Sunday, April 2, 2017

100 miles

There comes a time to push. And there comes a time to let the soul rest.  I’ve been in rest mode since the beginning of the year. Currently? I’m pushing. And I know exactly what is driving me to do so.
            My April goal? The month of my 4 year anniversary of my running birth, I will run 100 miles in one month. Not a huge deal… Some people run ultra marathons and they run 100 miles at one time. To me, that falls under the category of insanity. Don’t get me wrong; I have my moments where I dole out slices of crazy. (At least my insight is in tact, right? ;) ) But I’m not to any sort of insane multi digit mile runs… and I can, with complete confidence, say that I never will be.
2016 plagued me with terrible health. Ugh. Is that too dramatic? People are very sick all over the world, so I’ll rephrase. I was deeply challenged in 2016 by my body rebelling. I was diagnosed with THREE autoimmune disorders. Symptoms? Fatigue, severe bone pain that made it almost impossible to even walk up my stairs, weight gain, decreased strength, rash all over my neck, arms, and armpits. Unrelenting itchy rash for months. It led me to the ER. Ya think I was running much in 2016? Nah. My body couldn’t handle it. I, however, found an amazing endocrinologist who listened to me when I said, “I feel like crap!” despite the fact that my labs were normal, my diet was much better and I was applying all of the essential oils that I could. She changed my meds, which bridged the gap in my poor health and I immediately felt like a new woman. Seriously. It was within days that I felt great. So, 9 months after my med change I’ve decided it’s time for a challenge. I’m not ready to lace up with the intent of running 13.1 miles. That day will come again. This day is for running shorter distances faster and stronger than I ever have with 15 more miles packed into one month than I’ve ever done before.  I can do it. My soul needs me to do it.
            As much as I enjoy sorting out my thoughts, I don’t enjoy insight. It makes me uncomfortable. But, I must do it to proceed. Despite the feeling of wanting to zip my skin off and run away from it….. I try whole-heartedly not to think of myself and how I’m affected by situations. But the truth is I take a very practical approach to every situation with the initial goal of solving the problem. I’m a problem solver. The solution finder. I think it helps my brain to cope with whatever situation that presents. Child trips over shoe and falls and hurts wrist? First instinct, hug child and then say- “well I told you to pick your shoes up.” (Mental note, child needs more sympathy, less solving of the problems in acute moment of injury….) Bad news from my mom? Well, we need a second opinion. Let’s see what oils I have that can help the symptoms… While my stomach is lurching and my brain feels full of cotton- I have to verbalize this (is it verbalizing when you’re typing? Just as- can you say “I am currently reading –blah blah book title- when in fact you’re listening to the audio book? Such problems to solve! ;))
My mom has cancer and she has battled it off and on since April 15th 2010… I guess that “anniversary” is approaching, too…. Well after years of chemo, several surgeries, some tries at radiation- the Drs told her there is nothing else they can do. Her colon cancer spread to her lungs years ago and now it has metastasized to her adrenal gland. She is not a surgical candidate. She cannot have further radiation. And she has elected not to continue with chemo due to the side effects. But that decision coincided with the Dr’s determination that chemo was not working anyway, so “maybe it’s time to enjoy life. “ per the doc.
My mom and I do not have near the relationship that we used to. Because life. And emotions.  And words. I’m working to improve my attitude and level of engagement in her life. But it isn’t easy. Because life. And emotions. And words.
            People call and text and say “I’m so sorry” “what can I do?!” “do you need anything” cue the peeling of the skin and the running away…. NO! I don’t! Why would I need anything?! This is all going to be ok, so why would I need a thing?
            Cue the solving of the problems. “let’s go to cancer treatment centers of America” “let’s visit cancer care at Kettering hospital” “maybe consider going vegan and bathing in my oils on a daily basis?!” it’s falling on deaf ears. Mostly because I haven’t said half of it. But, also because I know my mom and she’s tired of this fight. That’s one of the reasons that cancer is such a tricky little bastard. We all want to interject our opinions, needs, and beliefs on those dealing with the disease. Where as those dealing with it might not want to hear our opinion because they’re the ones with chronic diarrhea, metal mouth, cold hands, numb feet, constant chemo-fog, such severe fatigue that they can sleep for 22 hrs out of the day, no appetite, nausea, dizziness, and hair loss. They are losing in an attempt to win. It’s been 6 years. That’s one hellofa battle. She’s been rescued from her POW status. She’s coming home. And, honestly, she looked better last week than she has in 18 months. I think, despite the news, she feels such a sense of relief.
            So, how do I solve the problem of my mom dying? Is she dying? The Dr did not provide a prognosis because she’s “outlived the expectations of the medical staff” They offered her hospice services. She declined. My mind reels and my stomach churns. I don’t know what to say. This is the beginning of the end. The beginning of the end…..
            I’m stubborn and I’m a solver of the problems….. I’m frustrated and confused. So, I’m running. I’m running my heart out and I’m mourning and I’m trying to heal my soul. Healing before it crumbles into a million pieces. I haven’t cried and I won’t because I don’t know what the future holds. Does anyone? We don’t know what tomorrow is or holds. So, I’ll run and I’ll call my mom in the afternoon to see how she’s doing. I’ll enter this phase of life with complete uncertainty and complete faith in the Lord because He loves my mom more than I do.  I’ll run and I’ll pray without ceasing. The Lord hears and answers prayers every single day. I know this and I believe this.
4 miles down. 96 to go.