Thursday, November 11, 2010


Remicade treatment #4 has come and gone with similar affects of the third treatment only landing me an additional day in the hospital this go around. Yes, it is becoming a vicious cycle that even the doctors are trying to figure out. Being truthful, the positivity is diminishing. It is getting tough. Life has changed so much, and in years from now, this will mean very little. But for the time being the cumulative effect of these treatments are taking a toll. Often I think of what I would be doing, how I would be doing it, and how my life would be different had the UC not been here. In a flash my BEFORE and my NOW are worlds apart. I have learned so much in a short time, some things to display proudly, others that have taken me by storm, but all of which have continued to shape my journey. The moments that make me smile are the times I have been able to spend with friends. I used to rush from one thing to the next without taking the time to just “be”. I think this has been a drastic change. I still don’t get out much, being that I have to spend more time horizontal than vertical, but I have spent more dinners, shopping, movies and quality time with people who care and those are moments I cherish. I can’t say thank you enough to those of you that have shown me how wonderful this life can be and knowing that there is more beyond triathlon makes me feel better about this seem-to-be-never-ending-roller-coaster-ride my body is flailing along on. It reminds me that this is all part of learning, growing, and trying to be the best I can be in this lifetime.

Here are a few of my experiences in changes over the past few months (in no particular order):

BEFORE, finding time to eat was a chore. NOW, meal time is fun – spent with friends, enjoying time chatting, savoring the moments.

BEFORE, I would never take the stairs over the elevator option for additional exercise because I was too tired from training. NOW, I still choose not to take the stairs to save every bit of energy to spend on more meaningful moments.

BEFORE, I had scaly dry skin from the chlorine ridden mind boggling laps in the pool. NOW, I have even more scaly skin from medication and maybe even from the scratchy blankets in the hospital beds.

BEFORE, I took have thick, long braids for granted. NOW, my hair is minimal, but holds a great ponytail!

BEFORE, I woke up anxious to get on the bike and ride for miles. NOW, I am anxious to make sure I can make it through my small task list for the entire day.

BEFORE, I thought I knew..... NOW I know what truly defines a friend.

BEFORE, I would long for a rest/recovery day to catch up on life. NOW I am a little more caught up on life and have more rest days in my plan than I do “active” days.

BEFORE a long workout would start at 8am and be done no earlier than 2pm. NOW the exercise starts and ends in the same half hour.

BEFORE, my head ached from being caloric deprived from a stellar workout. NOW, my head aches from medications in hopes of being back to doing those stellar workouts.

BEFORE, I spent a lot of dolla' bills on triathlon “things”. NOW, I have a little “extra” in between pay checks.

BEFORE, I worked a lot, I did a lot, I loved a lot, I helped a lot, I gave a lot. NOW, I work less, I do less, I love a lot to those who appreciate, I help a lot to those who appreciate, and I give a lot to those who appreciate.

BEFORE, I never read. NOW, I have read more, studied more and probably could have earned myself a masters degree in the last three months. I love the knowledge I have gained!

BEFORE, my heart ached to race, a time when I felt free and my mind was quiet. NOW, my heart aches for all those feelings to return, an escape, a time to truly feel free.

BEFORE, I loved my husband and knew he would be my life partner and stand by me through it all. NOW, I love my husband even more and he has PROVEN that he will stand by me through it all.

BEFORE I lived for the next workout, the next day…… NOW I live for the moment.


chaco said...

BEFORE I lived for the next workout, the next day…… NOW I live for the moment.
great lines....

Beth said...

I think it takes a very strong, courageous, beautiful person to appreciate the good that comes out of the tough situations of life. It's just so much easier to feel sorry for yourself. Which, by the way, nobody would blame you for!! You really are amazing Teresa and although everyone has different circumstances I know your attitude has inspired many (including myself!) to work through the low spots and appreciate life for what it is.

I truly hope your UC and body will cooperate ASAP!!! Thinking of you and praying for the best!

Christi said...

I am so sorry that you have to suffer from this horrible condition. I know that it is not fun and I really wish I could do something to make it better. I guess I will have to dust off the ole bikini and do some more bikini-skiing! I mean we are getting some snow here in my neck of the woods!

Despite it all you are doing well and you are inspiration to me. I will keep you in my prayers!

Kim said...

I agree with Beth here totally. At the same time, each of our paths are so hard but in different ways. It's important to look at where we've been but you know where you are going and that is the most important thing. You may not know exactly how you'll get there, but you're moving toward a healthy and happy life where you touch peoples lives in a positive way. It may not be in the way you previously did it (and oh how I can relate to the "before" right now) but you are still doing it and it's a wonderful thing!! I can see your beautiful spirit right though your thoughts so keep your head up and know we are all rooting for you. I'll keep you in my prayers from now on for healthy, positive thoughts and someday a return to some thing you love - like a starting line :)

D said...

My heart totally breaks for you being in the situation you're in, but damn... what a fantastic attitude and way to take the good out of the bad. We can all learn from your experience!

Love you and I'm looking forward to your body cooperating with your head because you totally deserve it!

Side note: think I'm racing on Dec. 4th in Bellingham so maybe we can arrange to hang out... :)

Kim said...

TN - you are so strong and so positive. i love the reflections you posted today. here's to hoping one day for a UC cure, but until then, we will never take things for granted :)

Michelle Simmons said...

Glad you have such a great husband to see you through all of this... xoxo

LaVonne said...

Teresa, thank you for continuing to be my teacher! Great post, helpful for me to hear. I think about you often and admire your strength.

Kiet said...

Man, this was a hard read Teresa, especially now that I've met you, I think you embody all that is multisport and passion. There is no right and wrong way to act in this situation, but if there was a right way, I would say you are doing it. I'm putting good vibes out into the Universe for you TN!

Marit C-L said...

Hey Teresa - you are amazing...doing incredible things, thinking incredible thoughts. I share a lot of the same sentiments with you - different story, similar outlook though. Not an easy road, eh? But...I feel that life is so much more vibrant now that I've experienced some of the lessons you talk about. It's like seeing in color when the rest of the world is in black and white.

Jill Costantino said...

Teresa - you are so inspiring! What a great attitude. I hope REALLY soon, that your body starts doing more of what your head wants it too, but until then SO happy that you are living IN the moment! Something we should all do! Again - so inspiring! Sending you some love!

Rebecca Kelley said...

Love you, T! Your strength and positivity in these tough times is just as inspiring as when you're out there racing and kicking ass. :D

Shawn and Tracy said...

T- You have continued to have such an honest and brave way about you through this. I sit hear and think it all sucks and it shouldn't be happening to you :-( Then again, we wish to be strong and brave before every race, maybe this is simply an opportunity to test you before the next big race! Here's to continuing to cheer you on,
I send you a virtual Lava Flow!

Charisa said...

What a great post. To be able to see the good in horrible situations is a gift and one that not many people have. I hope that very soon your body figures out how to return to a state where you can do all that you love! Hang in there - you are a great inspiration to so many of us!

Libby said...

you are so inspiring girl. really. we can all learn so much from you but only because you have the grace to see the positives through this tough time. thinking about you and hoping for a quick upswing for you girl. in the meantime, thanks for reminding us all of what really matters :)

Lisa said...

Catching up on blogs...sending love your way! Know that I think about you often!