A Day Late and a Dollar Short: Wonderful Stuff Wednesday (on Thursday)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

So yesterday... I don't even have a good excuse for why I didn't post Wonderful Stuff Wednesday. I was handling some things at work and then I went home instead of going to the gym because I was incredibly sore from my workout on Tuesday (probably because I am woefully out of shape, which means I should go to the gym more, not less... but oh well). BUT, I am here today, so you can all calm down and settle in for another edition of Wonderful Stuff Wednesday (on Thursday).

Pretty accurate description.
The first wonderful thing I would like to discuss is what made me so sore on Tuesday. I am late to the party, but I discovered Barre classes! I had been wanting to try the one at my gym (where I haven't been for months... nothing like throwing $45 out the window every month for no good reason) since the summer started, but the classes are on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings, so I could never get to them due to my class schedule and having a job. I went on Tuesday for the first time, and I was nervous because I didn't know anyone, I knew that I was out of shape, and I wasn't sure if my body could handle actually working out, since I have a tendency to get hypotensive and fall over when I exercise. I ended up having the best time, though! The instructor was good and the class was pretty small (about 15 women of varying ages). It was a much harder workout than I had originally thought it would be when the class started, and I was definitely "feeling the burn" about 15 minutes in. I only started to feel disgusting and possibly like I was going to die when we were about 45 minutes in and had picked up the pace a LOT (and added some weights). I took about a minute to wipe my face (I was sweating profusely) and breathe, and then I stopped feeling gross. I wasn't sure how sore I'd be the next day, but I definitely was! In fact, I am still sore from using muscles that I didn't even know that I had. I have never been one to enjoy the treadmill, and I could never figure out how the hell the elliptical worked. I think I have definitely found my work-out "home" in pilates/barre, and I'd like to try yoga, because God knows I could use the mental calming that comes with that work-out. What are your favorite ways to exercise?

How oddly specific.
This is a bit of silliness for you. My friend's husband had posted this on Facebook this morning, and it made me laugh. Internet, you are a weird place. Apparently, someone, somewhere, really loves drawing on small, ceramic, cats.

This is probably one of the most adorable things I'll see all week. If you haven't already seen it, this is a mini-documentary about Fred Stobaugh, a 96 year old man who entered a song writing contest and wrote a song about his wife, Lorraine, with whom he had spent 75 years of his life. It's a sweet story and song, and it will make you smile... and also possibly cry a bit.

To file under, "Too Adorable for Words" and to cross-file under "Biological Clock on Overdrive". I think my favorite part is that she is so excited about seeing her dad on Skype that she just has to hug someone. Just try to not get the warm fuzzies about this. If you succeed, stop reading this blog because clearly, we aren't supposed to be friends.  (Just kidding, you can stay.  I am just going to apologize in advance about my love of small, adorable, children.)

So, this might not sound wonderful, but September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Many of you know that I work at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in the oncology department. Recently, we were ranked #1 by Parents Magazine as one of the ten best children's hospitals in the country, and in all ten sub-specialities ranked by the US News and World Report, CHOP was ranked in the top 4. CHOP is a pretty special place, and the doctors, nurses, and other clinicians that I work with are beyond wonderful and amazing. Fortunately, I was a healthy child (amazing, I know, given how diseased I am now, haha) so I never had any experiences with CHOP as a patient. One of my best friends, however, had a sister who was treated at CHOP for most of her life. At 7, Jessica was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), the most common childhood malignancy. She went into remission, which was great; ALL has an overall survival rate of over 85%. Unfortunately, Jessica relapsed, had a bone marrow transplant, and relapsed again. She received a second transplant, but never recovered. On May 28th, 2010, Jessica died in the PICU at CHOP, surrounded by her family and the doctors who had cared for her for over 10 years. When I interviewed for my position, I offhandedly mentioned her name and the doctor who was interviewing me instantly knew who she was. That's how it is here; every patient is important, special, and remembered. Even when they're adults. Lisa Haffner, an oncology nurse here at CHOP, is a two-time childhood cancer survivor who is now battling an adult cancer. While she is fighting hard (and recently came back to work!) she did make a bucket list. On her bucket list? Being part of a flashmob.

