There hasn’t been much blogging lately… No great excuse other than I’ve been incredibly busy because school’s out and right now “retirement” is as good as it gets with Kiana and I have been having playdates at pool, at home and bowling and making puzzles. I’ve hosted a party for young cancer survivors and gone to some free concerts in the park with Kiana and friends. With all the media things people (some people I’d never met and others who I hadn’t talked to in years) have sent me some messages about how they feel bad for me for having cancer, for having had my wife leave in the middle of it, for getting fired for memory issues in court… well if you’re one of them, stop because I am one of the lucky ones. I may have cancer that ironically causes some add like syndromes on focus and memory but helped me focus on making memories with the most important people in life. I may take drugs that can hurt athletic performance but I’m getting some good times. And I may no longer be working and be on a long term insurance but I’m grateful that while it doesn’t pay the legal or medical bills, well it pays the day to day ones.
Therefore, I declare that life has been very very good. The interviews are getting further apart and so are the medical appointments! And infinitely more importantly, about a year later, the custody challenge is over. You better believe I recommend my doctors but I also recommend my attorney Laurie Nowlin (http://www.akinsnowlin.com/) who at the last hearing the judge ordered Kiana’s mother to pay a small fraction of my attorney’s fees (this isn’t done often unless judges believe the opposing party is being unreasonable). In some conversations and some emails, let’s say that some of the things we’ve said to each other out of frustration for the arguments they were making (ie he’s not fit to parent and he’s doing crazy things like endangering his daughter by running races with her, Kiana is better off in daycare than with her dad, this is literally in legal paperwork they submitted), anyway, that some of those arguments and some of the comments you say in there that even a guy who keeps a raw blog, let’s just say it’s good to have attorney client privilege. But today my attorney sent me an email saying that the appeal of the last hearing was done and showing why she’s more eloquent than I “everything final is finally final!” She helped me saved what I was fighting for and defeat the argument that I should go from being the primary parent to getting only supervised visits due to my medical condition and restriction. I got that first thing in the morning, shortly after meeting with the counseling I regularly do. I had a track meet plan for tonight and I still went but the guy who usually exercises as therapy well, Kiana and I enjoyed some chocolate chip cookies she had made that may not have been the best fuel for doing events in 100 degree weather… But boy were they good fuel for happiness. I don’t recommend these as a regular diet J.
It’s been hot enough to where Kiana and I aren’t doing as much outdoor stuff as we usually do. Someone gave her an 8 puzzle piece and so we’ve been doing a puzzle a day during our just daddy/daughter time. There are still good friends who send me some of the medical advances that are being achieved in understanding the brain, I’m still raising money for brain cancer research. There are still people who want me to try this tea or this religion. But maybe a piece of the puzzle and getting through the puzzle of each day is all I can do for a while but hey again, I’ll take it. And today, the puzzle that’s worried me the most, that I would lose custody in a complicated case of being an unemployed, cancerous father well it’s solved for now. And while there still hasn't been one... if everything goes well... September 2013 almost 3 years after this all started would be the first month without a legal or medical appointment related to cancer...
And we went to the track meet where living up to my nickname of running slut, I did the 60 (dead last), the 100 (pretty near dead last), the 400 (got whooped on) and the 1500 (got whooped on)… and realized that going to a track meet and signing up for every event when you did 5 kilometers of hill repeats the day before pushing a stroller…well it’s not going to get you personal bests. Kiana signed up for the 60, the 400 and the 100. She’s six years old and no matter how old she gets the main thing I want to encourage her to do is to exercise and enjoy doing it so that’s all I say at the start line and then I run along the side of the track encouraging her. She walked on none of them but on the very last race she was ahead of two boys (I hope she always outruns all of them)… she fell and I sprinted to the grass next to the track but she put her glasses back on and never looked to the side finished the last 30 yards running and then came crying into my arms and we cried together. But I’m never been more sure that princess is my kid. We Leons cry and hurt but we go till the end as best as we can. Right now she’s doing better than I have because she didn’t walk which is better than I can say about some of my marathon. I was signed up for a few more events after her fall but I just sat with her while she cried and then we went out for ice cream which in my book she earned both by running and by not giving up. That's part of the reason I love long distance races... trust me I watched and play team sports and was amazed at how kids younger than me and women older than me destroyed me tonight in speed. There's something very cool about it and it was impressive to see the sprint events tonight. But there's also something very cool about endurance events like the marathon... it's why it's always the closing event of the olympics, why the Boston marathon is the most spectated event on the east coast because all sports take physical capacity and some level of strategy and the will power to train but longer ones... well you gotta not be ready to give up even when exhausted, even when you fall. I have many many dreams still left in this damaged mind (tried to ask the disney marathon if they'd let me do it with a stroller but they said no) but the biggest one is certainly to get more opportunities to run next to my daughter, to cheer her races on.
But I’ll tell you what… I assume and fear there will come a day where it’s time to realize that it’s the finish line, which while it won’t be as clear as it is on races, it’ll be time to hand over someone custody instead of fighting with them about it, cry some at the “finish line” and get some hugs. But until then, until that’s finally final, I may fall (that happened twice and waking up in ambulances) and I will cry when I realize the finish line of this race is over but until then… you better believe that I’ll do what the lion cub showed tonight, you get up and until it’s finally final, you keep heading towards the finish line.