One of the hardest parts about developing leukemia at age 22 was how restrictive it was: My treatments left me highly susceptible to infection, airplanes were strictly off limits and even a trip to my neighborhood bodega required a protective face mask.
We joke with our patients that we love boring — it is, in fact, a medical ideal that our patients complain of nothing more than ennui on a daily basis. But the psychological mettle it takes to endure leukemia treatment is remarkable, and there’s little that can prepare a person for it.
When I got to the marathon starting line earlier this month, I knew that my 18 weeks of training would come down to the next five hours. That training? Some would say unconventional, even controversial.