Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I can now be found at my new blog Call Me Dr. Lisa .
Thanks for taking this journey with me. I may come back....
Friday, August 21, 2009
Fortunately, for me I had scheduled to get a Brazilian Blow Dry yesterday since I could finally keep my hair dry for the requisite post period, since I am no longer training. So yesterday I sat in my stylist's chair while she put stuff in my hair that smelled like strawberries and then flat ironed it all into my hair for what seemed like hours. The end result, long straight hair now flows from my head.
This morning my pillow smelled like fermented strawberries, but other than that, two seconds with a brush and my hair was perfect. Then I came to work and have had to “endure” people telling me how awesome I look all day. It is rough being beautiful.
Thanks for the ego boost everyone. I can always use it.
Monday, August 17, 2009
I put on my goggles and told myself that this was just a warm up. An easy 500 yd swim, no big deal. They called out our group, I ran over the timing pad, into the water, started swimming. The water was so murky I couldn't even see my arms in the water, people were swimming all over me, running into each other etc. Then about 100 yds into it, I was in less crowded water, and then I realized I was way off course, I redirected. Turning the first corner, I finally felt like I was hitting my stride and then I took a breath on my left and the lifeguards were alongside me pointing to the right. I was in the middle of the dam, woops! They guided me back to the course and I had to keep checking to make sure I stayed on course. All said and done I probably swam an extra 100-150 yards. Once I found my way to the exit ramp I happily put my feet down and started to run up the ramp and over the timer mat. Thankful the swim was over. Swim time- 13:44 (disappointing)
Friday, August 14, 2009
This Sunday I will do my first triathlon, The Hansen Dam Triathlon. Something I NEVER thought I’d do. Triathlons always seemed to me the pinnacle of obsessive exercise behavior. Especially the Iron Man (which I still think is crazy), but my journey of the last two years has brought me to the point of embarking on this my first “sprint triathlon.”
How did I get here? Two years ago, I finished my radiation treatment for cancer of the ankle. It would be another month before I’d walk again. That left me having spent 8 months in various stages of immobility- crutches, cane, hospitalized on complete bed rest, wheelchair, crutches, cane, crutches non-weight bearing again. During all of this time, I learned many things about myself and had endless amounts of time to think about my life. Shortly after getting my diagnosis, I was told that amputation would likely be the only way to avoid a recurrence of my cancer, and after going through all of my surgeries and treatments, I still face the reality that IF I have a local recurrence (ie. if the sarcoma comes back in my ankle) given how much of my ankle has already been removed, amputation still might be the only option. This is my reality. I don’t think about it often, but there it is. Through out my whole ordeal, I questioned what was the purpose of these trials? Would there be one, and what would I miss the most? I fought against my dependence on others, but I also learned to ask for help.
I realized that many of the things I feared losing, I had lost by letting myself get out of shape through years of my own medical training and not prioritizing my own health. I vowed to change that as soon as I was allowed to exercise again. Once I was given the green light, I was doing physical therapy twice a week, I joined a gym (largely to be able to swim), shortly thereafter I started working out with a personal trainer. Over the months and months that followed I got back to where I was before the first surgery, but suddenly that wasn’t good enough. I committed to being as healthy as possible. I kept weight lifting. I was up to swimming 1500-2000 yards at a go, and I started swimming butterfly again. I decided to start running. I prioritized my own health and fitness.
Now two years after completing my treatment I am in better shape than I have been since high school (if not ever), healthy eating and exercising are staples in my life. My outlook has never been better. A few months ago, friends started asking me with the fact that I am a swimmer, and now I ran 2-4 miles a few days a week when would I do triathlon. My response the first several times was an emphatic never. However, it got me thinking, why not? With a commitment to training, I could totally do it. This athletic event that always seemed miles out of my reach, suddenly sounded possible. My scarred, weakened ankle and I started training. I was hooked, I committed to doing the triathlon with a friend. I’ve now been training for 5 months, and I am sure I’ll be able to finish, but I am hoping to make a specific time. That old competitive spirit is alive in me.
I am doing this triathlon as a testament to my recovery, as thanks to the people who helped me get through my journey, as an outward sign of making my health a priority in my life.
Thanks to all of you for supporting me along this journey!