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  • Writer's pictureMicheline Lemay

Sweaty Bald Eagle Chemo Bike Challenge 🥵🦅💪🏻

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

~ As I sat in the chemo chair on round 4, my last chemo, I had one thing on my mind. When can I ride my bike!?! I know, I know for all you readers this has been a common theme throughout my whole journey. Really it’s about passion. It’s about normalcy, joy, gratitude, vitality- feeling alive. All the things that somehow feel stripped away or challenged when you hear that dreaded phrase- you have cancer. My sister got to come up and visit and come to my final round with me. We joked and laughed and cried together. She got to see how frustrating it was for them to find a vein for the infusion- one time - call in the specialist- 2 hours and 6 times later we were in. That poor guy got a ear full from me & Kate. Of course it was all in kindness but before he left he knew all about us, our lives, work, the mountain bike ride I wanted to take and a full astrological reading. He commented that we may have had too much coffee that morning. 🤣

The oncology nurse came in for a visit. She helped answer any questions I had around symptoms from the last chemo, moving forward, etc… we talked a lot about how all my hormones have changed and geez- that’s fun. Sweating all night, losing my periods, essentially going into early menopause. That wasn’t one I really prepared for early on but has made a big impact on my sleeping and emotions. This weird lingering cough that has not subsided since treatment one, when my hair may start to grow back, how radiation may feel, etc…etc. I just want to ride my bike 😍.

We were past the premeds and on to the chemo now. As they hung the bags I knew I had a rugged week ahead but boy the thought that this is it, this is the last time was the best. 4 hours later and lots of laughs with Kate they unhooked me- and invited me to go ring the chimes to celebrate my last chemo. I figured why not- it’s definitely a reason to celebrate! I didn’t feel too emotional about it but as I walked over and starting ringing them, all of a sudden I heard claps and cheers come from all areas of the room. Some from nurses, doctors, even patients that were currently getting treatment and it hit me. Tears started streaming down my face. This was hard, this IS hard. Cancer is tough, my friends. Tough on the mind, body and spirit. I am so grateful that I have a good diagnosis but damn it’s still tough. I still have a ways to go. But I know #iamdarntough #youaredarntough #wearedarntough

Kate & I left the hospital and went to meet Lala in Waterbury - hugs and kisses. I ran into Shaws to get more Claritin to help keep the bone pain down and lots of drinks- lots of essentia water and spindrift seltzers. I got home and continued on my quest to go ride my bike. Up to Trapps cabin I went. It’s about a 4 mile climb. When I got to the top and sat in the armchair at the cabin- I had a moment. I felt so strong. So strong. I didn’t bike this early other rounds because I was worried about my balance and agility. My RHR is also off the charts week one just working through all the medicine- not to mention the intensity all around is the strongest– almost an unexplainable feeling. I also had to save my energy dollars for camp on the other rounds but I sat there and said to myself- ok Lemay let’s try something this time. Let’s try to ride your mountain bike everyday after chemotherapy for 21 days the dose of the cycle. So here I am writing this on day 6. Yesterday was my toughest feeling day from the treatment and I did it! I am not one to brag but I also was quite thrilled to get the fastest time down Florence as well on Strava - 75 other people had blasted down that yesterday too, but that was a big accomplishment for me. Even on my healthiest days I hadn’t done that.

So here’s me putting it out to the universe that I’m on this personal bike challenge- and I hope whoever reads this can take away 2 messages. Do what you love because it fills your soul and spirit and heals- and get your annual exams!! Peace, love & light.

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