I need to change.

I had a bit of an epiphany this weekend.

My wife and I went to Piedmont Park yesterday morning to participate in the Wings for Life World Run. We have only been to the park twice before and only know about the parking deck. This event was on the opposite side of the park and the maps didn’t show any parking lots. We didn’t know we could park on the street. So we walked from the parking lot through the park, around the lake, and to the place we needed to be to start the 1K “run”.

Between all of that walking and our trip through Kroger afterward, my wife’s Fitbit said we had logged over three and a half miles. And that was in only a span of a few hours. I walked more in just a few hours than I usually do in three or four days. And I really didn’t have any problem doing it.

Now, the Alectinib I’m on is known for causing fatigue, especially in the legs. If you’ve read this blog before, you know that sometimes my legs feel like they’re as sturdy as wet noodles and sometimes they feel like they’re filled with lead. Yesterday I had next to no problem. After the walk across the park and then the 1K, I found a bench by the starting line and took a short break while pictures were taken. When we left, I walked back to the car with no problem.

While I like to blame all of my lethargy on taking chemo pills that cause fatigue, I realized last night that while it’s true, it’s not the cause of all of it. I admitted to myself that a lot of my problem is the fact that I’ve been a generally lazy, lethargic person since around the time I became a teenager. And I need to knock it off.

Usually during lunch, I’ll kick back with my feet on my desk, eat a sandwich or some delicious leftovers, and read the news and / or play games or mess around on social media. Today I ate, then went outside and walked around for fifteen minutes. Getting quickly bored and feeling the fatigue kick in, I started playing kick-the-can with pine cones that were laying in my path. That fifteen minutes went by so fast I wanted to keep going. It felt good working my legs, pretending I was playing soccer.

I think I’ll buy a soccer ball.

I need to work through this barrier I’ve created for myself. I need to quit telling myself I can’t do anything anymore. I need to get back on my feet and get myself moving. I need to find a reason to walk. I need a distraction while I’m walking to take my mind off of what my legs are trying to convince me to do. I need to explore.

Will I change? I need to.

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Cancerversary Happenings

It was a wonderful weekend.

My plans for my third cancerversary changed early in the year, when I was to begin training for my one-man fund raising cycle-thon. As fate had it, my cousin announced she would be getting married on the same day. Cycle-thon: HOLD. Screw it – I love my cousin. I’m going to her wedding.

She had asked me to wear a tuxedo because it was to be a very formal wedding. I agreed, because again, I love my cousin. Although, I did tell her I make no promises as to the state of my body size. It’s completely unpredictable, with the cancer and the medications I take. I may be five pounds heavier in the morning than the evening, six pounds heavier overnight, or plumped up because I retained a lot of water throughout the day. My wife helped me take measurements and we texted them in.

Fast-forward to Friday evening.

24862378_10156072002434524_9173465390091546657_nMy niece let me be a flower girl!

I go to pick up my tux. Keep in mind the last time I wore a tux was eleven years ago – I had no idea what I was doing.

1. The pants were too big. I pulled them out and had a full five inches between my waist and the zipper. I didn’t know you could adjust them. The lady brought them in for me and they fit a lot better. On Saturday night when I actually had to wear them, I had adjusted them all the way in, but it still wasn’t enough. I then had to roll the waist once and, you guessed it, it still wasn’t enough. I had to pull my pants up every time I stood. By the end of the night, despite the meal, they were even looser and I was having to hold them up by hand when I walked. A belt was out of the question – no belts loops on these pants.
2. The shirt was great. I can’t complain much. It was so thin, everything showed. And I mean E-VER-Y-THING. I didn’t have an undershirt, so the jacket stayed on all night.
3. I didn’t really know what to do with the cummerbund.
4. Shoes = almost a no go. It took five pairs before I found a pair that fit. At one point, I asked her for a pair of 11 wide and inside the box, we actually found a 9 1/2 wide. My toes wouldn’t even go in. I ended up in an 11 1/2 wide even though I’m a 10 1/2 wide.

I think they got my order mixed up with someone else’s. After we returned from the wedding, I looked at the receipt. They had me down as being in another wedding party. They also had my waist at 43″, which is quite odd because I requested a 38. To top it off, they had my order down as “no shoes”. Luckily, I was wearing the same tux as everybody else, so either they got that part right, both wedding parties ordered the exact same tuxedos, or there was a John Pender at both weddings.

Yesterday morning we went to my mom’s house and I made breakfast for everyone. Of course, the women all dispersed not too long after for hair and nail appointments. The rest of the day was nothing but wedding related stuff, so I won’t bore you with that. I will say there is a professional baseball player in our family now and I don’t believe my cousin could have chosen a better husband.

This morning we went back over for breakfast and to open Christmas presents and the birthday presents that couldn’t get to me last month. My heart melted seeing the expression on my niece’s face when she opened her presents. I especially liked it when she opened the stuffed pink unicorn.

Getting to spend my cancerversary weekend with my family (especially my niece) was a godsend. As much as I was looking forward to the cycle-thon, I’m glad things turned out the way they did.

Maybe next year.

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