I played my first soccer game on Wednesday of this week, and there was a clear difference than before diagnosis. My last game in November, I could only play in 10 minute bursts, and I had shakes after the game. Now I know that the blood cell count was causing my body to not adjust the core temperature as it should have. I was a little nervous going back playing since in the back of my mind there is some kind of connection with soccer/field turf/cancer, but I also needed to get over that hurdle quickly. While it’s nice to be out on the pitch competing, it's mostly about the social aspect, and soccer has played such a large parts of both Cynthia and my lives.
When our friend Andy said he needed an extra guy for his men's team, I jumped at the opportunity. While my soccer touches suffered from not having kicked the ball in 2 months, I felt much better on the field, managing to recover much more quickly after runs, and my temperature stayed great all the way through the night. Clearly the Gleevec is working, and my body has been responding well. Side effects are virtually non-existent, and besides simply reminding myself about the daily pills, CML has no physical impact on my daily life. I think emotionally it will take a little longer before I can go a day without thinking about this, but that day will come, I know it. This week has been especially hard, with Tyler's transplant on Tuesday and constantly thinking about how he's doing.
As with climbing mountains, you take a step at a time, and just keep moving forward.
PS. 2 days later and I'm still sore from the game, it's nice to feel 'normal' again