Sometimes a Body Lies

Physically, I feel amazing. I’ve been working hard to walk faster and further, even running for 30-90 second spurts multiple times on my walks. My hand brace is off and I’m pushing myself hard to regain strength and flexibility in that hand. I’ve signed up for the Below The Belt Stride and Thrive 5k and 1 mile run/walk to raise money to support the amazing work Hopkins does for women suffering from gynecologic cancers. And by signed up, I mean for the 5k. My body feels stronger than it has in ages.

Short spurts of running during a walk might not seem like much, but for me they feel like I’m running for my life. I’ve never run a 5k. I don’t know what treatments I’ll be in next year. I need to do this now.

I had a scan on Friday. I’m not ready to go into too many details but it showed significant growth. The first thing we’re going to do is increase my chemo pill from 3 to 4. The fatigue and other side effects will be worse, but I am determined to handle them.

My oncologist is going to consult with a specific radiation oncologist about stereotactic radiation for the two that have grown the most. It’s super focused radiation. Likely 1-2 weeks of hour long sessions every other day. I should hear back by Wednesday.

If we do this it would be at Sibley at least. There would be a mapping scan, another few small targeting tattoos, then I’d start radiation 10-14 days later, early April.

It’s good that they’re very targeted. One of the two largest tumors is in my abdominal cavity. The other is in my left lung. It’s in my lung. They’re going to aim radiation at my lung and I’m terrified.

So, despite my fatigue getting worse I need to push myself. I need to spend the next two weeks trying to run because during radiation I’ll be lucky to walk 5 blocks, let alone 5k. After? God knows. I’ll have about a month to rebuild.

My oncologist says it’s good to build my lung capacity. He apologized for the bad news and I told him honestly that it was better than my nightmares.

I have some awful nightmares .

I asked if we were at the end of the road. Dr. Meyer said no. I asked if we could see the end of the road. “No,” he assured me.

So I’m going to have faith and try to run because what else can I do? I’m going to try to be strong. I’m going to try to move forward in hope despite my fear.

Physically I feel the best I’ve felt in ages. It’s a lie my body tells my mind. My tumors are growing and I know what I’m running from. I also know what I hope I’m running toward. Hopefully each step will help me keep believing that I will get there, and someday my body will be as strong in truth as it feels right now.

road curving upward through woods toward light
a © 2013 Susanne NilssonFlickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

8 thoughts on “Sometimes a Body Lies

  1. Sending all the love in the world b/c I don’t know what else to say. I hope you have lovely weather for your walking and running!

  2. This really resonated with me in several ways.

    First of all because I love you and I care about how you are.

    Secondly, because I really thought I was the only one who experienced such a thing and it’s comforting to know I’m not. (Which, admittedly, is a weird thing to say about feeling well but I have a feeling you catch my drift…) Along those lines- after not having insurance for a year, we’ve just gotten it back a few moths ago. My GI wanted me to get a few scans done to check my disease progression. I fought her tooth and nail for 3 months because 1. one particular test she ordered is truly awful. 2. inexplicably, I truly feel better than I have in YEARS. Why? Who knows. Anyhow, I finally gave in. Good thing I did. The results weren’t great and Crohns has done a number on my internal organs. I should NOT feel as good as I do but somehow I here am… it kinda weirds me out, tbh. I sense the same weirded-outness from your post.

    Also, and I think you get this, it’s like, “do I trust this feeling goodness or nah…?”

    Also also, feeling like “is this feeling good for no identifiable reason a trick? Or God’s grace? Or just my body not knowing wtf is going on..? Unclear.”

    Third, the dread that comes with “I feel weak now, I will be weaker soon.” 😐 Ugh, that one.

    Fourth, that space between asking if you’ve exhausted all treatment options and hearing the answer. That fraction of a moment that seems to last forever and that my-stomach-just-dropped-down-to-my-toes feeling.

    I don’t mean to leave such a downer post and I’m SO sorry your test results sucked. And clearly our situations are very different but in a few small moments like this, I hear you. I see you and I hear you. And you’re not alone. Thank you for sharing your truth ❤️

    1. Bethany, your mom’s friend Karen Schaefer chiming in here. I can’t imagine how you’re feeling right now, but I can feel your fear. I have it, too, in my own body and heart – for you. But I also have hope. And clearly, so do you.

      I love that you’re walking and running. I can’t think of anything more human that doing those things. That’s what we have evolved to do – walk and run. Humans are meant to be outdoors, walking and running, smelling the air, breathing it, engaging in the sights we can see – and loving it all. So you’re being the most human you can be. And that’s good.

      No one can tell you what the outcome for you will be. But everyone who cares for the next generation – and more particularly for you and your mom – are cheering you. Your energy, your courage, your sheer indomitability, is inspiring. We are all rooting for you – now and forever.

    2. Katie, you are so very much not the only one to feel that way. I’m weirdly relieved to know that I’m not the only one, myself, as much as I hate that you’ve had the feeling. Thank you for sharing your truth — it helps. We’re all muddling through as best we can, and we can only do it with the help of each other.

  3. Your blog is very meaningful and appreciated. We may meet one another at the S&T event in May. Hoping your treatment helps you tackle cancer to the ground.

  4. Thank you, I would love to meet you at the Stride and Thrive 🐧🐧🐧

    I like the imagery of tackling — I’ll keep that in mind during today’s radiation!

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