Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Conflicting Emotions



A friend of mine who reads this blog on occasion and is a professional therapist recently wrote a blog about how men in particular struggle with the reality of being human. It was about 4 men struggling with cancer, one of them myself http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/the-good-life-men-strength-and-death/

This is demonstrated over and over in my last couple of years… this makes for good stories, the guy who sneaks out of hospitals to go running, who puts off brain surgeries to run marathons and qualify for Boston, the guy who wins Austin’s first ever brain cancer research race. And let’s make this clear, I’m proud of that and the reason I did that was through hard work on the body… But a quick overview of the patterns of last year tells you something, I want to hold onto what’s important to me as much as I can. But like many things in life, some of that’s not really demonstrated until push comes to shove, until you can only choose one because in life you can’t have everything. The first time that Livestrong had it’s cancer and relationships class I went because there was no conflict, the second time, I had a track meet and I chose to go there instead. I went to a wedding in Miami and ended up leaving early because the hurricance could cause me to miss my daughter’s first day of school. I am already signed up for wonders and worries parenting class and I won’t be missing those… 

Yesterday, I went to DARS and because of some of my doctors medical concerns right now they want to limit some of the job possibilities… I went to meet with a counselor for Livestrong and signed up for the men and transition classes. It’s an exercise class where men who have lost different functions workout and then talk about some of that. For most cancer patients, it’s physicality and they talk about some of those losses. For me, clearly that hasn’t been lost but I am hoping that somewhere in the echo of their emotions I find some touchstones of hope. I signed the disability thing yesterday and today I meet with Austin’s first ever neuro-oncologist and we try to figure out this thing that we’ve been trying to figure out for oh 2 years now. And the continuation of the conversation of playing with meds continues… a conversation very annoying to the guy who didn’t take pain medication after a biopsy and a surgery… 

Still, I walked Kiana to school today as I have all but 1 day since it started. I read to her last night and argued with her this morning about how if she doesn’t get up promptly she can’t redirect me on the fact she doesn’t like what I made for breakfast (here’s where you chime in about how she should never be able to redirect me, she’s been getting in trouble some at school for correcting the teacher and we’re working on it but if there’s anything I’ve learned from this cancer experience that I thought well before all this is that even the smartest people are nowhere near the correct answers sometimes). Last night I went to the toughest trackwork out I’ve ever done, 4.5 miles of speed work. 

The year before this all started I went to Costa Rica, Italy, Toronto, Florida and Philadelphia… since then well, I haven’t been much other than cancer related events. That’s not lost on me and some days it’s harder to absorb it than others. But the entire time, Kiana has gotten to keep the roof she was born into over her head and have food on her table (even if it’s not always exactly what she wants). I’ve continued to help the communities like ultimate and running that I was part of before all this started and tried to contribute to the ones I joined since, the cancer in general, brain issues in specific, and starting next Thursday the PTA. I hope my deathbed is far away but whether or not it is, a few days after a brainpower 5k which didn’t go my way, I hope that’s where my brainpower is focused on.

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