Monday, December 28, 2015

Getting back to normal

I had my last IV infusion (for hydration) after the second round of chemo last Wednesday.  My IV port was de-accessed afterward, and shouldn't be accessed again until 1/6.  Last Thursday, on a day with record-setting warm temperatures, I got out for a nice walk with my dog.  It was a windy day and we lost electricity for a few hours.  I have to admit that 3 hours of quiet darkness was kind of welcome early on Christmas Eve.

My nausea is a lot better.  I'm still taking some medication, but it's as-needed rather than on a schedule.  The bone pain that comes from the Neulasta injection started to show up on Thursday.  I felt it in my sternum for the first couple days, and then in my lower back, hips and femurs yesterday and today.  I have some pain medication that works very well against this pain, and I should be able to return to CrossFit today.

We had a really nice Christmas.  There weren't huge numbers of presents, but it was just a day to be surrounded by family.  I got a pressure cooker that produced an amazing dinner really quickly last night.  A record.  Some concert tickets.  A book.  And some cash.  I got my wife some new workout clothes and some nice jewelry, including a beautiful but simple diamond pendant from a jewelry maker named Adel Chefridi.

But, it was really just nice to be with family for the day.  Yes, I know I repeated myself there, but I'm sticking with it.

Saturday, I headed to Sugarbush to teach skiing for the weekend.  Because we have limited terrain and the ski season is off to such a poor start, not many skiers showed up.  Conditions were firm (read: icy) for most of Saturday.  I was assigned to teach the students I had last season, which had me very excited.  Regretfully, only one boy showed up, so I didn't get to see everyone.

The mountain is sending a second coach out with me every day I work.  I've been protesting this a bit.  My main argument has been that I'm there to work, and I don't want them to be doing me favors.  If they need me, I'm there.  If they don't, I'm OK with that.  But, after a conversation with a friend on Saturday, I decided to stop arguing with my boss.  I have worked for the mountain for many years; I'm in my 16th season as an instructor.  They've made a lot of money from my work in those years.  My boss sees me as an integral part of her team.  So, I'm just going to take the help.  And, from their side, if I do have a problem, there is a second coach to take over, so I know they are protecting themselves as well.  To paraphrase Kevin Costner in Bull Durham "I'm just happy to be here and hope I can help the ballclub."

The second coach I had on Saturday was young, but he's a solid coach.  Because we only had one student between the two of us, I worked with the other coach as well.  The other coach noticed a fundamental flaw in our student's skiing.  I was already working towards fixing it, in two steps.  He suggested addressing the problem directly, but I suggested a different approach that seemed unrelated to the issue at hand.  But, my suggestion, which was simple for the 7 year old student to implement, worked.  It was a "teaching moment" for the other coach.  He saw an alternate way to go about fixing an issue.  I even coached him on his personal skiing as well, so I think we had a good day.  Our student got better and another coach got better as well.  I wish I could say that I felt like I skied well, but the icy conditions had me bracing against my outside leg too much and not flowing downhill very well.

On Sunday, I had a different second coach, but no students showed up at all on a rainy morning.  I went out and skied on my own for a while, and I was able to relax in the soft snow.  It was the first time all season that I felt like I was skiing at the level I expect of myself.  After free skiing for a while, I attended an indoor clinic, and learned some new stuff.  All in all, it was a good day despite the rain.

Tonight, it's back to CrossFit, and I'm very excited about getting to lift tonight.

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