Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Plenty of Other Fish in the Sea

This first note doesn't have anything to do with cancer, but I don't have any other place to relate this story.  Today is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  For the last three years my wife and I (and our dog) have come out to our beach condo in Ocean City, MD for the entire TG week.  This year, to combat eating and drinking too much, we're trying to maintain our normal jogging routine for the first time over the holiday.

We've been pretty good. We came out Saturday afternoon.  Sunday morning we jogged 4.5 miles on the beach.  Monday morning we didn't jog but did get up early and let Bica off leash on the beach and went out for a few miles of wandering, frolicking.  Today, Tuesday, we ran for about 5.5 miles.  On the way back home, running south on the beach, I could see a fellow female jogger looking at a hulking mass lying in the waves 50 or so feet ahead.  "Please don't be a beached fish" I thought to myself.  As we approached, sure enough, it was a beached fish.  I say hulking mass but this wasn't a whale or anything so dramatic.  The other jogger thought it was a Rockfish.  I don't know what kind it was, merely that it was the biggest fish I'd ever seen that close up.  And it was still alive.

We stopped near the woman and I started taking off my jogging pants and jacket (I had on shorts and a long sleeve shirt under), shoes and socks.  I had on convertible running mittens, like these, that are fingerless in one mode and mittens in the other.  I had been running in the fingerless mode but converted them to mittens and walked over to the fish.

The sea was angry that day my friends (kidding).

I don't want to embellish the size of this (for lack of a better term) rockfish.  In reality I think it was probably 30 lbs and maybe 3.5  feet long.  Fisherman can tell me if that's a reasonable size or weight, or of those are even remotely close to reality.  He was big, heavy, and looked like he was about to die.

The other jogger had tried a few times to drag him out to the ocean, but each time she got him in the waves he washed right back up.  She didn't have any gloves and could only grab his tail.  I tried her method once too, but it merely filled the fish's gills with sand and probably made his breathing even more labored.

Cold waves washed over my legs and hands, but it was otherwise unseasonably warm out and I was flushed from running.  I tried picking the fish up and he was heavy and limp.  Not wiggling or trying to escape my grasp.  I waded out to the breakers, about waist high, and threw the fish as far out as I could (about 6 inches).  The tide was going out, so getting past the breaking point did it. 

He didn't swim away initially.  In fact the three of us thought he was dead as we watched him float on top of the waves, lying on his side, unmoving.  But the tide was pulling him the right way at least and he wouldn't wash back up.  As I slowly took off the fishy gloves and put back on my pants and jacket, his tail started to move a little and he righted himself .  By the time I had my shoes and socks back on he was swimming slowly.  And soon he disappeared from sight, and we jogged away (before he could beach himself again).

So that was my good deed for the day.  Maybe it makes up for the 3.5 lobster I ordered boiled alive for my dinner this past Saturday night?

As for medical updates, I had my first follow up on October 26th.  We had come back from Portland, OR, on a redeye that morning. I was off from work that day already, so I'd scheduled the appointment knowing it would be a miserable day, but not wanting to take another off.

The appointment went fine.  I gave blood and then had a chest x-ray.  I have to have a chest x-ray every 4 months, blood work at every appointment, and a ct-scan once a year.  In February of 2011 I have my next chest x-ray & blood work.  In June of 2011 I'll have my ct-scan. 

I assume the x-ray & blood looked good as I never heard from the doctor.  His office will call if there is ever anything wrong.  I have to believe I'll never have one of those calls.

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