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September 10, 2012

Settling Into A Routine

by Brendan

Been settling into a routine, now, after 3-plus weeks of retirement.  Have the meetings of my service fellowship on an almost-daily basis, do my morning training (almost 6 miles running this morning, set to go cycle 6-7 miles when I’m done posting here).  And I meet up with friends on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday mornings for breakfast or coffee.

Now I’m looking for a further service opportunity.  Thought to go back to St. Francis House, but the current cook told me (somewhat superciliously) that they don’t ever need help with cooking or serving, though she might need some help cleaning up after.  Maybe, maybe not– driving all the way over there to wash dishes and mop floors doesn’t seem all that rewarding.

Anyway, the training and (I hope) the racing marches on.  I’m signed up for a 15k on December 8th, to be held at the Gainesville\  Hawthorne Trail, a fun, scenic race site.  (There is a completely unnecessary hill coming into the finish line, but nothing to be done about that, other than a bit more hill training.)  There’s the annual Tom Walker Half-Marathon, also on the GHT, in November, but a half-a-thon may be a bit much for me.

Nocatee Duathlon, November 2011

And I continue to look for triathlons or duathlons in the area to which I might commit.     Triathlons are my favorite, but a duathlon like this one to the left in Nocatee is also tempting — Nocatee is a little planned community not too far from Jacksonville, and their initial duathlon was last year:  run 2 miles, cycle 11 miles, run 2 miles.  A triathlon without the swim (too bad, cause the swim is my best event — but that makes little difference, since the swim in tri’s is so small a percentage of the race that a competitor could win the swim and still end of in the back of the pack after the bike and run).

There will probably be a tri or a multi-sport race of some kind this Fall, but after that triathlon season doesn’t really start up until May — when the Beaches Fine Arts Series triathlons have races in May, June, and July.  I’ve done these before: quarter-mile ocean swim at Ponte Vedra Beach, 11 mile cycle on Atlantic Ave., then a 5k running race.  Pretty course, not too expensive, not too far away from Gainesville.

Back on the subject of volunteer opportunities, maybe I could sign up to drive people to medical appointments.  I’m uniquely qualified for that, especially if we’re talking driving people to the Davis Cancer Center for radiation treatment appointments — I did 7 weeks of radiotherapy there in Fall 2002, after having my brain tumor surgically removed August 9, 2002.  My tumor was an atypical meningioma, about plum sized; this is the kinda tumor you want to have if you must have a tumor, since it’s “well-encapsulated,” meaning it tends to slide right out, whole, without leaving dangerous tendrils behind like a glial tumor, say.  Sen. Ted Kennedy had a glial tumor, and when it was discovered, there was just no hope.

After the radiotherapy, I’ve had 9 MRI’s (3 months, 6 months, then one a year until a few years back, when we went to a 2-year interval).  Most recent one was week before last.  However, unlike the other 8 times I’ve had MRI’s and then a consult with my radiation oncologist, Dr. Robert Amdur, this time he didn’t walk into the room and say, “Your films are clear.”  This time he said there was a white spot on my brain, not in the region of the tumor, and he and the technicians want me to schedule another MRI in 3 months.  So it’s a wait-and-see situation.

Back to the retirement routine story.  Hope to go kayaking somewhere with Rick and Richard on Friday; we’ll see how that turns out.

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