do to train for the event (if anyone has any advice, let me know – thanks).
We have another cat who has been diagnosed with cancer.Â Most readers will remember that a very large tumor had been discovered in Nematode in the Fall of 2005, and we had to have her euthanized in February of last year.Â Now we face a similar situation with Shark.
In the first few months of this year, Shark seemed to be losing weight rather rapidly, going from his typical 13 or 14 pounds down below 11.Â I took him to the vet in May for tests, and they discovered his thyroid levels were high.Â We started him on medication for that, and his weight seemed to stabilize for a while.Â However, he started to shrink again in July.Â Another visit to the vet showed normal thyroid and other levels in his blood work, but the vet felt a lump in his intestines.Â I took him to another clinic for ultrasound scanning, and they actually detected several small lumps and nodules throughout his abdominal cavity.Â Lab tests on some needle samples confirmed that he has cancer spread throughout his abdomen (the medical term for this being carcinomatosis).
There isn’t any particular cure for this.Â Palliative care is what we’re trying to do, giving him an anti-inflammatory drug (non-steroidal) to kill any pain from the tumors and possibly slow their growth.Â Having less pain there should help him eat, plus he’s also getting an appetite stimulant.Â This is on top of his thyroid and heart medications, so he’s getting six doses of medicine a day currently.Â Fortunately, Shark has always been good at taking pills.
I was told when the diagnosis was certain (about a week-and-a-half ago) that he probably had weeks, maybe a month, to live.Â So far he seems to be maintaining his weight at a little over 9 pounds, but he isn’t eating what he used to.Â Today he was less enthusiastic about food than the past several days, and of course, if he doesn’t eat enough, he’ll decline more rapidly.Â The vet’s estimate could yet come to pass, or maybe Shark will stick it out longer.
I suppose losing one cat last year makes this a little easier to bear, but I’m still steeling myself for what is to come.Â Shark has always been my cat in particular, and I’ve had him for 13 years now.Â His personality is pretty much the same, but he is sometimes acting uncomfortable, and maybe scared, and I know he’ll decline emotionally as his physical health goes.Â We’ll do what we can until he ceases to be happy and comfortable.
Those of you who live in the area and know Shark are invited to come and see him, while there is still a chance to do so.Â Just don’t all come at once, as he gets skittish and flees when we have multiple visitors.Â Â
Last weekend I hiked section 8 of the M-M trail, which I had done once before (about a year ago). This was different from my other hikes, in that I got up early and hit the trail at 7:15am, as opposed to hiking in the afternoon. This had the big advantage that it wasn’t blazing hot – the temp was around 60 degrees when I started out.
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Â I don’t usually propagate these memes myself (and aren’t memes supposed to be self-propagating?), but I thought this was fun.Â I like the alliterative aspect.
I got this from Matt Quirk’s blog.Â The person he got it from has a name beginning with ‘S’, so I put down different answers from hers:
Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the followingâ€¦They MUST be real places, names, thingsâ€¦NOTHING made up! If you canâ€™t think of anything, skip it. Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You CANâ€™T use your name for the boy/girl name question.
Your name: Sean
Famous music artist/group: Skinny Puppy
3 letter word: Soy
TV show: Sesame Street
Boyâ€™s name: Stanley
Girlâ€™s name: Sharon
Alcoholic beverage: Schnapps
Celebrity: Scott Shaw
Something found in a kitchen: Sink
Reason for being late: Slept late
Something you shout: SPOON!
Yesterday I headed for downtown Noho, looking forward to picking up some bread at our usual bakery (Bakery Normand).Â I hadn’t gotten any bread there in a few weeks, because I was trying to use up some store-bought stuff that I had bought too much of.Â I missed the nice, fresh wheat and flaxseed bread they make, and wanted to pick up a couple of loaves.
I got there and discovered a sign on the door indicating that they were closed for vacation, and would be back at the end of the week.Â Annoying to be sure, but I decided that I could go to a different bread bakery in town (Hungry Ghost Bread Co.), and get some there.Â It’s pricier, and not quite as good as BN, but still nice bread.
Turns out that they were specially closed as well for the next couple of day – no reason given on the sign.Â Bah!Â I ended up getting some okay bread at a small grocery store across the street from HGBC, but I have to wonder if there is a bakers’
conspiracy convention going on.