Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Best Mirrors

The return to Duke went very well. I talked to them about the ADD medication we had tried and let them know that it didn’t seem to be that effective, confirming perhaps what the local doctors believed that this was a structural not a chemical problem. They recommended taking it on important days if I wanted but that it wasn’t going to be a normal thing.

More importantly the guy who has seen more doctors than he cares to realize.. In the last two years, 2 neuro surgeons, 3 neurologists, 3 neuropsychologists, 3 oncologists, 2 general physicians, 2 ambulances, 4 trips to Duke, dozens of appointments (still not a month without one) lots of nurses, physicians assistants, physicians aides, receptionists, (mostly good people), left there with no return to trip to Duke and showing exactly why I love my Duke oncology team, we revolved it around their annual 5k in April and they wrote a letter on my behalf stating my condition was stable. While I actually have a letter in my possession that says that cancer wasn’t what was left, we decided, I think intelligently that since the doctors have never had any clear consensus from day one to day now that we’d go with the most conservative approach because, if on Friday, when this emergency hearing happens, we can present to the judge that nothing has changed or gotten worse in regards to my medical conditions. 

I played in a camping ultimate tournament on the east coast while out there. Without fail, everytime I’ve gone to Duke I’ve also taken a trip to somewhere else, the original trip with my previous spouse, the other 3 to catch friends on the east coast. Part of that is for some reason the Raleigh Austin flight is ridiculous and each time it’s been cheaper or about the same to take a three way trip. A picture here is where I stayed and it is helpful for the trips to not just be to deal with cancer. Somehow it’s very cool that the next one is around their 5k… I wore my Mohawk up there and got reprimanded for the fact that I had sent them no poster. I will be sending them one.
And I sat with my tourney with medical records, school records, letters from people who had been there before the divorce and she sat and thought it out and was honest that while she couldn’t predict anything, she thought no judge would see this as an emergency where Kiana should only receive supervised visits and she hopes that the judge will throw out the case as we see it, as frivolous. 

It was interesting that the day after I got back was when Lance Armstrong resigned as head of the board and Nike drops it’s sponsorship of him etc. I’ve had a few friends (and strangers) ask me question about that but what can I say? I don’t know anything about cycling and frankly I don’t care. I’ve met the guy a couple of times but I was proud of him, whether it was forced or a choice (but the guy started the foundation so at some level it had to be a choice) for recognizing that something was bigger than him even though he started. I am a guy who was a surprise and didn’t meet his dad till I was 15. My daughter was a  surprise. Sometimes things have to outgrow, or at least outlive their origins.

But nonetheless, while the last few days at Duke, sitting with an attorney about the court about the emergency hearing, Lance Armstrong’s deal, I am still a fan of Livestrong and a fan of life. The person who drove me around Austin was my friend Alycia who we’ve known each other since we were 14. They say that old friends are the best mirrors and we’ve known each other 18 years now… I mean whatever makes us 29… but it’s been interesting to see each other grow. We’ve gone down very different paths than I think either of us would have called back then but she pointed out that I’m a better dad and a better runner because that’s the way I always was, that focusing on something makes me better. I said showing her the neuropsychological report that my IQ is in the 99% percentile and my verbal abilities are higher than most people even with a high IQ that some of my abilities to learn due to memory are severely hampered. She was there when I was valedictorian and I am like I couldn’t do that anymore. Somehow it was incredibly comforting to hear her say that I seemed to have focused on better things. 

I am worried about tomorrow but less than I was when first heard the news. I am worried about cancer but less than I was when I first heard the news. As this blog has often said who knows what’s coming but I hope that some of the friends I’ve kept and made along this journey… that in due time we will be good mirrors because we’ll also have become old friends.

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