The day I got four tattoos


So I got four tattoos yesterday. Wild and crazy, right? I guess not, but certainly something that I never expected to do.

In the seven weeks or so since I posted last, I’ve had a lot going on. I can’t seem to name many things that I did in that time, but I can tell you for sure that I’ve been going non-stop, full throttle all day long and flopping into bed exhausted at the end of each day. Let’s see…

Shortly after my last post, I completed chemo treatment number seven. I can’t recall if it was a “good” one or a “bad” one. I guess I’ll consider myself lucky that it doesn’t stand out in my mind as much as treatment number four does. ::shudder:: In the week following treatment number seven, I decided to get my act together with running again. It was brutal. Worse than third trimester running.

Unfortunately, my running came to a grinding halt just days after I started at it again when I got a bit too confident on my mountain bike. [Note to self: The full face helmet does not protect your whole body.] My ride was feeling a bit too good as I careened down a winding stretch of single track, patting myself on the back for almost keeping up with Chris and Alex. I was on top of the world.

Until I wasn’t.

Instead of one of those slow motion bike wrecks, this was more like biting it on a snowboard. The kind of snowboarding fall where you catch an edge and simultaneously smack your face into the snow. [What just happened?] If you have gotten on a snowboard even once, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  

One minute, I was riding my bike. A split second later, I was flying through the air in a perfect trajectory to slam, knee cap first, into a rock. I immediately decided that I couldn’t move. Someone was going to have to carry me and my bike back out of there. Then I gave a second thought to the image of Chris carrying his broken bike back through miles of this same trail a few summers earlier and I decided to get back on the horse and hope that those guys had waited for me somewhere down the trail.

Long story short, my knee was pretty badly bruised and quite painful for about three weeks, so running got put on hold for a while. Fortunately, it is mostly back to normal now and I have been running pretty regularly for the past few weeks.

About a week after my bike wreck was another significant event: my eighth and final chemo treatment. I can’t even put into words how relieved I am to have that behind me. Even the thought of having an IV makes me nauseous. Blet.

I’m nearly four weeks out from my final chemo treatment and I have reached a milestone almost as important as finishing chemo itself. My hair has gotten long enough and thick enough that I have started getting a ton of compliments on it. Earlier this week I even had a stranger pay my check at a restaurant because he liked my haircut. A stranger probably twice my age, but still. I’m amazed that I get much more positive feedback on the hairstyle that I never wanted than I ever did on the style that I maintained for years. I wonder if I had really bad hair before but just didn’t know it? I don’t especially care. Good, bad, or ugly, I’m aiming for long hair again just as fast as it will grow.

In running news, I’m still dreadfully slow, but much improved from a few weeks ago. On my first “run”, I use that term loosely, I struggled to maintain an 12:35 pace. As I expected, after pushing through a few frustrating runs, I am improving a lot and have already shaved about 2.5 minutes off of my (un?) comfortable pace. If I keep at it, I’m sure that I can get back to a level that I will be satisfied with.

So back to the new ink. As you may have surmised, I went to New York yesterday to get set up on the radiation machine and I came home with four tattoos. They are just tiny dots, smaller than a dot from a ball point pen. One is used to aim the radiation beam, the other three are used to triangulate my position to make sure that I am in the exact same spot for each treatment. Way more hard core than barbed wire. Duh.

  1. Kier said:

    I was thinking about you on my run the other day – hoping that you would have an update soon!

    That sucks about the bike crash….!!! But glad to hear you are feeling okay!!

  2. branny said:

    I was wondering how you’ve been! Ouch to the bike crash but way to get back on the horse.

  3. Lisa said:

    So good to read an update from you! Sorry about that knee, but it sounds like you’ve recovered pretty well. I’ll bet your hair is gorgeous. I’d love to see a pic if you’re comfortable… 🙂

    Good luck with the 4 tattoos & treatments.

  4. Glad to see this update in my reader. I accidentally stabbed myself in the palm with a pencil over ten years ago, and I still have the puncture “tattoo” it left behind. Somehow that’s not quite as hardcore as your radiation ink, I don’t think. 🙂 Setbacks aside, it makes me happy to read that you’re still able to do some of the cycling/running that’s probably helping keep you sane through this stuff. And gah, sorry to hear about your knee!

  5. Meena said:

    So good the see an update-glad your knee is better…your “slow” 10.30 pace-is close to my average pace for marathons…Rock those tattoos!

  6. Maj-Britt said:

    Brittany, you are amazing and I continue to be in awe. By the way, I can’t imagine a hair style that would not look good on you. Give Kai a special hug from me.

  7. Maureen said:

    Glad to hear everything is looking up for you. How is the baby doing with daycare?

  8. Glad you’re doing well! How’s Miss K?

  9. jene said:

    Glad to hear you are doing well!

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