Giving my all

Sorry I haven’t written much lately.

The bottom line is that I am still in a lot of pain.  I ended up going to the emergency room Tuesday night to get even stronger pain meds and I have been living in a bit of a pain med fog for 2 days now.  I am trying to cut back on how many I am taking, but it is looking like that is a bad idea.

We still don’t know if it’s the radiation or hormone therapy that caused this.  It could even be a combination of both.  For now, the hormone therapy is on hold until I get past this, then I imagine I will have to try it again.  When they told me I might experience some ‘pain’ post-radiation, they never said to the point that I would need pain meds more than ibuprofen.  I feel like they completely side-swiped me with this.  At least, in some ways, it is getting a little bit better.  The pain has moved from my back more to my front now which is making it a little easier to relax.  The best way to describe it is a constant sharp burning with radiating ‘buzzing’ that travels through the tissues.

Ironically, the best thing for managing the pain is to move as much as possible. So, despite taking heavy pain killers I have continued to have lessons and even got through a competitive run-through last night.  We have been working to polish the solo now that we have the ending and sharpen up some of the spots in between.  Last night, I was able to dance all 5 latin dances for 1:30 in a row, which completely surprised myself.  I figure if I can get through 5 dances in a row now, while taking heavy pain meds, I should be ok for the competition next weekend.

Hard to believe I will be competing in a week.  Especially right now trying to deal with ongoing pain.  But I am committed to it and I have been through worse.  My schedule for the day is pretty good–we dance late morning to early afternoon and then we don’t dance again until mid-evening.  That gives me a good break to recover and perhaps have a nap.

Going to the title of my post, I had an interesting impromptu conversation with Boss last night after the run-throughs.  He made a comment about how it is so amazing that despite how much my body is going through, I am still able to dance and not just run through steps.  I almost dance better now than I did a year ago before I found the first lump.  His point was that despite everything that is going on with my body (and it is going through a lot!) he has never felt the need to simplify any of my dancing or my steps.  Even in the rumba he choreographed it as though there was nothing wrong with me.

That’s one of the things I really appreciate about Boss.  From the very beginning when we found out that I would have to do chemo and radiation he decided to just keep going as he planned and adjust only if really needed.  There has been very little he has needed to adjust.  I have had a few lessons where we just ended up reviewing routines instead of working on technique or something else, but for the most part it’s been full steam ahead, and his thinking has mirrored my own.

My theory is that if I keep working hard while my body is having to cope with things like equilibrium issues, dizziness, light-headedness and muscle weaknesses it is forcing my balance to become better and more attuned, my endurance to become stronger and in general preparing me to be a better, stronger dancer when I am completely healthy again.

I just hope that theory becomes reality, but that was the basis of my conversation with Boss last night–that I am able to dance so well while sick, hurting and highly medicated–what would I be able to dance like if I was healthy?

Time will tell.  For now I am continuing to ‘put my all’ into every step I do to see where it takes me.

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