This past week has been a good reminder of why I'm happy to be doing what I'm doing.
There are a couple of swollen lymph nodes in my neck, which have been making it a little hard to swallow and have been giving me some discomfort. In combination with the increase in my thyroglobulin, it has been very hard to remain focused on my research. With all of that said, after the race last sunday, I decided to stay in St Louis with Cassidy while Maggie went back to Columbia to work until Wednesday. It has been really nice to spend some days off with her doing totally normal but exceptional stuff; the zoo, playing dollhouse, eating waffles, and hanging out at the playground.
2 of the days I wanted to ride this week were drowned in rain and cold but given my neck symptoms, I really needed the psychological space created by being out on my bike regardless of the weather. Sometimes I wish I could still rock climb, because the climbing gym would have been a much more hospitable environment to spend a few hours tweaking my body and getting my heart pumping...but the elbows scream at me every time I try to climb so it is rarely worth it. Biking just feels too good.
I also had some time to think about the Pedal the Cause ride that I was involved with last October. The donations from that ride were recently presented to Wash U/Barnes/Children's hospital of St Louis and totaled 1 million dollars. What an amazing contribution for the first year! Moreover, having written a few grants this past year I feel like that money will truly fund positive research.
This has been a week where the things I'm grateful for are at the forefront.