Friday, November 25, 2011

Anniversary of first major surgery and of Christmas missed has memories flowing

Through this whole wacky cancer/back surgery/rehab thing, Carol-Ann and I have been blessed to be surrounded by people who could tell us what was coming next.
It started, of course, with Bif Naked (shameless name drop) in the first hours upon diagnosis saying, "Get ready to console people about your cancer." Sure enough, there was a bunch of "Hey...don't worry...I will be OK," right off the top. And it's rolled right through to our rock star GP, Dr. Jennifer Rogerson, telling us recently to get ready for emotions to flow back because we're hitting milestone days.
Consider that next week will mark the one-year anniversary of the first rods and screws surgery. (Ah, the first rods and screws. Life seemed so simple then.) It was right about here that I was really, really sick. I know that's hitting Carol-Ann hard, and I get a little teary when I think that we will actually get to spend Christmas at home this year. I still can't fathom that we missed Christmas, New Year's and both our birthdays last year. I feel so awful for Carol-Ann. I know it's not my fault, but it still bugs me.
She's been very cool about going a little extra hard for Christmas this year. She's the mature one, the smart with cash one, but she's not getting stressed about a few extra decorations and a little entertaining.
As well, our at-home physio, Paula Peres, has told me to be prepared for people not understanding that I'm still rehabbing. I'm starting to look "normal." I hardly use Evander (the cane) at all, and I actually think I move OK when I'm on stable terrain. Paula says that I need to appreciate that there are going to be days when I'm gutted, without an ounce of energy, and she hopes that people around me will appreciate it, too. 
For what it's worth, Tuesday's my last day with Paula. She says I no longer need acute rehab training. I start with my new trainers, Jesse Tupper and Sheila Townsend, today. I'm a little nervous - I'm a notorious people pleaser and I'd like to show that I'm worth working with. Of course, the cheque I'll write for them every week should be proof enough. I did cover Tupper and Townsend when they were playing sports in high school and at UBC, and we do have some friends in common (D-Watts, C-Watson...more shameless name dropping), so they understand what I've been through.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Want to walk more but too easily run down some days; dancer cancer/back surgery rehab

I'm frustrated.
I must have slept 14-16 hours yesterday. My body just shut down. It was bad. I couldn't even focus. I tried to watch Blue Bloods (love me some Tom Selleck, dating back to Magnum...) and had trouble keeping up with the story line.
My physio, Paul Peres, says that it's completely normal. I'm caught between rehab and real life. I'm just shy of six months out of the hospital. I'm working 30 hours a week. I'm trying to keep up with my share of the chores around here, doing dinners and laundry, so that Carol-Ann can get a break. I'm walking more and more freestyle. I've even taken to leaving Evander (The Cane) at home for jaunts to Vancouver Giants' practice and other work trips.
Paula says there are going to be days when I simply break down. Doesn't make it any easier. It still sucks.
I will be looking to change things up. Paula's down to visiting once a week and she says that she'll be all but done with me come early December. To keep things going, I'm planning on picking up a trainer -- I'm meeting Monday with Sheila Townsend and Jesse Tupper. The married couple are former UBC athletes and I covered them both. They just opened up their own gym and they know my story, so I like the connection.
Not to be a downer, but there's a chance that the cancer could come back. We've been told as high as 70 per cent chance. I need to be ready to fight if it happens again.
Things aren't all bad. I had dinner last Sunday with my first GF Strong roomie, Mike Sidhu. Mike was a good role model for me. Some people at GF do their routine classes, but little else. They lie in their beds all day. Mike was always on the go. Always doing something.
He's doing at his sister's house in Langley. He's doing pretty well, but he's still got his challenge.
That's something I get.