Sunday, March 3, 2013

A quick (and very rough) post…

Because I’m tired, but I need to write. February 17, 2011 I returned to work after I took a leave of absence for my emergency brain surgery. I wasn’t quite doing a full 8-hour day and the driving in LA traffic was precarious since my neck still didn’t have a full range of motion. Dad stayed behind and acted as chauffer for a couple more weeks and slowly, I was able to have full driving and work independence. Even today, on days where I’m working 11 hours, I’m thankful that I can since I remember those early rough days.

February 17, 2013 I had another runners’ high while I ran the Pasadena Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon (my 8th half). Despite being under-trained (although I think those hill repeats in the foothills of Mt. Lee did me some good psychologically), I was only 3 minutes off my PR. This race felt less achy than last year’s Pasadena half marathon and certainly less achy than the half I did 6 months post surgery.

And after these runners’ highs, I am shaken to the core with my own humanity and reminder that healing is a non-linear process. I had a follow-up MRI in San Diego. I was so exhausted I fell asleep in the machine and didn’t even feel the poisonous contrast enter my body. By eight o’clock that night I had all I could do to sit up through dinner, and my 8:30 I was in bed.  I felt ill. A night of cold-sweats and discomfort.  My parents didn’t disturb me for breakfast the next morning.  They kindly brought back some toast & got me some orange juice. One sip of the juice and my body rejected it. I felt like I was a dishrag being run out for every inch of its worth.  I slept until we could check out, followed by more sleep during the 3 hour drive from San Diego to Los Angeles and still more sleep when we got back home. It took almost a day and a half for the radiation poisoning to work its way through my system. My previous MRI (in September) also didn’t leave my stomach in a very happy state, but this one just wiped me out. Plausible theories surrounding this are the accumulation of the contrast that has been pumped into me since December 2010, or the fact I’m nearly 10 pounds skinnier than I was then… which makes it great for running and clothes looking better, but not so great when it comes to enduring MRI contrast. My doctor didn’t make a mention of my next
MRI, so I have some time to recover. I’m not ready to run 3 miles, but I’ll be back on the running path soon. The only thing my doctor said of note was having the two of us work together to raise money for brain tumor research. It looks like I have my work cut out for me- I have my next race to train for & a small (multi-million dollar) fundraising goal. Should be an interesting year.