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Rapha 100 woman ride

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Rapha 100 woman ride

On July 23rd, I had the pleasure to lead the Rapha 100km ride sponsored by the Café Roubaix Bicycle Studio. With the influence of Liz (who set up pretty much everything to have our ride registered with Rapha) and the help of other team members of the Café Roubaix Bicycle Studio, we, a group of dedicated woman, took part in this great challenge to ride our first 100 km on our bicycles. This ride was done through Rapha Woman 100 challenge which is an international ride. Woman around the globe rode their 100km on the same day. The ride was opened to any woman that wanted to attend. We were 4 of our current team and we met a 5th rider which is now a part of our team. The route we established was not that easy as out neck of the woods is filled with hills, but riding with these fierce and strong woman was a treat.

group

I can’t say enough how proud of my team mates I am. They are brave women that are strong and that do not give up without putting a fight. They pushed themselves hard and they achieved something big through this ride. I know the last 10-15 km were hard on them and I tried my best to cheer them up and encourage them as best as I can. It was hard for me too, it was also my first 100 km, but knowing that they were there, giving all they have, gave me that strength I needed to help them go through these hard last kms because I knew they could make it.

tackling hills

My wonderful team mates have been working hard training for months to get where they are today and achieve this big ride. It seems like yesterday that I led this group of woman out on their first group ride with our beginner group rider program. I can’t believe the amount of progress they made in such short period of time. To be honest, I’m amazed by their dedication. Week after week they showed up for the Tuesday ride. They motivated me to show up too and ride with them.  I owe them more than they think. I’m proud to be a part of this group.

group and ally

Team Café Roubaix is a group of dedicated cycling lovers and they are always ready to jump in to help make things possible. We had the support of 3 vehicles at our disposition for anything we needed. Our men member (Jeff with his dog Reese, Ally and his son Benjamin and dog Brody, and Jerold and his son Sidney) on the support team carried everything we may have needed from food to spare parts and lots of moral support too. We even had a 4iii innovations vehicle following us to insure our safety on the road. The best way to feel safe while riding and not having to think about anything else but our bikes and the road. Let’s not forget Dan and Rita (and and their daughters Danica and Leah) from Café Roubaix Bicycle Studio that hosted this even for us and that welcomed us with some bubbly and lots of food. They made this event something big that I will remember forever.

4iiii escort vehiclemid race lunch

You can see our route segment 1 and Segment 2. I had a little issue with my Garmin VivoActive watch from a fault of mine so I have the ride in two segments. A silly side note about our route. I was once called a mountain goat by a team member for my love of climbing. I’m nowhere near fast or anything special but I have a thing for hills. When I saw the rolling hills coming through our ride, that kept me motivated.

Congratulations to Stacey, Linda, Lizzy and Halyna for completing this challenging hilly 100kms ride. It was a pleasure to ride with you all.

This ride was made possible by the dedication of passionate people that donated their time and efforts for us.

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Note: I can’t remember who took all of these wonderful pictures. The credits go to Ally McLean and Jeff Simpson. Thanks you!

 

 

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Bone Cancer: Hank’s new battle

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Hank, my 7 years old great pyrenees, got bone cancer. It took me a while to be able write about this. I got him in at the vet early November for a limp. Nothing you can’t see in the winter time. The vet seemed worried about it so we did x-rays of his leg. Came back that the humerus bone was like a sponge. Hank was definitely in big pain. The vet told me amputation could be an option but chances were he wouldn’t make it. We went back home with pain killers and anti-inflammatory to make him more comfortable until it’s not bearable. I will admit it. I cried and and cried for days. My friend Hank at my side not knowing what was up with me but always patient and gentle. Often nudging my elbow for some petting.

Then one day I woke up refusing this fate for him. I had to do something. I got in touch with facebook friends which dogs had cancer. They recommended me to chat with the fellows at tripawds.com. This forum is about amputation and cancer treatments. Very nice people. As per their advice I went to meet and oncologist and a surgeon in my area. We had a good chat and I approved that amputation was an option for Hank. They made further x-rays of his lungs and saw not mets. I cried of joy because this gave me the green light for the surgery. The surgeon gave me an  estimate. My hopes went down. There was no way I could afford the amount. I had already spent all my saving in the diagnosis and the consults.

They then showed me a leaflet for ACTSS (actss.ca). I applied and after filling all the forms they approved me. I was crying again. But then I hit another obstacle. The amount granted to me was not even half of what the estimate was. I lost no time and started talking to people. A friend told me about Clearwater vet Clinic (www.clearwatervets.com) in Rocky Mountain House. They made me an estimate that was fitting my grant without putting my dog’s life in jeopardy. They were amazing.

So December 7th I drove the 2 hours between Calgary and Rocky Mountain House to bring Hank for his amputation. The surgery went well and he recovered nicely at the hospital. He got tons of love and treats from the staff. Two days later I was finally reunited with Hank. I was so happy to see him. He stood strong on his three legs like he was born that way. I never saw that boy not looking strong and majestic. The staff at the hospital had bandaged him  and I got told to have his bandage removed in 3 days.

Hank getting out of the Hospital December 9.

Hank also had some neuromas issues. This is caused by the nerves healing a little wrong. It give the dog like a quick jolt. Apparently it’s normal. It’s started randomly and now he as them less often. I hope they will stop because they hurt him. Then the 10th day arrived. The vet undid the wrap and removed the stitches. Everything looked great. Since the cone was not a good option for us and because Hank tried to lick so he had to wear a t-shirt.

The stitches on the 4th after surgery

Hank had to stay quiet and adapt to his new life. Eating was an issue. It was a challenge to find something he would eat. Then he hadn’t had any bowel movements in days so I was getting worried. In between all my worries he seemed happy. He would spend some time on my bed while I was reading. I got lots of support from the tripawds community. That was really needed.

 

Things went to be better and better. And easier and easier. The fight for the food eased up when the medication stopped. On the 10th day it was suture removal. It was perfect. Even his hair was growing back nicely. I then took the boy for a romp at Nose Hill park.  He loves that park. He had a blast hoping.

 

Now I’m working on getting another grant with ACTSS for chemotherapy. There’s no bypass, I have to fill all the paper work again. I’m bless to have a family vet so cooperative in sending files everywhere for me. Then the other plan is to get him on a holistic regimen. It might seem much to do but every step is worth it. Hank is doing good. He’s made at home in a chair and runs me over like a bulldozer every time we go outside. He also resumed going to the hospital to visit sick people. He gets lots of attention on his three legs but that’s what he loves best.

Stay tune for the updates on Hank’s fight.

To anyone who as to go through cancer in their pets. There’s hope. My way of dealing with Hank’s osteosarcoma is the way I think is the best for him and for us. You might want to take another route. One thing I’ve learned is that there’s no right way with cancer. Also if you need support or to someone to talk to, send me an e-mail in the contact section. I’m always available to help another guardian.