Thursday, April 7, 2016

Cancer teaches you patience! Not. Well, maybe a little.

My hair, 23 weeks PFC. 
When I first was diagnosed and learned I had many months of treatment ahead of me, I was impatient. I wanted it over with. Then, during chemo, I reached this sort of stasis. I gave in to the timeline, knowing it would be months until I was done, and I should stop looking at the horizon. Resolved. At peace with what was happening to me. And now, I look back on the whole thing and it seems like a dream. If it weren't for the drastic changes to my body, I could almost forget it happened. Almost.

So now I'm trying to get my body back. I want to do the California International Marathon (CIM) again this year and a triathlon next year. Intellectually, I know it will take a long time to get back to where I was, fitness-wise. In a way, I'm patient with myself. After all, I just finished treatment four weeks ago. I spent nine months doing nothing but lose fitness and gain weight. Radiation damaged my lung (hopefully only temporarily). I know I have a lot of work to do to get back to where I was, and I'm OK with that. I see progress every week, and that inspires me. Yesterday, I swam for 20 minutes without stopping and felt good after. Last week, it was 12 minutes with a break in the middle and I was exhausted. I'm watching what I eat and have lost four pounds so far.

What's hard is, I want to do the training to get to where I need to be just to start marathon training on June 1, but my body keeps telling me it's not ready. I have no choice but to listen. Some days it's good, and others not so much. Tuesday, I was supposed to walk/run two miles and go to tap class. I also needed to do some grocery shopping, and I was feeling a little tired. I realized I couldn't do all those things, so I skipped the walk/run and just went to the store...and I was still tired at tap class. I did get all the way through it, but I struggled. My energy levels go up and down like a roller coaster.

So, I guess I did learn to be patient while taking what action I can, but it's hard not to be frustrated. People keep asking if I'm serious about CIM. I am, but I'm also realistic. I have to at least try; I owe myself that much. But yes, I am listening to my body and I won't injure myself or something trying to do more than I'm capable of. But at the same time, I keep thinking I can do all this stuff, and really I can only do some of this stuff. So, who knows if I will be running from Folsom to Sacramento on December 4. I hope so. I'm also doing all kinds of reading on triathlon training and preparedness. I want to be in with the in crowd. For now, I'm slodging along.

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