I AM Superman

It has been six weeks since I finished chemo.

In an amazing turn of events from my last day of chemo (when I posted the Five For Fighting lyrics for “I’m Not Superman”), it seems that now I do feel like Superman.

I feel strong.

I decided yesterday that I am still tired. I still have chemo fatigue and confirmed that, yes, it is possible (and likely for many months to come). However, I am working out and getting very strong. I am no longer weak and tired. I am strong and tired. That beats weak and tired any day.

I’m up to 46 minutes of cardio and alternate that with “training,” which consists of short bursts of intense cardio mixed with weightlifting. You all probably know what training is. I thought it consisted of sitting at a computer for six hours with an instructor showing me software programs. It was a little shocking to discover that it meant doing leg squats and stomach crunches.

And did you know that treadmills have an incline setting?

Trainer: “You are going to walk for two minutes at a 5.0 incline.”

Me: “WHADDYA MEAN FIVE? THIS THING GOES TO FIVE???”

Trainer: “Actually, it goes much higher than that. We start out at 5.0 for, um, ‘beginners.'”

My goal is to be able to walk five miles a day by Oct. 12, when I go to Rome! I’m going to make that goal. I was concerned about this four weeks ago. I have no doubts about it now!

I’m in a much better place mentally. I’m still trying to cope with the thought of having a mastectomy. But if I pretend it’s not happening, I feel completely normal! Better than normal! I feel great! Denial is a coping tool, right?

Sure, I’ll probably have a nervous breakdown on the gurney as they wheel me into surgery. I’ll start throwing punches (because I will be really strong by then) and knock over medical equipment as I race for the door screaming, “Free the boob!” I have no idea where I will go, but I will run and run, with the tiny little strings on my robe coming undone and my behind hanging out for the world to see. They don’t let you wear underwear into surgery because they think it will keep you from running away. But they don’t know me and they don’t know that if it’s between a mastectomy or a bare ass, I’m choosing the bare ass. The nurses will be screaming, “Mrs. Maynard. You can run, but you still need a mastectomy!” And I’ll scream back, “This mammary is not going without a fight!”

Don’t worry. I’m in therapy.

The psychologist told me yesterday that I need to accept that the rest of 2006 is just going to suck for me. “Why?” I said. “Are you cancelling Christmas?”

Just kidding about that last part. I was way too busy crying to be making jokes.

Author: rosie

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3 Comments

  1. “Free the boob!” indeed! I think that would make an awesome bumper sticker. 🙂

    You are indeed amazing. And funny as hell. I am just SO glad to know you!

    Rock on!
    Margie

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  2. Okay, I’m not a psychologist. I don’t even play one on television, but I don’t think the rest of 2006 necessarily is going to suck for you. You’re going to ROME for Pete’s sake! That will rate a little higher than “sucks”, I would think. You’re done with chemo! You’re getting stronger! Your hair is growing back! And thru this whole ordeal, you have maintained your sense of humor and have touched COUNTLESS people with this blog–strangers that you probably now consider close friends. So will 2006 be a banner year? No, probably not. I’m sure that if you had it to do over again, you’d take a pass. But I think there have been good things happening and that will continue for you for what’s left of 2006.

    And that’s all I have to say about that.

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  3. Rosie,

    You’re leaving for The City of Fountains on my birthday! I am so excited for you and Troy. What a wonderful experience it will be. Stay strong, sister!

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