Okay, here goes.
It’s been a long two days. I have had many thoughts over the last 48 hours, and read all the comments, talked with Cheese and my friends, and here is my final say about this.
I agree that it would be best if the surgery could be delayed to see if my brother gets his act together, but honestly, if he hasn’t yet, waiting another two months isn’t going to make a difference. Also, it has already been delayed two months so I could do my race. My brother is steps away from dialysis, as I understand it, which would cause his pancreas to fail, and then, well, he dies. There’s really is not a ton of time at this point.
So I am going to do this. Tonight I packed my hospital bag, did a 75-minute brick, cleaned the apartment, sent my list of personal info/accounts/passwords to my sister (just in case) - all the prep is done.
And I did this knowing that this decision is my responsibility, my choice. I have no one to blame for the decision I am making, because it is mine and mine alone. Yes, it is not made under the best of circumstances, and yes, I wonder if my brother will ever change his life as a result, but at the end of the day – I can’t control any of that.
The only thing I can control is my own perspective on this. I can’t go into that operating room with resentment or animosity. I can’t go in with the anger I have harbored these last few days. I can’t go in wondering all the “what ifs” or pointing the finger at him and the life he led to get him here. What’s done is done. And after yesterday, I finally feel at peace with this.
I believe in the connection between the body and mind – if my mind is not at peace, then my body will not be either. And I want to recover as fast as possible, and as well as possible. I can’t do that with so much negativity flowing through me.
Having said that, I have to admit that I was a bit embarrassed about the post yesterday. I woke up this morning as thought I should take it down because I hate that I had those feelings, and hate that people see me crack. But I did crack, and it was raw and ugly and nasty. But it was me in that moment – all that build up just poured out. And like I said, I really thought this was a good thing in the beginning, and I really felt good that I could help. And I guess I have to go back to those feelings – that I am still helping, even if he choose to doo-doo all over it.
I appreciate that no one shamed me for this – rather, the feedback and hugs and support was tremendous. I felt unbelievably loved during the whole Ironman thing, but this took things to a whole new level. The comments and emails and thoughts and prayers – again, I simply cannot believe it. Please, please know that I appreciated every single one. And some people said things like, “well I have nothing profound…” but the simple act of clicking on this blog, of thinking about me, and even wanting to comment – that’s profound enough. That’s means everything to me.
I fully intend on returning to the life I have now – maybe even stronger. I am not going to give up what I love – training and racing – even if the doctors told me I had to. Because really, what do they know? Doctors told Lance Armstrong he would die or never be able to do the things he did. Now, I’m no Lance, but the point is: if you believe hard enough, and you commit hard enough, you can do what you want.
I honestly, with all my heart, believe this and live this.
On the back of the shirts that my family wore for the Ironman, there was a quote. My sister Ellen wrote it on a piece of a paper and stuck it in my areobars, and then I carried that piece of paper with me until about Mile 18, when the sweat literally wore it away. And while it was so applicable to that day, it has stuck with me since:
“Always remember in your heart that you are far bigger than anything that can happen to you.”