Y1D3 – Pushing It

My name is Rick and my cancer status is unknown…

Yes, my last post was pretty poor; the writing was terrible and it wasn’t the least bit thoughtful.  Sorry about that.  I’ll try to better with this post.  Perhaps the video blogging sucked all the mojo out of me.  Please let me know whether video is at all helpful (with 16 views of pt1 and ZERO on pt2, I think I have my answer).  Yes, they were long but there was a lot to say about that particular day.

These past few weeks have been back-to-back.  I basically have not relaxed or sat still for what seems like forever.  It feels great to keep up this pace because 1) I am getting a ton of things done and 2) I am proving to myself that I am not defeated.  Or maybe I just don’t know any other way.  I won’t be boring and list all the things I have accomplished but it has been a great balance between hard work personally and professionally.  On the work side, I delivered a key component for a particular client.  I think it was well received.  I have also done some good work for a few of my non-revenue producing clients.

On the personal side, I have been able to spend a lot of time outdoors.  I have been running a bit, walking a lot and gardening.  I am not much of a gardener but it has been fun.  The exercise bands are awesome as well.  The best news is that my friend that was attacked is doing much better.  It is so great to be able to spend time with him again.  I continue to keep thinking positive thoughts for his speedy and complete recovery.

I continue to be involved volunteering at Penn.  My last session there was rather interesting having been led by a person interning from some brand name consulting firm.  That firm has a bunch of new age ideation techniques that were fun to be part of.  There were so many little hooks designed to “help us out” it was like a management consulting caricature.  They used a big timer that buzzed after each x minute “session”, had a bunch of pictures laid out on the table that were designed to trigger thoughts and there were nifty things like play dough, pipe cleaner and Lego to help us “create” our ideas.  I drew a diagram and explained it… it felt like I was a dinosaur in their eyes.  So much for being old.

Yesterday I started doing something I have been wanting to do for a long time; climb in a rock gym.  I have done this maybe twice before and it was fun.  Climbing in a good gym on my own was a great experience.  My fingers and forearms are VERY sore but in a good way.  My hope is that I will be able to build back some of my lost muscle mass due to surgery and radiation.  No matter what, it will be fun.  One of the best parts is getting on top of the boulder area and sliding down the fire pole.  Very scary being up 15′ but it is always nice to conquer a fear.  On Saturday I did a 2+ hour hike in the Wissahickon.  I plan on driving up to Hickory Run State Park next week if I can get the time.

As I start to exercise more I more fully realizing the impact of less salivary gland activity.  My mouth gets very easily dry.  Not sure what I am going to be able to do about that.  Clearly, drinking helps but when you are exercising, too much water is actually a problem.  It has been hard to judge whether my mouth is dry because of the issue with the glands or that I am really dehydrated.  This is going to be a challenge.  Today I went for another run and the dry mouth made me stop… so did being really worn out because I am still not in great shape.  I guess I can blame it on the dry mouth, yes?

No change in my medical situation which is a good thing.  Still tired.  Still ignoring it.  Still moderate pain in my neck and shoulder.  Still ignoring it.  The dermatologist froze off a bunch of actinic keratosis spots on my face.  They are pretty ugly right now.  Sort of ironic being a metastatic melanoma patient and having these ugly spots on my face that have NOTHING to do with my cancer.  I think its funny.  Tomorrow is an oncology doc appointment.  She is already talking hormone treatment.  Going to be a tough sell but I will listen.