This week has been a bit of a roller coaster. Strange feeling for me. Very productive physically though 🙂 So here goes a weeks of ups and downs.
Monday I was feeling a little nervous? Anxious? I dunno…just not right. I was surfing around for information and managed to do a few productive things:
- Register with the cancer council people. The girls at the cancer council were all very helpful, I think largely because I have the cone biopsy so soon. They have recommended me to a counsellor, there aren’t any specific support groups in Perth for cervical cancer. She’s not the local / closest one, but is more available at the moment. Her name is Frankie Durack, and Nedlands isn’t far away its a 30 minute bus from work. She called me back and we’ve got an appointment for Tuesday afternoon.
- The cancer council girls also said they have a whole lot of support things they do. Meditation workshops, massage, reiki, sessions for makeovers, etc. I clearly don’t want / need the latter – I’m not having chemo – and I have a remedial masseuse but the reiki sounded interesting. So that is booked for Wednesday afternoon. Meditation is mid-term, so I’ve missed the boat on that, and I’ve been trying the HeadSpace thing for the last few months (before all this started) anyways.
- I found the exercises for hysterectomy. Basically strengthen the pelvic floor, the abs, and the butt (to offset the pelvic floor work). So I’m making it a habit of doing the pelvic floor exercises while I’m on the bus. The abs are pretty darned strong already, but I’m trying to do their specific exercises in the evenings. Because they’re quite easy I do a few other, more difficult but similar area type things too / instead. And the butt…really, I can squat 100kg – sure its only 70kg atm – but do I need to? Well I’m continuing my little morning and night routine from T-nation that I’ve been doing for months while I brush my teeth, thats all butt (note the breathing stuff I do in headspace instead).
- For the weird nervous feeling, MoodGYM. I’ve only done the first of the five modules. Its slightly interesting. It seems targeted towards people who have had depression/anxiety for a long time, so many of the questions, responses, and exercises aren’t quite so relevant. But I’m sure as I keep going through it it will help. At least it makes me think about stuff, not just lock it in a box in the attic…which I’m lead to believe is bad, Frankie will confirm or deny.
- The cancer council girls also sent me towards this website: Gynae Cancer Support. When I feel like finding out more and reading through others’ experiences I’ll hit that up. There is stuff in there for family and friends too.
Phew – so that was all very productive for my brain but not for work.
Last weekend I realised there were a couple of questions I should have asked Doctor Tan. I shot him and email on Sunday night. He replied on Tuesday morning.
- Two years ago I had CIN1 per pap, 1 year ago I had CIN1 per pap and confirmed CIN1 per colposcopy, now it has developed to cancer. Is this a normal rate of progression for cervical cancer?
- No it is not normal, but the HPV virus behaves differently in different people. Your cancer cannot be categorised as aggressive…it is a very early one. Good news.
- I’ve been tired for the last few years, understandable while FIFO but I’ve been on 40 hour weeks Perth based for the last few months, and I still feel more tired than I’d expect. Could this be related?
- Maybe, but lets deal with the more pressing issue first….the cancer.
This was all very….not helpful. The nurse tried to call on Wednesday evening to discuss the responses. I was busy being social and missed the call. She called back this morning and basically parroted the doctors responses. Helpful. I also asked if its moved this fast to now is it likely to keep moving fast? Of course she couldn’t answer that…maybe an unfair question. I did confirm that the cone biopsy recovery is the same as the LLETZ. So I guess lets have 3 weeks of no exercise and add a kilo a week again. Yay.
Wednesday I had drinks with the NBWT lads. That was a good night. Andy was on break, he’s the only one FIFO still, and Brett, Graham, Noel, Ieuan, and Dario came along. It was good fun. I was tired thanks to stupid noisy neighbours on Tuesday night and really cbf staying at work another hour longer than normal, but I’m super glad I did. Typical case of dreading something until you get there. It was a pity Andrea couldn’t make it, she had an incident on site so was going to be at work forever. Note to self keep hassling her until I actually catch up with her!
