Saturday, March 13, 2010

The betrayal of my body

<< rewind


It is March 2000. I am running along the Pearl River delta. I run slow and stop frequently. Zé pulls my arm forcing me to keep running. But I can't keep up with his pace. I convince him to keep going. What is happening to me? First my slim waist mysteriously disappears and now I can't run?

The truth is that for the past eight months, I had been fabricating explanations for the fact that I looked four months pregnant.

Initially I blamed it all on the chi pa pau and chi cheong fan (pork rib sandwiches and rice noodles) that came along with my new stress free (boring), sedentary, 9 to 5 government job. I no longer had to run around with a microphone, run back to the newsroom, run to the editing room, run to the studio... Naturally I was now a fat government worker.

Most 3o something women have a "tire" around their waist. Why couldn't I have one too? It was my turn. That´s what I though when people stopped me in the street to ask if I was pregnant. I also started thinking that someone had started a rumor that I was pregnant. Rumors flourished well in the small Portuguese community of Macau.

To get back to my adolescent body I joined Ana's step and aqua aerobics classes. And I came up with a new theory to explain the changes in my body. It was all abdominal muscle and not fat. When I touched my belly it felt hard. So it was not fat, I was sure of that. It almost felt like Ana's muscles. Not bad since my instructor and friend Ana is a triathlon athlete. But all that exercise was not working. My body was simply not responding to any form of exercise. My belly continued to increase. Frustrated I canceled my membership at Hyat's Health Club.

I also had invented an explanation for feeling tired all the time. I was working at the Macau Handover Ceremony Coordination Office and there was a lot to do in the weeks that preceded the transfer of sovereignty of Macau from Portugal to China... and after the handover when the "rules" changed and I had nothing to do at work I interpreted my permanent state of exhaustion as a mild depression...

... my list of explanations for what today seems obviuos went on and on. But I was healthy and luckly everyone in my family had also been always heatlhy. I had no experience with any sort of illness. And I believed that I would remain that way forever. I really had no way of guessing that in a month, in April 2000, a 6 kg (12 pounds) tumor would be discovered in my belly.


tapioca said...

Elsinha, cada "pound" equivale a 453 gr, portanto 6 pounds são 2,718 kg , o que já é muitíssimo. Gostei de ler a tua estória e lembrava-me de tudo tim-tim por tim-tim. Felizmente tens vencido sempre a doença. És uma lutadora e nada te derruba! Um enooooooooorme xi-coração

Elsa D. said...

hihih ja corrigi, estou tó tó pesava 6 kg e nao 6 pds, portanto era o equivalente a gemeos e eu parecia estar de 4 meses, nada mau ;)

tapioca said...

a tua matemática é muito parecida com a minha.... eh eh eh
já estamos esclarecidos!

Pipas said...

E eu que achava que era a única "artolas" a matemática.. Lembras-te do peso da Clarinha quando nasceu .. ahah
És uma verdadeira "Mulher de Armas".
Um grande beijo

Elsa D. said...

nao é a primeira vez que eu provo aqui que sou a mais artolas a matematica ;)


Kathy said...

Many thoughts like that occurred with me with the tumor in my thigh. Because it was not near a major organ, cancer never entered my mind. I remained in vast denial until THE CALL on May 5, 2006 from my Dr. who used a word I had never heard before....SARCOMA.
Always healthy, I rarely ever had a cold... I was 38. Cancer was for old people, you grandma. But here we are, Elsa affected by Sarcoma and living life with it anyway. How many changes did it incur in us anyway? Are we now stronger, wiser, more spiritual? maybe all of the above.
One of these days, there will be new drugs that will eradicate this cancer and it's because of you, me, and all the survivors, warriors and fallen that came before us. Take a bow!

David said...

Hi, Elsa. Was wonderful to see you today! You look fantastic! Kerry told me she saw you today also. We are the Dana Farber Elsa Blog Stalkers. Love, David

Jessie said...

elsinha, essas matemáticas baralhadas não vão deixar a tua professora leão muito contente, ainda levas ralhete de régua na mão! ah ah!