The people who come down the stairs at the end are some of the doctors I work with, and yes, they're like that in real life (minus the air guitar-ing... usually). This is the kind of place that CHOP is, and I love it here.

Every year, CHOP helps to host multiple events to raise awareness about childhood cancer, as well as to raise funds to support the vital research necessary to someday cure every child who is diagnosed with cancer. Treatments are getting better every day; one of the teams here at CHOP has been instrumental in bringing a new treatment to the forefront called CART19. (It's very cool, check it out here, here, and here.) One of the events that CHOP hosts is the Four Seasons Parkway Run and Walk, which benefits research. There is a 5K run, as well as a 2K walk, and there are other events throughout the day.

Another event that CHOP is hosting is the Power to the Ponytail party, which is taking place at the King of Prussia mall. If you have 10+ inches of uncolored hair (that is less than 5% grey), you can donate your ponytail and get a free haircut at the Regis Salon in the mall. If you don't have enough hair but need a haircut anyway, you can sign up and get your hair cut for a $20 donation. Where else can you get a $20 haircut at a Regis Salon!? If you're not in the Philadelphia area but would like to donate your hair, Pantene Beautiful Lengths is a program that also collects hair for donations and National Donate Your Hair Day is September 7th!

And one more thing! Every day, kids and their families here are told that their chance of survival is the greatest if they can receive a bone marrow transplant. Bone marrow, despite the fact that it looks a lot like blood and is, in fact, full of blood cells, is a lot more complicated than simply matching a blood type, however. It has to be matched on the 6 HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) markers that we use for organ transplant. We always look for matches within the family first, because they're most closely genetically related to the patient, but a lot of times, we have to do a national search to find a match. You could help save a life. All it takes is a cheek swab. If you're interested in becoming a marrow donor, go to the National Marrow Donor Program website. You can be the match! :)

So... why am I posting this under Wonderful Stuff Wednesday? Because I work at a wonderful place that provides help and care for families whose children have been diagnosed with cancer. I have wonderful friends, like Liz, who donated ALL of her hair and raised over $4,000 for childhood cancer research. Because you can make a difference in the lives of people who have been affected by cancer; maybe you already have. This is a chance for you to do something wonderful, even if it's just passing on the information. If you have any questions about getting involved, leave them here or email me and I'll do my best to answer them!

And to wrap things up on a (much) lighter note, Jenni from Story of My Life is hosting another blogging challenge! This time, we got the weekends off (whew!), but I know it's still going to be a challenge to write every day! If you want to join me, head on over to the blog and pick up your own button, and remember that we start on Tuesday!

It's officially 5:00, which means I can officially leave my office, get my car, and find a place to park it near my class for tonight. Fall semester began yesterday (in the middle of the week, I know) and tonight is my first Histology lecture... which is from 6:30-9:30, someone please put me out of my misery now. Tomorrow, I have Microbiology from 5-7 (not as bad) and then I'm grabbing a drink (or two) with Chrystina to talk about life, the universe, everything (and probably blogging). Saturday, I have Microbiology lab from 11-2 (ew, right?) and then that afternoon, Ken and I are going mini golfing with Victoria and Vinny... then Sunday... relaxing and starting the methotrexate (sigh). And then hurrah for Labor Day, we get a long weekend! On my to-do list:

- Finish my goddamn personal statement (Sartre wrote, "Hell is other people." Clearly, he had never written a personal statement.)
- Submit my med school applications (goodbye, extra money in my savings account)
- Bake challah
- Make challah French toast
- Make the white bean, sausage, and kale soup that Pam told me about
- Organize my dresser/bookshelf/nightstand because it is making me nuts
- Go to the gym (more Barre, please!)
- Finish the baby blanket for my friend Jen (who is having her baby on Tuesday!)

Oh, and I guess do school work, laundry, and clean? Lame.

Have a good night, everyone!

- A

1 comment:

  1. One random thing to share.

    I'm reading this without glasses and read "Finish the baby blanket..." As "Finish the booty blanket..."

    This got me equal parts excited and confused like what is a booty blanket?! Is this a hip new thing the young people are into? Where does one get/how does one make a booty blanket?

    ... And then I realize I probably should have gone to sleep an hour ago...



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