I Love You but I Never Want to See You Again

 

I may have talked about this before but I have this problem with all the people that have and are taking care of me throughout this effing cancer. It kind of got sparked by another blog and I definitely recommend it. My Childish Cancer Su (the blogger) is chronicling her cancer experience 8 years later. She had a unique experience being a late 20 something and being treated in a pediatric clinic. In any case let get this started.

I know I have talked about my rescue ninjas. Andrea has taken real good care of me with all things infusion. She has put up with my antics like making the meds list that they print out every time I come in for some poison into a paper airplane. I have had a couple bad reactions to the drugs the pumped into me yet she still keeps coming to my rescue. But it is not just her but the entire staff her at the Jefferson OIC. Maryann has been a blessing when I needed to get stuck for a blood draw. She know just where to go for a good pain-less stick. There are the same day docs that come by on a saturday afternoon and wag there stethoscope at me because I went running before the infusion and my labs show me as dehydrated and low on electrolytes. These guys at the OIC really care about me and making sure I survive all of this.

I cannot forget the big guy. Doc Weiss has been there trying to get me fixed up from the start. He has told me like it is and worked with me when it came to the nitty gritty of my care and my life. He doesn’t really understand my running but he does understand that it is part of my healing process. Rose has been there as my filter between Doc Weiss and me. She helps me with further communications outside of the clinic setting. She remains patient with me and my insanity. Though we disagree about tattoos it is a moot point since I have relapsed. Of course there are all the people that have kept me still standing while I was an inpatient. Tina yelling at me about eating will always stick with me. I could go on and on but I think I have made the point. There are some amazing people behind me throughout this experience. I love them dearly but…

… I never want to see them again. Well I want to get to that point where I never see them again. They feel the same way. Not just because I am a pain in the ass but because that is the goal. We all want to get this anti-fungal done and the infection gone. Then in due time starts the chemo. We have a plan in place for that. Then when we have killed the crap out of this cancer and I have gotten my left lung back then I will move on to the stem cell transplant. Again we have a plan in place for that as well. I know after that there will be follow ups and potentially more infusions of some poison. But we all want the end result.

That is me winning and getting back to my old life perhaps back in Tennessee or here or somewhere else. Who knows but in the end I want to exit to that elevator for the last time and never look back. I found this second family that I cherish with all my heart but I know they only for a little while and I will happily say goodby. The best/worst part is they feel the same way. What a effed up relationship. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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Flock of Seagulls

 

I walked along the parking lot

I never thought I get on a track like you

Meet a track like you

With auburn surface and starting lines

The kind of lines that tantalize me through

Tantalize me through.

 

And I ran, I ran two miles today.

I just ran, I ran a half lap today

I couldn’t get away.

 

A security guard appears up ahead

A warning about private property being you

Permission to run on you

The guard is moving us further still

Aurora borealis comes in view

The run home comes in view.

 

And I ran, I ran the mile back home.

I just ran, I ran another mile today.

I couldn’t get away.

 

I woke up the next morning to set the pace

Your miles slowly disappearing from my view

TheRapist would have disapproved

Reaching out through the pain again

I’m beaming with pride toward you.

The road with lights in view.

 

And I ran, I ran 4 miles on Sunday

I just ran, I ran a long run on Sunday.

I couldn’t get away.

 

All respect to Flock of Seagulls and that awesome song.  I’m a hack.  Here is the video to hear it right.  Love you guys.  Don’t ever come out with another hit. 

 

Heritics of TheRapist:Tyranny against Runners or Running Through the Pain

When we last saw our hero it was looking like we may never see him run again.  Would he just endure the pain while reading Bart Yasso’s insightful prose.  “Help me Obi Wan Yasso, you are my only hope.” We heard in morning prayers before bare feet hit the unforgiving floor.  We take you back (momentarily) what seem like a long time ago in a Physical TheRapist’s office.  It seems like it has been eons since an actual stride had pounded the pavement and felt the 6 mile an hour wind pass past his ears.  But before that we move to a very important conversation while driving home from the all important Y:

Rachaelsdaddy:  So the mean TheRapist won’t let me run.

Rachael:  Why?  You need to run.

Rachaelsdaddy:  That’s what I told her but she wants me to stay off the road.

Rachael:  She is so mean. 

