Monday, April 28, 2014

First 500

Today is chemo #3. Guest appearances from former 2- partner Rachel, MD, and former teammate Kate, also MD, have been arranged. Both of them work at MGH, and somehow their schedules allowed them to spend some time with me today. Rachel came to my vital signs and doctor check up (and got her own hug from Dr. M), and Kate bookended the day, catching me at of the drip. I also called a friend to take a short walk with me between the blood draw and the infusion. It was nice to have short visits and not have to worry about them, the visitors, in large part because it is a long day - who has time for this is my main concern. I don't, and to say I'd really prefer not to have to set aside this time is an understatement. Of course, I am making the time for this, the treatment, the taking care of myself, eating well, sleeping, exercising, etc. It is what I need to do, especially so I can keep everything else normal - coaching, time with family and friends, walking the dog. And, I'm lucky. I'm just in for part of a day. No taking the treatment home with me or spending two or three days inpatient each round, or even going in more than once every 14 days. If I had every other Monday off for sixteen weeks, there are plenty things I would choose to enjoy besides these 6 hours. I don't have time for cancer.

I consider this point in the treatment as 500m down, 4 weeks in and the 3rd of 8 treatments in the books of a nasty, drawn out 2k. Except, it's not the 2k you look forward to doing. It's not lining up against the competition you've been thinking about and preparing for for months (or longer) at a time. This is more of an, Oh, by the way, attention, go - what, you weren't ready - too bad, that was the start. Though it seems hard to get away from rowing and a rowing analogy, a 2k seems a fairly apt metaphor so far. I am still feeling ok after the first 500, moving strongly into the second 500m (chemo is my move), and getting ready to buckle down for the second 1000. Can't wait for the sprint...

Yale 1F with pink paint
One more bit on rowing, though not insignificant. My friend Igor caught some of the action on the Charles over the weekend (and does so regularly on his own blog, Charles River Blues). He shot and captioned (in part) this photo from last weekend's racing, "Rivalry is rivalry, and chivalry is chivalry. Well done, Yale 1F." Scroll down to see the caption from April 16. I had seen this crew with their painted blades during Friday afternoon's practice and complimented them, but wasn't able to get a photo. Thank you, Igor, for this wonderful image, and excellent bladework to boot! Once again, I find myself blown away by the support coming from my rowing family, this time so vividly from New Haven. Thank you, Y150s! You've outdone yourselves in my book whether you know it or not. 

For me, generating a race plan on the fly is not my usual plan of attack, but given the situation, that is what I will do, it is what I have to do. Plus, I have so many people in my boat that it is impossible to imagine not being able to break this foe. Sit up & Go!

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