Dom Update – Miles Logged Together

Posted: July 9, 2010 in Motivation
Tags: , ,

So I’m on a run this morning, big surprise you might say, but I actually do take rest days from time to time, and my mind was focused most of the 36 minutes, 56 seconds on one topic.  Dom.  One of the many things that I really love about running is the solitude and the opportunity to think about whatever topic my mind chooses with virtually no distractions. 

Today there was a small rabbit around mile 2 that caught my eye, and a female runner with a black lab just exiting “puppyhood” bouncing around on the trail just before I hit mile 4, but for the most part the run was pretty uneventful.

As I hit the lake this morning early in my run I thought about covering the same route last summer and how we were just now hearing that Dom was in fact battling cancer.  The lake loop is where the two marathons in 13 day idea struck like lightning last year, so I typically look out over the water and think about Dom on that part of my runs.

The Lake at Brushy Creek Park

Is he home with the kids, at the hospital for treatment or recovery, is he doing better than last week?  A little worse?  What is the next step in the process.  But on days like today I think about what would Dom be doing right now if he was well.  If health was just something “automatic” that Dom could count on being there every day for him, what would he do?  How would he take advantage of that GIFT – which is what our health truly is.

I thought a lot about that this morning as we crept within 8 weeks yesterday of the due date for our first child – a little girl – Landry set to arrive sometime on/near September 2nd.  My mind raced forward to Thanksgiving this year when Dawn, Landry and I will take our first plane ride together to Pittsburgh to visit Dawn’s family as well as Dom and his.

For our reader’s benefit – I will share the Airline and flight numbers from Austin to Houston, Houston to Pittsburgh so you can avoid being on those planes – God have mercy on all of us.

Introducing little miss Landry to Uncle Dom is something that I thought about a lot this morning and something that I pray for quite frankly night after night.

Dom has had a pretty rough go of it over the last two months.  The latest round of chemotherapy aimed at relieving some of the back pain and kidney related urinary issues Dom has been having took a monster toll on our hero.  The dehydration and exhaustion that has followed Dom from his treatments was very difficult this time and he has spent most of the last few weeks going back and forth between hospital stays and brief trips home.

After consulting with his Doctor(s) they decided to take the route of radiation treatments in lieu of more chemotherapy – and that has proven to be very beneficial for Dom.  Pain management has improved and Dom has been able to regain enough strength to make it back home to Val, Sierra and Nico. 

The last year truly has felt like a marathon tracking Dom through this process.  There have been highs, there have been lows.  There have been challenges that were expected all along, there have been challenges that all the preparation in the world could not have made us ready for.

Through it all Dom has been amazingly courageous.  I am truly in awe of his fight and determination and how his spirit while tested, he remains 100% Dom.  Which is about the greatest compliment I could bestow on anyone.

20,000 times visitors have stopped here at Joe Runs for Dom since we started this journey – which is truly amazing.  I can’t thank you enough for all of the love and support you have shown my good friend Dom and quite honestly me over these last few months. 

The notes, well wishes, amazing donations and love for the D’Eramo family has been very humbling – I thank each and every one of you.

Dom my man, you remain in our thoughts and prayers here in Austin.  Not a day goes by when I lace up those shoes that I don’t think about you – and how every mile I run is in honor of you and your fight. 

In the last year you and I have run 171 hours covering 1,406 miles in three countries, 11 states and 21 cities.  We’ve climbed 99,051 feet in elevation and burned more than 147,000 calories.

Early morning run at Wrightsville Beach, NC

We’ve run across the Golden Gate Bridge, Beaches in Santa Monica, Wrightsville, NC and Cancun, MX.  We’ve run the Boston and Pittsburgh Marathons, Raced a half marathon, four 5K’s and will run a 10K race to honor fallen soldiers this coming Thursday night.  We’ve been to Central Park in NY together, run the mountains in Denver, Snow in Buffalo, NY, hills and rain in Birmingham Alabama.

I’ve had you with me every step of the way Dom – thank you for the honor of doing so.  I’ll never have a better running partner than you.

Dom, Val, Sierra and future Steeler Linebacker - Nico

  1. Jodi Higgins says:

    As always, continued prayers here in Ohio for Dom and his family as well as you and your family. I can truly see why Dom is the person you admire most! Keep running like you mean it Joe. You truly continue to inspire me every single day and for that I thank you!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Thanks Jodi for all the support and kind words. I’ve had a great teacher in Dom – all the inspiration I’ll ever need and then some to keep on going. Take good care – we need to pick a spot for a race/meetup in 2011 – that would be the best. Take good care, J

  2. Jodi Higgins says:

    A race meetup would be great Joe. I will keep you posted on my plans. Some friends and I are on a mission to run a 1/2 marathon in all 50 states so maybe, just maybe we will connect at some point.

