Sunday, June 3, 2018

Only Human After All

Maybe I'm foolish maybe I'm blind
Thinking I can see through this and see what's behind
Got no way to prove it so maybe I'm blind
But I'm only human after all

I'm less than a week away from my next MRI and it's results and I can honestly say this is the most I've ever been distracted from one ever since the first one, which for some reason I didn't take seriously enough even immediately after a grand mal seizure. Now, let's not pretend like I'm completely distracted. A couple of weeks ago I was signed up for two athletics events in the last two weeks before the race, now I'm at 4 in less than a week, two this weekend and two evening 5k's next week and thinking about adding a 5th. I've been saying that I'm retired for a while but I can't figure out why no one believes me. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and I suppose the guy who snuck out of the hospital before a biopsy to run and who put off brain surgery to run a marathon has learned that maybe, just maybe my using exercise as therapy perhaps even immunotherapy has ground in that I'm going to keep it going. 

I was originally signed up for just two events in the two weeks before the biopsy, a ride and a 5k. It was of no surprise to anyone that I got talked into doing 5 events. Three of them are done and they all had great results, I like to think of that as foreshadowing. The first was us being asked to be the runners on a triathlon relay. We knew going into it they had a stronger swimmer and biker but the hope was that I'd be able to make it up on the run on Kiana's team and well everyone else's. As we were sharing the story at a couple of parties over the weekend it became very clear that the only people cheering for my team to beat Kiana's was my team. I was actually a little nervous for Kiana because this would be her first non kids race on her since I have always ran with her (she was so nervous that when I asked her she said yep dad sign me up). In a triathlon, the run since it's the last section is the least clean part of the race as when you start and who you start around is really irrelevant to how you should hold speed, essentially making it a time trial on your own with people around you. Kiana's team started quite a bit ahead of mine and I knew that as long as she fared decently there was no way I could catch up to her. While I posted the fastest run on the course, we would end up taking 4th place, just off the podium. Kiana's team would win the entire relay devision. I always said I'd somehow be both happy and sad the first time she beat me in a race but turned out I was wrong on the sad part. But it was also another first, she's been running for over 3 years and not a single time has she not PR'ed even when races have been really close on the calendar. She finally missed it and showed that maybe she's human after all. When that was pointed out, she knew her days of PR's weren't over and maybe talked a little trash about how one of us had a trophy going up on the shelf when we got home. 

But between that race and the next one was the end of Kiana's 5th grade, her concluding the 6 years of elementary. This was the elementary that inspired me to buy a house one block away so that we could walk together, intriguing how the universe was so kind to give that desire because for nearly 3 years of not being allowed to drive, I had to. The last few walks to and from school all seemed a bit too short. I tried to replicate the picture that I took on the first day of Kindergarten and the last day of 5th grade. The changing of the color of the house and garage showed, the growing up to new heights and wearing glasses was there and the one thing that was consistent was the one thing I honestly didn't notice until someone pointed it out on social media, that in both pictures she was wearing butterflies. It reminded me of the Angelou idea that 'we delight in the beauty of butterflies but rarely admit the changes it has gone through.' During the celebration event, the principal didn't help during the ceremony when he got teary eyed during the opening statement. The medical tests say I have better than average vision but I may need to get it check out again because for a lot of the last few days while thinking and looking back, things get blurry. 

Perhaps it's refreshing that what I'm most nervous about is Kiana going to junior high than the MRI results. She actually goes to a transition summer school this week where they teach them more about changing classes and changing clothes in front of people in the locker room for a few days. I'm sure she'll handle it about as graciously awkwardly as I handle getting into my MRI gown on Thursday. 

The other two events this weekend were the ATLAS 4000 opening ride for students who ride from here to Alaska to raise money for cancer research. It was a Livestrong ride that did that with that got me to learn to ride a bicycle. It was at that ride back 6 years ago in California that I picked up the ring of hope that's coming to fruition in August. Both last year and this year Elaine and I have both done it though we keep doing different distances on this one for some reason, despite doing the same one on the Livestrong challenge each year. It was incredibly hot this year but we got it done. There was a sculpture of dice that we had ridden by not far from the finish that is where we took the picture at. I liked it anyway but the guy who was born 8/8/80 made sure we posed in front of where the dice totaled up to 8. I've never lost on pocket 8's in poker (I have on pocket pretty much every other card). It's no coincidence that for several years now I've gotten my MRI results on the 8th of the month I'm taking it including this Friday. I'm actually a little nervous that the next couple it would be impossible to get results on the 8th since they fall on the weekend .

Still, we headed from there just like last year to do a 4 by 5k trail race in over 100 degrees. Teamwork makes the sweat work a little less. For the second year in a row our team won it so nice defended title and we followed it up at a party for one Elaine's bridesmaids at a restaurant named 888. How can I not take all of these as good omens? I mean, I'm not superstitous but I am a little bit stitious. I was and am nervous about Thursday's test and Friday's results. I still have my own 5k on Wednesday on national running day and doing one with Kiana and Elaine on Thursday to ease out some of the stress. Some people take a shot when they are nervous and we've actually been drinking a bottle of wine every week or two to try things out for the wedding guests but I think the athletic events are better at taking the edge of and watching Kiana grow up makes me greatful to be alive. Today is national cancer survivor's day. I never quite know how we decide on these days or months (except for Star Wars day, May the 4th be with you makes complete sense). I rarely acknowledge most of them but one of the emotions and thoughts that keep going through this damaged brain is I honestly would not have guessed nor bet I'd still be here more than seven and a half years after my diagnosis, watching my daughter finish elementary. The custodial thing is now fully wrapped up with my actually getting more time with Kiana in the future still in the home that she's lived in since birth and perhaps the one that she'll be at till she graduates high school (she has to move out 5 minutes after that, okay maybe a day or two). I would not have predicted that I'd be sitting here figuring out some cheesy, some fun, some silly wedding details which is about as dreaming about the future as I can. I even thought about that if life is kind enough to give us 50 years together of marriage I'd be 88 when the time came. She'd be 77, I mean 29. I mean my grandfather is in his 80 and my great grandfather lived into his 90's so why not dream?

But speaking of the wedding, my quest to grow out my hair continues. This all began as a gag with Elaine and Kiana talking about growing their hair out and when I joked I would too their remarks started about how bad I look with my hair puffing out. They laughed a little too hard and now I'm at over 3 months into it. Elaine originally was making remarks about it but realized the more people goad me the more likely it will never get cut. I walked into a conversation where she was telling people she valued humor over utility and I finally understood why she was marrying me; I think she was talking about a gift but hey aren't I also a gift ;)?

We will see what the tests Thursdays show when I get the results on Friday. If anyone wants me to tell them that my opinion is that everything will be just fine, they would be asking me to lie. But that is my hope and I live on that hope, the hope that the only scary growth going on come Thursday can be solved not a medical professional but rather by a solid hair stylist. That is this week's hairy hope. 

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