Monday, November 15, 2010

Pooling my resources provides more inspiration

In interest of full disclosure (and in a bid to get this latest favourite phrase out of the way off the top), I gorged myself on six chocolate chip cookies at 1 a.m. this morning.
For a guy trying to healthy it up, it wasn't the smartest move. I know. It just seemed like the ideal capper on what was one of the cooler days of my life.
Carol-Ann and I rounded up a bunch of folks and we went down to Canada Games Pool and we all went through my first steps of rehab.
It was just a few laps walking like an ordinary, regular fella around the shallow end. It's a small victory, but it's my victory and I really needed it. Thanks to this tumour thing illegally squatting in my neck, I haven't walked for any extended period without a cane or a walker since Oct. 25. About eight days ago, I couldn't put socks on by myself.
Part of it, too, is that I don't do new well. I'm a routine guy. The first radiation session threw me bad. I was stressed for a couple of days just thinking about the idea my first pool walk.
Of course, like this whole little adventure so far, our family and friends came through and made it way more comfortable. Carol-Ann's folks, Ron and Verna, were there. Arnold Sison and Grant Moffat, guys I went to junior high with and who were in our wedding party, came, along with Grant's wife Tracey. Softball buddy Scott Rintoul and his wife Fiona made the trek as well.
Carol-Ann, Grant and Ron got in the pool with me. Rintoul walked back and forth, coaxing me on every step. Fiona, Tracey and Verna sat in the stands and gave me the thumbs up every pass by.
And Arn? He talked crap at me the whole time.
I went into the pool wearing baggy, blue shorts and a blue t-shirt. Arn didn't realize, but I had checked the fashion pages of the latest Solitary PlasmaCytoma Tumour Illustrated and it's what all the unhip, 40-something, limited mobility fellas are wearing these days.
No matter. Moby Dick was written in less time than it took for me to do that first lap. I was so scared and nervous. Arn was waiting at the side of the pool for me, though, and busted out: "This is the worst wet t-shirt contest I've ever been to."
Two words: well played.
When I finally stopped laughing, I got back to work. I got some confidence and I feel like I got quicker.
And Arn? He got slower. There was a "When are you going to get out of the water and scare the poor townspeople?" but nothing else was CTTWH worthy. (Yes, I just abbreviated the blog. Shameless plug for me.)
We were in the pool for about 20 minutes. I needed it so much. And I needed those people. It made it so much easier for me. And, yes, it's even more motivation to get healthy and helping people.
Even without the pool, it was a great day. Yasmine Klein, who used to work for the Vancouver Giants, came over in the morning, that tin of cookies in tow. I hadn't seen her in awhile, so it was good to catch up, and she's done some charity/event work, so we ran through some options. We're certainly going to be calling on her help somewhere down the line.
Arn, Carol-Ann and I watched the game. Carol-Ann was yelling and screaming and having a blast. She's adorable.
I hadn't seen Grant and Tracey or Scott and Fiona in some time, too. (The Rintoul family has had its cancer challenges, and Fiona and I slipped away to exchange information. Scott, as Team 1040 fans will know, is ultra high energy, but Fiona is a perfect match. She introduced herself at our wedding as Rintoul's paid escort in a bid to embarrass him.)
Today, it's radiation 10. Ron is on the case with me, and we might get a chance to buzz by the Richmond Food Bank. I've been volunteering there once a week for about seven years, but I haven't been able to see anybody out that way since I got sick.
I'm going to try to take the camera, too, and get some shots of what the radiation room looks like.
Don't worry, though. My shirt will be dry if I end up in any pics.

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