I really don't even know where to start with my thoughts today. So bear with me as this probably will be some sort of stream of consciousness stuff floating around in my head.
Yesterday I found out terrible news. A friend, Doug, from my TNT tri team who had CML in remission with Gleevec and has been working toward a goal of completing each type of endurance event while raising money with TNT, found out yesterday that he is now Gleevec intolerant. This means that he is no longer in remission and blood tests show that 77% of his white blood cells are cancerous. Doug is one of the kindest, friendliest, funniest people you will meet in your life. And now he has to go through the pain of sitting his children down again and telling them his cancer is back. Then on Monday have a blood marrow biopsy and hope that they find a treatment that will work and get him back in remission. Because if they can't he will have to have a blood marrow transplant... that his insurance won't cover. I have been praying a lot since yesterday afternoon and I will pray more. We're waiting to find out more after Monday's results, but we may be doing more than praying too.
The whole thing makes me angry. Angry that the human body can be so wonderous and so self-destructive all at once. Angry that a wonderful person like Doug has to endure cancer coming out of remission. Angry that his insurance won't cover blood marrow transplants or drugs that are part of studies. Angry that they can quantify money versus the attempt to save someone's life. As Belle told me on the phone last night, cancer doesn't happen to mean people. I'm angry about that too. Everyone I've ever known to have cancer was/is wonderful. Angela, my Granny, my Mom, my Mom's cousins, my Poppop, my Dad's stockbroker, Doug, my friend's little girl, Training Buddy, Coach, and Belle herself - just to name a few.
But it also makes me hopeful (in an angry sort of way). Gleevec lets people go into remission and they're studying what causes the body to become intolerant of it. So there's hope that one day others won't suffer. There are also other drugs they can try to see if they will work. Maybe one of them will. Most of all is the outpouring of love that has come from those in TNT for Doug. We're a bunch of doers. We take our anger and our grief and we want to fix it. We know we, in and of ourselves, cannot find the cure or make Doug's cancer go into remission. But we all pray or send strengthening thoughts, we are already cooking up ideas for fundraisers for Doug and his family, we are already pissed off at cancer for trying to take our friend, and we are all letting Doug know how much we love and support him.
It makes me think even more about the fact that I am doing TNT again this coming year. That I hopefully will get to be a mentor for my team, and that I will be raising money toward a cure. But like I said, I'm a doer. And I'm in that spot again that makes me feel like I am just not doing enough. I read online about cancer and cancer treatments, I partake in legislative letter writing about cancer issues to try and get laws passed to help cancer research and cancer patients, but I hate not being able to fix it myself. To stare into a microscope at the cells and come up with ideas about what to zap them with, bathe them in, etc. to kill the cancer or to turn off whatever that little mechanism is that makes the cell replicate without stopping like it should. Or to be the one to give treatments to a patient and praying for wellness that could come from my actions. And that makes me angry too.
I'm not sure what to do with all this anger. My back is out and I'm in a ton of pain too. Could be caused by stress. I read that stress can make your back troubles worse. The resulting pain can definitely make you grumpy. I'll probably end up at the chiropractor this afternoon. I was trying to avoid it. Trying to save the $25 co-pay since money is tight, but with this much stabbing sharp pain that takes my breath away I can't avoid it. Not to mention I am feeling fat and ugly lately. I feel like I get fatter every day now that I'm not training like I was for the 70.3. So I'm cutting out all sugar, all sweets (other than fruit), and as much processed foods as I can starting today. Not that I eat all that much of that stuff, but as of late we've had more ice cream and baked goods in our diet than we've had while I was training for the 70.3. So it's gone. Plus I feel like I have no style, but refuse to spend money on clothes. I watch What Not to Wear and often think that I'd be a great candidate for their show. I miss Angela. And there's nothing I can do about it.
So I did the only thing I knew to do with my anger this morning. I went to the pool. Coach had a 2200 m continuous swim on my schedule as it was. I have to say it was just about the most perfect thing that could have been on my schedule for today. I ripped up the pool. I even did flip turns for awhile because I was just wanting to shred the pool and work out all my anger. Of course, after a bit my leg started to hurt so I stopped flip turning and returned to wall touching. Amazingly my back didn't kill me while I swam. I may have been too intent on swimming and working out the anger and the thoughts going through my head to notice though. I didn't even notice that there was a 3rd person in the pool until I saw them when they were getting out of the pool and I was taking a breath to that side. 2200m in 45 minutes flat. Not too shabby. I could have been faster, but I know I slowed down a little when my leg started to hurt and then sped up again when it stopped hurting again.
If only I could get these other things not to hurt so much. I have to accept I can do only what I can do and that God takes care of the rest. As I said to someone yesterday, I have to accept that God has a plan and that all of this is somehow part of his plan. I cannot understand why Doug (or any other cancer patient) suffering this way has to be part of the plan, but somehow it is. And since God knows more than I do, I just have to find a way to accept it and do the part that God wants me to do. But at the moment it is a bit hard to do.
I passed a church on the way to the pool whose sign said "Be thankful for the dirty dishes. It means you have food." I know what they mean... count your blessings and find them where you might not normally look. So here goes with the best I can muster today. 1) I'm thankful for my back pain and my leg pain because it means I normally am pain free. 2) I'm thankful for cancer because it brought me to TNT and the friends I have made and for knowing there are others who want to do something to help find a cure and not just talk about it. 3) I'm thankful for feeling fat because it means I have the ability eat in overabundance. 4) I'm thankful for feeling like I have no style and don't buy new clothes because this means I am using my money for my family and not for selfish means. 5) I'm thankful for my Mom's situation with her cancer scare because it helps me realize how much I love her and don't want anything to happen to her. 6) I'm thankful for my anger because it's a good motivator and shows me that I'm alive and that I care. I have to tell you though, I'm not really thankful for cancer. I HATE cancer. Cancer sucks and I'm sick of it messing with people in my life.
I do have a ton of things I am thankful for. Mr. Darcy and the girls, especially. The fact that I had Angela in my life as such a wonderful close friend since I was 12 so that I would know the pain of missing her. The wonderful friends that I have. And just so much more.
Sorry for the downer. Hopefully the weekend will do its trick - wonderful friends, time with my wonderful husband and sweet girls, and time to let everything sink in and settle down.
I hope you have a great weekend!