Thursday, September 25, 2008


Margaret is still at Duke fighting the fight. She had unexpected emergency surgery on Tuesday for what they thought was a perforated intestine. It was septic. She had a choice. Do nothing and die in 2 days or have the surgery. The surgery would be very risky as well based on her immune system down and blood counts extremely low. We were all sitting on the edges of our seats over the last couple of days.

She risked having the surgery (who wouldn't) and has rallied back AGAIN!!!She continues to amaze and impress her team of neuro oncologists ( and me too!).

Today she is beat up after having 2 rounds of surgery but today her BP and breathing are really good! She is alert and responsive. Talk about a fighter..

HERE is a link to Duke UNIVERSITY Medical (she's not at the Regional hospital) Room #4207 NERVEGNA is her last name
Anyone who wants to send an e-card, It gets printed and brought to her room. My goal is to have as many as possible sent to PLASTER THE WALLS!!
I'll be working on the WHO NEEDS CANDY...NOT ME...I think :-O spread sheet soon!
This candy thing is gonna be TOUGH! I was barely in the grocery store door yesterday and WHAM!
Stacks and stacks of mmmmm.mmmm goooooood candy and it's not even October yet.
Oh Boy... What have I done? hee hee

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Hummmmmmmmmm. I've been thinking...
I wonder if I have the self discipline to not let one piece of Halloween candy or any candy
for that matter pass my lips for one month. OCTOBER.
I guess I won't know until I make the commitment and if I do fail, it will just prove that I am a spineless wonder as Gary suggested when I roll my bike down the steep hills in cross instead of riding down them. :-) not
tough enough.
Who wants to jump on? Maybe Danielle can set up a spreadsheet and we would have mark each day with a choice obscenity or turrets style outburst to relieve the stress of having it in our FACE 24/7 for the next 38 days.
Launch day would be Oct 1st so you would be allowed to gouge your pie hole with as many Twizzlers, Starbursts or ehumm... Tooties Rolls Kate.... that your body will digest and your pancreas could handle without using up your insulin stores..

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cross season 08

It's that time of year again and while most of you are still tri training and racing, I'm thinking It's time to pull my cross bike down and get jiggy with it. I completely suck at this sport
and this is the honest truth. Just ask Kathy, or Gary, or Cort. I toe the line with 2 dozen or so other women with quads of steel and oodles of experience and massively great single track cycling skills and then there's me. The triathlete. I look like a lemon in a crate of clementines.
Riding in your areobars all summer on smooth pavement averaging a HR that is manageable enough to carry on a conversation or pop in a Clif Blok, is not conducive to cross racing.
This will be season 3 for me and I'm hoping that in the least, I remember some of my cross skills.
I will be picky about what I will sign up for being privy to most of the courses offered around here.

The goals will be simple:

Avoid any courses with pee my pants descents
Too many sand pits
No woods to go hide and cry in
Pea stone gravel

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pictorial Pumpkin Man Race Report

Sorry for the delay in updating my blog, but I was waiting for an update on Margaret before I posted so I could update those of you who have asked. She is still down at Duke. She just finished up a new round of chemo and is still in the Critical Care unit. On Friday, they met with the discharge coordinator and the neuro-oncology team down there, to figure out an "exit strategy". Plans ranged from a long term acute care hospital (LTACH) to home care with 24 hour nursing care and home ventilator support. She is able to stay off the ventilator for up to 11 hours now so that is great. Igor her boyfriend, has been great about keeping us all updated here in Boston. He has been down there with her since August 17th which was meant for a *weekend* for both of them at Duke and haven't been able to come back to Boston yet. Margaret has a feeding tube and a trach to aid in her breathing and nutrition. Everyone please keep sending those healing vibes.

1. We want a HIGH platlet count.
2. We want her to keep weening herself off of the ventilator.
3. We need this new round of chemo to kick in.
4. We want her stable enough to come home!

Is that asking a lot? I think not.

Pumpkin Man was the perfect race to end the season.

Here I am post race with some of my family that live up in the area where the race was held. A good choice given this great opportunity to gather up some of them over the weekend who don't often have a chance to see me race. My sister made the best lasagna for dinner the night before. Thanks sister Paular. Pictured is Big Ed aka my Dad, Mr. TGP, me, my sista
and my 16 year old nephew A. (Andrew) Isn't he cute?

