I can’t believe I sit here typing this and it’s been a month and a half since my last update. On the positive side, my health is seeming to be great. I’ll have another scan here soon to get a better idea for sure, but I’ve otherwise been feeling great and things have been back to basically normal. My treatments have been backed down to Opdivo (immuno) only and pushed to a double dose so that I only have to go back in every 4 weeks. To give you an idea of how much less impactful immuno is on my body, this last one I was able to get treatment on a Wednesday, rest the remainder of the day, then drive to Utah on Thursday, and then coach a 3 1/2 day meet. What a great feeling to be back to some sort of normal life physically! And a little bonus to be named the Sectionals coach of the meet due to my swimmers doing a great job over the past year and looking great in the water.
Mentally though has been a bit of a different story. I’ve found that while physically I’m not as impacted by immuno, the mental and emotional parts are something I need to watch and this time was no different. Call it Covid fatigue; call it not feeling appreciated/valued for the tremendous amount of work that has gone into this past year; maybe the let down of coming off the high of getting to coach at a meet again, only for it to be challenged upon arriving home and knowing that it was going to be a new fire drill, take more time, and more effort behind the scenes; or maybe it’s just everything to deal with from Covid to cancer and I’m just tired.
I can’t lie, I’ve struggled a bit recently. Putting up walls to focus only on what needs to be done (family, health, work), but then feeling like a failure when I can’t get everything done. My advocacy work failed, as I couldn’t find a way to attend our lung cancer summit, and I am otherwise just not feeling like my normal self. Easiest to say I’m “tired”, but it’s not about the physical. I’m tired of so many different things, and not sure how to get around it yet.
So I return to my word of the year, strength, and I remind myself that strength isn’t about how strong you feel or never being knocked down but rather about what you can do when you are challenged and how you get back up every time. So I have apparently wished this upon myself by picking the work strength as what I want to work on this year, but I will get through it.
And I’ll get through it with the help of so many people. Thank you to our friends Joe and Amy for making the drive to hang with us in the backyard, it’s really been great and helped so much. Thank you also to Speedo and Conejo Swimworks who have teamed together to do a t-shirt fundraiser for TEAMjeff, of a cool shirt designed by one of my swimmers. (http://www.conejoswimworks.com/teamjeff/)
And of course, thank you to TEAMjeff for helping me get through this journey! With hope, strength, and TEAM we move forward!