Good day, my friends.
Perhaps as a culmination of race training, transitions in fitness regiments, the transition point of summer/midyear and the oncoming all, and, you know, just some freaking heavy stuff, it seems to me that recently many of our fellow bloggers have been searching for or reminding themselves of the need for perspective. Well, following the events of this weekend, today just seemed to be the right moment for me to chime in.
If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you know that I have a fairly pragmatic view of the world (See my Tough Talk posts, for more reference). Some of that is the fact that I am, quite honestly, a little too jaded about certain things. Some of that pragmatism stems from the necessity of keeping my head and wits about me in the midst of the “chaos” that is the Suzlyfe. I am a champion of the “it is what it is,” but I also can get really, really bummed about certain things. I used to be very competitive and a perfectionist; I have learned to quell some of that over the years, but it still tends to pop up. My body, the uphills and downhills of my life, and marathon training have taught me the importance of the overall picture while living for the now.
In the effort to keep this short, and as terse as my loquaciousness will allow, I want to address 2 things that brought my world to focus this weekend:
1) My leg. I mentioned this yesterday and last week, but my mentality concerning my body is completely contradictory: I am both paranoid about it and plan out everything carefully, yet I also have a tendency to forget that, guess what, I have a chronic illness. And I (was) due for Remicade, which I am receiving today (Tuesday).
I am so determined to live MY life, not my disease’s life, that I forget, Holy Cow. You have pronated ankles, joints and musculature tending toward inflammation, a chronic disease that affects the way you heal and recover and you joints as well as keeping you from properly absorbing things. It doesn’t matter how “quiet” your disease is. These are still the facts of your life. And you. are. training. for. a. marathon. It doesn’t matter if I run every day or 3x a week as I do; I’m still training for a marathon. Give yourself a break. Zooma was not a goal race–I was more mad than anything that I had a) paid for it and b) was planning on running with friends.
But I (hope) I will have many more half marathons in my future. I only know of one more plan to do a marathon (regardless of what I might like to do). I planned my training for this reason. So I am giving my body a break. There will be other medals. I am interested in one first weekend of October.
2) I would like to preface this by saying that my husband complied with all HIPAA laws, told me nothing identifying about the patient other than that he was an elderly gentleman of senior citizen age, and the concrete facts. I know nothing more about the patient that this story:
A man came to the hospital this spring with (essentially) terminal leukemia. The chemo had nearly killed him (he was emaciated, ashen, with rashes and horrific blood counts), and after spending a month at the hospital, it was determined that the cancer would finally do the job, and quickly (2-4 weeks life expectancy). He was sent home on palliative care and hospice (meaning, keep him comfortable). My husband never heard any more from him.
Recently, my husband saw the man’s name on an upcoming schedule. He assumed the man had passed, that the family just hadn’t remembered to cancel the follow up (this is common). Lo and behold, my husband goes to work a week later, and sees the man’s chart, and name on the schedule. He double checks with the nurse–yep, it’s him. In fact, she seems surprised when asked if the patient’s color is good and his numbers up. Alex walks into the room, and what he finds is, literally, the equivalent of a medical miracle.
Standing before him is a man of normal weight, looking 20 years younger, good color in his cheeks, no rash, normal blood counts. According to the patient, for 10 days after discharge, he was so sick he has no memory. Then every day, he got a bit better. The consensus is that he experienced spontaneous remission due to some leftover chemotherapy in his system. This happens in maybe 1 in a million cases. As the man told Alex, I am a religious man, but I tell you, there was definitely something that happened scientifically that fixed me (I am paraphrasing of course). But the most important thing he said?
Dr. I was dying. Every day that I wake up, I am just so happy to be here. Every day is a gift.
Here is a man, who has led a great life (which he is nearing the later years of), with a loving family, and who has been given the ultimate gift. Science, God, Luck, Karma, the why he is better doesn’t matter. It is the after that does.
You know that I don’t ascribe to the your problem is bigger than my problem idea–a problem is a problem. Big or small, it matters to you enough to be a problem.Have a problem? Deal with it. Think about it, pray about it (if you are so inclined), but make a decision and move forward calmly in the knowledge that you are acting as best you can.
In 2 months, I may not be able to run my marathon. Or I might. I hope and work for one, but if the other happens, in the long run, look at everything that I have gained from the attempt. Every day is a gift. Wake up, be happy, take it for what it is.
May you live every day of your life.
No real questions, but tell me–what helps you gain perspective in your life? What/Who brings you back to the real world?