Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Run Run Away (Laura update)

 I am trying to continue making blog entries, although they are fewer and further between.

Of course, everyone asks about Laura and how she is doing and my answer is mostly the same....she is doing pretty good. Her treatment continues and probably always will. She had some setbacks in February and March with a blood infection and weight issues. That seemed to really slow her progress down. Her last scans were not bad but not great either, just ok. Some tumors got a little smaller, some got a little bigger. They are adding a new medicine to her chemo treatment to help keep the cancer stable. She has gotten much better over the last month and has gained back over 10 pounds. She is feeling stronger and looking more solid and less frail. Yesterday she got a nerve blocker to help alleviate the horrible pain she has been suffering from over the past year due to her pancreatic tumor. It hits two nerves and causes excruciating pain and suffering. When she hurts, it's hard to eat or sleep, bringing her quality of life down quite a bit. But when the procedure was finished yesterday she wasn't feeling any pain at all and for most of the day she didn't need any pain meds. This is very promising and she is excited about not hurting every day. That would make a big difference for her to enjoy her everyday life and put on more weight. More weight would give her more strength in case she got another infection or got sick. With her immune response so low from the chemo sudden illness can take a big toll on her. All in all, she is doing really pretty good right now and we are very thankful. She is a fighter and will continue to fight hard. We pray for any and all miracles, but we also are thankful for the miracle that she is with us right now, today.

My past behavior shows a pattern of running away. I run away from problems, intimacy, hard times...you name it and I have run away from it in my life. Ironically, I have always had this desire to run, like physically run fast and hard. I have never been a runner but I always have this idea, this thought that I would love to go outside and run as fast as I can. On January 1st of this year, I decided I would start running every day. I went outside and I ran. It felt good. I got an Apple watch and started monitoring my progress and my heart rate. I quickly moved to the treadmill where I began an Apple Fitness Plus class. Since January 1st of this year, I have only missed 7 days of running. My stamina is much higher now and I can knock out a 45-minute class with ease. I get my heart rate up to 160-170 most every day. The class is more cardio than just running. It involves hits where we push really hard for a short period of maybe 30-45 seconds and then we pull back to an easy walk or run for a minute or so and then go again. This has helped me to build full body strength and freedom. I no longer am so concerned with how many calories I have or if I can have a cookie or not. My metabolism is much higher now and my life has completely changed. I have maybe lost 10 pounds total but my body has been transformed. My core is strong and my energy level is through the roof. I sleep solid and I feel ten years younger. But the most important change this physical act of running has brought me is inner peace. My mind is at ease. The pain of my wife's illness is still there every waking moment, but my mind can stay clear and focused throughout the day. I am burning off the excess anxiety. It's amazing to me that what I have wanted all my life is to run, literally. When I physically run, I am actually running away from my mind and my worrying....hence my problems. My problems are always of my own making in my mind. Of course, I am not at fault for my wife's illness or all of my circumstances in life but I am responsible for how I react and walk through the circumstances. Physically running gives me hope and focus to do what I can do and be of service. 

Many folks are kind enough to ask me how am I doing through all of this. I tell them I am doing ok. That's about how I am doing. Sometimes I am just in what I call "Animal" mode. I am surviving. I do what I am asked to do for the family and I follow direction. I act stupid and laugh at horrible jokes. I watch silly movies and tv shows and listen to more rocking music because it pushes me. It may seem like I am just not feeling much and that's probably true. When I am on the road working, I prefer to not have a lot of feelings. They get in the way. When I am home I get to relax and love on my girls and that balances my life. 

 We have so much generous help from family and loving friends through this all, we are not alone. We thank you all for your support and love and prayers. Laura is very strong and she's not going anywhere anytime soon. She is doing things now she wouldn't have considered months ago. She is willing to do whatever it takes to stay here with our family, she is a fighter and I am so proud of her. 

We love you!

Peace, Love, Zito