The side effects from the radiation seem to be mostly gone. I have gotten sick twice this month, although neither was that severe. Each illness cost me a couple days of training or skiing, plus one (total) day of work, but neither was horrible. I did get a flu shot this year plus a pneumovax, so I don't think either illness was the flu. I'm not sure if the illnesses were related to the radiation or not, but I'm guessing they were.
My typical goal for CrossFit is to average a little more than 3 classes per week, year round. So, that means some weeks of 4 or 5 days, because some weeks will be inevitably lower than that. Regretfully, coming back from the radiation has been a bit slow, and I have not made it more than 3 times this entire month. With my workout tonight, I will be at 12 CF workouts for the month - a couple below my goal, but not too bad. Part of the problem was intense soreness as I returned after the radiation. There were multiple weeks where 1 or 2 workouts early in the week left me too sore to train for the rest of the week. That is simply not normal for me, and it had to have been caused by the radiation.
As for training in February, who knows? Tomorrow, I head to Sloan Kettering in NYC for a series of tests. The key test is a CT scan to look at how effective my December radiation treatments were. I can't say that I'm thrilled about this trip, because the best possible outcome means another surgery in the next month or so.
If the radiation was not effective, or if any new lesions show up, I have no idea what will happen. I honestly can't even let myself think about it. This is the first trip that I'm making to Sloan Kettering where I've worried about being given the dreaded "There's nothing more we can do" speech. I know that's unlikely, at least for now, but if the radiation failed or a handful of new lesions have shown up, I'm not sure what the answer will be.
Each day, as I get closer to this scan, is more and more difficult. I am having a hard time concentrating on anything, to be honest. There are just too many "what if" questions out there.
So, for now, let's just assume that things go well. I will probably have surgery in 2-3 weeks. And, with some luck, I'll be recovered from the surgery in time to still get in some skiing later this season. Hopefully, I'll be stronger on the opening day of trout season than I was last year. Last year, I fished for about 3 hours each on the first two days of the season. That was all my body could handle.
Surgery last year was in early March. If I have the surgery in early to mid February, I should be more recovered in April than I was last year.
I am certainly preparing for trout season as if I'll be healthy enough to fish. With surgery looming, I'm already thinking less and less about skiing, and thinking ahead to recovery from the surgery and then trout season. Every step of the way, I need some kind of incentive to keep me going through the next treatment. Otherwise, this whole process would be unbearable.
The other reason that I'm thinking ahead is that I'm spending my second consecutive winter cold all the time. I simply cannot get warm or stay warm. On 40F days, I'm skiing in the clothes I would normally wear for a 15F day. On a 15F day, I am wearing mittens rather than gloves, extra base layers, and I still cannot stay warm. I know that chemo messed with my tolerance to cold last winter. I'm unsure if that is a permanent effect, or if I'm having a similar reaction to the radiation. Either way, it's no fun being cold all the time, so I am thinking ahead to warmer days already. We haven't even hit the typical coldest weeks of the year, and I'm looking ahead to warmer days. I never thought I'd be the person saying that.