Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cowardly Lion


The night before the Boston marathon Kiana was having an upset stomach. My mother having the great maternal instincts that she does was trying to calm her down but Kiana cried out for me. My mom tried to say just let me put her to bed, you have a marathon tomorrow but I had my priorities straight and I had her laydown with me and she went to sleep after a while. I may not have slept as well but there is one thing far far more important than being adequately prepared for the Boston marathon.
Today, I finally actually cancelled my medical appointments spread throughout the summer. I still can’t believe there have been over 100 appointments in the last 18 months… probably more than most people do in a lifetime and there had been zero before that. None of the ones I canceled (hopefully postponed?) were all that close but I wonder how close I am to just running out of steam. Some people have told me to take Cobra and/or pay for some of these bills out of pocket and I get the argument but I also don’t want to spend any more resources on this than I’ve already shot down. I didn’t stay alive to leave little to Kiana. I also wonder just how long I should do this because it does feel somewhat reckless to do it indefinitely. After I was found collapsed, with no doctor restricting anything, I never drove Kiana until all bloodwork was settled. When I ran Boston, I didn’t drive again with Kiana in the car until I had seen a doctor. 

What is the equivalent if things don’t improve of making sure she sleeps well at night? Perhaps, in one of those trick of my screwed up brain, I had a dream/nightmare last night. It was the first time I had a dream where I dreamed I was seizing. For the first time in a while, I turned looking for my wife but of course then I remembered she wasn’t there. How this dream came true is tough when I’d literally still get incredibly mean emails like your cancer just showed me that I had outgrown you. Others which state, I’ll get back to you later since I actually have a job I need to do. To this day, divorce is very easy when you don’t recognize someone. Still, it’s good to hear that Kiana now has her own room. She’s going to be spending a couple of weeks with her mom in one of those extended summer visits and I hope and trust and pray that it will be good for both of them. 

I’ve applied for jobs and seem to get a consistent response of being overqualified or underqualified. New possibilities right now are something that makes me both nervous and excited. I got the responded that I didn’t make the most eligible bachelor cut but that they are considering doing an article just about me. Probably good on the most eligible bachelor thing because as I told them, I come with a lot of baggage and these days do so with no income. Now that’s a catch right ladies? On the job front, I’ve even wondered if maybe I shouldn’t get into something like moving or cleaning where if my brain does fail me, no one is really very harmed by it.

I want to make sure my daughter is well taken care of and I want to be the one who spends more time with her but if I am not capably following medical and monitoring care… how long is that really wise? I am doing all that I can do put that in order and will not be doing athletic events past what I’m committed to until/unless I get back to monitoring, a little depressed and overwhelmed by that since what helps me stay healthy also puts me at risk. I have looked into what selling my house would look like and have started checking around if anyone wants to take the dog. I just planted trees in the yard and I brought the dog from the South Pacific. The year before all this I traveled all around the world and now I’m here… and I am exhausted. The Austin Marathon director who was the friend who had brain surgery (he’d gone unnamed here but now it’s made the news) and I talked about this and I joked about how it showed my bad karma. He said it was just preparing me for a good next life. I wish there was a clear answer to all that but maybe it just is like this tumor, we don’t quite know what causes everything.

I went cycling up a tough hill riding 100k on the bike on Sunday trying to prepare for this century ride. On the ride, I was struggling going up a hill when I passed a guy who was pushing up a double stroller and turned to him and said, “Dude you are a total bad ass. Oh… sorry for swearing in front of your kids.” He smiled and that hill seemed a little easier after that.
Moments like that make me doubt that maybe it’s time to quit… to throw in that proverbial towel sometime soon. I don’t know. The guy who took 4 months between a diagnosis and surgery isn’t going to rush into any decisions but I am thinking about them. Working with cancer patients, I’ve met some who have denied treatment and just accepted death, realizing that fighting something with a low probability would keep them in the same place but more miserable along the way. I’ve met others who fought like hell and beat odds and other who lost to them. While I’m sure this isn’t everyone else’s take, I’ve met both cowards and brave people in each of those decision camps, some who chose death and/or fighting for life out of courage or lack thereof. Last November, we put together a team based on the Wizard of Oz and of course I went as the Scarecrow, “If I only had a brain.” In the wizard of oz, the characters had the things they were lacking more than they realized. I wonder if I should have gone as the cowardly lion because I’m definitely aware I have heart and still feel some of it missing.

I have another track meet tomorrow and cycling 70 miles this weekend. I tried acupuncture for the first time ever and did pilates for the first time just open to new possibilities all around. I am trying to decide whether the fact that I’ve exhausted the things I kept alive for means I should just quietly accept that the fate I fought for failed me and I failed it… or whether I should just be looking for a new one since change came anyway. One of the previous blog title was a reference to Sam Cooke’s song:

I was born by the river in a little tent
Oh and just like the river I've been running ever since
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

It's been too hard living but I'm afraid to die
Cause I don't know what's up there beyond the sky
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

I’ll keep running for now but there are days where I wonder how much endurance I’ve got left.  

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