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Reconciling two worlds.
August 12, 2013

Timeline:  Thursday, August 7, Doctor’s office.

IIt has been a while since I last saw Dr. M, my oncologist.  As promised he gave me a two-month break that started in June, now it is that time again: the reckoning.

“How do you feel?  You look great.”  He started.

“I feel good and strong.  My running miles are up.  I am training as if I have a marathon to run this fall but I am not entered into any race.  I am waiting for you.”  I let it hang.

“You are gong to make me sweat for this one, Bo.”  He sees that I have become strong and fit, and he will have to rein me back to the reality of cancer.

I live in an un-reconcilable world: the normal world where everybody lives and the cancer world where each day is borrowed.  I meet people who are amazed that I can do many things that pales in comparison to them, but I know what the reality is.  I have cancer and have been fighting it since 2008.  Normal activities, like running, yoga, work, even laughter, etc., gives the illusion I am well and cancer-free but that is not so.  They mask the real world I am forced to live in.  To my doctor, that reality means back to chemo treatments for me.

Here is the plan: we start my treatment again with a four chemo drugs combination delivered by infusion at the hospital, plus a seven-day chemo pill regiment at 1500 mg dose.   I was expecting the chemo pills part,  but I did not expect it to be combined with infusion.  He warned me about potential side-effects of this new combination and had asked that I level or taper off my running.  Now that hurts.

I also need a CT scan of the chest to establish a baseline before the start of the treatment.  We planned for six-cycles or chemo sessions every two weeks.  There you have it, a new beast that I have to carry on my back for the next three-months.  It also means the end of my marathon training but will be limited to short runs.

How do I feel?  Nothing.  I am already numb to all this.  I have heard all the bad news in many different ways, so what’s the point?  My world is different.  I just have to work harder to earn a day.

A new journey.
Timeline:  Present (August 12)
Over the weekend, I went to the hospital to get the results of my CT scan of the chest. I had one done last Friday, August 9, in preparation for my treatment.  It had confirmed the previous what my previous scan results showed last June 6: The pulmonary metastases have worsened since the previous study.  They have increased in size.

What is there to say?

Tomorrow, I will start my new three-month regiment.  It will be six-hours of infusion at the hospital then 7-days on chemo pills, then we repeat every other week until I have complete 12 sessions.  Like always, I kickoff my chemo day with a 5am spinning class at the gym before going to the hospital.  Nothing like oxygenated blood cells to accept chemo toxin, I always say.  Ha!

I have done everything to get rid of this cancer but it just keeps on coming back.  I have no problem in accepting the shackles of my world.  I am beyond rationalizing or asking “why”.  I have gone deeper in to my prayers and harder into my runs just to purge myself of this disease, and it still brings me back into full circle.

Last Saturday, my wife did 13 miles, a half-marathon.  I told my wife I am going to empty out on this ‘last’ run.  I want to feel all the pain, all of it.  I want the cleansing pain from running my heart out.  I didn’t care about injuries or worsening my plantar fasciitis problem.  There will be no fall marathon or 20-mile training for me anyway.  It was my last chance to feel completely alive, and I did.  I love it.  I am at peace.

I will be back.

Cheers.

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