Into the Dark

Over a six-week period, Dad’s cancer treatments really wore him down. In the beginning (weeks 1-4), he was okay and could be on his own and was keeping up with his food intake goals and even getting some quick 10 minute walks in. Though he was depressed about his situation, he was getting through it.

By week 5, the radiation treatments were adversely affecting him. He was sick often, developed a rough, chronic, phlegm-filled cough, and could barely drive himself to his appointments. He was left with a “metal” mouth and hardly ate anything because nothing tasted good. Weeks 5 and 6 were not fun for him, but once it was over I could tell that his spirits had been slightly lifted just from the fact that the initial journey was over.

While he recovered in the two weeks after treatments and weaned himself off of various medications, he was optimistic about the results of treatment. He was sure that the tumor had shrunk; said he could feel that it was smaller. It was easier for him to eat. He could taste food again.

Then tragedy hit: His mother passed away under unfortunate circumstances. He was not able to attend the funeral due to his health condition as well as the many different appointments and tests his team had set up for him. This was a difficult time for him, but he made what he felt was the best choice, and vehemently stuck to it.

He went for a scan approximately four weeks after the end of treatment, to provide he and his team with results from the treatments. The team was also optimistic. Theirs was an aggressive approach and they thought they’d knocked it off its feet. They thought the chemo and radiation treatments had been successful.

They were wrong.

There was no change. Optimistically speaking, there was also no indication that the tumor was growing. But this wasn’t what Dad was expecting to hear. This wasn’t what his team was expecting to see. It shocked him and sent him back into that downward spiral into despair.

He will be scheduled for an intensive surgery in the coming weeks, with a 12 day recovery period in-hospital and a 12 week recovery period at home. He is enviously optimistic about the surgery. We are so much more battle-ready than we think we are, right? One little step forward at a time. Anything can be beared when it can be broken down into little bits.

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Gimme some Garlic

Life has been a little busy lately. The good news is that even though my workouts have been anything but spectacular, I’ve been watching what goes into my mouth and hopefully haven’t done any major damage by taking a few extra days of rest. I was feeling better, and then my cousin came to visit with her kids. The youngest had a terrible cough, and I believe I may have spent too much time letting him cough on me, even though he is a smart kid and always covered his mouth. The truly amazing thing is that while I’ve been sick, and my cousin’s son has been sick, my Grandma is a tough old bird and hasn’t caught anything from either one of us. Which just goes to show you how much of an effect garlic pills may have on a person. Her words, not mine.

Thursday – walk/run combo on the treadmill. see? sometimes I can actually do things while I’m sick. and the treadmill didn’t even conk out on me. it’s a miracle!

Friday – visited family.

Saturday – visited family some more.

Sunday – wallyball 45 mintues (I was 15 minutes late. they almost disinherited me.)

Monday – I thought about it. and that’s as far as I got.

Appreciate the Good Days

It’s kind of unbelievable how often I get sick. Why is that?
I caught some kind of flu bug, and I’m not incredibly happy about it because I was on a roll. I was on a really great roll. And then, I lost the roll. I ate it, or something. Was it a jelly roll? I can’t recall. I guess this kind of thing happens and it’s my job to work it out and continue on with my plan.

So, to sum things up:
Sunday – wallyball
Monday – rest
Tuesday – sick
Wednesday – walk
Thursday – lazy

Yes, yes, I’ve already labelled myself for today. I might yet surprise myself though. Never know. I could suddenly put my runners on and decide to go for a jog. Might as well make it a 6 miler while I’m dreaming.

It’s simply moments like these that make me appreciate the good days.

Filling up the Calendar

A quick look at my calendar for February and it’s pretty clear to me that I’ve really exceeded whatever success I had in January. 

yellow highlighters are the best. ever.

Cool.

I found some workouts from some website somewhere (can I generalize any more?) and incorporated them into my week so that eventually I’m doing three core-type workouts in a week. This might be too much for me, but I’d like to gauge my progress somehow and this seems like a good way to do it.

There is a warm-up before doing each workout, which consists mostly of stretches and some walking lunges.

Workout #1 (I did this one on Saturday):

DEADLIFT:  Time priority: 10 minutes; do AMRAP (as many rounds or repetitions as possible). works back, abs, butt, thighs, hamstrings, calves.

BURPEE:  Time priority: 10 minutes; do AMRAP. works shoulders, arms, back, abs, butt, thighs.

BUTTERFLY SIT-UP:  Time priority: 10 minutes; do AMRAP. works abs.

Shit, this workout really kicked my butt. Does that mean I’m incredibly out of shape?

Workout #2 (This one was done yesterday): 

SQUAT:  Task priority: do 3 rounds of 30 reps. works butt, thighs.

WALL DRILL:  Task priority: do 3 rounds of 1 minute each.

Gotta say, this one was easier, and yet, more difficult. Those squats nearly had me in tears, but I was glad my heartrate was kept at a level place instead of frantically trying to lower it halfway through the workout (i.e. Saturday). Still, I wanted to throw up once it was over.

Workout #3 (I did this one on Monday):

PUSH-UP:  Time priority: 7 minutes; do AMRAP. works shoulders, triceps, chest, abs.

HOLLOW BODY ROCK:  Time priority: 7 minutes; do AMRAP. works abs.

This one was alright, although pushups aren’t my favorite and by the time I got to the body rocks, my arms and shoulders were d.o.n.e. I guess that’s the point.

So obviously I haven’t done much running, but I’m getting there. Perhaps it would be smart of me to begin by strengthening my body and core before testing out the running again. We’ll see how things go, but for now I’m going to stick with what I have on my calendar.

B&E?

I tried running on my whackjob of a treadmill on Monday, but it didn’t really work out for me. Too bad, as I can’t check out my runners appropriately without running in them. Duh. And if I run outside, I won’t be able to return them if they don’t work out. Besides, running on ice kind of sucks. Sorry, but it does. Maybe I’ll steal someone’s gym key.

Aside from that fact, shit’s been going downhill. I don’t recall actually being at the top of a hill, but no matter. We’re not at the top anymore, Dorothy.

I have a very sick friend in the hospital, and a grandmother who passed away yesterday. Moments like these make me really struggle to hold on to what is important in life. I often drop to-do’s like flies when things start to go wrong in life. And often, those to-do’s are related to my own health and happiness. It’s an issue. I am aware of it, however, and I’m not so far gone that I can’t think to take care of myself while attempting to care for others at the same time. It can be done.

After the treadmill fiasco on Monday, I started walking to work. One hour there and back. Tuesday, Wednesday, Today. Tomorrow I’ll drive because I have errands and I have no patience when it comes to getting things done. So drive I will.

Tonight I will try a core workout, and depending on my friend’s health, my grandmother’s funeral, this weekend I might visit said gym with stolen key and try those runners out again. The best thing is to have runners on when they run you out of the gym for breaking and entering.

Well, I am pretty gosh darn excited. I bought myself a new pair of runners on Saturday. I got re-fitted and everything, just because of the shin splints. So I now have a new fancy pair of asics that I have a month to break-in and find out if they’ll work for me.

Boring color. Comfy shoe.

I tried them out playing wallyball last night. It felt incredibly strange, seeing as they are a whole size larger than my old pair of Mizunos. But I think it worked out well. Of course, the true test will come when I actually run in them.

The left knee is still feeling fragile. Too many jerky movements at wallyball; but hot damn did we play well! I almost wanted someone to video tape it and post us on You Tube. Ha! Total superstars, what’s who we are.

I think today will be the day to test out the shoes on the treadmill. If the treadmill works, that is. And doesn’t start smoking, or smelling like burnt rubber.

February So Far. Or, So Far in February.

Whatever floats your boat.

Minutes walked on a treadmill – 33

Minutes walked outside after expected break-down of said treadmill – 229, or 3 hours and 49 minutes

Minutes ran – 5, all done running up and down stairs. it counts, ok?

Minutes spent doing core work – 17

Total time spent exercising in February so far, or, so far in February – 284, or 4 hours and 44 minutes. In ten days.

That’s sort of pathetic.

I don’t think I’ll ever add up the numbers this way again. That totally blows. Ruined the rest of my day. Well, not quite. I have birthday cake to look forward to later. Just smiled. Heee.