So it's been a bit since my last post - and it was on purpose. I was determined to keep what I put out there positive and light hearted - hoping that by putting out good vibes they would come back my way. And the last month or so I just couldn't do it. I couldn't muster the energy to be bubbly - so I just avoided writing anything down.
But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if I shouldn't share this part? Shouldn't that be part of sharing this journey too? So here I sit, and I'm ready to write. But to be clear, I am not looking for sympathy, and I feel like I've turned a corner with this whole mental part. I'm starting to feel like myself again (most days), and am sure that's a light at the end of the tunnel I see. In my husband's wise words, short term pain (in whatever form that comes) is worth it to be around for 50 more years :-)
When I finished chemo, I was excited to have that part done with. My circle surprised me at my last treatment and showed up to celebrate with me. I rang the bell, and walked out of the centre determined that I would not be back. The following weeks were weird. There was the fatigue and pain that came with treatment, but those I expected and could handle. The part that threw me was the emotional part. I was a wreck...I was moody all the time, I got angry or I cried for no reason, I didn't feel excited about anything. And I had moments where I just needed to disengage. I didn't want to talk, I didn't want to be around people. I just wanted to wallow. Soooo not me - and it freaked me out a bit.
And here is where I tell you how lucky I am. I have people around me who recognized it, and who balanced their "get your butt out of bed" messages with their "take one day at a time" mantras. And it worked...slowly the part of my brain that was finally registering what I had been through started to open up. I started to see it was ok to have days where I was scared (and believe me I have them - I'm scared about what's next; I'm scared about the cancer coming back; I'm scared about my girls' future; I'm scared I won't figure out my new normal), but that I needed to actively make sure to have days where I look around and enjoy the moments as they come. I know...such a cliche. But I have come to see how important it is and I am working to put it into practice. Having said that, I've also learned that avoiding the bad days is also not helpful - so I deal with them. Sometimes that means a good cry, other times it means punching a pillow. And sometimes it means just letting people tell me it will be ok - and believing them.
It is a work in progress...and I have no idea how long it will take for me to feel like me again (or what that new me looks like). But I am getting there. As for how I feel, the pain is my joints and bones is still there, most days I feel like I'm 90 years old. Oh and first thing in the morning I'm so stiff that I walk like a penguin - and stairs are not fun. Brain fog is still a real thing, and sensory overload comes at the most inopportune times. But I've done everything I can to prevent this stupid disease from coming back, and this short term crap will be worth it eventually.
On a happy note, had friends over for dinner this weekend. It was the first time in a really long time that I felt like myself. So I'm in pursuit of more of those moments - and I'm trusting that, while I'm not sure what a new normal looks like, I will get there. And I almost forgot!! My hair is growing back! I have enough now that I've ditched the hats (plus it was wayyyy too hot to wear them). So yay for pixie hair :-) One foot in front of the other....