Marathon update

20 miles in the books – 1 month to go!

One of the benefits of long training runs has been exploring parts of the city I’ve never really seen before – especially on foot. In the past few weeks I’ve run over the 59th Street Bridge and the Triborough Bridge. I’ve run along the Hudson River to the Little Red Lighthouse. Today, we ran down the Hudson River to Battery Park and up the East River – essentially a partial loop of Manhattan!

As we ran past Chinatown, we saw a group practicing a fan dance – something so unique and definitely something I’d not have ever seen if I wasn’t training. It makes me look forward to race day when I get to see even more of my city!

Together we’ve raised over $4500 to support Breast Cancer research! Every dollar counts in the fight! Thank you to all who have donated so far, please consider donating during Breast Cancer Awareness month!

http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR;jsessionid=00000000.app20101a?px=4073642&pg=personal&fr_id=3111&NONCE_TOKEN=91F3C2BDA6990E757955DF55C8CD3BE8

No Half Measures – I’m running the Full NYC Marathon

I’m running the NYC Marathon with Fred’s Team!

Running has been my passion since childhood. I started as a miler on the Middle School track team and although I was not always consistent with it, I’ve always found running to be an outlet for me. A way of clearing my head first thing in the morning. It didn’t hurt that it also helped me lose weight – 25 pounds in the past year!

As I got older running took on a new meaning – I started running for a cause. I did my first organized half marathon in honor of my wife, Lisa, who lives with Crohn’s Disease. I raised $25,000 at that race and was the third highest fundraiser in the country for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. I ran several other half marathons for the CCFA and raised thousands more for them over the years. Which leads us to present day. Now I’m running the NYC Marathon for Fred’s Team with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Longer course, different cause.

On May 19, 2017 Lisa was diagnosed with invasive lobular breast cancer. This type of breast cancer effects 10% of the breast cancer population. She’s never been one to take the common path, even with a breast cancer diagnosis. We went through a grueling year of mastectomies, chemotherapy, radiation and reconstruction. We’ve dealt with pain, vomiting, and hair loss. As sick as the chemo made her, she didn’t miss or delay a single dose. She needed 5 blood transfusions to get through chemo – including one on our anniversary – and never hesitated. Cancer picked the wrong woman to pick a fight with! Lisa dealt with all this with style, grace and humor – like the true warrior she is. Click for Lisa’s reflections on chemo. While the “heavy” lifting of treatment is in the rear view mirror, she’ll be on anti-hormone treatments for at least another 10 years.

No more half measures!

Just as Lisa’s treatment required aggressive therapy, I’m fulfilling a dream of mine – to run a full Marathon. So far, the longest I’ve run is 18 miles, and in 2 months I’ll be running 26.2 miles – hopefully under 4 hours. Please consider supporting me and this cause – while great strides have been made in this fight, there is so much more to do. 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer – making it almost impossible for anyone reading this not to know someone affected.

To donate: http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR/RunsWalks/FredsTeam?px=4073642&pg=personal&fr_id=3111

Thank you!

Chatting about Health Screening

Enjoyed my chat with Elizabeth Millard @Emillard_Writer and @SharecareInc about Health Screening. Preventing disease and finding it before it can harm you is one of the things I like best about being an #Internist @NYULangone

Breast Cancer Awareness

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated my blog – but I wanted to remind everyone that it is still Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are conflicting recommendations out there – bottom line – talk to your doctor, know your body, and if something doesn’t seem right – get checked out.

With that introduction, I’d like to post this note from my wife who completed another phase in her treatment of Breast Cancer.

Dear Chemo,

I’m just not that into you. We’re done. Our 4 months together needs to end. It’s been a one sided relationship. You took my hair, my eyebrows, my eyelashes. Because of you I needed 5 units of blood. You sucked the energy out of me, left me with fevers, a barking cough, severe nausea that had me vomiting in mid sentence. Not to mention you consumed most of my thoughts. My hands peeled off and now my cellphone won’t recognize my fingerprints! You tried to strip me of my identity, my dignity and my pre-menopausal status. But I’m still standing! So after 4 long months I am so glad this relationship is ending today. My only request, you did your job. You killed any remaining cancer cells. If you did, then the past 4 months with you was worth it.

Signed,

Breast Cancer Survivor

P.S. we are never, ever, ever getting back together.

#lastchemo #finishedontime #cancersurvivor #fightlikeagirl #halloweenchemo

The circle of life (or Kreb’s)

This is a time of year when people think back over traditions and nostalgia flows as freely as eggnog and holiday cheer.  Of course, in my house, with a teenager ending her semester we have to get through exams and projects before there is anything to cheer about.  I was very excited this year – after I struggled mightily to help with math – apparently I don’t do it right – she is taking biology.  I figured even if there is “new bio,” as a physician I should be able to handle any questions.  When the Kreb’s Cycle was the topic this week I had a flashback to medical school, where we studied every detailed reaction to generate ATP.  The nostalgia began, and I can’t get the Farnesol song out of my head – sung to Jingle Bells.  This tale of how Acetate can become cholesterol is riveting.  Not as universally appealing as the Preamble on Schoolhouse Rock, but still fun. So I present the only online version I could find.  And a few, more modern takes on biochemistry in today’s world. Enjoy!