    • joerunfordom says:

      That sounds great Jodi! I’m ready to rock a half on very short notice (as he tries to sound humble ….) – just keep me posted we have a great winter half here in Austin in January – which is great weather for us. 3M Half Marathon – the course is Faasst!

  3. Connie says:

    Joe everyone prays for different things.
    I pray that Doms pain stops.

  4. Sean Brown says:

    As I was stretching before a short run yesterday, my 8-year old son asked me how Dom was doing. I had to admit that I didn’t know for sure, but that I would check in today to find out. As usual Joe, you beat me to it. I’ve definitely had Dom in my thoughts often, especially when I’m out logging miles. Thank you for the update, and thank you for continuing to fight for Dom.

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Sean! So great to hear from you, thanks for the visit. Hope the boys are rocking their Keep Austin Wierd Gear proudly this summer. Dom is hanging in there right now – the fight in that boy is truly amazing. He has a lot of people like yourself and your family pulling and praying for him every day. I know in my heart that is making all the difference in the world. Best with your training – so excited for your race this Fall. You are going to crush it. Best to everyone in Ohio! Joe

  5. DP_Turtle says:

    Thanks for the update, Joe. I’m sure that many of your loyal readers are like me – we’ve never met Dom but we find ourselves thinking of him often during OUR solitary runs. You’re doing a wonderful thing in not just running for him and raising money, but in telling his story. We all realize that we could just as easily be going through what he’s going through. It’s wonderful to hear about his fighting spirit and that he’s still “Dom.”

    Like I said, I’ve never met Dom … but I do believe I “know” him, thanks to you. Please wish him well for me.

    • joerunfordom says:

      David – so great to hear from you! Thanks for the message and the visit. You said it perfectly as it truly could be any one of us fighting the battle that Dom is going through – I’m not sure anyone could demonstrate more will, determination and commitment than our boy Dom – he truly is an amazing guy Turtle.

      Truly amazing. Best to you from Austin! Joe

  6. onelittlejill says:

    I am laughing about you giving the flight info!!

    On a serious note, I am glad to hear Dom’s pain management is a little better. I bet he is super excited to meet Landry. Just think of all the stories you two will be telling her as she grows up!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Jill – thanks s much for the knind words and the support – that trip is something I am really looking forward to.

      I just feel so bad for the other holiday travelers around us – first flight with a 2 1/2 month old ….. phew, God help us all.

  7. Robert Ranzer says:

    Hey Joe. Glad to hear that Dom is home and that radiation my be a better route to go for him. Health truly is a GIFT! No doubt! I think the only time I really appreciate being well is when I feel ill. But when you stop to think about it, life can change for anyone (health wise) just like that.
    That trail by the lake there looks quite scenic and beautiful. I have all the confidence that between you and all of your supporters , Landry and her P’s will make that trip to see Dom and dawns family!! All the best to you and our hero (and your family as well).
    I was running with my girlfriend and her running group yesterday (5 miles) and had my headphones on cause I wanted to concentrate on my breathing. She said if you cant carry on a conversation with someone then you’re running too hard. True?

    • joerunfordom says:

      Ranz! So great to hear from you – hope you are handling that heat in the NE well. Sounds like TX! Thanks for the well wishes on Dom and our impending bundle of joy — that plane trip has got me a little worried, but I’m sure she’ll be a little angel right?!

      Your girlfriend’s point about breathing is a good one as there are of course all kinds of training “intensity levels” depending on the workout.

      She is referring to a nice, relaxed run at “conversational pace”. A lot of people use that as a gauge for their “Long Runs” so they know they are not working too hard.

      If you are doing a Tempo Run, Intervals (any type of speed work) or hill work, then no, it is o.k. not to be able to speak “easily” when you are running. Those workouts are supposed to be hard and they need that intensity to help you improve as a runner and build stamina.

      I can talk easily with other runners during a marathon – which has me running somewhere around 7:30-7:40 pace if I’m chasing a Boston time.

      During last Wednesday’s 5K I ran at 6:15 pace. I could still grunt out a few words here and there – but conversational pace – that was not …. Hope that helps Rob! Take good care my man. J

  8. Thanks for the update Joe. Like many readers, when I’m struggling with motivation to run, I think of you and Dom and feel grateful I am able to run. Best wishes to Dom and his family from LA.

    And yes, please post those flight numbers! 🙂

    • joerunfordom says:

      AJ – Thanks so much for the message and the visit! I really appreciate the kind words with respect to Dom and drawing motivation for his fight. He is a warrior for sure – I’ve never seen anything quite like it to be honest.

      (No problem on those flight numbers, I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy if that little one doesn’t like the trip!)

      Best of luck in your race coming up! You are going to rock it!

  9. Jay says:

    Nice post, Joe. Enjoyed the pictures

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