Today was a wonderfully informative and Silver Lined day.
I had my first 3-month checkup with my Oncologist. As you know, I was worried about it. Worried not that I had a recurrence (too early after a year of intense treatment, I figured), but worried because I’ve been absolutely, outrageously, inexplicably exhausted.
My Oncologist walked into the exam room with my file and the first thing out of his mouth was, “Your blood results are perfect.” F-bomb Silver Lining!
The next thing he asked was, “How are you feeling?” Oddly, I nearly burst into tears. After two (almond milk) latte’s (by 10:40 am!), I was exhausted to the point of coming unglued.
I told him that fatigue was an understatement and that if he said “Sleep” to me three times in a row, I would be a goner.
I asked if my 1/2 Marathon training was in some way depleting me (as has been suggested by some concerned readers & friends). No, on the contrary, he said. Rather, exercise is an antidote to fatigue for me. There is no better or freer narcotic in the world than the endorphins released by exercising, he said.
In fact, he encouraged me to add swimming to my repertoire of running, tennis and hiking. Swimming, he said, is a great way to cool the body down. Music to my hot flashed ears. It would be so nice to not be the neighborhood furnace anymore! An additional SL to swimming is that it is solitary and not socially complicated (aside from being in public in a bathing suit, of course!).
He then told me that he had been wondering whether or not I had “crashed” yet. A crash, he said, is coming. A crash always comes. The second he said that, a light went on in my chemo-brain. And I almost burst into tears – again. Clearly, I said, I’m on the edge.
He told me that the timing for my crash is right: I’ve successfully completed treatment and the one year anniversary of my diagnosis (ahem, AND a 1/2 Marathon!). Now, he said, seems like the appropriate time to s-l-o-w down and reflect on the loss of this past year. Ahhh, grief & loss. He’s absolutely, positively right ON the nose.
I definitely haven’t yet processed the tremendous losses of the last year. I guess that‘s what’s been lurking behind my blood shot eyes. This is going to be hard. Really hard. But it is part of the S**T that comes with FBC. I’m hoping that when I am on the other side of this “crash” that I will feel so much better.
When I arrived home from my appointment, a book was waiting for me. Last weekend when I was in Napa for the run, I missed a lecture by my all-time favorite poet, Mary Oliver. She was visiting the UCSB Arts & Lectures program. I was so sad to miss the opportunity to hear her speak. BUT, the Silver Lining is that a friend sent me a SIGNED copy of her book, Swan! And it arrived TODAY.
The first page I opened to was a poem called “Worry.” I’m serious. It was a major goosebump moment. This is yet another Silver Lined example of the new and wonderfully influential power of poetry in my life.
I hope that you enjoy this poem as much as I do!