I’ve been doing a lot of running lately. On Saturday I gutted out a long run: I planned a route, tailored my hydration and energy fuel, high-fived Brad and the girls, and hit the pavement.
It was hard. Often when I run, I have runner’s mojo where I feel powerful and rhythmic when I run. Scenery streams by and I’m buoyed along with an easy cadence. Saturday was not that day. I felt like I was plodding along and I resorted to a lot of run-for-three-minutes, walk-for-one-minute type pacing strategies. Hills were my nemesis. I felt un-athletic, pokey, and weak. Eleven miles is a lot of miles to slog through those feelings. It was my grit and gumption that got me through, and I’m proud of that. My mental toughness and sheer will kicked in, and that is empowering in a different kind of way. And… I did it. My half marathon is less than two weeks away, and I’m hopeful I will achieve my goal of completing it.
I would have liked for that run to have felt amazing; instead it felt gritty–I worked my butt off to get it done. I would like a lot of things in this life, but I will not pout or quit when I don’t get what I want. It’s up to me to delight in the goodness rather then wallow in the grime.
This morning I had a PET scan and I have the results now because my oncology office indulges my high-maintenance wish to get immediate results. Dr. Wonderful doesn’t mince words or make small talk when he walks in the exam rooms on scan days. He walks in and opens immediately with, “The scan shows progression.”
That news settles in while he gets seated and logs in to the computer that allows him to show us the report, chart, and make treatment plans. Brad and I absorb it together, but separately. Progression is not what we wanted; we are discomfited knowing that the lymph nodes in my sternum are growing/spreading and there is a small cluster of cancer nodules in my lower left lung. Cancer growth is not good for my long term health and prognosis, but this small amount of progression isn’t as devastating as, for example, rampant cancer. Still, it felt gritty: an attempt at knocking us back, down, over. Brad and I — united and individually — refuse to be defeated and are resolute to Do Today Well. Same goes for our family. And our village will too.
Dr. Wonderful shares with us his plan — the man always has a plan. He is changing the drugs for my treatment: I’ll still go to the oncology office every three weeks for an infusion of a drug through my port, shots every four weeks, and (another) new oral pill I will take at home daily. Dr. Wonderful specifically mentioned that this combination has success with patients who have gone through other treatments without achieving long-term stable results. That is good for me: with each new drug we hope that this will be the one that will stabilize and/or regress the cancer. And with each new scan I am reminded why I am grateful that my peace is not dependent on things of this world. My peace comes from God and He has never failed me.
Life is much the same as it was yesterday. I feel normal-for-me today, and it’s likely I will feel normal-for-me next week. You can not know the drop-to-my-knees in gratitude feelings I have about this normalcy. It is a blessing to live my life; I do not take it for granted.
Pray for me in my continued quest to focus on joy and gratitude. Pray for Brad as I lean on him. Sweet Maren understands a lot more than most people do about what cancer feels like, and we need special prayer to handle her processing it. Greta, bless her, is still blissfully unaware and her comic relief is welcome. Pray for everyone who loves me; my village is mighty and we trust that good will come.