Living Stops for Nothing

And again, it’s over. But again, it’s just begun.

To summarize the whole situation, I still have cancer. I expected this, so that isn’t an emotional blow, yet in the process of attempting to remove the cancer this time around we had a very successful surgery, “90% successful”, I was told. I don’t know if I was supposed to take that literally, as if we got 90% of the cancer out, or more abruptly, as to just say it went as well as it could have gone without getting everything.

Before

Before

And now we “wait and see”.

I had the heated introperitoeal chemotherapy during the surgery and then five days of infusions through the ports and tubes running around my abdomen over the following days, but now, no more. At least, that was the plan. Now we run through standard checkups and CT scans to keep a close eye on the cancer, to see if it begins to grow out of control again, at which point we would begin the chemo regime again, or if everything remains the same as it did this past year and few months, with almost complete stability. No growth. No regression. 

That’s the short of it and despite being in the throes of post-surgery suffering, I’m feeling pretty good about this whole situation. I feel reinvigorated, renewed, rededicated, aided in part by the relatively free running I squeezed in the last weeks leading up to surgery. Pushing through every day was worth it and I’m ready to keep moving further and further away from chemo and closer and closer to my other physical limitations. I’m also ready to do this with a commitment to “doing it right”, not rushing into it, not neglecting other components of total health and whatever it takes to make another go at it….whatever that IS right now. I’m holding off on stated goals until I’m completely away from surgery, adjusted to a new living schedule and making sure all the pieces fit. 

During.

During.

In the interim, and more important, immediate sense, i’m still at the hospital, recovering at a pace that has truly surprised me…shocked even. I may not have been ravaged by cancer as much going into surgery this time around, but I was consumed by chemo and felt that I was held back from being at my best potential going forward, so I worried about the recovery. I felt weaker. I also worried about the extra chemo treatments and how they would add to the suffering. But I was out of the ICU 6 days later, with minimal complications, feeling stronger every day, already doing hallway laps and feeling as I’m going to get out of here quicker than I imagined. Maybe it’s the muscle memory. Maybe it’s hopeful naivety. Maybe its the coffee talking, but right now, I’m going with it. 

I don’t mean to paint such a pretty picture though. It’s still been incredibly rough. The nights of sleepless boredom, fading in and out of the darkest corners of my subconscious through pain medications, physical frustrations, downright pains. But, maybe i’m just more emotionally equipped to handle the situation, or this does parallel the muscle memory found in running recovery….or, again, maybe it’s just the coffee talking. It isn’t easy either way. I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone. 

And I’ll just leave it at that right now, because there will still be a lot of waiting and seeing. Waiting to see if recovery stays on this quickened trajectory or waiting to see if the stays stays or grows. That’s where, in part I’ll be placing my focus. Then, on the other hand, I will not be waiting to see what happens with running. I’m going to dedicate myself to running closer to my honest abilities at I sit with patience through everything else. 

Thanks, as always, for helping me get here. 

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16 responses to “Living Stops for Nothing

  1. So glad to hear this (mostly) good news. Drink.more.coffee.

  2. I’m so glad you’re willing to keep everyone posted and thrilled that things seem to be going well at this point. It has to be a funny feeling to know that your health is a matter of public record, and that you have hundreds of people following your recovery, but mega thumbs-up to you for being open and honest through the whole process. You are a cool human, and I’m proud to know you! Keep that PMA going. And the coffee.

    • Emma, I belabor no one for keeping their battles private, but there is a responsibility of giving voice to the truth of my situation i don’t want to ignore. that would be a disservice to my friends, my sister and, most importantly, myself.

  3. I’m so glad you’re willing to keep everyone posted and thrilled that things seem to be going well at this point. It has to be a funny feeling to know that your health is a matter of public record, and that you have hundreds of people following your recovery, but mega thumbs-up to you for being open and honest through the whole process. You are a cool human, and I’m proud to know you! Keep that PMA going. And the coffee.

  4. In the scheme of things, this is great news. Now it’s just waiting for the gut to start working and you can go home – at least, that’s my guess. I’ll tilt a cup in your honor.

  5. @keniam74 on twitter.
    Hello its Ken here still reading your blog and checking up on you.
    I have been following you for a good while now. I am glad to hear the news is of good nature. This is never easy for anyone for sure. Your blunt honesty and determination really makes me smile. I wish everyone had you drive. Maybe the world would be a better place. Anyway hang in their and hope you get back to running soon. I know the trail misses you. From a fellow veggie nut and runner in NC… Ken

    • Thank you for your good words Ken. I appreciate you following along and hope to have a string of “great news” posts to follow.

  6. Glad to hear that you are doing better than last time. Those are some bad-ass staples and scar! I’m really looking forward to reading about your recovery and your eventual return to running/racing. Get well soon…

  7. Good to see you posting again; and so soon out of surgery. And the news about this. You recovered from the last surgery incredibly and you will do so again!! all my best to you.

  8. Thanks for your toughness, Scott! I’ve been thinking of you during my travels. Thank you for posting. When I saw the length of the surgery I thought, my God, they must have thought that “this guy is tough to get so far as he’s gotten and then a lot more. He can take it and he can actually beat this thing. Let’s go whole hog and see if we can get as much of the cancer out of him as we can.” You showed them that you can do it, Scott. Like a great runner, you pushed them to do the best that they are able, so that you can. Now you can win it. Go get it. You’re fantastic.

  9. So glad to see this! Thank you for posting so soon!

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