Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spectator sport

It was fun watching Ben, his soon-to-be sister-in-law Kerry and two of Ben's high school friends – along with some 7,000 others – run the St. Patrick's Road Race yesterday.

It was also kind of strange to be a spectator at a race that I have run on and off for more than 30 years.  Forgive me if you already know this, but I was running the race 10 years ago when my slow time led me to the doctor's office and my leukemia diagnosis. The race basically saved my life, because I caught the fast-moving blood cancer before it caught me.

Because I am always running, not watching, at first I was unsure of where to stand when Meghan and I were looking for a place to watch the start and the finish. Once we got our bearings, I got caught up in the excitement. It's hard not to. It was like homecoming weekend in the Holyoke area, with everyone milling around, drinking beer and saying hello to people they don't normally see. I actually got nervous before the race. That might have been a learned behavior, or it might have been that I was picking up on Ben and Kerri's nervous energy, or both.

I enjoyed having a house-full like the old days, what with Ben, Meg and Kerri staying here and friends coming to the door.

After the race, I volunteered to go home for a while and drive back later to pick up the crew at a bar. Inspired, I ran two miles, which is farther than I've gone. I really want my legs to cooperate so I can get back into it. The slightly higher dose of prednisone, which weakens your muscles, is making it more difficult. I e-mailed Melissa to see if I could go back down to 5 mgs. from 7.5, but she said to wait until my next appointment, which isn't until April 8. I hope the skin on the back of my hands doesn't fall off before then. (OK, this is a slight exaggeration, but the higher dose has led to more thingies popping up.)

Meanwhile, my tennis has improved since my summer of falling down and my fall of throwing up. I'm moving better on the court and hitting the ball better, but I need to win more points. I played my first match back today and lost, although we did have some good points. There are two ways of looking at this: (1) Glass half-full: I have made it back to team play and should be proud of this and will now be able to build from here, or, (2) Glass half-empty: I stink! As I am writing this, I see that (1) is the better option.

Tuesday I am going to Boston to see the GI specialist. I'll be interested to hear what he says.

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