Archive for July, 2013

Yesterday was a beautiful day – the perfect day to run home from work. Nick dropped me off in the morning and I was looking forward to it all day. I was psyched when I was lacing up my sneakers and heading out the door. I even planned how I could make the two mile route longer by running past the BU Bridge and over the Mass Ave. Bridge instead, then back to my place.

Things always happen in threes, right? The first not so great thing that happened was I realized I forgot my headphones. Ugh! I hate running without music! Oh well, I decided that since I run with my phone in my hand, I could just have the music on low and it shouldn’t bother anyone. I ran across the Western Ave. Bridge and down Memorial Drive.

It was a nice run, I was feeling good – and then (number 2) there was the huge flash of lightning and crash of thunder. Oh crap, I thought, I better run a bit faster, since there’s really no shelter, and I’d rather not get struck by lightning…

So I picked up my pace, praying the storm would hold off, when – yup, here’s number three – I tripped on the sidewalk and (in seemingly slow motion) I went flying across the sidewalk. It was very similar to the Christmas Tree Shoppe fall just over a year ago, only this time my knee was spared and it was my iPhone and right elbow that bore the brunt of it.

Thank goodness I was wearing my compression sleeve and glove. It really saved my right arm quite a bit. Of course, now the $200 sleeve is all ripped up and bloody, but I can only imagine how bad my arm would be had I not been wearing it! (And luckily I do have two others.) (Sleeves – not arms.)

This fall should have been no big deal. But when you’re living with lymphedema, the number one thing they tell you is “Avoid trauma/injury” – I’m not even supposed to have manicures (but I do). So really, having a big gash in my right elbow is not a good thing. Not only do I need to take extra good care of it so that it doesn’t get infected, I need to really watch for swelling, too.

I really thought that when chemo and radiation were over, I could go back to regular life. I hate that life will never be normal again. That there’s always something to worry about. That I should wear my sleeve every day (but I don’t). That I need to do my exercises and massage every day (I do try). That I need to constantly monitor every scrape on my upper right side. It’s just so frustrating!!!

But I am thankful. That I am no longer in chemo (and have hair again). That there are ways I can control the lymphedema. That I don’t have cancer any more. So while I wish falling while running was no big deal, I am thankful that I can run at all.


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One year ago today I shaved my head. So many other things were happening – I was moving, I had just started chemo, my relationship was ending, I fell and fractured my arm and bruised my knee – and then my hair started to fall out, so I shaved it. I remember the day so well; thinking about it makes me feel like I’m reliving it. (It all really hurt, some mentally and some physically, so I’m not going to spend much time thinking about it or rehashing it here.) But then in other ways, it feels like it was a lifetime ago. Sometimes I’m amazed at all that happened in the span of a year!

Last night, I took a break from unpacking (yep, I moved again!) and Tina and I went to see Tim McGraw at the Comcast Center. And of course he sang Live Like You Were Dying. Just as last year when I saw him perform it live at Gillette, it wrecked me. As I listened to the words (and cried my eyes out), I thought. Have I lived like I was dying? I know that was my original intention, but what have I really done in this past year? The first thing that jumped in my head was “survived.” I have survived the year. I fought through the year. I struggled to remain some semblance of normalcy through the 24 weeks of chemo and six weeks of radiation. I bought any beauty product that I thought might make me look more normal while bald. I tried to keep everything going even when I felt like just going to sleep.

I didn’t go sky diving. I haven’t been mountain climbing or bull riding since my road trip in 2010. I’ve tried to stay close to my friends and family, but I haven’t seen or talked to them nearly as much as I would like or feel I should. In fact, my life has seemingly resumed its normal chaos, pace and craziness. Maybe that’s not a good thing. Maybe it’s time to change that.

The problem is, there simply is not enough time in any day, not enough days in a week, not enough… well, you get it. There are so many things I want to do and never, ever enough time to do it. So maybe what that song means is not just that I have to rush to do all the things I want to do (in case I die tomorrow), but to take the time to do the things that really matter. To spend what precious time you do have wisely. I need to think about that. And I will. But for right now I am happy and thankful. Happy and thankful to have hair again, to be settling into my new apartment, to have a job I love, and family and friends who mean the world to me. And that I don’t have to go through chemo this summer and remember to put lotion or a hat on my bald head!


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