Thursday, June 28, 2012

Back to the Future


The unfortunate thing about those athletic events is they don’t last forever. In the last 3 days I’m going to have 4 significantly medical events, perhaps 5. I had an MRI where upon receiving the results I joked that I was stable… well at least my MRI said my tumor was. But the neurological appointment said things were going well and we had a long conversation about my memory and even about the fact that I was focusing so hard on athletics wasn’t because I trusted my mind less. The doctor reminded me that there’s still plenty left but then shared a story about a patient who due to a brain surgery of a different type has much less functional memory but is a very good tennis player. He leaves things out on the tennis court because the part that rules that is in a different part of the brain and in the muscles themselves.
I had a job interview with marathon kids which went well enough to where I have a second one next week. I dare to dream but you can’t have all your eggs in one basket it turns out.  I have another job interview next Monday with the city of Austin… It would pay the bills but the work is from 10 AM to 9 PM… Monday through Thursday. If I get that offer should I take it? It comes with good health benefits but it would mean turning in my life from things like training for rides and marathons with a group midweek to more importantly what kind of a parent only wakes up their kid and gets them to school or only has weekends with them… oh yes, that would be the non custodial parent? Is there really any honest way to take that job if it came and still suggest that Kiana should live with me? But if no other job offers come, do I turn into my grandfather and father and am happy to adequately provide what my daughter needs and rarely see her?

The body signs are still good. My heart rate is still in the 40’s though not as good as after Boston (something I suspected since cycling is not as good/tough on your heart as marathon training is). My blood pressure is actually lower showing that perhaps being unemployed is good for my stress levels or that perhaps somewhere in the last year and half it might have done me good to rest for a while.

I have an appeal with the job today and an attorney who is ready to take the case in a far more aggressive manner than I am wired for. My neighbors kept saying I was being too nice to my ex during the divorce proceedings… Now people wonder why I don’t quite take the job on but I am wired to try to beat someone down a race but not people who I trust and respect (though some of that has shifted into the past).

I said something to the Livestrong Crew about I wish I’d listened to their suggestions more earlier in the process but I am still trying to listen, trying to not reinvent the wheel and wondering what to fight for. Livestrong’s new Logo is “Pick a Fight”  I listened to the blues on the green concert last night with Kueller singing about fight fight fight till your dying day and there are two very different strategies to go into that meeting with today and which one is the right one… seems to be the story of my life. A friend of mine whose cancer went from stage 3 to stage 1 after treatment was there. Three different people yesterday alone this week alone keep telling me to get into the dating scene once/if I find ajob. One I don’t know how but more significantly I just can’t shake this I’ve got too much baggage thing.

The neuropsychological appointment went well and as we discussed with the doctor why I’d gotten an IPAD and an Iphone, things which I always call cheating and they always call compensating… he reminded me some of this would have happened with age anyway but that this had happened overnight and being hit with another disaster maybe made it worse or maybe made it to where I just didn’t realize it for a long long time. He then showed me his iphone notes where he literally had the names of the front lady at the gym’s name just to be able to have those social graces. That moment of humanity was incredibly helpful.

I did a 5k last night… slowest one ever because of the heat. I think I had more left in the tank but when I start to feel really too hot I think about that moment back in February. The doctor doesn’t think I should but call it post-traumatic stress syndrome. I’m becoming more fearful at some level of all this because it would take me a few weeks to get back to run that same course. I guess this is trauma, afraid of heat, afraid of drawing close to someone who might leave (somehow a break up doesn’t scare me if life were normal but what if they left while I’m literally trying to get back to driving again and with a gigantic scar on the side of my head nowhere near dry much less healed, why take that gamble again?).
Someone from USA today called yesterday to talk about Obamacare and what I thought about my employment and insurance situation in light of today’s supreme court setting. I had very little to say about it since that’s definitely not my expertise. At some level I know that a lot of the last 3 days has a lot of effect on my future or lack thereof. Someone who recently added me on facebook asked if I had a tumor... it was an amusing moment to realize that someone who hadn’t spoken to me in a while had of course no clue. She asked why Livestrong was so important to me… I responded with something that’s taken some time to sink in: As I say in the video, I didn't realize how big this would be. Livestrong would connect me to Duke, the guy who did Ted Kennedy's surgery did mine. I worried more about the finances than the medical things. That was dumb. Eventually I started worrying about the medical things more but forgot the emotions. Livestrong had offered to connect me (and my wife) and Kiana to things like counseling for couples for kids, someone else who'd had the same diagnosis. I blew all this off and lost some significant things... Perhaps they wouldn't have stayed around anyway and couldn't have handled it who knows but I wish I'd made some better decisions about taking guidance and help. I've always tried to dismiss the fact that I was already training for the marathon and it was just a coincidence that it was the first time it was the Livestrong marathon but maybe it's time to accept a quote that sits on my wall from Einstein that you can treat life like nothing is a miracle or everything is. I've made jokes, ran and biked some great races and rides but those aren't the only ways to deal with emotions. Acknowledging the fears, the hurts... I've still got a long way to go. But I am accepting that there's no need to reinvent the wheel like tomorrow I am going to Livestrong's parenting and cancer classes. I don't know if I'll beat this or not... I've always assumed no but want to keep fighting as long as I can and with the help of friends on the personal level... and this organization, it gives me some tools which makes anything easier.

I’d love to say I don’t know what tomorrow brings but I’m not sure what’s coming today… but recognizing mistakes of  handling this, I hope as my focus resits back on the future… 

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