Friday, July 30, 2010

When It's Hot

Some people love the summer. Not me.

When it's scorching hot - 90s and heat indices around 105 - it's hard to enjoy yourself. During normal summers, I run early in the morning, and even then, running isn't as enjoyable as in the fall or winter.

This, of course, hasn't been a normal summer, like 2007 when Dori was diagnosed with AML and we had a record heat wave. I run when I can, and sometimes it's in the heat of the day. This week, I've run twice - 4.5 miles in the late afternoon with Will, who followed me on his new mountain bike and 4 miles at midday in Percy Warner Park. The frozen water I carried melted completely.

So how and why do I do this? Because the alternative is worse. It relieves stress and keeps me going. It helps me be a better caregiver, father and part-time pseudo-Mom. It also enables me to relate to Dori, in a strange way. She's been pushing through the dark fog and pain from chemo, which seems never-ending. That's how I look at this heat wave - seemingly never-ending. But it will end, despite the fact the 10-day forecast wants me to think otherwise.

Sometime in early September, the morning temperature will be 65 instead of 75. A spell later, a dry cold front with soothing winds will rush through the Tennessee Valley, stirring the leaves and signaling change. Likewise, soon Dori's chemo fog will lift, her blood counts will rise and her strength will rebound.

This morning, her doctor said she has a small amount of neutrophils, a sign her body is preparing to defend itself on its own. A nagging rash around the eye is on the mend. Her itching is almost gone and rash is down. Yesterday, she rode the bike for 20 minutes and walked a quarter mile, her first exercise in a week.

I continue to remind Dori it's the trend, not the moment, that matters, and we're both going to enjoy better times. Like Lance's quote, if you don't have hope then what other choice is there?

No comments: