Thursday, March 25, 2010

I used to like roller coasters, didn't I?

I guess they never quite felt like this. The drops used to be the fun part, and the climbs brought anxiety. Well I've been on a bit of a different ride since we last talked. We all know how the drops feel for me now, and frankly, I'm not interested in explaining where they came from over the last couple weeks. So let's stick with the climbs.

You've already read about the Huck Cancer tournament, but it deserves another shout out for how well it came off. On top of that, another ultimate friend, "Mo Po", has directed his annual March Madness competition to raise even more money for the Huck Cancer team. See? Badgers aren't so bad after all (of course, they're no "Wolverines").

And bike rides? With no flats? You heard me right. I switched my tires to adamantium belted tires and attached a broom to the front of my bike to sweep away glass. Result? 3 rides, 0 flats (and 2 glasses of wine).

I've also taken a step up on the river by paddling the Gorge last week (Cl 3). Thanks to "Savory Em" and "Laura J" for dragging me along. It felt pretty...well...normal, which is about all I could hope for. I wasn't paddling perfectly, but I hit my rolls when I needed them, and that's what I was most worried about.

Of course, the biggest peak in the last few weeks would have to be the latest MRI (taken yesterday). At a minimum, the results looked basically the same as before - no major changes. Extreme optimism could even argue that they looked slightly better than before (though at this point I'd say hold off on the extremism - don't we have enough of that in this world already?) I also found out that there are ways for me to still travel for long periods of time if I want. Good news all around. Of course, part of the good news was that my recent blood tests looked fine - which means it's chemo week starting tonight. So if you don't hear from me in any form for awhile, you know what my excuse will be.

As for the drops these past few weeks, as I mentioned before, I'd just as soon not explain those. But this recent quote sent to me by "Rat" helps me try to keep perspective:

"Some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity...." -Gilda Radner

Sunday, March 7, 2010

One of the best days...

...ever! We just had the Huck Cancer Ultimate Frisbee tournament and post-party yesterday and it was AMAZING! Everyone managed to raise an astounding amount of money to fight cancer - over $40,000! The sun dance worked incredibly well and the weather was perfect. Everyone played with the typical Spirit of the Game, and there was a broad range of skill levels from beginners to some of the best players around. The post-game party was also amazing, and brought in a lot of people who weren't able to play earlier. It also gave me a chance to chat with everyone, and once again I felt incredibly lucky to have such wonderful people in my life.

The tournament and post-game party were incredibly well run and organized. I say this with zero ego because, in fact, it was an amazing crew of friends who actually pulled this whole thing together, and I want to give them all the credit they deserve, and then some. In particular, my friends Ali and Renata spent an amazing amount of time setting up this event, and their organizational skills are truly impressive. But there were several other key helpers, and while I hope I don't miss anyone, I want to give them all (somewhat anonymous) credit. You'll know who they are.....

(And the order is relatively random)

My "Freighbor"
The "Kornman" Cam
"Savory Em"
"The Mayor"
The "Pockster"
The "Ultimate" Joe
"Kayak Asia"
The "Sexy Librarian"

I also want to thank all of the people who came by as volunteers to help run the tournament! Seriously, it was extremely helpful and much appreciated. Now let's keep the momentum going and spread the word for next year! Imagine if an event like this were to spread across the country...we might finally be able to truly "huck" cancer for good.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Overzealous, underwater....

Chemo Week. I started it last Thursday night with the hope of feeling better in time for the Huck Cancer Tournament. Things started out so well. I had some wonderful new tidbits from Joe about how to reduce the amount of extra meds I was taking. My first few days felt better than ever before. My appetite was pretty strong, and I had relatively good energy. I was even being careful and working from home part-time in order to maintain my rest. After the 5 days had passed, I still felt pretty good. Had I figured out the secret?

Nice try. This morning I woke up, and decided I was feeling good enough to pop out of bed and head into work for a full day. One smoothie breakfast later and I was on my way down the highway. As soon as I exited the highway, my body began to revolt. I rushed to the side of the road and...well...let's just say that smoothie tasted way better going down. I ended up heading into work, but suddenly I felt like I'd been tossed into a washing machine, rinse cycle. I pushed myself too hard.

The frustration is really hard to describe. There are certain key parts of my life that are suppressed during Chemo Week. In fact, if I didn't enjoy sleep, for the most part, it would be every key aspect of my life that is suppressed. Work is one of them. It contains part of my identity whether I want it to or not. And when I feel strained from my ability to contribute, it really hurts.

Yes, I do understand what I need to do, I'm just venting from the bottom of the ditch. I mean, really? I need 12 hours of sleep and then naps during the day? For several days? Really? Yes, really.