Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Onward and Upward

Let the record show that today, May 30, I had two major accomplishments. Are you ready? Prepare yourself... These are big...

1. My physical therapist declared that I walked almost without a limp.

2. I swam 500yards.

OK, so the walking thing was after stretching and steeling myself to have my gait evaluated, but still I haven't walked without a limp/ irregular gait (the thing that prompted me to look into the bump in my ankle in the first place) in almost 2 years. So, this is major. No longer will everyone know when I coming down the hallway by the irregular clip clop of my shoes. Hopefully, my chronic back pain might even get better because I don't limp so much. ( That would be really nice because I am now supposed to be vigilant about back pain as this darn tumor tends to like to metastasize to the spine.- But we won't think about that.)
So I would have considered 500 yards a race, not a workout back when I was swimming, but that was a long time ago. It felt so good to be back in the water even if pushing off the sides was a little hard on lefty, it is probably a good calf exercise too.

Onward and upward, I say. Onward, because I am done with this whole thing and want to put it behind me. Upward, because getting back to how I was before October 2006 is no longer good enough. I want to be in better shape than that. To that end I have restarted physical therapy and joined a gym with a full sized pool, so I get to count laps again.

What to do tomorrow- hmmm

Thursday, May 24, 2007

NYC, take 3 cont.

If you recall in the days leading up to my surgery on my last trip to New York, I described feeling some incredible need to be outside. It was as though I would start to feel completely toxic within an hour or two of being in the apartment that we stayed in. That feeling went away by the time I got out of the hospital and was confined to our hotel room in part becuase the temperature was about 30- 50 degrees colder, getting me out of the hotel in a wheelchair was a major undertaking and well I felt terrible. Anyway, that same toxic feeling at being indoors seemed to return with a vengence this trip. The weather outside was beautiful, and I just could not stand staying inside. Fortunately for me my walking abilities have improved tremendously and so I was able to wander the park for hours each day. Don't get too excited, becuase it was more like- walk, rest, read my book, walk, eat, rest etc, but it was all done outside. Anyways, it was great to have Suz there with me and to get to see MM and her beautiful baby and so weird that Tricia doesn't live there anymore. All in all it was a really good trip.

Oh yeah, and I saw my doctor. She was very happy with the way that my foot is healing and the way everything is progressing. We talked a lot about the things that I am now allowed to do- walking, swimming, restart PT etc. and what I need to wait for running, hiking etc. and the alterations I need to make to be able to do the above activities. As I was going through my list of questions- she finally looked at me and said "this has been killing you hasn't it"- referring to the whole inactivity thing. See this is why I like her, she gets it, gets that my life has been turned completely upside down and come out the other end only vaguely resembling what it was before. gets that I am an active person and the fact that I have had to spend hours and hours sitting on a couch is completely contrary to my personality. She just gets it. So, I will have to continue to make intermittent trips to New York, but hey there are worse places to visit.

It was too early to have my follow up scans (those will follow in the next few months), but still I am on the road to recovery and even though I now have to wear compression stockings, I am walking that road.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

NYC, take 3

3 and a half months after I left New York in a wheelchair, I returned mostly able to walk. When you look at time in big chunks like that you really realize how far you have come. I flew in yesterday and this morning walked ( yes you read that right) to get bagels and coffee. I then met friends at the Met (with my crutches mostly for the safety factor) for some art appreciation and then dumped the crutches and walked through central park for a couple of hours ( well I actually sat in the sun and read my book for awhile, but you get the point). Today was a beautiful spring day. The kind of day that you really appreciate in a climate with a real winter and we take totally for granted in Southern California. You could feel the energy of one of the first really nice spring days in the crowds of people playing frisbee, catch, etc and just sitting in the sun thorughout the park. It seems insane to me that I have come all this way for a follow up appointment, but if that is what had to happen then at least I did so on a beautiful weekend. Tonight, Suz comes into town and we get to play all day tomorrow. What shall we do...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Walking Again

My last foot fry was two weeks ago and Lefty seems to be healing well. Of course, the outer layer of skin is completely peeling off, but really all seems to be going according to the plan. I have even been given the green light to start to transition back to walking again. So, yet once more I am working back off of my crutches and to walking unassisted again. Yesterday, I even managed to walk Sadie around the block. That my friends is progress!

Now I get to start to get ready to pack for my third (and hopefully the most fun) trip to NYC.

In an aside with all that has gone on over the past few weeks, I forgot to mail in my ND ticket application which I just realized was due yesterday. The only game I was planning to go to was the UCLA game at the Rose Bowl. Hopefully, I can come up with another way to get those tickets.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Lisa- party of 2

Since last week in pursuit of "becoming a lady who lunches" I have had 5 lunches out and two dinners. That is a huge total for me, but as I don't do too much these days and my friend V-L is in town so we have had lots of people to lunch with. Anyway, after all of these meals we have come to the conclusion that I am a party of 2. There is Lisa and then there is Lefty. Back in the hospital I started to think of my foot as a different entity- lefty had cancer, lefty is sick, lefty had radiation and got burned to a crisp, Lisa has had to alter her life to accomodate lefty, Lisa is no longer sick. Lisa just has a much harder time with those ADLs (activities of daily living) due to lefty's needs. This line of reasoning makes it much easier to stay positive. Sort of like making a sacrifice to care for someone that you love. I love lefty and have great memories of all that we have done and plans for the future when she is healthy again. Therefore, I adjust my life to care for lefty. The separateness of Lefty is further reinforced by the fact that it needs its own chair. Lisa takes up one seat and can usually smile and carry on normal conversation. Lefty has its chair and sits there silently without too much to contribute. So, there you have it Lisa a party of 2.

(For those keeping track lefty's gender seems to alter in my mind depending on my mood and annoyed I am at my foot- see if you can guess the trend)

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Phase 4

When I started referring to my journey through life as a patient in phases I envisioned it as a 4 phase process. Phase 1- being surgeries 2&3& the subsequent time in New York, phase 2, recovering from the prior and preparing for radiation, phase 3- radiation, phase 4 recovering from the above. Now that I am in phase 4 and yet again on crutches, I think that I might have to consider a 5th phase whose title I am still working on. I think that I may have to retitle phase 4 as "learning to be a lady who lunches". Yesterday I had lunch with V-L and her mom, today KHOP, HOP mom, HOP baby, otherwise known as Kim, her mom and Brady, tomorrow lunch with my mom. This whole slowing down your life thing isn't so bad. So everyone, start your creative juices and come up with a title for the newly envisioned Phase 5.