Big Lu wins Round 1

I’m on this stuff called Lupron, until at least the end of the year. It blocks testosterone. Which is good if prostate cancer is an issue. So okay.

But, of course, blocking testosterone has side effects, some pretty obvious, some not so much. I’ve avoided what the literature calls “painful and enlarged breasts,” thank goodness, and I’ve gotten used to the hot flashes. But it also reduces muscle mass. Simultaneously, Lupron is altogether too helpful in aiding you to achieve chubbiness. And it tends to make sleep difficult and make you tired and a little dark in your outlook. Okay. I’m grateful to be here to complain.

On the other hand, I don’t like being fat, tired, depressed, and weak. So Lupron (which I think of as Big Lu) and I are duking it out.

Sweat has always been my go-to remedy for downers of all kinds. While I was at Mayo, I walked three miles in the morning before my radiation treatments and worked out three times a week with a physical trainer. (Don’t think of barbells and tight abs, think of moaning, groaning, and rolling flabbily around on a mat.) Now that I’m home, I’m still walking for an hour or so with Paul every morning (we’ve been doing this for almost a decade), and I’m going to a gym in Southbury (a little less groaning, a little less flab, still rolling around on mats).

This is all good, but I like to run. It gives me joy, and I thought that would be a great weapon in the struggle. I hadn’t been able even to shuffle along for a couple of years. Hadn’t even tried in ages. But a month or so ago I went out determined to run a quarter-mile on a local road without stopping. It was a bad, shambling sort of effort, but I did it. A few quarters (one every other day), and I decided to try a half. The same. A few halves and I tried a mile. And something kicked in. It didn’t feel good, but I did feel a bit of a lift. A few miles and I went for two. And here I was elated. Some rhythm emerged. Some lightness. Some joy. For me, just the ticket to help keep the blues away.

Ran another two, then another. Ecstasy. Hey, maybe I should buy some new shorts so I’ll look good out here. Then another, and just past the mile mark, a little twinge in my left calf. No problem. A little farther, a little more discomfort. Hmm, let’s give it another hundred yards. Ah, better. Let’s just bring it home now. Then, whap. A truly painful sort of pain. Limp home. Apply ice (frozen peas, actually). Hurl imprecations and maledictions. And I’ve been off the roads for a week.

It’s not a pulled muscle, more like a bad charley horse. I’ve been using a roller to massage it, and it feels better. I can walk normally. 

So watch out, Lu. I’ll be back.

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