Monday, May 4, 2015
Run/ Walk/ Bike/ Elliptical (Today: 4.30 miles; Running Total: 273.11 miles)
Day 297 of *Another* 100 Days of Good Karma.
This morning I started the 10k training program from Zen labs (brought to you by the same people that did the Couch to 5k app).
The program said to run 10 minutes, walk a minute and repeat four times. Since the C25k app assumes I’m running a 10 minute mile (um, no) I figured the program meant run a mile, walk a minute and repeat.
I did a simple out-and-back run. I was on a schedule today with a early morning doctor appointment. I had to get my run in and get my head right.
Two miles from home I looked at the clock and realized I’d grossly overestimated my pace. And if I didn’t move my ass I was going to make Justin late to work.
Not liking how that conversation sounded in my head I picked up the pace.
I recommend this as a race strategy. Imagine your angry husband sitting in a sea of cars outside of an HOV lane that closed mere minutes ago.
And it’s your fault.
Consequently I shaved more than a minute off the remaining two miles.
Later Justin told me he made the HOV lane by a minute.
Which proves that one minute’s difference in Houston traffic can easily turn into another hour.
I cleaned myself up then my friend Veronica and I headed for the doctor’s office.
First up was blood work.
It was strange and frightening to sit in the lab area and see all the people around me without hair, in wheel chairs, with face masks on. Not so long ago I was one of them just trying to get through each day.
I see their struggle from the other side of cancer treatment now, and it breaks my heart.
After blood work Veronica and I waited more than an hour past my appointment time for the oncologist. I guess they were having a rough day because my doctor’s office isn’t usually that slow.
I didn’t complain though.
A rough day in an oncologist’s office is probably not the same thing as a rough day in a dentist’s or a pediatrician’s office.
When I met with the oncologist she asked how I was feeling and went over my blood work.
“Your blood work looks pretty good. You’re a little anemic and your kidney function is a little off. Have you been drinking enough water?”
I opened my mouth and then shut it again. I thought of all the wine I’ve consumed lately and shook my head.
“Well, drink more water.”
“So what’s the monitoring plan?” I asked.
The answer: blood work every three months and notify them if I found any new symptoms.
“So no more PET scans?”
My oncologist said patients who had regular blood work and physical monitoring of symptoms did as well as patients who had PET scans every few months and were exposed to less radiation.
I tapped the lump in the left side of my chest where the chemo port pokes out. “When does the port come out?”
“Any time now. We just have to schedule it with the hospital.”
Finally Veronica asked the question I seemed unable to. “So are we operating as though she’s cancer free?”
“We’ll have to monitor you, and keep in mind there’s no test to detect microscopic cancer cells, but, yes. As of right now, we’re going forward as though you’re cancer free.”
I just sat there, speechless.
As completely unbelievable as it is to hear you have cancer, it is equally unbelievable to hear that you don’t have cancer. Hearing her say those words was like being hit in the head with a pillow filled with a sedative gas. I felt numb and stupid and not entirely sure she was talking to me.
After a long minute Veronica came over and gave me a hug. Only then did I start crying.
I didn’t ask about numbers or percentages. I don’t know what the long term survival rates are and I don’t care.
The cancer will either come back or it won’t and there isn’t a goddam thing I can do about it.
Today’s silver lining: I have three new favorite words. ‘Remission.’ And the words ‘cancer’ and ‘free’ used in the same sentence. Applied to me.
How many people fight against cancer for so much longer and don’t live to hear those words?
How many people don’t get a second chance?
I don’t know either.
I do know I’m unbelievably grateful. To my doctors. To my friends. To my family. To Justin for standing by me through this entire maddening and terrifying ordeal.
And to my blog readers. Your support and your words of encouragement are utterly without price. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.
What’s your silver lining today? I love comments!
Don’t want to leave a comment, but have something you want to share? Send me an email at gettingthewordswrong(at)gmail(dot)com.