Monday, May 19, 2014

If you want to make God laugh, make a plan.

Good news: I went out and did that 3 mile run last week that I was bitching about. Actually, I did 3.5 miles, because reasons.

Actually, i stayed on track pretty great the whole week.

Then I got a chunk of my shoulder removed on Friday and now I can't run or dance for 3 weeks. 

I got diagnosed with melanoma last week and needed to get what they call an excision surgery, which basically means they had to cut a 1cm space out from the infected area.  The infected area was already a few centimeters big, so they took a lot. And they went 3cm deep - down to my muscle. Yay for 3 layers of stitches!

Ok, enough gross medical stuff, I can't handle too much of it. There's a reason my whole family is doctors and nurses and I'm an artist.

Anyway, first thing I asked my doc about was my recovery - if I could run and dance, since I did that pretty often.  She said she didn't want me risking ripping out my stitches, so I should take a break for about 3 weeks.



I pressed her a bit, asked her if this was just precautionary or something I really should stick to. She told me she didn't want me to use my shoulder as often as possible. She quickly said that 3 weeks would fly by and I could do whatever I did before without any complications.

That's when I started crying in the exam room. It was so embarrassing.

I understand I could have been told a lot worse things, and my 'cancer' is probably gonna turn out to be nothing, but of course I'm not going to know for another week or so. So really, I'm bitching about the superficial stuff and in a month it probably won't matter. I mean, any other person who has had cancer would LOVE to fix their cancer by a minor surgery and no working out for 3 weeks. I understand this.

But this is really, really bad news for me. First of all, I finally just got into a routine, and started enjoying working out again, I was getting healthy, being active and getting shit done. Not just exercise-wise, but in all other areas of my life. I was eating better, working on projects, painting; basically just doing great, and I know a great deal of that was because I was getting the endorphins from running, staying on schedule, and pushing through days when my motivation was low and my mood was terrible.

Secondly, I've been managing my depression and anxiety with running and dancing. When I didn't run for 2 days, I could sense my mood getting darker and I made sure to run as soon as I could. There's many doctors who say that exercise is just as important as medication when managing depression.  So, running is my medication, and not being on my medication for 3 weeks scares the crap out of me. Some of my close friends understood how big of a deal it is for me. But because it's such a 'stupid cancer' I don't even feel like I have the right to get pissed about it.

I chose to tell my parents on Saturday, and I should have known better. Loving they are, understanding and empathetic they are not. My dad was more concerned with getting my medical records and looking them over to 'make sure I was getting the best care.'  ('re a pediatrician in another state. What the FUCK do you think you can possibly do?) Oh, and also he wanted them for educational purposes. I told him I'd get him the pathology reports, but I might change my mind. Most of the conversation he and I had were about the statistics and numbers and him asking me for all my medical reports and 'oh, well I don't want to pressure you, and you can say you don't want me to have them, but I think it would be for the best.'  Yeah, no pressure at all Dad. Then after all this he's like 'ok, well Love ya!' and promptly gets off the phone. I understand he doesn't like talking about cancer, he's had it twice, and he's not a 'feelings' guy, but holy shit Dad! I didn't tell you this so I could be your little lab rat. Boundaries maybe? Don't act like you're doing all this because you care. You care about what you're interested in, not what I need.

Mom wasn't much better. Like I said, very loving and they have the best intentions, but not terribly empathetic.  My mom's entire reaction is to listen to me (although I was grateful for that - especially when I told her why i had been running and why it was so important to me); and then sigh and say, 'well, i wish there was something I could do,' 'I'm so glad they took care of it early,' 'Well, you'll still have fun at the wedding even though you can't dance.'  But I guess my mom can't deal with me being all sad and depressed for more than 2 minutes, because then she whipped out, 'Well, try not to let this whole thing make you depressed.'

...let? ...I've been diagnosed with depression for over 10 years and you know full well about it, even if you try to forget. You think if I just sit in my room and think positive thoughts I'll be just fine, then after 3 weeks I can bounce back and go back to the way things were? As if I don't already fight EVERY DAMN DAY because my brain has a chemical imbalance that I didn't ask for and have been trying like hell to fix, or at least just manage?

I might have yelled at her for that comment. I told her that statement was about as useful as me telling her to 'try to make her heart beat slower' to manage her blood pressure better. Not sure if she got it, but she got real quiet, and I think we said goodbye soon after that.

Anyway, so the next few weeks I won't be posting anything much at all; let's hope these 3 weeks aren't so bad. According to everyone else, it's fine and not a big deal at all.  So, let's believe them for awhile, why don't we?

But honestly? I'm just waiting to punch someone in the face.

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