That is how I am feeling today.

I went to the health clinic to see if I could get permission to increase my work hours a little since I am finally gaining energy and it has become frustrating to be in the office so little and didn’t have any luck because my doctor is on vacation.  I have to wait until I can see him in two weeks as the other doctor didn’t want to make any changes for me without consulting him.

Well, I tried.  Had a good talk with my outgoing supervisor today and he said not to worry too much about my hours, but did comment he noticed a steady positive change in my general energy in the last week–especially from when I started, and the end of last week when I was clearly quite unwell.

I also finally was able to start a steady progression in my strength training this week, which is also a good sign.  For the first time in a long time I felt strength through my muscles as I worked through my exercises, and it’s been a long time since I felt that.  All of my fitness activities left me feeling re-energized or tired but not exhausted this week.

I also was able to do all strength training sessions, all practices and a lesson this week–and none of it left me feeling depressed or exhausted.

Boss is back from vacation and it seems to have done him some good.  There’s a subtle change about his manner and attitude I can’t quite put a finger on, but it is definitely something positive.  I am not sure if it is a result of his networking while away, or something else or even just temporary exhaustion from jet-leg.  It’s good though, but just a little bit scary–like there is another shoe to drop somewhere–almost too good to be true.  It could be just something for today, but I wasn’t his only student to notice it and wonder.  There was just a slight change in his teaching style–almost a more openness.

After much debate with myself, I decided to put together an email for Boss to explain some of what I have gone through while he was away and many of the concerns I was having.  I know from experience with Boss that it’s often best to put things in writing because a) I can say everything I need to say without him interrupting and misunderstanding and b) he can read it a couple times.  Sometimes with the language barrier it just works better.

The best way to describe the theme of my email is ‘transition’.  I basically laid out that finally now things are settling down and my health is moving forward and most of the other areas of my life are organized and stable, it is time to do it with dance too.  I asked Boss to provide me with regular lessons times, asked about the competitive practices, competitions, goals and things to focus on for each dance and style.

The first surprising thing was that I got a response in less than 24 hours.  That NEVER happens. More than a response, he gave me 3 things to focus on for each dance and style, which is a model for motivation I put together and used to use to help keep me focused before I got sick.  It was a full word document and at the same time a complete shock.

The second surprising thing was that he gave me a plan for today’s lesson (which previously he said he wasn’t sure what to do), that made complete sense.  In the end, we went through my concerns from my email, set my lessons for Monday and Thursdays, discussed some competition options (he has promised some budget forecasts for options, so we will see how long that takes), and went through all my exercises.  He seemed actually pleased with most of them, and mentioned he wants to work on two of them next time to see if we can fix them up better.  It’s the same issue in both exercises, my right side, so hopefully we can address it.

I wasn’t surprised to hear my right side is giving difficulty.  That’s my cancer side and with the surgery and radiation, in the past week I have started to notice it’s a lot tighter as scar tissue is likely starting to form.  I am trying to keep working and stretching it, but it is definitely a lot weaker than my other side.  Even strength training I have to make sure to start with my right and match it with my left.

The final surprising thing that Boss told me today was that he had been waiting for the message in my email–which was basically that I was ready to start moving forward again–to start returning to a more structured way of working.  We seem to have things more or less in hand now and are on the same page–sometimes it happens that way, Boss and I manage to come to the same conclusions at the same time.

The one thing we haven’t been able to completely resolve is the competitive practices.  Boss asked until August to start them, and his reasons made enough sense I agreed–for now.  As there are quite a few things to put together and I want to keep building strength, I am willing to hold off 1 month.  But I don’t see myself being willing to wait beyond that without really solid reason.  I am a little concerned that one of the reasons Boss stated was that I wouldn’t be competing until the fall, so there was no need to do it now, but he did say that he understands those practices are not just about competing for me.  I am not completely sure about that since his ‘default’ was to immediately say there was no pending comp to prepare for.  That is something that time will tell.  He did say we may do some run throughs in lessons, but it is not the same to me.

Tomorrow is a social dance and I am looking forward to getting out and having some fun and relaxing.  I am also very eager to see how my next few lessons go, and I might soon have some interesting news.

I can definitely say that today, for the first time since my diagnosis, I truly felt like the ‘old’ me. Words cannot express the relief I feel with that.

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