I’ve spent the past three months in chemotherapy for breast cancer. It has been rough, not going to lie, made more so by a mid-treatment bout with the flu. Jesus. It’s a roller coaster of side effects, and I’m here, a week out from the last treatment, in a bit of a haze from what has just happened. I haven’t been on my bike except for a couple of really short rides, because I’ve been too exhausted and often unsure of my balance. I got on my bike today, though, because the only way to get back on the bike is to get back on the bike, and I want to get back on my bike.
I have breast cancer. I was diagnosed just before Thanksgiving. I had surgery in December, started chemo last Friday, and am looking at at least another five months of active treatment before spending a decade on estrogen blockers. It is bananas. It took a minute to recover from surgery enough to ride a bike, and now I’m tired, worn down, and my whole body aches like somebody beat it with a baseball bat thanks to chemo–not optimal bike riding conditions. But today I took the bike out for the less-than-a-mile ride to R House in Remington for lunch and the a dance class. It wasn’t easy, but I did it, and it made me weep, this reminder that I am still myself, and I will still be myself. That’s what I saw riding my bike around today.
My Groupon for cryotherapy sessions at Charm City Integrative Health has finally been exhausted, and I’d be lying if I said I was disappointed. I liked the way the freezing cold made my skin feel for the few minutes after it was over, but to be honest, if was REALLY cold in that thing. Now that it’s not a zillion degrees out, it stopped feeling as good.
I got off work early on Monday because sometimes my life is incredibly blessed. After grabbing lunch in downtown Baltimore I got back on my bike and headed out for a ride before heading home. I headed west on Lombard and zig zagged up to Mulberry to see if that new bike path on Franklin runs up the other side of the Highway to Nowhere too–and it does. Continue reading
It had been far too long since I got a ride in that took me on streets I don’t know well to nowhere in particular. Those are the rides that help me feel most like myself, and without them, I was starting to feel not quite at home with myself. Friday afternoon found me with some unexpected time to myself, so I headed west to see what I might see.
It’s the end of September and it is just still so hot out. We had a few minutes of fall teasing, the kind where the slightly cool wind in the morning has you wondering if you should have brought a sweatshirt but five minutes later you remember that biking heats you up and you don’t need it. The past couple weeks have been that hot wet thing where it feels like you’re bicycling inside somebody’s mouth. I’m over it. I want fall to get here. It’s my favorite time of year, what with the cider donuts and cardigans and reminder that it’s ok to slow down and take a little rest. I need that.
I woke up early Wednesday morning, to NPR just before 6am, like I do most mornings. The news reported Baltimore’s Confederate monuments had been removed overnight. I was sure I was dreaming. Baltimore’s been trying to get rid of those things almost as long as they’ve been here. And even when Baltimore decides to do things, it’s never efficient about it. City bureaucracies aren’t meant to be fast, and ours certainly exceeds expectations in this regard. But it was true–at long last these particular markers of white supremacist intimidation were gone. Huzzah!