What I’m grateful for (it might surprise you)

I was walking down Newbury Street in Boston the other day and got a kick out of this sign:

“Go away, this is my month!”

In all actuality, I doubt the turkey would really mind skipping over the Thanksgiving holiday. However, if this is a suicidal turkey, instead of yelling at Santa, I think he needs to have a little one-on-one with Mother Nature. There’s nothing like a pre-winter snowstorm to get you in the holiday spirit prematurely.I just love the holiday season, and don’t mind spreading it out and making it last a little longer, but like everything it’s good in moderation. For instance, I currently have the Christmas station on Pandora included in my shuffle playlist. I’ve decided I’ll wait until Dec. 1 to go all out Christmas Carols. All the time.

Ross and I spotted this sign this past weekend, while enjoying a beautiful fall day downtown Boston:

And one lucky birthday girl (meeee!) was treated to some new LuLuLemon pants! Ross had originally picked out a workout coat for me, and bought it in my usual size yet somehow it was too small. I blame LuLu sizing and not the Peppermint Mocha Lattes (can’t resist those red cups!) Their clothes are so good though, I would still by them even if I was a size 60.

So I exchanged the too small coat for perfect fittings pants, and they will be put to good use since I’m back into the workouts full force!

I unfortunately had to take nearly 3 months off of doing yoga and running, two of the things I love most! Not due to a workout related injury, but to a freckle of all things!

About a year ago, I noticed a dark, almost black shiny small freckle/mole on the back of my right hamstring. It wasn’t big, or ugly (in fact some people I showed called it a beauty mark), it didn’t itch or bleed, it was flat and perfectly symmetrical. Even WebMD (which usually makes me sure I’m dying with runny nose symptoms alone) didn’t seem to think this particular mole was bad. Regardless, it bothered me for some reason
and I decided to go see a dermatologist- and I’m SO glad I did.

Visit #1- The derm looked at it and agreed the color was suspicious (darker than my other freckles). Since it was so small it made more sense to remove the whole thing rather than taking a piece for biopsy, so I reluctantly scheduled the appointment for the excision.

Visit #2- It only took about 20 minutes for the excision to be completed. They numbed my leg and luckily I got to lie on my stomach and play with the iPad my very generous co-worker allowed me to borrow during the procedure. 2 stitches, and 3 weeks recovery 😦 I guess this is not always the case, but my suture was in a bad spot right on my hamstring, and moving it too much in either direction hurt a lot. My derm told me he was going on vacation for two weeks and he’d call me after with the results.

Visit #3- Saw the Derm’s assistant to get the stitches out, it only took a few minutes and felt so nice not to have those damn things itching my leg for a change! I could finally not wear a band aid (the sticky part of the band aid was causing a terrible rash around my scar). I was only about 1 week away from *finally* getting to run/yoga again!

About 2 1/2 weeks after my 2nd visit I got the call with the results. The good news? I did not have cancer! The bad news? I had pre-cancer. Say what? Pre-Melanoma. I’d never even heard of pre-cancer (melanoma-in-situ), and didn’t quite know what to think until I heard the doctor telling me we would have to do another surgery to remove more. About 5X more. I basically broke down at this. I had just (barely) made it through 3 weeks of not working out and recovering, and to hear I needed another, bigger, surgery, asap, was not exactly comforting.

Visit #4- The big surgery. This time in lieu of the iPad, I had my amazing, fantastic fiance sitting with me the entire time keeping me company and asking important questions. It took a lot longer, and it wasn’t very comfortable, but having Ross there made it bearable.

The recovery sucked. I felt like I was slowly losing my fitness (and mind) a little more everyday. I was bored,anxious and angry.

I was also stupid. It’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture in challenging times like this, but now that I’m through it, cancer and pre-cancer free (with a cool scar to show for it), I can see clearly that it was my attitude, and not my situation, that was the real issue. Being able to exercise again has taken away the boredom and anxiety, and time has taken away the anger. I am now just feeling GRATEFUL!

November is a month to give thanks (if you don’t believe me, just ask the angry, suicidal turkey above). Right now I couldn’t be more thankful for the events that occurred the past few months. Because of them I am healthy, and what is more important than your health?

I’m not going to lecture here on how you should wear sunscreen (please do!) or NOT go in tanning beds (seriously, don’t), but I will stress that if you have anything on your body that doesn’t seem right to you, get it checked out! Yes, it’s inconvenient to make the appointment and take time away from your busy life but it’s worth it. Melanoma is steadily on the rise, and the statistics aren’t good if you catch it late.

I’ve seen lots of people writing 1 thing a day for the month of November that they are grateful for. I’m little behind with this, but going to jump on the grateful bandwagon here:

This month I’m grateful 1. that I caught this early. 2. That I trust my instincts 3. for the sweaty 3 mile treadmill speed workout I did today and 4.my new yoga pants 5.My fiance who bought me said yoga pants 6. Our puppy Mango 7. peppermint mocha lattes and 8. our gas fireplace in our new apartment that’s keeping us cozy and warm in this pre-winter storm:

What are you giving thanks for this month?

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