HI, Traci. . .
1) Name: Marnie
2) Location: Lakewood (suburb of Denver. . .2 minutes from the foothills)
3) Occupation - Middle school math teacher (have taught grades 1,4,5 and 6. . .I get bored after about 6 years, so I've bounced around grade levels and buildings for the last 25 years). Now just counting down the years until retirement. . .4 1/2 more!!! Life's too short to be working, I want to be playing all of the time!!
4) Age - 47 (ouch, that sounds old!)
5) Marital/Family situation - married to my very best buddy. We have a lot of fun together. No kids, 1 cat who is getting old and crotchety. His brother died a few years back, so he's lonely.
6) Favorite hobbies? We are whitewater kayak freaks (we met when my husband rescued me after I flipped in a rapid and took a swim). Have kayaked in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Idaho, and all over Colorado. Motorcycle touring and trail riding (I'm not very good at the trail riding, but we have fun). Snowboarding in the winter. Musician - piano, harp (I have 2), flute, piccolo, guitar, ukulele, hammered dulcimer, used to play in a semi-professional handbell ensemble. Avid reader - mostly sci-fi and fantasy. I love gardening and beading. We love camping, especially off of the motorcycles. Did a 23-day, 5000 mile tour last summer, camping every night. Now if I could just find a way to strap my lap harp onto the bike, it would be great!!
7) CML diagnosed when? Diagnosed June of -09, the year from hell. Horrible principal, dysfunctional school, worst-ever teaching partner. Had a weird bruise on my leg, doc assumed it was pooled blood and tried to pull it out with a needle, but nothing came out, so he did a blood test to check for an infection. Came back 265K, so he sent me to a hematologist. Thought I was just going to see a specialist for more tests, and about had a heart attack when the address turned out to be the cancer center. Was signed up for dirt-bike camp in July, and doc said I could go as long as I got the counts down in time. Had a blast at dirt-bike camp, and from there proceded on to a week-long camping trip with the trail bikes. Then on to a 3-week trip on the road bikes. It was a great summer, even though I was getting used to the idea of living with cancer. There were a few bad days on the bike. Gleevec and a full day in the saddle sometimes don't mix.
8) Stories or advice: Don't go for a long walk on the beach without access to bathrooms. Unless you enjoy looking like a fool waddling as fast as you can with your cheeks clenched hoping to make it back to the parking lot in time.
Hand cramps and foot cramps from Gleevec can come at the most inopportune times if you enjoy riding a motorcycle. Picture this. . .going up a rocky technical slope, really gripped because it's a pretty difficult ride and if you crash it will HURT. Your hand cramps up just when you need to pull in the clutch to downshift. Not a pretty picture. Lucky thing I was wearing my supersuit. . .if only you could see the picture. Think superhero. . .shiny black hard plastic (with smart pink piping along the seams) torso-fitting jacket-thing. Barbie-doll sized bust cups (I'm not Barbie-doll sized, so I can fit an extra peanut butter sandwich in each cup. . .very handy if you need a mid-ride snack).
Switched to Sprycel in January and am very excited to finally have gotten a decent PCR result (yesterday). Fewer side effects on Sprycel. Now my only problem is surviving until the end of the school year!!