My eyes open and I can see the large green figures on the alarm, 04:55. In just a few minutes, the room will be full of people trying to sell me things I don’t need or tell me news I don’t care about, courtesy of the radio. I climb out of my chair, ( since the operation and radiation, I feel most comfortable sleeping in a recliner ), and manage to spend the next forty five minutes doing nothing and it is time to go.
The club buzzes with people working hard, glistening moving from machine to machine or running endlessly in place as they absorb images from the endless TV’s mounted up and down the wall.
The trainer asks me about my week workout wise. I tell him the truth, I could barely move a single plate the rest of the week, but today I feel strong. We do some light stretching and already I am tired. Then basic pushups, he shows me two new machines, then we do chinups with a counterbalanced stack. I do 25, then rest, , I have the biceps of Popeye, then 10 more, and suddenly I have hit the wall. I am out of gas. I stop, and have to stand bent over supporting myself with my hands on my knees.
In my rugby days, that was the sign. The signal of weakness, poor fitness, or even pain when you knew you had him. His tackle would be a weak grab instead of a bone crushing hit. You could cruise up at 7/8th speed and he couldn’t match your burst when you turned it up. The opportunities to exploit him were countless.
And here I am sucking wind after 30 minutes and little resistance. The poor instructor probably thinks I am going to croak, probably planning the CPR now ( don’t worry I don’t want your breath of life unless you turn into a beautiful woman! )
I catch my breath, and I can’t tell who is happier, the trainer or me . We walk over and he shows me one more exercise which basically amounts to lying on a mat for a couple minutes. I quickly master the exercise, and we part until next week.
For me, no where to go but up.
No one really knows, especially your doctor. Miracles occur, sometimes like skilled surgery, but follow up treatment for this cancer is like Sherman marching through Georgia, scorched earth and hope we got it.
With papillary cancer, the treatment is radioactive ablation, short for try to kill the cancer cells, and hope the cure doesn’t cause other long term problems.
When you finish the treatment, you might be left with a metallic taste in your mouth. How long does it last? Well it should go away, eventually. Or your left saliva gland might not work. Will it come back, maybe. What about the soreness in my neck, up by my chin. Does that mean the cancer was up in the lymph glands there too? Not sure.
When should I come back in? Wait six weeks, get a blood test, come in for a visit then. I wait. Per my plan, this battle happens on the cellular level and I am just along for the ride, so there is not much I can do. I am eating healthily, assuming all treatments worked as expected and generally positive. After all the doctor knows, sort of.