Time flies when you’re getting your life back to some semblance of normal. It’s been six weeks (!!) since Chuck’s last chemo treatment and he has actual hair growing (versus chia fuzz) on his head and his beard is also returning. His energy is returning and his taste buds are starting to work. The hardest thing now is to keep him from trying to do too much. An physiologist from ExerciseAnthem (our health insurance company) called last week to follow up and see how he was doing with his post-chemo and was mildly Exerciseshocked horrified surprised to hear that Chuck was trying to run about five days a week. This guy told Chuck he should be resting, taking it easy, recovering from the beating the chemo had given his body. Of course, once he learned that we like to run marathons his comment was, “Well you probably won’t listen to anything I say…” That’s been mostly true, as our adventure this past weekend will show.
We registered a long time back for the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon, a race we have run before and really enjoyed. After Chuck’s diagnosis, we still planned on going to the race – whether he’d be able to run it was a big question. As the date got closer, and Chuck was not bouncing back as quickly as HE had hoped, it didn’t look very promising that he’d be able to complete the distance. We drove up to Santa Barbara last Friday (the day before the race) with his sister Dina and brother-in-law Kenny. I thought Chuck was feeling pretty discouraged about not being up to completing the race, as he was very quiet and generally subdued. To add insult to injury, his taste for wine had yet to return. On race day, we all headed to the start, with the plan being that Chuck would go half the distance then take a van or bus to the finish (halfway was a relay point, so we knew he could catch a ride there). We agreed I’d call when I finished and we’d find each other. Dina, Kenny and I all ran the race and finished around our expected times (Kenny was actually injured so shouldn’t have been running but did anyway). I called Chuck and found out why he had been so quiet the day before: he’d been plotting to run the whole race! And complete it he did in 3:29! I watched him cross that finish line with tears in my eyes, reflecting on all we’ve been through over the past several months. He ran those last couple of hundred yards as fast as he could and all I could think about was his unshakable spirit and indomitable optimism and raw gumption. It turns out he had been planning to try and finish the race the whole time – he wasn’t discouraged, he was anxious and more than a little excited but didn’t want me to worry so was keeping his plan to himself. Argh! As has been the case more than once over the course of our years together, I couldn’t decide whether to slug him or hug him!
Dina, Kenny and I and some of our running friends went wine tasting after the race and Chuck was our designated driver since, sure enough, he couldn’t taste any of the wines (and the ones he could taste all tasted bad). Pics here of the fun.
We’ve set our sights on a marathon in October in Healdsburg. And by then Chuck will get to do wine tasting, too!