Wow… so it’s been almost 5 months since my last post, and over 6 months since I blogged regularly. I always said I wouldn’t be one of “those” bloggers… the ones who disappear with no notice, no goodbye – and then I did. So if there are any of my blog friends out there who still read this, thank you. A few of you reached out to me during the darkness, and I appreciated that more than you know.
So much has happened since I quit my job at the end of April – some of it good, but in truth, 2013 has been a very tough year. It took 10 weeks to find a new job – longer than I thought it would, and financially going without my pay for 10 weeks was tough. In the end, though, I had two different offers, and I chose the one that I thought was the best fit for me (the money was basically the same for both). I’m confident I made the right decision, I’m very happy at my new company.
And then there was the Ironman. Being out of work for 10 weeks should have left me lots of time to train, right? In theory, but I was also actively searching for work, and trying to get my head back in the game of life, so truth be told, I didn’t train as much as I should have. However, we did train, and off we went to Quebec full of determination to conquer the race. Instead, due to gastro issues on race day, I was a DNF at Mile 62 on the bike. Disappointing? Yes, but not the end of the world. The trip itself was fantastic, the race was incredible, and the whole Ironman experience was amazing. So amazing, we actually signed up for the 2014 race on the Saturday BEFORE our race! (Perhaps a little premature, but hey… go big or go home).
And then we got home, and life went sideways again. (I did mention 2013 had been rough so far…). Bruce had gone in to see our family doctor in the spring due to a swollen lump on his neck. We all thought it was just a low grade infection – even the doctor. He prescribed anti-biotics, but ordered a CT scan anyway because Bruce had cancer 9 years ago. The CT scan was the week after we got back from Quebec, and then there was a biopsy, then there was another one…. and three weeks ago it diagnosis was confirmed. Stage 4 throat cancer. Another week later, and an entire morning with doctors to discuss treatment options, we were given a slightly more optimistic prognosis – although the cancer is Stage 4, it has only spread to the lymph nodes in his neck.
We still don’t know what will happen. We could have 3 years, or 5 years, or 20 years. We listened to everything the doctors said about treatment options, and selected the one that made the most sense to us – Bruce starts 7 weeks of daily radiation therapy this afternoon. After those 7 weeks are up, the tumour should be gone if it responds to treatment as anticipated. But the next 10 weeks (7 weeks of treatment, and 2-3 of recovery) will be very difficult.
As for the future? Well, part of getting through this is to try to keep up with some kind of training schedule. I’ve joined a Masters swim program, and am trying to swim at least 3 times a week. I definitely think it’s helping. My running mojo has been missing for months – doing my training runs for IMMT was torture. But after taking a few weeks off, and sticking to short runs, I’m starting to feel better when I run, and I’m trying to run 2x per week. And I’m trying to get on the bike trainer 2x per week. We’ll see if I can keep it up as the weeks go by.
So there it is…. the reason(s) I’ve been dark for so long. Am I going to be back regularly? I hope so. In the mean time, just getting some of this out is a huge relief.