You see, there are two things good about Infusion Day. One, I get my blood work done, and yesterday I got the a-okay that all my counts were good, my immune system is strong, and for the next few days, at least, I am safe to operate as a normal human being.
Second, they put me on 3 days of steroids surrounding the infusion to prevent allergic reaction, and to generally hold back the worst of the side-effects. If you've ever had reason to be on steroids, you will understand why athletes are drawn to them. You feel pretty strong and invincible. It's a short-lived high that leaves you with a big crash after, but when you're grasping for a little bit of feel-good normalcy, I'll take it!
So the first thing I did was get up early and get my butt to the pool!! It was my first swim in 4 weeks and it felt WONDERFUL! I was also blessed to meet up with two of my favorite swimming buddies, Diane and Jill, who were gracious enough to take a swim cap selfie with me to commemorate the occasion.
I am safe to go back in the pool tomorrow too, and maybe Sunday if I am up to it. I plan to get the swims in while I can. After that, I'm back in danger of my blood counts going down, so I will probably sit it out again until I know I'm in the clear. My doctor keeps telling me that, since the pool is chlorinated I shouldn't have to worry. She knows how good it is for my mind and body and she encourages me to not stress so much about catching a bug in the water. But after that hospital stint, I think I'd rather play it safe than sorry.
But ohhh was today wonderful. The pool is my zen. I love getting there early, before the sun comes up if I can because it's so calm and serene. Today I was jumping in at an ungodly 5:20 a.m. (steroids also keep you amped up and awake). But it was great. I'd do it every day if I could consistently get up that early.
In the pool, I am thin and fit and in shape (a concept that always reminds me of Shelly Winters in the Poseidon Adventure, heh). Physically, it's a great workout for me because it's low impact, but it also forces heavy rhythmic breathing. My body gets a good dose of oxygen. Throw some music on my waterproof iPod and it's my favorite way to start my day.
Right now, I have a lot of upbeat music on my swim shuffle, happy "life is good" kinda music. It's a great reminder to me that even though I have been finding The Dark Side lately, life really IS worth this fight, and before I know it, I'll be able to enjoy many more of these simple pleasures I used to take for granted.
My swim song list, in case anyone is wondering:
- Jessie Harris, "It's Been Going Round"
- Colin Hay, "Beautiful World"
- James Taylor, "First of May"
- Incubus, "Drive"
- Michael McDonald, "Ain't Nothin' Like The Real Thing"
- Kenny Loggins, "When She Believes In Me"
- Pearl Jam, "Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town"
- (And to wind it all down at the end) Annie Lennox, "Cold"