Monday, October 6, 2014

Doing Battle, Week 2

I took advantage of my new (non-narcotic) pain meds, got up at 3:30 AM and ran my long run...20 miles.  Both the surgeon and the radiologist are supportive of me running the Marine Corp Marathon the end of this month, which I've been diligently training for since June.  I'll make my final decision on it after meeting with the oncologist tomorrow.

Speaking of being a marathon runner, that is one of the things I've struggled with.  HOW did this happen??  Here are some of the risk factors associated with my type of cancer:
  • Over 50 (more than 90% of cases)
  • male
  • African American
  • a diet high in red meats (beef, lamb, liver, hot dogs)
  • physical inactivity
  • obesity
  • smoking
  • heavy alcohol use
  • Type II diabetes
Its obvious that I don't fall into most of those just by taking a quick glance at me.  But additionally, I have exercised 3-7 days a week, religiously, since I was 13.  Nearly all of my food choices are made based on whether its good for me or not....I eat really well, lots of fruits and vegetables, avoiding processed foods and junk.  I drink green tea every day.  I wear the same size I did when we got married.  I've had exactly one sexual partner, who has had exactly one sexual partner.  I make sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night and I don't "do" stress.  I've never, not once had a cigarette and I do NOT eat lamb, liver or hot dogs.

In short, health has been a very important, prioritized part of my life since always.  So how did we get here?  Admittedly I'm a little bitter that after deliberately taking really good care of myself this still happened, but several have pointed out the flip side of it.

Because I'm so healthy, well...except for the whole cancer thing, I will be that much more well-equipped to fight it.  My body is strong and not "behind the eight ball".  Also, the smoking and hot dog jokes have been good. :)

This past week we met with the radiologist, who was kind and methodical and made me feel like I was his only patient for the day, even though I got squeezed in on a moment's notice.  The cancer facility is new and beautiful (and also unnerving with a large wig display in the lobby...I don't think I've mentioned it, but its unlikely I will lose my hair).  Shaun and I felt very comfortable using this doctor and this facility.  Radiation will be five days a week for six weeks, so I'll get to know every one there quite well.  The treatments will be 15-20 minutes, with an hour roundtrip driving.  I'll be able to have the same appointment time every day so it can just become part of our daily routine.

We underwent more testing this week, too.  A full-body MRI and a chest CT Scan, just to verify none of the bad cells have gotten any big ideas about heading in different directions.

This past weekend we did the usual weekend stuff you do when you have four active kids and we also got some good family time.  It was nice to have it "off" from testing, doctors, and carrying my phone around with the ringer on loud.

We have a big week coming up with test results, doctors appointments, more testing.  So, so many are praying, an army really, all over the country and we are so grateful.  I really believe that is what is carrying us and lessening the burden.  God IS at work!

The texts, emails, cards, messages...all so very encouraging.  Its truly humbling to know people care so deeply and are thinking of us so often.  Thank you.


Ashley Beth said...

Continued prayers coming at you this week. May He sustain your every thought, move, and action as you face these changes and unknowns. Take heart in knowing that His ways are higher than ours and you are so lavishly loved by THE Healer and Redeemer. Lots of love to you from across the miles!

The Bug said...

So glad for the hair thing - every little thing helps. And yes it IS good that you're so healthy!

sara said...

Praying for and with you each step of the way!