Continuing the theme of cancer treatment as the Triathlon from Hell, this idea has been growing and developing during sleepless moments. (It is better thinking these kind of thoughts than the scary ones, so bear with my strange, overactive mind).
This wretched chemo event, which I have nearly completed, feels increasing like a Boxing Match to me as time goes on. Mine is an 8 round boxing match. I have never been a fan of boxing either, so my choice of this analogy is probably highly pertinent.
I feel as if I am wheeled into the Boxing Ring, ill equipped and untrained. And there in the corner – appears Rocky or some huge hulk, bouncing on his toes and sparring with an invisible pocket of air. The fact I am no match does not matter, he is going to splatter me because that is what he does.
Now at the start of the Boxing Match Rocky is fresh, but remember I have already completed the first Triathlon event – major surgery. So I am not exactly at the peak of fitness or prepared for the first bout. However, the bell sounds and off we go. All too quickly the round is over, and I am picked up off the floor and carted off to the corner to recover and prepare for the second round. Side effects sweep in, blood counts drop but before I know it, I am being wheeled back for the second round.
This time I am a bit weaker, though I know what is coming, and when I crawl away when the end of round bell goes, I try hard to get myself back on my feet and ready for the next bout.
Each time Rocky wipes the floor with me, and each time I am pulled up and plonked back in the ring for another round. Each time I struggle to get back on my feet but still I have to get back in the ring.
Then a really sneaky thing happens. At the half way stage, Rocky is retired! A new hulk, Rocky 2, appears with new tricks up his sleeve. He is fresh and has different tactics. He doesn’t go so much for the nausea side effects and overwhelming fatigue. No, he hammers my bones, tramps on my fingers and attacks parts which were previously protected.
After each round, I just want to crawl away – but at no time do I crave the knock out bell, strangely! I am as determined to get to the end of this bout as Rocky and Rocky 2 are. But it is clear that I am being progressively and seriously weakened as this bout progresses and I have to push myself to focus on that final bell to mark the end of Round 8 and the end of the Chemo Boxing Match and Triathlon Event 2.
So here I am, sitting in the corner between Rounds 7 and 8 and really not looking forward at all to the inevitable “ding, ding” of the next round. I am licking my wounds, and just trying to muster enough strength to get back in the ring. In contrast, Rocky 2 seems rather bored with it all.
The interesting thing about this analogy is that Rocky and Rocky 2 are not actually battering me so that they can win. They are battering the life and existence out of any remaining cancer cells. They are hammering me in order to make me better and for me to recover.
So in this surreal Boxing Match of the Triathlon from hellhell, the crucial thing is to keep getting back in the ring, to keep taking a hammering and at the end of the required rounds, to step aside and move on to the next event.
And one very important thing? I must be thankful to Rocky (1 and 2) for guiding me through this bout and for hammering me so effectively – it is such in important part in the path towards recovery!