Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Running, Adam and a Cancer Update!!

Thank you to everyone who has posted comments or emailed me! I love hearing from all of you. :-)

I ran again this morning. It was Fantastic! Really, it was. I was able to complete the four mile course and only walked up the one enormous hill. My heart rate seemed to stay down at a normal level. During a brief cardio session yesterday I had a hard time keeping it out of the high 170s! That is inappropriately high for moderately paced cardio. I was doing the same machine at the same intensity the day before surgery and I had a hard time getting my heart rate ABOVE 150!!!

I felt 80% better from when I ran on Sunday. Except for my peroneal tendon, which decided to be fussy. When I got home, I put this stuff on my ankle called GCHQ. It’s like icy hot. Adam’s dad, who is a large animal veterinarian, sent it to me when I first injured my tendon. It really seems to help, although the package says: “For high performance animals.” Like horses. Ok, or I guess that could be me!!! Haha! I think it’s safe… the only ingredients are menthol and mate, whatever that is. I can still feel the cool tingling effects!

Speaking of Adam, he did something really, shall we say Not Smart yesterday! He was making a big pot of chili and decided to see how hot he could make it before he couldn’t stand eating it. While that seems not smart, that’s actually not the Not Smart part. He chopped up a bunch of those little red chili peppers – the super caliente ones – and dumped them into the mix. Then, with chili pepper residue on his fingers -- he doesn’t remember doing it -- but he must’ve stuck his finger in his nose because it started to burn and his left nostril started to run uncontrollably! He thinks he also inadvertently scratched his, um, groin, if you will. When that started burning, he ran and jumped in the shower. Good times.

On a more serious note, Adam and I also had a “State of the Union” last night. He asked me whether I plan to break up with him once I get better. You see, we almost broke up a few days before my diagnosis. There have been some rocky points in our relationship in the past, but this time it was For Real. I was going to blog about our “almost breakup”, but obviously it was OBE (Overcome By Events) when I was diagnosed with cancer. So was the breakup. As soon as I was diagnosed, he was just there for me, like nothing had passed between us about ending our relationship. I admit I did feel guilty about it at the time because I was the one who wanted to end things, and I felt a little like I was taking advantage of his good will just because I got sick. At some point I let go and just let him love me and be there for me. And my affections for him grew.

It’s not that I didn’t adore him… there are many reasons why I thought it best to end the relationship. Not the least of which is that he is in the Navy and he’s moving in September to Hawaii for two years. And my life is here in DC right now. I have a fun, exciting job at the State Department and I’ve worked really hard to get here. I’m not saying my career is my number one priority, or that I plan to work for the government forever, but I can’t see myself leaving it so soon. At some point I want to have a family, and I wouldn’t mind taking a less interesting job then, if it would be less demanding and give me more time to care for children. But right now I’m having a ball making a difference, as they say!

I know it really upsets him that I refuse to commit to making our relationship work no matter what. I know he wants me to say that I love him so much that I am willing to make whatever sacrifices are required for us to be together. But if I’m not going to leave DC yet, that leaves us with only one option – long distance. For two years?! I don’t know, it’s a tough spot. Before, I decided that if I wasn’t going to make a full commitment, then it made sense to move on. I agonized over it a lot, and it was giving me serious heartache. Lately I have been absorbed by having cancer and I haven’t thought much about the future. I’ve just been trying to make it through each day, week. But he's been thinking about it, and it's added to his emotional drain.

One of the comments I received was to go easy on yourself and others during the early, difficult days of thyroid cancer. The part about going easy on others struck a chord with me. I’m feisty and demanding when I’m not sick, so you can just imagine me now!! Poor Adam takes the brunt of it. And he sees me at my worst and has to hold me up sometimes. He told me he is emotionally drained. He said it’s kinda scary seeing me so fragile and dependent. Normally I am strong willed and extremely introverted; I don’t need anyone to hold me up! So it seems. I’m sure it’s even harder on my dear mother. My mom and I are very close and I know she feels everything for me.

All sad stuff aside, I have been feeling very positive the last few days. I saw my endocrinologist on Monday and he wants to give me an outpatient dose of the radioactive iodine, since my tumor seemed to be pretty contained and hadn’t metastasized. That is scheduled for the 10th of January, and I will get to start my real thyroid medicine on January 14, and be feeling better by February!! Just in time to train for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler on April 1!!

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that I don’t have to be isolated in the hospital! I will still have to be isolated at home for a couple of days, but that is way better than being in the hospital!!! Of course, all that depends on the results of my initial scan. As long as no distant metastases show up on the scan, I’ll be good to get my RAI dose and go home. If something weird shows up, I’ll have to go into the hospital. Good thoughts!!!

Wow, this is really long! Congrats to anyone who made it this far!!!

"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do no pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks." - Phillips Brooks

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