Friday, September 21, 2012

Transitional Hope

I attended Livestrong's cancer and transitions class yesterday. It was a class only for men with a workout in between where the guy leading the workouts could clearly tell that I was in better shape than most people in there... So far this week, I've cycled more than I ever did while training for the century but still came in first in the track and hill workouts at my group (there are guys who are faster than me but they didn't show up this week). I've come to realize that exercise is my hoping mechanism, not my coping one. To quote Bon Jovi, you've got to hold on to what we've got, it doesn't make a difference if we make it or not, we've got each other and that's a lot. For love, we'll give it a shot.

Ironically, and not that there's anything wrong with that, the class had at least half of the guys there that were gay. Whatever your stance is on that, I think it's fair to conclude that gay men as a group are not wired the same as straight men as a group. I was amused at that but it was interesting to hear the discourse in there and people talking about their changes after the cancer was no longer their concern, as it's no longer mine but I am not sure it ever was. We had to write why we joined the class and/or what our goal was. For me, I wrote down that I was trying to avoid continuing making rookie mistakes. I realize that my first marathon, the initial diagnosis, some things about parenting, etc has come from thinking I could do it all (a belief I've still not completely lost) but trusting your brain a little (lot) less makes you more human and I'm nowhere near ready to embrace it. I don't have to do it the way anyone tells me or even points me but there's nothing lost in hearing and comparing someone else's experience. I keep thinking about how my first marathon I trained by myself and the second one I trained with a group. Now there is a huge range of people in my group speedwise with 20 opinions but there was at least something to compare to.

From that class, I went to Kiana's parental advisory council and perhaps showing my different wiring, around the tables there were 14 women and me. Today I had lunch with a psychologist herself who I hadn't talked to since this all started and as she listened to me about the fact that I don't want to date because of this, that I don't want to accept the label of disabled, even that I bike around rather than accept some of these rides, she pointed out quickly that I don't want to need anyone. Call it being a hispanic male... My great grandfather didn't give up driving until he was pretty much forced to in his 70's and my grandpa who is 70 is still fighting us for it and me... I might have to give it up at 32... Still, I've bike more than a 100 miles this week (when you haven't done it in 3 months, it hurts) and I've ran more than a marathon distance and still doing a race on Sunday (a 10k)...

Kiana now has health insurance again and after the last couple of years, that's thrilling. Her mother and her boyfriend still dropped off  Kiana on Thursday and no one stepped on the property and it went without incident.

I'm impatiently waiting for next Thursday where we decide what to try and what to do from here. The new neuro oncologist guy is pretty great, pulling in all records, emailing me and trying to solve the puzzle. I've made the joke that he's like house but I do think that it's a puzzle to him and that kind of curiosity and intensity is what, if anything, will cure cancer someday. But he understands the neurological losses that I've been telling people about for a year and finally it sounds like someone is listening... I met with the counseling I've been meeting with for a year today and couldn't help but think of the old biblical text and now remains, hope, faith and love but the greatest of these is love. I agree with the sentiment but I guess I'm glad I have all 3.


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