781 days and 7 minutes
781 days ago, I attended my first appointment with an oncologist. It was at that appointment that the first benign lump was found, however that is where the worry of that damned disease cancer began for me. There have been multiple surgeries, hospital stays, emergency visits, doctor visits (too many to count), dozens of diagnostic tests, blood draws and so many medications. All of that has lead me to today!
Today is a good day. Today marks the beginning of #lifeaftercancer. This day, March 25th, 2019 is my first day in 15 months that I can resume some normal activity. Today I can go to the gym and begin some “light,” as it may be, exercise. I can lift light groceries again. I can even go for a swim in the pool. I am officially 6 weeks post op from my placement surgery and have the all clear for light activity and boy does it feel good!
I used to run half marathons. I have to admit there was a part of running that I absolutely hated, it was the first 7 mins. It was painful, out of breath, out of rhythm and I always dreaded the beginning. Once I got past that point though, some comfort would begin to set in. My body and the rhythm of my feet, speed of my gait and the sound of my breathing would get me to a kind of zen like space that was so peaceful for me that I could just run and run. I haven’t been able to find that space. I have tried to replace it with other things, like walking the dog and writing. I have even taken up regular meditation, or at least I would appear to be meditating and I do try hard; I’m just not sure how successful I am at it. I never seem to get to this same space that I used to get to on my daily run. I am craving that.
Paul is one of the most positive outlook people you will ever meet. I am sure in a few years, I will even have to remind him, “Remember honey when I had cancer?” This will be something I actually know he won’t forget. I am making a bit of fun here, but at a conscious level I know this will no longer occupy space on his day to day hard drive at all. It’s just not who he is to fret about stuff in the past or worry about things in the future. What a gift! The other day I bought some new runners. They are good looking shoes. The kind I might have even enjoyed the first 7 minutes in. I have them tied so that I can just slip my feet in and out of them. There are two reasons why: 1) It hurts my hips to stand up from bending down to tie them and 2) it also hurts my boobs to bend over and tie them. Any pressure against them is still a bit painful. Apparently it will be three months until that goes away so I am half way there. The point is though, that when I bought my shoes and had them tied in this pathetic manner that currently works for me, I thought about running. I thought to myself… will I ever run again? Like really run in a way that I can get to that numbing place that made everything feel better when I came back from it? That place where things seemed to fix themselves while I was there. By the time I returned, stuff that bothered me when I left, felt fine in my mind and body. That kind of running, will I ever be able to do that again? I looked at my shoes and then at Paul. I asked him, “Sweetheart, do you think I will ever run again?” I knew what his answer would be, and that is exactly why I asked. I knew he would say, “Of course you will run again. Just be patient, you’ll be back to yourself soon.” But, that isn’t what he said! He too looked at my shoes, and then at me. He then said, “I don’t know honey, do you think you will ever run again?”
When your Positivity Point Person, your Number One Cheerleader stops leading the positivity train in that currently unimaginable direction you are trying to take it, the reality of just how far you are from going for a run sets in. It will be awhile. It may take as long or longer to get back to where I was before all of this started, but what I do know is that I want to one day run again. Maybe not like I did but at least past that 7 minutes to that special place that feels like home inside me.
So wish me well today as I head to the gym with my new size large workout pants and workout top. Yes, sitting or laying in recovery for big parts of what has unbelievably become more than a year, along with having sudden surgical onset of menopause…. well that does a doozy on your weight management plan. So I’ll put my puffy self into those comfy workout clothes and see what lightweight things I can manage. I’m sure I will be fine. Nothing a solid breakdown of tears won’t get me through. Hope I can make it past 7 minutes.