My phone rang this morning while I was having my coffee, I didn’t recognize the number but it was a Tampa exchange so I answered it. Andrew Messick greeted me with “You know there are easier ways to get out of doing an Ironman!” He is right of course. But, I’d so much rather have done the Boston Marathon or still be training for Eagleman and Lake Placid in July.
I was really struggling earlier in the week. I have had more tests in the past few weeks than I have had in my entire life. The really hard part is each one shows everything is totally within the normal range of results. Blood, lungs, heart – all on the good to high end of normal. This past Tuesday I had to sit in a chair and have an IV needle inserted into my arm and sit there for over an hour while poison was pumped into my body. I was dreading it more than anything but also wanted to just get it started so I’d be that much closer to the finish line.
Well, Tuesday afternoon came. I am still in awe of the entire Memorial Sloan Kettering operation. And even more in awe of the friends and family I am blessed to have. My husband Bryan was with me. Shortly after I was settled into my “chemo suite” my long time friend from masters swim, Kevin, showed up. We had some laughs and more and it kept both my husband and me from focusing on what was happing. Before I knew it I was done and on my way home.
Next up is the medicine I need to take, and the vitamins and supplements I can take in the hopes of keeping my system healthy and strong. I’ve written out my “treatment plan” and I’m treating it like a training plan, as suggested by another dear friend, Kyrsten. I don’t want anything to set this trains off the track it’s on.
We are now a little over three days post-chemo and two days post-Neulasta injection. I’m still holding my breathe a bit waiting for side effects but I haven’t had anything. Yet. A bit of fatigue, a few headaches. Neither are my norm. And while I’d love to think this is the way things will stay this way after each treatment, I realize it’s unlikely.
I’ve been told that my immune system is seriously compromised so I made the decision that hugs and kisses will have to wait for a while. I hope everyone understands why and isn’t offended.
I wonder if I can return as the competitive (old) athlete I’ve been ? I wonder if I can qualify for Boston again? What about qualifying for Kona again? First and foremost is the need to come out on top in the day to day dealings with my disease.
Round one done, seven more to go. Six weeks post-surgery. My new mantra, courtesy of Sister Madonna Buder:
“Let me do my best, and You do the rest.”