Rachaelsdaddy:  That’s what I said but she is probably right.  I just need to get back to training for Goofy.

Rachael:  That doesn’t matter as long as I get to go to Disney.

(fade to black with laughter in background)

Rachaelsdaddy:  I really need to get back to running.

TheRapist:  You are making progress but I don’t think you are ready.

Rachaelsdaddy:  We are at 15 weeks and I need to get to training.

TheRapist:  When is the Marathon?

Rachaeldaddy:  January.  I really need to get out there.  My family cannot take much more of this and cross training is so boring.

TheRapist:  You runners.  I swear.  -sigh- Give me one more week and we will see.  You need to keep up with the cross training.  If you start running to soon you could …(insert medical stuff about achilless, something about the chronic which was a great album.) We would only be playing catch up and if things go bad (Insert more medical…) … Achilles rupture.  And that would be bad.

Rachaelsdaddy:  (Giving best sad puppy dog look.)  I guess you are right.  I will wait.  But I cannot wait too much longer. 

 

You see how this went and our hero is grounded still but it will get better.  Well, the pain is still excruciating and then.

TheRapist:  We have some more exercises for you to do. 

Rachaelsdaddy:  Okay.

Our hero has to stand on a box and lift his adonis like body up with just one foot on each side and switch up three times.  By this time things are feeling great and that week has gone by. 

Rachaelsdaddy:  Okay I waited a week can I run.

TheRapist:  -sigh-  Okay a little on a soft surface.  You can run a couple of miles.  But DO NOT RUN THROUGH THE PAIN!!!!!

A confused look turns to our hero’s inner Monologue. 

Rachaelsdaddy:  What does she mean by that? I am not sure I understand that concept.  Should I ask or will that cause trouble. 

The confused look turns into a big shit eating grin on our hero’s face back to inner monologue.

Rachaelsdaddy:  She just said I could run.  Just nod and get the hell out of there.

Rachaelsdaddy:  Okay.

 

Then on that next Saturday….

Argh!!! TheRapist for $200…Alex

Really, I think she was trying to kill me. 

First I may have made a mistake when I woke up this morning at 4:30 by heading off to the Gym.  Come on, the alarm goes off at 4:30.  I hit the snooze bar and 10 minutes later it goes off again.  It is still 4:30.  My alarm clock is 10 minutes fast but the VCR/DVD player clock is not.  Either way, it was early in the morning on a Tuesday and Tuesday morning are for working out.  Actually they are for running but body, doctor and physical therapist say no.  For now.  Brain said, “They didn’t say not to cross train…right before the session.”

So I went to the gym and laid down a grueling 10 mile bike ride on the video bike thing.  I set that sucker up to 240 watts and still smoke the pacer.  At one point the pacer was about :45 ahead of me because I had to warm up and stop to pick up my towel.  I needed that towel.  At one point a lifeguard had to be called into resuscitate some one that fell into the pool of sweat I had created.  Either way, once we hit the big hill I bolted up it like Lance Armstrong except I was wearing my grey Jog into Spring Shirt.  That pacer had just been Duffed.  30 minutes later came a good ab work out and stretch.  I cleaned up and headed over the physical therapist.

As I said in my last post they know where it hurts because they poked and rubbed around.  I hoped that was some indication that they knew where not to poke and rub now.  I hoped wrong.  But first they gave my feet and ankle a nice warm wrap to get thing warmed up.  Nobody, new that I already had a workout and was already warm.  That will be our secret.  Besides I needed to catch up on my Runners World.  Officially, I am several months behind even though I am reading the September issue.

After that was over they did and ultrasonic treatment.  Not much to this.  I got some gel on my heel and achilles and then rubbed the metal wand over the gooey areas.  Maybe my hopes were true.  This didn’t hurt at all.  What was everybody talking about.  That quack Doctor must have been trying to scare me.  And that nut job of a mother of mine has proven status.  It didn’t even tingle.  The gel was weird.  I continued to read. 

Then it happened. 
The gel was wiped off and a digit was poked right into my foot.  This was simultaneous with the announcement of the massage of the Plantar Fascia.  Swing the sword first then yell “En guard”  Well, my back was not meant to bend that way it was going that way.  I decided to read on about somebodies first run.  It was hilarious and my physical therapist couldn’t tell if I was laughing at the article or crying at the agony.  Well, it was both.  The guy made his first run in the snow with boots on and it hurt like hell.  The guy and me.  She informed me that this was easy and she would open up a can of whoop ass on my in later sessions.  Not a quote but a very accurate translation.

