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Walking Bass Update #3 Tuesday, April 30th 2002
Hello Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day Supporters!
There's an old joke that starts out, "I have some good news, and I have some bad news." Well, by some standards I'm old, and I do like a good joke - however in this case there's no jokes - just good news and bad news.
First the good news. GREAT news actually!!!! Thanks to the financial support of my incredible network of family, friends - and even some total strangers - to date I have raised a total of $4,213.50 !!! And, the money continues to roll in! I am completely awe struck by the generosity showered upon this important cause!
Each year we receive many solicitations from a wide array of charities. Each year we must make choices which of the highly deserving organizations will benefit from our hard earned dollars. Unfortunately due to limited personal resources, many don't make the cut. I think one of the reasons the Avon 3-Day walks are so successful is because it puts a "face" on the request. Whether you were already in tune with the need to fund breast cancer research, or you were inspired by my appeal for support, each of you contributed at a level that is both humbling and inspiring!
I wish I could stop there, but now for the bad news. And it is deeper than not having received my orthotics yet...... In my last Walking Bass Update, I briefly mentioned that I received some hip pain as a birthday present. It has become the gift that keeps on giving - or taking away - I'm not sure yet. Here's the short version. I started having severe pain in my right hip which radiated down my right leg like a burning rope. There was absolutely NO position that relieved the pain! I couldn't sleep more than 15 - 25 minutes before being awakened by the pain. Realizing this wasn't just soreness, I sought medical attention, first by going to my chiropractor, who was initially unable to make much progress. I tried naprosen and ice packs without relief until I just couldn't stand the pain any more. I went to my primary care physician, who took a series of x-rays, gave me prednisone, more naprosen, codeine to help me sleep, and a consult for an MRI. The Prednisone did help, and in a couple of days my pain level went from an 8.5 - 9, to about a 5.
I had an MRI, and the results are in. Perhaps the most profound finding of the MRI was that I'm a 41 year old female. After a phone call to determine whether it was actually TRUE, or just a clerical error, we jointly concluded it was a typo, and my masculinity was restored :)
All kidding and typos aside, I have two herniated discs (L4/L5 & L5/S1) and a spur on my 4th vertebrae that's pressing on a nerve. In addition to the pain, I have numbness and atrophy in my right leg, my gait has changed (complete with small limp), and I have foot drop. I have appointments in two weeks with an orthopedist and a neurologist. Surgery is being talked about, but I am exploring all non-surgical options first. So far the only positive results have been with my chiropractor, Dr. Marc Schwartz of Atlas Chiroptactic in Annapolis. In the last 8 visits he has utilized a wide range of therapies, and has been able to reduce the pain. I can't thank him enough for his knowledge, professionalism, and flexibility.
But wait, there's more. The 3-Day walk starts Friday, "how does this affect your status?" you may be wondering..... . It affects it in a big way. When I got hurt, the first thing I thought about was how to "get fixed in time for the walk". I didn't think about playing the bass, or playing with my son, or doing all the hundreds of things we take for granted. All I wanted to do was make good on the commitment I made to myself, to the cause, and to my supporters who gave their non-refundable, tax-deductible donations so generously. My pledge was made in good faith, and nothing was going to prevent me from succeeding. However, due to my current situation, I am not at all able to walk the distance. I can get around from point A to point B, but not comfortably. Two doctors and a nurse (my wife, Krista - whose opinion carries the most weight of all) have told me not to do the walk. It's not what I wanted to hear, but that is the professional advice I have received.
For over a week I have had this information, but have been somewhat in denial. It is with intense disappointment and sadness that I inform you of my need to withdraw from the 2002 Washington DC Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk.
My intention was to try and get a special medical exemption from the event administrator, Pallotta TeamWorks. Hoping to rehabilitate, and participate as a walker in next year's DC 3-Day, without having to raise donations again, since I "punched that ticket" already. After several phone calls and e-mails I seem to have run into a brick wall. I'm told that my only options are to transfer to another walk this year, or work on the crew at the DC event. If I want to walk in next year's event, I will have to do the fundraising again, too. This sentiment has added insult to injury. What once was a supportive voice at the other end of the phone, has become detached and totally unresponsive to my situation. There is more anger about this part of the situation, but I will spare you the negative energy..... If there are any breakthroughs in this negotiation I will certainly let you know!
This is not the type of newsletter I envisioned writing two days before the event. As much discomfort as I am in, I must keep in mind that herniated discs will not kill me, as breast cancer so ruthlessly does. The pain I feel undoubtably pales to the agony of breast cancer treatment - surgery, chemotherapy, radiation & reconstruction. There's no denying the depression I feel about what I'm dealing with, but in the grand scheme, it's not about me. With therapy and treatment (to-be-determined) I will heal eventually. It's about fighting breast cancer!
So where does this leave you? This leaves you a part of an extraordinary group of people that want to make a difference. Know that your contribution WILL make a difference! Be proud to have answered the call! Share your awareness with others, so that breast cancer - and ALL cancer - can someday be cured, and ultimately prevented! I thank you for your words of encouragement during my training. I thank you for your generosity! I thank you for your understanding! I thank you for caring!
May your world be filled with Love, Peace and Health,
the limping bass (formerly the walking bass, and the waffling bass.)
3 Day Letter | Update 1 | Update 2 | Update 3