 

Wishing everyone health and happiness!

The path to wellness begins with a proper diagnosis

Happy 2016

Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy 2016!

To wrap up the year, some New Year’s Health Tips:

  • Moderation – in both food and drink will make 2016 easier to start
  • Make a commitment to exercise on January 1 – even a walk will give a sense of accomplishment
  • Dress warm if you will be at an outdoor event – layers and hats
  • If improving your health is part of your plan for 2016, do a set of body measurements – weight and waist circumference – you can’t know how much you improve unless you know where you start
  • Put your exercise commitments into your calendar
  • Don’t do another set of measurements for at least a month – you can see bigger change if you don’t micromanage things
  • Get a physical – baseline your health as well as your size

I’m not making any resolutions this year – but I am setting some goals

  • Exercise more during the work week
  • Unplug from electronics occasionally
  • Write 2 posts a month

What are your goals for 2016?

The path to wellness begins with a proper diagnosis

2015 – A time to reflect

2015 has been a year filled with change, and as I reflect back on all the events – both professional and personal – I thought I’d share some highlights and observations and maybe an insight or two.

Highlights of 2015

Observations of 2015

I’ve always been a fan of data – it helps me professionally, and I’ve been tracking my running (Runkeeper) since 2010, and have been tracking activity with a Fitbit since mid 2013.  What I realize that I do professionally that I don’t often do personally, is reflect on the data.  As a physician, at every patient encounter I reflect on information about a patient – medications, lab tests and symptoms – which can lead to insight for  their condition.

So I took a moment to reflect on my own data – so far in 2015

  • over 3,700,000 steps taken (some bigger than others)
  • I’ve run over 350 miles this year
  • My best running month was April, I ran 50 miles
  • My worst running month was July – I ran less than 10 miles
  • My average pace was 9:28 per mile
  • I average 6.3 hours of sleep a night
  • I wrote 17 blog entries
  • TheDiagnosisMD has been visited by over 1300 people

Insights

As I reflect, I draw connections

  • My running decreased over the summer significantly – partly because it was summer in Arizona, but also because there was a lot of transition being planned.
  • My running pace varied with the temperature – slower in the Arizona summer heat
  • Running in NYC involves more traffic and hills than in AZ!
  • My more popular blog posts are those that I write either from a more personal perspective or give an opinion, rather than a pure medical topic for the sake of education

So, as we move forward to 2016 I hope to stay consistent in running, and reflect on my data to see how I can improve.

I will write from a more personal voice, and hope to combine education with perspective to keep this blog interesting

I hope in my new role as Medical Director I can apply the same lessons – reflect on data to gain insight and improve they way we practice – allowing my colleagues and I to work smarter, deliver outstanding care to our patients and make our office one of the pre-eminent practices of Internal Medicine in New York City.

The path to wellness begins with a proper diagnosis  

Remembering

As I head to the office this morning, my first September 11 in NYC in 3 years, like most Americans I reflected on that day 14 years ago.  My wife was about 10 weeks pregnant, the Giants played Monday Night Football the prior evening and we had just put in a bid on an apartment the day before. 

I was seeing patients when my wife called to tell me the first plane had struck.  At first I thought it was a joke, and waited for the punchline. Then I saw reports on a news website. The internet became so congested, we couldn’t get updates, and the office turned a radio to an AM news station for updates. 

After a couple of hours, as the City began to organize its response, myself and 2 of my partners were driven across 23rd St in a police car to Chelsea Piers where the medical response area was being established.  At each intersection was a National Guard armed vehicle manned by soldiers with machine guns and serious expressions. We walked into an empty catering hall set up like a scene from MASH – rows of operating tables without dividers. The medical lead went through triage procedures, and we waited for the wounded to arrive.

And we continued to wait. No one came – the immediately wounded and rescued were brought directly to hospitals before we were set up.  Almost everyone else walked away – or didn’t. We couldn’t reach our families as cell phones were not working. After several hours, we were off duty and I walked home to the Upper East Side as all transportation was shut down. Later, I would find out the numbers of people who didn’t get to go home that night; the patients I lost or who lost spouses, high school classmates and family friends. 

Being out of NYC for the past 3 years I always felt guilty not being here. So today, back home again, I recall the day, the response, and the numerous stories similar to mine of those that were here.  Remembering  that everyone’s experience was so intense that they can’t be compared. And grateful to be in New York City.