Andy seems to be doing really well on site with Kermans. He sounds like he’s learning a lot and trying to solve all the issues from the procurement process. Its probably a great experience to be on the contractors side. Brett has a bit more work to do but he worries me that boy. He was saying that when he has nothing to do he goes to some website which gives you difficult math problems and he writes programs to solve them. He’s a mad child. Graham is, well, Graham. He’s still working with Pilbara EPCM a whole lot. He was supposed to go to two days a week, but its been four the last couple of weeks. And he may finish up soon (maybe). He’s looking for another job of course, but the market here is mad so he’s struggling to find something…and turning down jobs in Hong Kong and NZ, so he’s not desperate enough to consider relocating yet.
It was great to see Dario. He was a designer with Pilbara EPCM oh so long ago – when I was still office based. Seems like a lifetime ago, I guess its only 2.5 years or so. He’s back with them for a while for Silvergrass. Tsk, not Silvergrass, NIT. Nammuldi Incremental Tonnage…can’t call it Silvergrass. Noel is Noel, I guess I saw him on the weekend so no new news from that front.
Thursday I nearly killed Mark. He had a rant – via email – about my (lack of) ability to sell myself and that my self performance review was crap. Turns out that he got the short sections, where we were told not to write more than a sentence. And where I’d written more than a sentence it was better, not great still, but better. I was quite the angry with him, but it fuelled a good workout yesterday morning. I get his point, I’m not good at selling myself, but I did more than we were told to do.
I did give him some guff about my coming goals also – they have the performance review season lined up with the financial year so starts 1 October. I mean how am I supposed to make goals when the only information I have is: What am I doing this year? “get to Denver as soon as you can”; What is the role? “you’ll likely be in estimating”; Whose my boss? “you’ll not be working directly for Mark”. Useful. I don’t even have a position description. I have got an idea of my goals for this coming year but need to discuss with a manager and so on. So I guess its all good now, sending the detailed version of the self review and showing I have thought about my goals calmed him.
In the interests of discussing those horrid feeling things: this made me feel shit and ratcheted up my anxiety. I was already worried ‘will they want me by the end of the year’, ‘will mark have learnt to work without my help by the end of the year’, ‘will the company keep paying me to sit on my arse and do so little (particularly sold time)’? Pat had done a great job last weekend of reminding me that the three of them are on my side and they’ll wait until I’m ready and all that good stuff. Mark broke that a little. But I’m all good with it all now, being crap at promoting myself is old news, hell I remember Clive telling me to work on it all that time ago…of course he couldn’t recommend a how. *shrug*
The rest of the work week hasn’t been too bad. Mark has been keeping me slightly busy. Texas recently approved $28b of grants over the next 10 years for water projects, and there is about $8b committed to specific projects. So I’ve been researching those projects and seeing which he should pursue. I’ve put together a couple of spreasheets that he’s really happy with, so at least I can get the work right. Self promotion shit, work great. Ha.
And the exercise! Well when I saw Doctor Tan last Friday they put me on the scales and measured me. The scales tell me I’m 79kg *shudder*. Stupid things. In those three weeks after the LLETZ I’ve put on a bit more than 3kg. So last weekend I finished off my bottle of Bulleit, finished the chocolate in the cupboard, and cooked my own lunches for the week. Seeing as though the gym and jogging from last week wasn’t having any ill effect (hell, no effects to anything in the LLETZ realm), I’ve got back into a good routine. Every first day a full body lifting session in the gym and every second day running.
This morning I ran 9.5km at an average of 9.25km/hour. I’m working through the PodRunner gateway to 8km interval series and the last couple of runs have done week five. Thats walk eight minutes, run 11 minutes and walk on minute four times, then walk about seven minutes. So for only 44 mins of running to keep the average at 9.25km/hour I’m running at something like 10.5km/hr. Every now and then I look at the watch and I’m going about 11.2km/hr, but that is for short bursts and generally at the end of each of the intervals. So I’m super pleased with that.
The lifting is a little frustrating. Starting up again twice already, I feel weak when I’m deadlifting and squatting 60kg, but my logic tells me that its sensible and to get over it. So thats what I do. The full body sessions are good, its been a while since I did that, its not effective if you’re lifting daily. There is progress so happy days.
So thats been my week! Goods and bads. A bust week next week and a weekend that is dependent on what the weather decides to do. There will be a good long sleep though, and a little baking 🙂