Hi my friends. I’ve been meaning to write for awhile now, but I haven’t been able to organize the right words … I wanted to write about my life after chemo, but before I could finish a draft it was time for surgery …
I’m a week out of surgery. The pain level varies from day to day, as does my fatigue. My spirits fluctuate as well. All things considered, I am largely relieved; they were able to get the rest of the cancer out, and I am currently cancer free. However, the impact of looking in the mirror for the first time was traumatic. I certainly feel that I’ve lost a great deal of femininity; but I’m grateful to be alive and to have lowered my chances of recurrence. I feel a bit like I’ve been gifted an expensive piece of jewelry … that I find hideous. Grateful for the thought and resources invested, but dreading the thought of wearing it in public.
As the healing continues, I am sure I will get used to my new appearance. For now, though, I try not to look too much. And when I do I keep reminding myself that this is what fighting looks like; what my life looks like. These are my battle scars, and I won the fight.
In the meantime, my sister is here helping me convalesce. She makes sure I get my medicine as scheduled; she feeds me and tends to my drains; and she provides quiet company for me … allowing me to converse as I wish and nap as I wish. We watch movies and tell stories. She makes us dinner and helps my son with his homework. She gives me a sense of peace knowing that Hubs doesn’t have to do it all.
I was beginning to like my life after chemo, so the surgery feels like a setback. As I fall asleep each night, I think of all the things I’m going to get done the next day. And the next day rolls around and I find that I tire before I can complete a project. This is one of my biggest frustrations … having the desire and the creativity to work on a project only to have my body fail me.
My primary project is getting done slowly, between naps and games on the iPad. And I suppose I need to be content with that because I am healing from a major surgery. If you know me at all, though, you know that I hate when my body doesn’t cooperate with my mind. It makes recovery a very mercurial process, as one minute I’m content to nap; and another I’m irritable because I cannot complete a task in one sitting. Even now, as I write this post (it’s taken two different attempts so far), I find my eyes getting heavy.
On that note, I think I will say goodbye for now. Perhaps it is time for a nap. Please continue to comment and send well wishes. It boosts my sprits more than you know.