I had to stretch using this angled plank which was agony but still better than the massage.  Plus stretching is still as good if not more important the exercise itself.  Then I was put on the exercise bike.  Smiling inwardly, which should make your lips curve in real weird, I got on slowly then “cooled down” for 10 minutes.  Should I put that in my training log?  Maybe.

Then I got proof they were trying to kill me.  I was to be iced down then they put these pads on my achilles and hooked them up to a device.  She said that I should get as much as I can take.  Then I was electrocuted for 12 seconds with an 8 second respite.  What in the world.  Runners World was getting a little blurry.

Well, I survived to tell the tale but I must say usually this kind of treatment is not covered by health insurance, includes a lot more leather, and doesn’t usually have Fox New in the back ground or maybe it does. 

Stay tuned for the next instalment with TheRapist tomorrow at lunch.

Running for Recovery (Racing)

Well, I have been running lightly for the past month and things are working out very well.  No real long miles but I have been keeping things as consistent as possible. 

Lately I have been running in Valley Forge National Park.  This is 5.5 mile loop of agonizing hills and valleys.  There is the one point where there is flat.  At the end.  Really there are a few more flats that last for a few feet before we are back up or down a hill.  This course is nothing like what I am used to in Cleveland.  It is awesome.  There are a google of dear in the park and they just about tame.  Kind of dangerous but I am sure I can swerve out of the way even at my blistering speeds.  I have also discovered a 1.3 mile loop at Brandywine Park in Wilmington.  This is nice and shaded with some challenging terain like brick paths and steps.  A lot of fun and with a small loop I can go as many times as I like or as time permits. 

Either way the training for recovery is going great.  Just this last tuesday evening at ran at the Valley Forge NP.  I had again forgotten to take my good and long time friends, Advil.  But I ran reletively pain free.  This is phenomenal.  The hip is mended and the shin splints are gone.  The best part of it was that I had not realized it till after I was finished with the run.  The only bad part was that it was 92F out and I hate the heat.  It just saps everything out of you and then you just stop.  There were a few times were the sweat seemed to stop and I got worried but then it started back at full force.  It was so bad that my chemically enhanced, specifically designed and over engineered (cleveland marathon 07) techshirt was soaked through and over load to the point of no longer able to keep up.  It was like I had a salty water fall inside of my shirt.  At one point I decided it was time to show the ladies (and men) on the course my rippling abs and oddly shaped pects.  I took my shirt off.  I am sure they were in awe or at least shock.  As each foot strike showed the aftershock waves moving through my body.  After about a mile of that I decided that they had enough, for now, and put the shirt back on.  Either way, it was a good yet exhausting run.  Just what I needed.

It was so good that I had a thought.  I know, I know what have we all said about those thoughts.  Brain Bad!!!  Come on though my body is telling me the same thing.  Klatu, Verata, Necrumpha..#@$! Okay, maybe not exactly those exact words but I got the general gist of it.  Body was saying “You don’t hurt and that is good.”  And Brain is saying.  “Oh, it’s on.”  Body’s screams are muffled out by Rocky’s “Gonna Fly Now” 

So I look up the races and there they are.  I think it is time to get that 5k in.  I am realistic about this.  I know I won’t put up a PR but it will be fun getting out there and mixing it up and I am sure I can smoke someone in a much higher age group.  Perhaps if I push them to the ground shortly after the start of the race.  🙂  I will let you know how it goes.  Besides I haven’t collected a race shirt in over two months.

Running for Recovery (my recovery)

Well, as I stated in my last post I injured myself real bad at the Cleveland marathon.  I decided to listen to my body for once and took the month of June off.  Well most of it.

