Sunday, October 30, 2011

Things that knock the wind out of you

(Fall leaves during a post-race hike that I took yesterday)

My last post was so positive and self-reflective and optimistic. Funny how things work. The next day I got a call from my dad saying that my mom had been admitted to the hospital for severe abdominal pain. They did a CT scan and a colonoscopy and discovered that she has a tumor in her descending colon. She also had an associated infection. She's going to have surgery on Monday (a resection, which is where they cut out the tumor and surrounding colon tissue and splice the healthy tissue back together), at which point they'll send the tumor to pathology for further investigation.

It's frustrating to not know exactly what is going on - what the official diagnosis is, what post-surgery treatment will entail, what the prognosis is, etc. It's also frustrating to be so far away and not be able to talk to the doctors myself. I have a ton of questions.

I talked to my mom yesterday and she was in pretty good spirits - especially considering that she is on an all-liquid diet right now. That would drive me absolutely crazy (and make me hangry), but she's handling it fairly well. She has a roommate, which is good because she's very sociable. Better to have her sitting there gabbing with a new friend than being in there all alone.

I feel almost like I did the time that I climbed a tree in my friend's backyard, fell out, and slammed stomach-down onto the pavement below. I'm... overwhelmed. Discombobulated. Scared. Worried. Emotionally, I've been doing well over the past month, but now I'm starting to feel the pull of that familiar black hole of depression and anxiety. That scares me, too. I find myself feeling completely overwhelmed by school, and I have this urge to just not go, to just stay in bed.

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In better news, I ran another 5K yesterday morning. It was foggy and freezing cold - literally. I could not feel my toes for the first two miles. I also discovered that the course consists entirely of hills; there was only one brief flat stretch. I thought I was running pretty slowly. But somehow I managed to cut a whole minute off my previous time. I think I came in somewhere around 28:10. Of course, now I'm thinking that wow, I'm so close to being in the 27-minute range... How hard would it be to cut another few seconds off, especially if it's a flat course?

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