So hard to know where to begin, too easy to keep ignoring

It’s been a real struggle finding the time and proper mindframe to add to the almost-daily diary. It’s becoming increasingly distant from the concept of almost-daily, for sure! Used to be that just writing up the three major weekly rides… Tuesday morning, Thursday morning, Sunday… that alone would be 3 of the 7 days of the week.

It was easier when more of my life revolved around cycling, but life has a way of catching up to you, perhaps at an increasingly-fast pace as you get older. Karen’s (my wife) recent diagnosis of Stage 4 cancer has certainly been a substantial player in my life. Making sure she’s getting the best-possible care isn’t as easy as it should be. And the roller coaster you get onto, with bad news following bad news when it turns out there was actually some bad news that was a mistake, so maybe things aren’t so bad? You get hopeful that maybe there’s more possible missed good news, maybe there’s a possibility she’s not actually Stage 4. But you have to be careful, make sure you’re not trying to rationalize things too much.

The trip. The big two week vacation I take with Karen each year. Amazingly, somehow, I planned a trip a month later than normal, which is just such an incredible thing because the normal timeframe, no way would Karen have been able to make it. Not with the diagnosis and the surgery to remove the tumor from her lung, and she still fighting an incessant coughing that’s knocking the crap out of her, with no source. You’d think maybe it’s somehow related to the cancer that had gotten into her left lung, but apparently not.

So now, many nights, instead of writing here, I feel like I’m juggling too many balls, dealing with too many moving targets. And yet still completely hopeful that, this time next Thursday, Karen and I will be on a plane heading to Hong Kong, spend a couple days there, then get onto a cruise ship that will bring us to Vietnam, Thailand and finally Singapore.

It’s all going to work out, but getting there is pretty darned tough.

Lots to catch up on

It’s been a while! Several rides on a trainer when I’d normally have been outdoors; the transition from warmer weather to colder has not been kind to me, especially as I very gradually got rid of the hacking cough following the flu. That took about three weeks???!!! Even riding home, I couldn’t get very far without a severe hacking fit, and sometimes had to stop. It wasn’t fun, but that’s now in the past, thank Goodness. Had a really nice ride last Sunday with Kevin, Kevin and Mike-something, through the foothills the hilliest way, managing 3000+ feet of climbing without heading up to Skyline! I started out pretty slow but got stronger as things went on.

Tuesday morning I was pretty slow up Kings but we still did the full ride, including West Old LaHonda. Partly because… well, just because! Had to prove I could. And it was one of those rides where I felt a lot better at the end than the beginning.

Today we have Karen’s PET scan, to see if there’s evidence of her cancer anywhere in her body other than the tumor in her lung that was removed four weeks ago. Praying for a clean scan… from here on out, she’ll be getting an updated PET scan every three months, for the rest of her life. Talk about creating scheduled anxiety! But if we find something, that’s better than something being there that we didn’t find. Something to work with.

And then there’s my own crappy bone marrow issue, where my meds are now doing a number on my hematocrit (red blood cells), not just the platelets that need to be reduced in number. Hematocrit is now down to 37-something, a long ways from the 43-44 that would be normal for me, and the lower your hematocrit, the less oxygen is being carried to your muscles, which means… yeah… even slower climbing than before. After we get Karen’s stuff figured out, I’ll start working on my own issues again.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and yes, that means the annual Thanksgiving ride to the coast. Unfortunately not in shape to make it to Pescadero this year… just have to do a quick run out to San Gregorio and back Tunitas. Worst of all, San Gregorio store won’t even be open (they may or may not be open Thanksgiving, but if they are open, it wouldn’t be until 11am and we’ll be riding through earlier than that). Leaving from the Bakery in Woodside at 8:15am.

More later, after we get the results from the PET scan and talk with Karen’s doctor(s).