Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Feeling like doo-doo

The bottom just seems to have dropped out.  I am exhausted.  All the time.  I sleep in every car ride.  Going to the gym is a horrible chore rather than something I want to do

To be honest, this is really frustrating.

Friday night, I had my CrossFit Open workout.  It lasted only 12 minutes and I was happy with the result, despite the apparent lack of oxygen in the room.  I got home and got to bed early that night, with a long day the scheduled for next day.  And, I woke up feeling like I had the flu.  Despite that, I made it to Sugarbush for the day.  I taught a number of kids how to tune their own skis during the day.  This was a good diversion on a very cold day, even though it meant that I never got to ski at all.

After the ski day, a friend and I headed to Burlington to see Adrian Belew's Power Pop Trio.  It was a great show - a perfect complement to the last time I saw King Crimson, in terms of songs that were played.  All around, it was very impressive.  I stood at the show.  After standing all day at Sugarbush.  By the end of the show, my legs were screaming for a break.

I did manage to get 9 hours of sleep on Saturday night, but I still felt like crap the next morning.  Everyday is the same.  I feel like I have the flu when I wake up.  It doesn't really get any better.

On Sunday, I managed to go out for brunch with friends and my wife, get some groceries, watch some basketball, tie some flies, and do some cooking.  To me, that's a rest day.  But, by Monday morning, same result.

Monday night's gym workout was a disaster.  I simply didn't want to be there and my effort was commensurate with my attitude.  Even scaled, it sucked and I hated every minute of it.

Today, I have started to take a new medicine - something everyone has heard of - to help with my focus and concentration at work - something to fight the brain effects of the chemo.  It wasn't my first choice, but I need to be better at my job if I'm going to collect my paycheck and feel good about that.  Chemo brain (google it) is a real thing.

On the way to work this morning, I slept the entire drive.  After dropping off my wife, I drove to my office.  Napped in the parking lot.  I finally came inside and took the new medicine.  It certainly hasn't taken effect yet, and I could easily take another nap.

The idea of CrossFit tonight repulses me at the moment.  That doesn't mean that I won't do it, but I feel like there are 2 main issues right now.  First, as I'm trying to live my "normal" life as much as possible, is that simply too much for what I'm dealing with?  I've been told by docs to do whatever I feel up to doing.  But, I'm not that average cancer patient and I'm probably doing way more than most others in a similar situation.  I'm guessing there aren't many athletes in the CrossFit Open doing chemo during the Open.

First of all, is it good for me?  Or, would I be better served by "turning it down" a bit?  I just don't know the answer to that question.

Secondly, what is the net effect, if any, of my exercise and go-go-go lifestyle on the disease I'm fighting?  Last night, I admit that I couldn't think of one real reason that my workout was helping.  It's not curing my cancer.  It's not going to prolong my life necessarily.  And, it wasn't fun.  Now, I've had a few surgeries the past few years and I've recovered well from them.  A big part of that is my fitness and training routine.  For someone my age, I am in well above average shape.  Yeah, I'm somewhat overweight, but I'm also fairly fit.  Will that help me in a future surgery?  Is it helping me with this chemo?  If so, how much training is enough and how much is too much.

Or, am I forcing myself to exercise, doing more than my body is ready to tolerate, potentially making my disease worse, and not having fun while doing that?  That would be the height of stupidity, to be honest.

But, maybe there is a value that I don't see.  Maybe it's mental.  Maybe it's simply not giving in to this fucking disease and choosing to live life on my terms.

I just don't know right now.  The one thing that seems obvious is that I should not train hard day after day after day, especially if the training sessions themselves are miserable every time.  I need to see some tangible benefit to my training.

OTOH, I don't want to sit on a couch, napping, eating ice cream, and waiting for the grim reaper to show up.  When trout season arrives, I need to be strong enough to get out of the house and fish, even though I'll still be doing chemo for the first couple months.  I'm not ready to just quit doing the things I love, and some of what I love, I can do well because I train so hard the rest of the time.

I just don't know the answers.  I assume I'm some sort of outlier here.  I've always taken exercise to an extreme level.  I'm better now than I was, but my entire life is based on a go-go-go attitude.  For years, I've said there will be plenty of time to sleep when I'm dead.  I still believe that, but I don't want to hasten anything along.

Perhaps some sort of moderation is in order.  I think I need to spend the next week or two just listening a bit better, trying to figure out what makes the most sense for me.  Maybe I'll never know.  Maybe I will find a sweet spot.  To quote XTC, it's "just a complicated game."

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