I swam every couple of days.  This was fine it was no impact and got the blood a pumping.  I am sure it helped a little.  I also used that cursed elliptical machine.  It is great in some respects but I hate it.  It just stands there and I get the view of the wall.  I guess I could go to the one with a TV in front of it but that is not what I am looking for when I run or exercise.  When I run I love seeing the things I go by.  I attempt to pay attention to where my foot is striking.  It is part of the challenge to avoid the uncertainties of the road or trail.  Of course I don’t do a very good job of that.  I lost count of how many times I have turned and ankle, or slipped on ice.  I recover and move on.  This the fun part.  There is also that breeze or lack of one.  The three-way wind is part of that joy of running. And what is up with those hills on the display screen.  The up hills are definitely up but the down hills are just less up hill.  What good is running if you cannot make those quads burn and the shins strain.

Either way, the elliptical was my substitute for running in during my Saturday Morning Triathalon.  The stability ball class and Aqua social hour were still in full effect.  The stunning part is that Josie let me off the hook during my injury.  I should get injured more often so I don’t have to do V’s or the like.  Those things are killer.

Well, lets say this 3 week period (maybe it was 4) seemed like 3 months.  I was itching to get back into the run.  I am sure Space could have attested to my irritability.  It was like climbing walls but on a bad hip.  I couldn’t stop thinking about going running and I woke up many nights just wanting to go out for a jog.  Anything to scratch the itch. 

And then…  I went running. 

I must say it was not the best.  I went to the track and did two mile repeats with some easy laps in between.  My legs were on fire.  They had not moved like that in several weeks and the blood rushing to the surface was very irritating.  Either way it worked.  In that time I have been adding the mileage gradually and all is good.

A few things of note:

  • My speed was gone.  It was weird to put in same effort or more and find out that you ran a very slow 5k. 
  • With the injury to the right leg my strides are different for each leg.  I had to concentrate to get them into some sort of symmetry.
  • With regards to speed, I have found that I have lost some control.  I need to gear back on my runs to a slower pace but my speedometer is broke. 
  • Biking has taken the place of my long Sunday runs till I get back into those miles.  It is nice but I see so many runners out and it pains me.  Fear not brothers I will be rejoining you.
  • Walking good.  Running through the pain is satisfying but as bad as listening to the brain.  I ain’t proud.
  • Walking bad.  I feel better when I am running (or walking during a run).  When I am walking around during the day everything hurts.  The stride and foot strike is just too different.
  • Races come and go but my Athletic Supports are forever.  (thanks Tupac)

I am sure there is more to this but my recovery is on.  Just bring it.

The Road to Cleveland: What is an extra hour?

What am I doing.  I just ran the Flying Pig on Sunday yet I felt I was ready to go on a shake down run on Thursday.

As per the usual I went swimming on Monday to work things out and I did the same on Tuesday.  It is good no impact work to get the lactic acid out and stay active.  I should have done the same today but no.  A larger booming voice rang in my ears, “I MUST GO RUNNING!”   So I did.

I knew I would not put a fast pace.  I knew parts of me would be sore but really could they be that bad.  Four miles and off to work.  There I was kind of shaking out my legs and I take the first stride.  Not good but it is just warming up.  Down the street and still stiff and my Right calf is screaming.  Brain says it will warm up.  Brain is wrong.

Half way through I think about my training.  I went on plenty of 20 mile runs then ran just two days later for some tempo run or something like that.  Those were never the best runs but they were okay.  26.2 miles is not that much more and I waited 4 days.  6.2 miles more and twice the recovery time.  I should be good.

What is an extra hour of running anyway?  I have gone out running with no plan and run for a couple of hours with no issue.  An extra hour of running is all I did last Sunday.  No issue, right?  What was I thinking.  I wasn’t thinking.  An extra hour is an extra 20miles.  Lance Armstrong was told before his first New York Marathon that the first 20 miles is the first half of the marathon.  Oh so very true.

So here I go.  Thinking I only ran another 6.2 miles or an extra hour.  Thinking that I should be able to lace up and sprint out the door of the Y like I was a teenager again.  Thinking I knew better than my body did.  That was the most awful 4 miles of my life.  I ran through blizzards, in -10F weather, in down pours, on hurt feet(you got to finish a race), with a belly full of soda.  Those pale in comparison to running during a recovery period.  This is not the way to be ready for the Cleveland Marathon in 1.5 weeks.

I think I will concentrate on ignoring my brain and listening to my body.  Of course I am sure Space said something to me about not running too soon but I probably wasn’t listening to her either.  Brain Bad, Body and Wife good.

Heres to the next week of recovery and developing a fool proof plan.  Remember that, I am a special type of fool.