Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The spirit lives on

So yesterday I had another physical therapy session with Erica, who seemed to think I was finding PT kind of torturous until I foolishly told her otherwise. Sure, it’s painful, I tell her, but hell, at least I’m actually doing something vaguely athletic, albeit enfeebled and wimpy. For some reason she doesn’t see this as the compliment it obviously is, but instead decides that it would a good day to incorporate some cardio. Cardio, et tu?? At last!

Then she walks me over to something that kind of looks like a reclining spin bike, with pedals to push against rather than spin. Nothing to clip into, either. Damn. Well, a bike’s a bike, so I get on.

Erica: "So you just push against those while pulling with you...."
Me, interrupting: "Hey, lookie here! A watts measurement! Umm, why is it only at 6?"
Erica: "Oh, it’s probably measuring something else. So you shoul..."
Me: "Maybe if I just keep pushing buttons I’ll get the wattage. Quiet please, I need to focus."

Erica wanders off, undoubtedly impressed by my dedication to measurable fitness goals and my quest for self-improvement. I wonder when she’ll see a doctor about that tic of hers, the head-shaking?

Anyway, clearly there’s some kind of malfunction since my watts are now only at about 67, which is FAR LESS than the 145 I know I can generate on a good day. But I figure it’s okay to start out slowly, ramp up later as usual. Besides, I’m beating the pants off the 80-year old stroke victim on the bike next to me. Sweet! Eye of the tiger, baby. Meanwhile, in the last couple of minutes, I manage to get all the way to 117. Is the comeback kid on her way or what, folks??

Then today I have a morning appointment with Dr. Merk to check on my shoulder.

Dr. MerkHottie: “So the x-ray looks good, looks like the bone is healing.”
Me, impatiently: "Yes, yes...but what are the screws holding the plate in place made out of?”
Dr. M: “Oh, that’s a titanium al......”
Me, interrupting: “YESSSSSSSsssssss!” I shout, as I hold my hands up making the V for victory sign.

I really have no idea why Dr. Merk looks at me so strangely sometimes.

He then tells me that I can handle activity except for contact sports, “but I’m sure you wouldn’t do that anyway – you know, like hockey, football....” I sheepishly tell him I do indeed play hockey, so now that’s officially off-limits. Though I kind of figured that out already.

Then it’s off to radiation, and I’m so enthralled by the idea of how totally aero my new titanium-fortified shoulder will be, propelling me through the water the couple of times a year that I swim, helping me zip along on the bike, etc., that I almost miss seeing Colleen, who’s also at the Galter, for an allergist appointment. Or so she claims – some of my fans are more persistent than others.

We chat for a while, and I tell her my sad news about realizing that I’m doomed, with cancer cells teeming through my body ready to fell me at any moment, and how I’m now embracing a fat-based diet of unwholesome foodstuffs. Instead of the sympathy I expect, however, Colleen laughs. Laughs!

Colleen: “Oh, come on, that can’t be true. I was there when the doctor said your tumor was slow-growing.”
Me: “Slow compared to what? Sure, slow as in 5 years or so, not slow as in 20. 5 years is plenty of time for renegade cancer cells to make a break for it.”
Colleen: “And what magazine was this article in?”
Me: “Umm, Atlantic something. Something VERY SCHOLARLY sounding.”
Colleen, sounding very professorial: “Sure, and who wrote the article?”
Me: “Umm.......I don’t know, but he sounded very research-y. Very researchy indeed,” I sniff. “Stop trying to confuse the issue with your professorial ways!”
Colleen: “Right, and was the research funded by the Corndog Institute of America?”
Me: “I don’t see why you say that as if it would be a problem.”

At my daily radiation treatments I have yet to see anyone under the age of, say, 65 or so. Yesterday at the desk when I was checking in there were 2 women, a younger and an older one, and I thought, I wonder which one is here for treatment and which one is here for support? Turns out mom was there for treatment, daughter for support. Of course. Bah.

But you know, this just occurs to me – it’s too bad that all my cancer doctors are women. Because if they were men of the right age, I’d be in like Flynn. The only one in my age group - those would be some decent odds, no? Note to self: when the next round of cancer inevitably hits, get male doctors. Duh! (Because I’m sure us cancer patients are such a catch, sigh....)

1 comment:

KyleKaboom said...

My PT told me to do that bike thing too! I'm not sure if it's any better for my hips than actually running but it's worth a shot. ...I'm nominating your site for best blog to RaceAthlete... any totally can whip the cardiac guy next to me. :)