I've been working hard with a physical therapist for the past month, trying to overcome some of the physical deficits I have because of losing most of right psoas muscle. Things are improving week by week.
Despite a business trip/vacation that lasted 9 days, I still managed 12 days of CrossFit in September. I'm finally starting to feel stronger and my aerobic capacity is coming around. I'm able to do workouts now that put me in serious aerobic debt, and get through them without excessively long recovery breaks.
I've been fighting a minor knee issue, but it's not hindering me at all in the gym. Well, maybe a minor hindrance, but nothing significant.
My back squats, which started at 85# after surgery, have gotten as high as 235# recently. My Oly lifting is progressing nicely.
And now, it's time for another scan at Sloan Kettering.
I read a number of blogs and publications related to cancer. Many of them discuss the ongoing mental issues that patients have - either after being cured or as they still deal with the disease. It is often equated to PTSD. I can't say that I've ever seen combat or been involved in a shooting incident, so I can't honestly compare my feelings to those of a soldier or cop. But, PTSD seems like a reasonable way to describe my mindset as this scan approaches.
My anxiety is through the roof. My mind is full of "what if's". To be honest, I feel like this scan will tell me a lot, and maybe that's why I feel so anxious. The surgeon was very positive that he got everything out in June, with clean margins. The best possible outcome.
If my scan is clean, that claim is pretty much validated. And, to be honest, I fully believe that he did what he claims and he's given me the best chance that I could possibly have gotten.
But, if the cancer is back, I just don't know how I'm going to react. I do seem to have a very aggressive version of this cancer, and my 3 surgeries, 2 bouts with chemo, and 1 course of radiation will attest to the fact that it's taken a lot to keep it at bay.
I so much want this scan to be clean. It would mean I could teach skiing all winter long with no interruptions, something I've been unable to do the past two winters. It would be good for my career as well, to be honest. I need to demonstrate to my employer that I can go more than a few months without treatment and that they can count on me to be fully present in my job.
Also, as surgeries and other treatments mount, I never know when a treatment will change my life permanently, and for the worse. Right now, I'm still able to train hard. I'm able to fish when I want. I'm able to ski and teach skiing. But, more chemo or surgery could make those things difficult or impossible. This last surgery took longer to recover from than the previous two. It might have been related to the chemo I'd had before surgery, which was also pretty harsh. But, getting back into the gym was harder this time. Running is more challenging than ever right now. Some movements that are dynamic or emphasize the core muscles are especially challenging. Months after chemo and surgery, I still find myself sleeping close to 12 hours on weekend nights, just to recover from the stresses of the week.
And most importantly, if the cancer is back again so soon, it's a bellwether of the future. It will really tell me that I'm probably never going to have long periods of time where I'm disease free, and that I'm truly moving along a timeline that is going to end badly, and more quickly than I'd like.
Of course, this might all just be the negative voices in my head. But mentally, I really need this scan to be clean. If it's not, I honestly don't know how I'm going to deal with more treatments so soon after the last.
This whole process is something I would never wish on any human being, no matter how I feel about them. Sometimes, it's simply too much to deal with. I've got the best possible medical team treating me, and I just have to hope that they can continue to keep the disease at bay.