As I write this, happy tears are rolling down my face because I just biked two miles. I’m sure this seems like a ridiculously small distance to most of you…but hear me out dudes…
After my second knee surgery confirmed my diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis, I knew there would be hurdles, but I was still new to the life and body I inherited from RA and I underestimated just how difficult normal living would become. I had no way of knowing I would own four canes by the time I was thirty, nor that Rheumatoid Arthritis is often treated with chemotherapy drugs…canes and chemo became my best friends and worst enemies only months later.
A year ago, I walked with a cane 80% of the time, took chemo three days a week and spent my waking hours in agony and/or vomiting. I gave in and I gave up, I did not see a way back from this, despite what I wrote for my friend’s blog. My account of feeling better was basically a lie…I was losing faith in myself and faith in others. I was in mourning for the life I had before and the life I had dreamed for myself. Every day was a walking death.
Today I proved myself wrong. I rode my bike four times and during the last ride, I nearly reached the mountains and returned…I may have wobbled a bit (concerning two 12 y/o boys enough to follow me a bit to make sure I would be okay), but I did it on my own. I smelled a cookout, received barking enthusiasm from several dogs leashed by invisible fences, felt cool air on my face, waved at a teenager bringing in the mail…and I felt free from arthritis for just a few minutes for the first time in almost two years.