In June 2009, I was actually starting to feel like I was going to come out on the other side of this experience. My blood counts were rising and nearing near normal levels. This meant my immune system was stabilizing and I my red blood cells were carrying a lot of oxygen. I started to use the treadmill in my basement a little more frequently. I was probably on pace for a 20 minute mile, but that was not too bad considering I was not able to walk a flight of steps at my diagnosis. My weight was around 185 lbs., which is probably close to my weight in 8th grade. I could wrap my hands around my thighs, which was a little disconcerting. At 6ft 3in, my fit weight is about 220; my “I need to lose a few” weight is about 235.
It was in June 2009 where the idea of There Goes My Hero started to germinate. I was feeling better, but I was not ready for public consumption. Staying in an isolated, germ free environment was still high on my list. I did have pneumonia at least once in June. My business was all but gone, so I did not have to worry about those pesky clients. Saying I was going stir crazy would be an understatement. Strange things happen in a basement office with limited contact to the outside world. It was then and there that I started to piece together the beginning of There Goes My Hero.
July 2009, I started to feel better in spurts. It was that summer where I started to fall into some tricky patterns, that in hindsight, I would not have repeated. The trouble for me was actually part of the recovery. I was starting to feel better, a little bit stronger. My omnipresent skin issues were actually starting to dissipate. I was weaning off the harsh drugs that helped alleviate my many ailments, but also gave me other side effects. Gone were the mind altering anti-fungal pills, which were cause for hallucinations. I was weaning off the steroids that made me diabetic, swollen and extremely moody. I was experiencing some sense clarity.
With the drugs “coming off” and my feeling better, I was feeling stir crazy. I started to make some forays out into the world. This was quite premature. Many doctors, friends and family told me I should continue to lay low. It was difficult advice to take and I largely ignored it. I would describe the summer of 2009 as “fits and starts”. I would become quasi active, go out into the world, then get pneumonia or find myself exhausted and sick. I went on a family vacation in late June, early July 2009. Thankfully, it was cool and rainy that week. I recall being feverish for much of our time away, but it was nice to be away with the family. What I started to notice, though, was that the time between illnesses and setbacks was starting to get longer. There was light at the end of the long, long tunnel. I started to share my ideas around There Goes My Hero with a few select people.