Each morning, I wake up and check the weather. How warm is it going to be? Can I get outside on my bike today? After a tough and cold ride in mid-January on a day around 50 degrees, which resulted in me spending a few days in bed afterwards, I’ve imposed a ’60 degree’ rule before will even think about going outside.
In the meantime, I have done some training down in the basement. There is no off-season when it comes to the PMC for me. I need to ride and ride and ride like I have never trained before to get ready for the 2 day trek in August. Why? One of the 4 chemo drugs, called bleomycin, that got pumped into me back in 2011, did some damage to my lungs. The good news is that exercise seems to have a positive affect in reversing the damage. This damage is not an acute problem, but I definitely get short of breath faster than I have before. My doctor assures me that I should return to normal with time and continued activity. So train and train and train I will, so that 110 miles on Saturday and another 84 on Sunday will be completed on that first weekend in August.
Along with this basement training, I have been doing a lot of reading. There are two blogs in particular that I have been fascinated by.
The first blog I crossed paths with a while ago. Suleika Jaouad, a 23-year-old writer from Saratoga Springs, has been writing the “Life, Interrupted” blog on NY Times for the last couple of years. She posts weekly about what life as a young adult going through cancer. I was her age during my first diagnosis and treatment. I cannot imagine having the depth and clarity of thought to write so openly at that age.
The second is by Lisa B. Adams (@adamslisa on twitter). Even though I have never met her, or spoken with her, I regularly think about Lisa and her writing, as I find her a must-read follow on Twitter. She also has her own blog and is featured on Huffington Post. I have read and re-read her amazing recent post “The Hardest Conversation“, a breath-taking recap of her discussion with her oldest daughter about having metastatic cancer. It is beautifully candid, thoughtful, and honest and worth a read. She has given me much to think about, especially how, one day, I will be able to talk about my two diagnosis and cancer fights with our daughter Shannon, and how it has shaped me, how it has changed me, and how it changed our lives. For this gift, I will be forever grateful to my online ‘acquaintance’ @adamslisa.
I hope you enjoy these blogs, if you are interested, and that the weather gets above that magic 60 degree mark soon – I have to get out of the basement.