Friday, August 05, 2005

Update

Sorry to not have posted for so long. I've never been a journal-keeper, and I can't really decide what to do about this blog now that the active cancer treatments are over. Truthfully, I just see myself posting with successive test results. That said, here are my thoughts.

My (albeit limited) post chemo experience has been interesting. I made all of these grand goals of ways to change my life; but as I've started to feel better, I find that my life is pretty much the same as before. I continue to be in the full conundrum I've discussed many times on this blog. (In fact, I'm sounding a bit like a broken record!!) Here it goes again.


I want to forget and leave it all behind, but I have been lucky to beat this thing and feel I have an obligation to do something about it. What that is, I'm not sure. I will try to be a better person, try harder at work, etc. Who knows? Shouldn't I strive for those "improvements" anyway? In the meantime, an oncology nurse in Atlanta has invited me to lobby members of Congress on behalf of the Community Oncology Alliance. That sounds interesting, and I'll definitely pursue it.

I have some guilt that I'm not more transformed by the experience, but as I reflect on it, I don't think this is a totally bad thing. To me, "beating cancer" can also be defined as an experience that doesn't totally transform your life, but rather one you live through and leave BEHIND. My mom battled breast cancer for 18 years, but I know she would hate being remembered as a cancer patient. Some of my most vivid memories are of her last, awful days, and I work hard to remember that those days are not the best example of who she was as a person. In her life, cancer was a nuisance, not a positive influence giving her more clarity. To me, allowing cancer NO influence may be the greatest victory.


I have been either walking or going to Curves regularly. I still get tired easily, but stay motivated by forcing myself to remember how I felt in say, February. Truth is, I'm not noticing any drastic improvements in my stamina when I work out, but my body is changing bit by bit. I'm starting to notice more muscle tone and my clothes are fitting me better. I was very discouraged for a while because even with healthy eating and dieting, I was staying at the same weight. I have since found out that chemo actually destroys your metabolism. I'm trudging along trying to "rev" it back into shape.

My hair is growing like wildfire. It seems much thicker than before and curlier. Everyone tells me that they think my hair looks cute like this, but it drives me bonkers. I feel like I have a white girl's fro -- DEFINITELY not a good look. Gravity, please, do your thing on my hair!!



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