Took a week off from blogging. Sorry to do it without warning. I needed some time to reflect and look back at the things that are happening.
Had chemo yesterday. My buddy Dylan from Montana was there with me.
Dylan was my roommate in college, and his parents lived in Banner Elk, NC, a small town in the mountains, 30 minutes north of Boone. It is a lovely place and his parents lived right on top of Hickory Nut Gap Road. Their house had a gorgeous view of the mountains, a hot tub on the deck, and wild blueberries growing in the side of the yard. Basically it was paradise to us in our early 20s. To make it even better his parents had an office in town that was also a house, so they would go sleep there while we were in town. It was an amazing set up and we were very fortunate. We spent winter breaks there, as well as fall breaks and and spring breaks. Basically whenever there was a break we would drive five hours to the mountains.
So with Dylan in town, this past Wednesday took a drive up to Banner Elk for old times sake. Saw the old house. Drove to some of our favorite spots.
I don’t know if we would have ever imagined back in those days that he would live in Montana and I would be about to get my tenth infusion of chemotherapy. It’s crazy how life turns out.
It was such a great day. The weather was perfect and I felt amazing. Knowing I had treatment the next day made me appreciate every little moment.
One of our trips there, back in 2007, we participated in the High Country Half triathlon. It was a a 5K Run, 20 K Bike, 1 K swim. For some reason the swim was at the end.
I had done some training to prepare for this event. Been running a lot, took a few turns on the stationary bike. Dylan had trained by chain smoking and drinking Captain Morgan’s. I had gone to sleep at a normal hour the night before, Dylan was up until at least 5.
The race started with the run and I had a great time. I was flying. I hopped on my bike at least 10 minutes before Dylan. That’s when things started going off the rails. Since I ran really fast once I got on the bike it didn’t take long for my legs to feel tired and wobbly. Not to mention that we were riding over a mountain. I struggled to the top of the hill, got to the top thinking I was home free, but that was no picnic either. You’re flying down these windy roads. Any little rock in the way or missing a turn and you could be eating shit and breaking limbs. My friend did not share that fear of falling and half way down the mountain he passed me flying. His 300 lb. physique allowed him to book it down the hill while my 175 frame was taking every conceivable precaution.
He dusted me. He was getting out of the water as I was getting into it. I had spent all my energy at the beginning of the race and was exhausted by the end.
That triathlon reminds me of my chemo.
The whole thing has become a lot less interesting as time has gone along. It has become less interesting and more difficult. More of a painful chore. The days have gotten longer, the infusion center has gotten more crowded.
Since I live in Greenville now it adds about five hours to the day, 12 hours if you are including traffic. Which due to the time of treatment I get stuck in coming and going. It feels like the last month of school, when my trapper keeper is ripped apart and my desk is full of papers.
But I’ve only got two more. I can take whatever they throw at me. And even though I doggie paddled across the line to finish up the Triathlon, I finished it. And after I got stoned and slept and ate, I felt amazing. No matter how I finished I was so glad I did it.