May the 4th be with you!

Star Wars Day is fast approaching! Yes, that’s a thing.  In the movies, the Jedi say “May the Force be with You” to wish someone well.  So, May the 4th (get it), is Star Wars Day!  Being the Star Wars geeks that we are, we always acknowledge it, but it doesn’t go much further than that.  This year, however, it so happens that May 4th is the day I’m having my partial mastectomy.  Seems like all this should be happening in a galaxy far, far away, but unfortunately it’s happening right here in my little world.

When I started this blog, I really more intending it to be full of my goofy triathlon adventures.  I had searched the web when I started training and found a handful of blogs of people who were “regular” folks.  They had full time jobs, spouses and kids, and were training too.  Their stories were helpful and encouraging.  I wanted to provide the same thing for someone else out there, and I also wanted my kiddo to be able to go back and read about his mom’s struggles and triumphs.  I told myself that no matter what, I’d be honest.  Yes, I try to put a fun spin on some of my follies, but when I am scared of the swim, I am scared of the swim.  If it’s an embarrassing chafing story, so be it.  I never really gave it much thought until this whole situation came about.  This time, it’s hard to be honest.  It’s hard to be vulnerable to family and friends.  But, it’s part of my adventures, so here goes.

The last few weeks have royally sucked!  When we got back from NY (which was the best trip!), I knew I had about 30 days until surgery.  I told myself I was going to make the most of it.  I talked myself up so much, I was ready to crush each and every day.  I told myself I was back to clean eating, pumping iron and was going to swim even more than my coach prescribed in my training plan.  I was going to go into surgery feeling amazing.  A couple of weeks laid up, and I would be back at it.  No problem!  I was going to be one of those people who took something that sucked, and made the most of it.  I was going to be a badass!!!

It was a nice thought.  Sometimes what you want to be, and what you are, are two very different things.  We got back from the trip and I felt completely drained.  I chalked it up to travel exhaustion.  I gave myself the benefit of the doubt and slugged through my workout.  Dang.  I really wanted to crush that first one.  Oh well, there is always tomorrow.  At least, that is what I told myself.  The next day came, and I felt blah again.  Then the next, and so on for several days.  What is wrong with me?!  I could not figure it out.  I slept in some, thinking I needed rest.  I told myself it was ok to skip the workouts here and there.  Then, I would regret not doing them and end up slugging through them after work.  I got ready to go to the pool and I felt like I did years ago, when my mom had to pry me out of the bed to swim at summer camp.  I wanted to kick and scream and cry….I don’t want to go!  Sure, I have had days where I didn’t want to swim, but this was borderline ridiculous.  I decided not to go, but it didn’t really make me feel any better.

When the alarm went off, I was starting almost every day with this inner dialogue:  I’m going to get up and crush it today!  UGH What’s the point?  I don’t know,….there isn’t one.  I’m going to be laid up soon anyway.  Ok, I am sleeping in then…. and I’d sleep in.  I also wasn’t sure why it was affecting me so badly.  I was mad at myself.  I’d gained weight.  I’d already begun to lose fitness.  The inner dialogue would continue: Stop being a baby!  You should be grateful.  Stop whining.  This isn’t that big of a deal!  I know there are people out there far worse, why was I letting this affect me?  Then, half the time I’d end up doing the workout in the evening which made me feel a little better.  I felt like a crazy person.

The more I thought about it, the more I started to get to the bottom of things.  I was frustrated.  Part of me still has a hard time accepting that I even need this procedure.  I mean, they say I don’t have cancer, so why do I need to cut a big chunk out of my body?  I know it sounds crazy but it would have almost been easier to accept if I did.  At least a drastic move makes sense at that point, right?  I am conflicted.   One part of me wants to be this total badass.  I want to train hard, eat right and make every day before surgery the best it can be!  On the other hand, all I kept thinking was “why bother?”  Part of my problem was that I was trying too hard to be gracious about it.  I kept beating myself up for being upset because so many people have it so much worse than I do.  Truth be told, I was upset!  It sucks!  It took me a few weeks and several conversations with unbiased people to realize that I can feel both things.  Acknowledging that for me, this is really sucky, doesn’t take away from the fact that I am still grateful it isn’t worse.  As hard as that is, I have to try to accept that it’s ok to feel that way.

It didn’t totally fix things.  I had a couple great days and I’ve had a couple sucky days.  We went to Disney and I got to run with my kiddo in his first 10k!  The next day, I ran the Star Wars half marathon with my hubby.  Although it was painful due to a foot injury and big blister, I was still happy I did it.  I had a solid training plan going into a trail run I had planned for Sunday.  I planned to try my best to train hard over the last week, but got a bad cold.  I had to cancel dinner with a friend in an effort to try to rest and recover.  They won’t operate if I am sick, and the last thing I want to do is reschedule.  I’m just under a week away, doing my best to get over this cold.  I am trying to enjoy the good days, and find some good in the bad days.  As much as I don’t want it to affect me this way, it does, and all I can do is accept that.  I am starting to realize that every badass had to struggle at some point.  If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be badass, would they?  So, maybe after all this is over, I can try to come out the other side a little more badass than when I started.  Only time will tell.  I’ll post as soon as I can after the procedure and share what went down.  Until then, May the force (or 4th) be with you!

“There is good in everything, if only we look for it.” – Laura Ingles Wilder