Monday, August 1, 2011

Worlds Collide: Pre-3G, 3G; Before Cancer, Since Cancer

It’s been 10 days since my last Herceptin treatment.  It’s been good in many ways, and, as you might have guessed (cough….Ballotable) challenging in many ways.  I’m back to work, and things are going well.  I’ve done some patient lifts and my arm has not fallen off.  Of note, however, is that my “core is VERY weak!”.  I’d forgotten I had muscles in the lower pelvic region.  Despite that, it actually feels good in many ways to get back to work.  Also, last Tuesday….Herceptin Day, was what I've started calling my official Day 1 of my 7.5 month training plan for the 50 mile trail run that I want to do in March. I’ve been working up to this Day 1 for a while, mind you.  I called it “Day 1” because it was my first day back to my Tuesday morning running group.  It was very fun to be back in the group environment even though it made it very obvious that I have a long way to go in my fitness. Day 1 felt pretty good.  The run was in the morning before my Herceptin treatment.  Then, things started to go downhill a bit.  I’ve not been feeling well, throughout the better part of the past 10 days.  I’ve been concerned that the Tamoxifen has been causing this general malaise feeling.  In some ways I really want to blame it on that, but it is difficult to clearly know what to point the finger at, when everything is taken into consideration.  It’s true that my Hot Flashes are back, full on, due to the Tamoxifen, and are interrupting my sleep again.  It’s also true, however, that each of my offspring has had an illness in the past week and a half. The boy with what I was calling the “snuggle fever”, my favorite of all childhood illnesses, up until the projectile vomit got all over me and the kitchen. The girl simply had the loose stool.   It’s also true that with me being in week one of training mode, being fat and simply out of shape,  just getting back to work,  and it being over 100 degrees here every day, it is very possible that I’ve overdone myself. 

 I called my oncologist’s nurse practitioner yesterday to discuss these ill feelings and my (continued) fear of the Tamoxifen.  When she returned my call today, she mentioned that that the Herceptin “can cause flu like symptoms, but they usually only last a couple of days.” ( AH HA!!  I knew that Herceptin was not just nothing like they had originally told me!!).  She feels that my ill feelings have probably been a combination of the Herceptin, plus possibly having mild forms of my kids’ illnesses and not the Tamoxifen.  I did not mention to her that I also wrecked my car on the way to my Sunday run due to taking directions from my iPhone to the nearest gas station: to get gas because I was on empty, and to get water for my run because I was already thirsty.

 I did not mention that I did not make it to the gas station, because… A.) I KNEW in my GUT that there was NOT a gas station where my beloved iPhone said it was, and,  B.) Had I gone to the next station, I would not have made it to the run.  (The LUCKY :) thing about the wreck was that the guy that I wrecked into was very nice and was actually on his way to a group bike ride!) I also did not mention that it was very possible that I got overheated and dehydrated on that 1.5 hour HILLY Sunday trail run, (with no water of my own…I only had Cytomax which does NOT help when one is thirsty! A really nice guy did donate a few swigs of his water to me though) and that it was very possible that I was over trained (too much too soon).   So, anyway, I took Thursday as a rest day, when normally, I would run, and I completed 3 hours of a juice fast.  and purchased a juicer.  It was really amazing how much better I felt after that detox.   I might just try a whole day. :)

It is sometimes surreal when you have an awareness that you are experiencing life today in both the perspective of a BEFORE and an AFTER, a certain life changing event.  All of us can identify events that have changed our lives, or changed us in many ways. For example, most people, whether we plan on it or not, change (over time in many ways) after having children.  I know, I personally call the time before kids… “B.K.”  for…yes, you got it….. I also know that I changed in many ways after Adaline was born, due to the circumstances of her birth…which I’ve mentioned at length in other posts.  What’s weird or surreal about THIS event, for me, right now, is that I’ve been away/out, for a while and I’ve recently made an abrupt re-entry back into my same old life.  Back to work and running.  I suppose it is obvious on the outside that I am different physically (the hair and the uniboob :)  but, I usually forget what I look like, and in so many ways, I feel that I’m carrying around a secret.  The secret about what I’ve been through over the past 11 months.  The secret that I am now a different person, but other people don't, and can’t really know.  

The other day, at my running group I was doing my "first" track workout.  It was a poignant scene for me because this workout was the exact same first track workout that I did back in 2005 in my very first running group. "Straights and curves".  To further add meaning to the situation, the girl (49 year old woman) that I was running this workout with, had been my Coach back in 2005,  on that very first day, for the very same workout 6 years ago.  Here I was now, doing the very same thing.... but I've changed.  In a surreal way it was like there were 3 of us there running.  My old self of 2005/Pre-Cancer, my new self, and my running friend, Carolyn.   During this dreamlike scenario, i imagined my two worlds/selves ( Before Cancer and Since Cancer)  coming together with a clash, or colliding.  It was quick and kind of awkward, but painless. Much like my car collision days prior.


  1. Damn girl, this post is all deep & shit :) Love.
    Sign me up for a 3 hour juice fast!

  2. Thanks for the updates Emily! You are doing great! Hang in there!

  3. You have been on my mind for the last 6-7 months...would love to catch up. No pressure if you don't...

    Glenda Goossen