Thursday, May 19, 2016

Kilimanjaro..Time to Get Serious

One of the challenges with myeloma is that I'm almost always walking around with a lowered immune system. I need to be extra careful to stay away from people who are sick and other germs sources. Admittedly I can get a bit lackadaisical with this. But when I'm hit with two months of being sick and worried about pneumonia, as I was earlier this year, I get serious again. Being immune compromised also means I am susceptible to the activation of normally dormant viruses in my body. Two years I had a surgery to remove viral warts that were out of control. By far the recovery from this surgery was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. Ever!

This week I had a repeat of the surgery. I've been dreading it. The first time I had this surgery I was out of commission for three weeks. I guess we caught them early this time, because at 3 days after surgery, I'm feeling pretty darn good. It's been a totally different experience.

I've slowly been starting training for Kilimanjaro. Cardio, walks, hikes. But I wasn't engaged 100% in the training because I knew I had the surgery and recovery ahead of me. But now that recovery is almost behind me, training starts in earnest next week.  Beast mode. We've got a team training hike in Colorado in July. I'm looking forward to meeting my fellow trekkers. One of the team members lives here in Long Beach and we met a couple of weeks ago and did some hills in nearby Signal Hill. All the other team members are spread out across the country. There are 15 of us. 6 are patients. I'm almost halfway to my fund raising goal of $10,000. I'd like to blow past that number, which I think is totally doable.

This week is also my off week from chemo. Last week was day 1 of cycle 20 of maintenance. Last week I also had to make a visit to the dermatologist to freeze off a bunch of pre-cancerous spots on my face. Sensitivity to sun and susceptibility to skin cancer is a side effect of my treatment. I always need a hat when I'm outside and I'm thinking I need to get stylish with my hat selection. Embrace the lid.

This past week I was promoted at work. I'm now the manager of land use planning at the Port of Long Beach. I've said it before, I'm proud of my success at work over the past five years (since diagnosis). It's a big deal. I take pride in my kicking ass. Having said this, work can be a challenge, especially during treatment week, when my energy and mood are roller coastering. And I'm still needing greater meaning in my existence. In my interview I was asked about my presentation style and if I chose it or did it choose me. Interesting question. My answer was a) conversational and b) it chose me. And I realized that is how I feel about my cancer and life going forward. I sure didn't choose it, but I have to work with what has been dealt me. I must make some plans and define goals to keep moving forward. Again...beast mode.

And that's it. Nap time.

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