Last weekend I was in New York City with my family.  We walked in no rush to get anywhere and ate 5 meals a day and tried to stay warm.

brooklyn brewery

It was excellent.

it's all crickets

I had my first post-treatment checkup with my oncologist.  With the exception of a still-and-maybe-forever low white blood cell count, my blood is basically back to normal.  I got my port flushed again, and I’ll have a CT scan sometime in March and another appointment to look at those results.  I asked when I could get my port out, and the answer is anytime I want, but with Hodgkin’s, if there is a relapse, it’s usually within 2 years.  And in some way it’s a vote of confidence to get it removed now and tell myself I don’t even want to think about it coming back, but it’s a cloud hanging over my head and this is the real world and my wishes don’t come true nearly as often as I’d like.  So I’m going to wait awhile for surgery to take out my port, and instead get it flushed every 6 weeks and monitor things and.  And.

the strongest way of seeing

I went for a bike ride today and had to turn around after a few miles because I lost feeling in my fingers.  I lose feeling in my fingers a lot in the winter, but this was the first time where I was afraid I was close to frostbite.  I stopped and somehow managed to warm my fingers, and after I’d convinced myself all was safe, scurried home.  I think maybe part of the problem is my gloves are too tight and they don’t let blood flow normally.  It wasn’t terribly cold out, so after that adventure was cut short, I dug out my camera and went for a brief hike in the woods.  It got dark.

Resolution

I rode bike to work today.  To the other office, closer to home.  It was dark and below freezing and there was ice and snow and I was on my fixie with skinny tires and people gave me crazy looks when they saw my helmet sitting on my desk.  Because this is the Midwest and 2 miles is a route to be taken IN A CAR.  I did not tell them that I walked to work the day before.

I had one and only one new year’s resolution last year – a quantifiable goal.  I failed to reach it, though not for lack of effort.  So this year, I’ll go for it again, and hopefully easily surpass it:

Ride 3000 miles on my bike.

It’s very concrete, and, I think, reachable. without too much strain, either.  So to not have it be too easy, I’m  not going to include any miles riding around town or commuting on my fixie.  I don’t want to try to keep track of all those short 15 minute ride around town either.  So, just the road bike.

Last year, when spring never wanted to show up, and then it finally did and I decided that maybe getting oxygen to my lungs and blood to my brain was a bigger priority, and then every other week in the prime riding months through the summer I was run over by a truck and not wanting to move from the couch – making every time I could ride all the sweeter – and then the mild fall continuing into winter had promise but I had to pack up and move and find unfamiliar roads to ride whenever there was just a sliver of sunlight, and yet I still managed to enjoy roughly 1600 miles last year.  I’d say that’s not too bad for a cancer patient.

Two years ago, while healthy and without really having a goal, I rode about 2700 miles, which was the reason for setting the 3000 mile target last year.  So clearly, I know I can get within reach of 3000 just by riding like normal, and now that I’m more apt to ride even when it’s cold, and I know the agony of not being able to ride at all, I don’t usually lack the motivation.

The 10 inches of snow we got last weekend has all melted, thanks to many 40 degree days in a row.  The roads are clear, so Mark and I bundled up and headed out for 25 miles south of town.  As always, there’s a fine line between dressing properly for 35 degrees with the wind at your back and 35 degrees into a headwind.  I had to pry my fingers off my bars when we got home.  I was cold all the way through to my bones.  But, as I’ve learned, a frozen toe is better left not contemplated when one lacks the means to warm it up.

Snow

It’s the first substantial snowfall of the season, not the turning of the calendar, that makes for a better new beginning.  Everything is clean.  A fresh slate to play on, in.  Meticulously shoveled walkways, footprints and shoe treads, tire tracks.  Cars on the highway drowned out by winds buffeting the windows.

It’s somehow less cold outside now.

iceworld