Today was one of the days when I was reminded that I’m still recovering from chemo. Trudy had an OK night, so I can’t blame the day’s exhaustion on lack of sleep, but I knew something was up this morning when I was cleaning the kitchen (I made Jess and Arden mixed berry scones). Do you know how you feel when you are about to get sick? Or, I guess, what it felt most like to me is last spring when I was weak all the time. I just felt wiped out. I rested on the couch for a while, which helped, but it is our first really really gorgeous day here, and definitely a day to be outside. I knew that I wanted to run, and Arden needed some serious outside time (and the rest of us needed him to have some serious outside time), so Jess took the kids to the best park in town to meet up with our favorite 4 person family, and I ran three miles in the neighborhood, and then three more to the park.

Now, running 6 mile when you feel that way may or may not be the wisest move, but sometimes, exercising gives me a second wind. I will tell you that today, this did not happen. Even though my time was fine (53 minutes 11 seconds), a lot of it was down hill, and dang. It was hard. I kept having to remind myself to keep going. It didn’t have the light stepped feel that I’ve had lately. I need to be gentle with myself and remember that I’m only 3 months out from that last infusion, and it just takes time.

Last night was also one of those nights that vulnerability set in. We watched a totally cheesy movie with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway where she is in her 20s and has Parkenson’s. It happens more often when cancer is in movies or television shows (which, by the by, is ALL the time. Such an easy way to kill off a character!), and I always cry at those one more birthday advertisements by the American Cancer Society, and now there are signs up everywhere on campus for the teams who walk to raise money for cancer research, and I always think, “hmm. that’s about me” and it’s weird. But, last night’s movie was one of those, “I’m too young. How did this happen?” moments. I look at how I’ve changed my diet, and I look at how much more I exercise than before, and then I think that I should have done that earlier, and then I know that that is completely ridiculous. I mean, would fewer loaves of almost no knead bread made with AP flour really have made the difference? It is crazy making, I tell you. In a way, I think it would have been easier for me (although, likely not for my sisters or parents) if this had been genetic (I had the genetic testing, and it wasn’t), because then I would know. But, a vegetarian lifelong runner diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer at 34 seems utterly and completely stupid. It has all of these 10 months, but sometimes that stupidity lies latent. And, then a romantic comedy brings it right back.

But, it’s a sunny day. I’m going to clean up this kitchen (we had the Indian potato salad with a cilantro omlet made with the freshest eggs that Arden gathered at our friend Chris’ farm yesterday), see Arden off to bed, and go celebrate a friend’s birthday. Things are good and normal and go on. I have forever to sleep and rest. Today, I can enjoy the weather and my family and my friends. I need to.

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2 Responses to reminders

  1. patti says:

    You are strong, and don’t you forget it. Nothing will get the best of you. Even when you’re feeling vulnerable and soft and weak and tired and ready to hang it up, try to remember: underneath everything, underneath it all, you are strong. And we love you. So much.
    Much, much love,

    p.s. 6 miles is a freakin long way to run, in my book. I am, once again, amazed by you.

  2. Genanne Zeller says:

    I love the compassion you are developing for yourself as you move into your new normal. For me, it is comforting and reminds me I can do that for myself, too.

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