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Today is the Day to Live

I woke up a 6 AM on April 4th. I called into work sick. I felt like throwing up. In fact I had for a couple of days. I decided to call my doctor and left a message with his answering service. I was certain there was something he could do to make me comfortable. His office finally called back at 9 AM.

You can come in at 3:30 or meet him in the ER where he is on duty.

I felt so baldy I decided to go to the ER. In fact I felt bad enough to call 911, but first I would let my now ex-wife what my plans were. This week is the 6th anniversary of the day I suffered congestive heart failure. It's a big deal. You know it took a year to complete Couch to 5K.

Some of you know that I have cancer and I am working through the treatment options. Cancer sucks.

If I were to make a list of the crap that has gone down in the last few years I would probably shoot myself before I finished writing it. But I am focusing on my progress not my history. I have lost almost 90 pounds and went from a wheezing-fat-old-guy to a slimmer, fitter runner who can knock out a 6 mile run in less than an hour.

How does one live with cancer? You live life on purpose.

You plan to do things you were putting off, and put off things you were planning. You say I love you more and get a second goodbye kiss. You look up friends you haven't seen in a while. You shut out the people that minimize your feelings by saying, "It's early, at least you won't die.", "My dad had that and he was fine." or "My uncle had that an he died." When surgery has the potential to reduce your quality of life instead of make it better, it's not an easy option to choose.

As surgery number - WTFE - is coming in a few weeks, I am not thrilled. Not even close. It's not like my knee surgery or heart surgery which made my life better. It could be life-changing.

It's not the same.

As a runner I have overcome a lot. Most of it was mental. I just didn't think I could do anything. I even had medication and doctors opinions to bolster my excuses. I found a hundred reasons to quit, and only one to help me succeed: a better life. How I feel at the end of a run is the only reward I have. It's not the bling, the cheering, the personal accomplishments, no it's how I feel.

I remember back when a 5K was about as daunting a run as I ever thought I could face. I ran it. a few  weeks I am running the Boston 5K as part of the marathon weekend.
 
I really can't wait!

For today, I am watching the calories, flossing my teeth, engaging my family, working, praying and living in the moment. Tomorrow may never come, and I don't know if I've "got this". I don't know if I will win against the Big-C or not. I just know that I am looking forward to hugging my kid, catching a little sunshine, making a co-worker smile, and letting the things of God swirl around in my spirit.

In the meantime, I have signed up for a a couple of 5Ks, a 10K a 10-miler and the Berlin Marathon in September. I plan on being there.
 
Thanks for the votes and comments.  And thanks for your support.

132 votes + -

23 comments:

dsjohndrow wrote 63 months ago:
Thank you.
kar328 wrote 63 months ago:
I always love your blog posts. Today is my 53rd birthday and the biggest lesson I'm learning today is to stop complaining about getting older. A lot of people don't get that chance. There's a member at the wellness center I go to, who was killed on his bike a few months ago. He was only in his 30s. They've organized a bike ride to continue his route (he was on his way home) and I bought one of the tshirts, which came yesterday. I've been wearing it today to remind myself of this lesson. And my complaining (on purpose for fun) didn't get my trainer to go easy on me today :-)
Birdieeez wrote 63 months ago:
Yes, you will be there. And you will be amazing.
Rivers2k wrote 63 months ago:
I don't know you but I am praying for you. Seems like you have a great attitude toward everything. Thank you for the reminders. My Step-mother kept a "thankful journal" when she was battling cancer. She wrote pages and pages of things she was grateful for. Great reminder on how to live life.
Rincewind_1965 wrote 63 months ago:
Live for the moment.
Don't put off things that are important to you for a future that may never come.
Make your life a life that YOU consider to be worth living.

From what I read about you you are doing it all correct, the rest can be considered as distractions.

Live!
After all we are only immortal for a limited time.
Laura80111 wrote 63 months ago:
Your words continue to inspire me to see beyond myself. Thank you for sharing your ups and downs with us and yes prayers will be sent for you. As they say over the pond "Carry On" and we are there with you.
Buttons61 wrote 63 months ago:
Ah... "the things of God swirl around in my spirit." That is an awesome way to put that, and I thank you for it. Also, I thank you for your journey, and the reminders how important it is to live life well. Keep up being thankful, as we are thankful for your inspiration!
dcc56 wrote 63 months ago:
BIG time respect here. Thanks for sharing this.
lessismoreohio wrote 63 months ago:
Respect to you! Birdieeez said it best; you will be there and you will be amazing.
MyLovesMyLife wrote 62 months ago:
Awesome! Prayed for you! You have a great spirit and very encouraging.
PennWalker wrote 62 months ago:
Best wishes to you with the upcoming surgery. As difficult as it must be to deal with cancer and other serious illness, you've chosen to embrace life in its fullness and live around illness. I could learn a lot from your positive attitude. A thumbs up to you.
bertadee812 wrote 62 months ago:
Having a positive outlook goes a long way with cancer treatment. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer and given a few months to live; she lived for more than 18 months after the initial diagnosis and was fighting the whole way. She never lost her positive outlook and had a smile for everyone she met. She worked until about 4 months prior to her passing. Amazing woman - and you are an amazing person too!
freedomgirl135 wrote 62 months ago:
I don't know ya, but I'm awfully proud of you. Nothing greater than a sound mind and a grateful heart. God bless. Praying for you and looking forward to your next post. You've lifted my spirit today.
bellesouth18 wrote 62 months ago:
Determination and a spirit like yours can conquer mountains. I truly hope they can overcome cancer as well. Good luck in all of those upcoming races! And collect as many xoxoxo as you can.
rfh533 wrote 62 months ago:
Thank you for your post. I found it very inspirational and taught me a lesson I needed to hear. Best wishes for the surgery and I can't wait to hear how those races went.
HappyAnna2014 wrote 62 months ago:
Cancer does suck. Last year, both my dear friend's mother and my ex-husband (my son's father, who, despite being my ex, is a good person, a GREAT father, and someone I like a lot) were diagnosed with terminal cancer. Fortunately, my ex is doing really well, and I think this time next year his cancer will be in remission. I hope so anyway. I'll keep praying for him, and you. You've taught me a lot about how cancer victims feel, and what not to say to them. Thank you for that.
ggeise14 wrote 62 months ago:
Prayers and peace to you! And of course -- hope.
sapphire318 wrote 62 months ago:
I needed to read this!!! Wonderful outlook on life, bless you!
MarkaStone wrote 62 months ago:
You probably see it written on here loads but you are an inspiration and I really hope that you conquer that vile disease the same way you've conquered the c25k.
Lorriehashope wrote 62 months ago:
Thank you for sharing your hard-earned wisdom...I lost my mom to cancer and it is a devastating disease. Love and light to you and again, much gratitude for the share.

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