And here's the offical race sag wagon parked at my sister's house. Big deal right? Well, I didn't know until the LAST MINUTE practically that Andrew was going to be driving the sag wagon during the bike portion of the race! He works at the LBS in the area all summer, Papa Wheelies, and they were the official bike mechanic/support for both the sprint race on Saturday and the 1/2 on Sunday. Tangent:Look how green and perfect my sister's lawn is. (eyes rolling)

Here we are before the swim start. I'm chatting with PureMadness Jen who was there selling her wares. Hey Jen... START POSTING ON YOUR NEW BLOG already.... notice the horns my sister has. Not out of her head, in her hand. ( just kidding big sister) Yes, she used them. A LOT.
Check out this nasty hill they had you run up to transition. I am RUNNING or attempting to do so as to not disappoint The Father figure who without a doubt would have given me GRIEF for walkin' up it. Don't my arms look like they are ready to rock climb?

Go go Gadget...

Bummer I don't have a picture of me road side changing my flat at 2:04/ 42 miles into the race. My fangs and claws came out for just a moment not soon after the wave of dread that came over me first when I heard the pop. I quickly regained my composure and reminded myself the day is about Margaret not me and to HTFU. Come to find out, I'm racing on Vittoria Crono tires which are in fact, time trial tires that are extremely light weight and fast but have very little puncture resistance. There ya and learn! I had the sucker changed and on my way before Andrew ever came around with the sag wagon. Yippppeee!

When I crossed the finish line, my time was 5:04 and I was thinking wow, with a flat and plenty of hills I sure was speedy! NOT. The course was short on both the bike and the run come to find out. Both Kat and Jeff Donatello put tons of effort into making it a fun weekend for all with lots of attention to detail. I got lots and lots of comments and thumbs up on my Margaret suit. I thought of her often through out the race and was proud to be supporting her and racing for her. I spy RD Kat Donatello and female winner/LP ironman champion, Catlin Snow....and my big 'o butt. :-O I will leave you with this email I got from my one and only sister Paula who battled her own cancer at age 28.

How ya feeling racer girl????

I had fun waiting for you to cross the finish line at pumpkinman. I was just wowed by watching all the racers. It looked like fun and yet ....very out of your mind crazy all at once , you should be very proud of yourself, we are of you! ! I have to say, I did have a bit of a tear for Margaret when you came across the line.I saw the back of that suit and felt blessed to be healthy and given a chance to live on.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Fun day even with another.... Pffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff FLAT!
Race report coming soon!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Must haves for proper triathlon spectating

Lets start with the simple cow bell. Your voice will thank you later. Surrounding spectating neighbors might not like this but to flippin' bad, right? And I'm not talking one of those itty bitty jingle bell types they hand out for free.I'm talkin'
the really big ones you have to BUY.
Your athlete will appreciate it. Plus they'll hear it at least a mile away and know it's you ringin because you'll be the only one with the balls to actually ring the sucker and it will give your athlete a chance to compose themselves and muster up a jog instead of the death march they are doing at the moment back there in
*the bad place*.

You will look SHARP toting one of these around. Trust me on this one. The BB Gun or otherwise known as *The Motivator* will save your voice and you can put down that cowbell when your wrist becomes sore and your own ears are ringing without the bell. One shot of this in the ass of your athlete and he or she will be well on their way for that PR run! A pop in the shoulder if you catch them on the bike course is simply to remind them why they spent $900 on those carbon aerobars up front and to stop sitting up like they are pedaling a beach cruiser on the Venice Beach bike path.

Now I hate to sound ungrateful here but sometimes "Your lookin' good!" or " Almost there!" gets old and quite frankly, doesn't have a lot of thought behind it. Carry this along with you for quick reference when you become stumped as to what to say to your athlete as they pass by. A few choice obscenities are quite acceptable but you don't want to sound like a dirty truck driver all day so you should alternate your comments based on how your athlete looks at that particular moment. For example:
Calling them a sorry looking sonofabitch might be a bit much if your athlete is on
the verge of tears. Use your best judgement!

I don't want to seem completely selfish here and your comfort is of utmost concern so one of these might be an option before your legs become throbbing tree trunks standing in the blazing heat or pouring rain. The little sucker folds right up for carting around the course too! So clever.

Speaking of folding gizmos, isn't this convenient?? A folding stretcher!!! Think of the praise you will get if you happen to see (god forbid) an athlete down for the count. If the BB gun doesn't get a response, the fat lady sang.