So early each which week on Sunday or Monday, I sit and look through the next two weeks worth of commitments, plans, dreams etc. I used to do just one week but due to some oversights and some costly consequences, I look a little further out in advance (but shh officially my motto is still one day at a time, I get tired when I do two). As I sat here and looked at the next two weeks this morning, the thing that glared the most out of the calendar was the MRI a week from Friday. It got moved up a few weeks for a variety of reasons but let's just say it's times like these that I miss the world of academia where there were tests I could study for.
I've been part of the young and strong club, a young adult cancer survivor's group where compared to most people I actually feel like a geezer. There were people in there who had to drop out of college and move in friends or family to be able to take treatment seriously or handle the finances of it all. Some have gone back and even changed their focus or degree in light of the circumstances. There have been others who had to focus an intense amount on school if they were going to take treatment seriously. And still others who when they finished treatment remembered that college was easier or harder than chemo or medical tests. (Actually interestingly enough I learned that if you have cancer for academic purpose it counts as a learning disability). Still, me personally, I just wish there was someway to study for this MRI.
There are different ways of dealing with anxiety, with the things that overwhelm us because there's no possible way to have control. Last night, Austin had one of the biggest thunderstorms I've ever seen. Unfortunately no one was home for my puppy and unlike anything she's ever done before, she
And so as I head to the MRI a week from Friday, I literally highlighted other things on the calendar, all the things that I believe will be positive. There is a Thanksgiving dinner at my church tonight. There are the only two races I've managed to defend the title of ever, the Turkey Trot Stroller Division and the Austin Beer Mile. (No promises that I'll threepeat on either of them but you better believe I'll be trying). There are two Cowboys games this week but those are stressful in their own way and I have about the same amount of same and a little less emotion as to how my MRI goes. Then the day after the MRI Kiana is running her own two mile race through the Austin Trail of Lights, our first nighttime race. And the day after that I am running the Decker Challenge half marathon with a stroller, the only race in Austin and certainly it's hardest half that I haven't done with Kiana since this all started.
It was a coincidence that I was training for a marathon when this all started; it began after the first time I ever finished fastest out of our group workout and the next day I was in an ambulance and in www.livestrong.org/iram).
So I'll sit and try to have some good times in running and life as the MRI gets nearer to think about it less. A doctor friend joked to me that it's one of those times where you're hoping there really isn't something in your brain; I doubt the tumor will be gone just hoping it hasn't grown so the joke I make is that I just hope I've been using it enough to where it hasn't gotten more rusty. There's quite no way to completely shake off that if it goes well, there will be no medical appointments for a while and if it doesn't there will be quite a few and if that's a multiple choice test, which one would you pick. Good friends, good people try to find their own ways to comfort you. They say they're praying for you or sending positive vibes (perhaps one of my favorite smart aleck remarks I ever made was a friend who said to me, I don't pray very often but I'm praying for you and I responded with "whoa, don't be asking strangers for favors). Anyone who knows me well that I've never once prayed to beat cancer and never will but actually the last few days I've been praying something about my MRI that probably most people who pray regularly wouldn't approve of but hey I'm not talking to them anyway. But with that said, I'm neither going to ask people to pray nor tell them not to (I get the feeling they wouldn't take the direction either way)
I sat at a church program where people shared what they were thankful for. I've said it multiple times but 2014 is the best year of my life period. And yes it has to do with medical stability and less appointments, and yes it has to do with PR's in every single distance, but those are minor elements compared to what I believe has helped cause those. It has been to me the fact that good people have been there and I hope I've been there for them. Some have been for limited moments of interaction, some were here from years ago and will be there I think as long as we have breath. Some are just
Speaking of outfits, when Kiana dressed as a ninja for Halloween, I joked with her that it's better to throw stars than wish upon them. A friend remarked the old story of the little boy who after a storm, probably like the one that scared puppy last night, that boy was walking on the beach throwing starfish back in the ocean. An old cranky man passed by and asked him if he really thought he was making a difference with hundreds if not dozens of those stars stranded on the beach. The little boy aptly replied as he threw one more in, "it made a difference to that one."
I've shared the story of Job before a while back (http://pickingupahitchhiker.
My holiday cards are almost done and from people who were there long before cancer to doctors to people I met relatively recently, those are the people I've been trying to say thank you to for being there and for letting me be there. Some were there for a good walk, or a good meal, some were there during MRI's and medical appointments. The MRI is loud and obnoxious and probably feels like the thunderstorm did to puppy. Luckily I have (or hope I do) some reason to deal with it better by
And so while in simple frankness, with their presence or their prayers or their positive vibes, for me especially when they shared that with me, I don't know how much of a difference it actually makes in how those "I can't study for tests will go" but those star throwers make a difference to me.