Back to pulmonary rehab class. The final step back into life after the horrible few months of being so ill. It was fantastic. First, Sherman. He was there waiting. I thought he looked great but he was complaining that he was not breathing well. While getting caught up, suddenly Dick walked through the door. It was all I could do to make sure there was no look of shock on my face. He looked horrible. Gray. Defeated. He has pain in his chest on the high right side and, because of the radiation, he was not being given any relief for the pain. It hurt every time he took a breath. He had more than just a little stubble and his hair was longer. He told us that he was not shaving or cutting his hair until he had some help with the pain.
Dick was always the most positive man in the face of a problem. It was so very sad to see that he had hit the wall. It felt like he had given up. After giving him a gentle hug, I told him that I was so sorry he was going through this.
Then, Richard arrived. He was my former State Department buddy, who I haven't seen forever! We hugged! As others came through the door, I was greeted like a warrior arriving home. It felt great to be there.
I worked out then I would talked. Worked out and talked. One lady was on the new anti-fibrotic drug we had talked about before I left and wanted to tell me about the side effects. My buddy, Gene had been to Hawaii and back and was heading to Ireland. While on the free weights, I began a conversation with a new man who had joined the class while I was gone. Bren. He was wearing a shirt with the Queen Elizabeth II logo. I asked if he had been on that ship. He replied that he was on the maiden voyage. I learned that he loved the rehab class and felt that it had made a positive difference to his health. He had COPD but for years was the man who was hired by cruise lines to dance with the ladies and to teach dance lessons. He was in good shape. After he retired, his COPD blossomed. It had been there but being so physical kept it at Level 1 for a few years. I love that, besides the two days of rehab class, he was teaching two dance classes a week. I didn't have to encourage him to keep moving and to exercise. He was doing just fine. A very kind, nice man.
It felt great to be back. I felt greatly loved and missed. I cut back my routine just a bit, which surprised me. I was able to do more than expected. Perspiration dripped down my face. Marvelous. Looking forward to doing it all again on Thursday!