My cold still lingers on, although in some ways I’m feeling better. I get tired really easily – and yet I try to get out for at least a short walk each day. The walk gets me away from my computer, and gives my body a chance to stretch out and enjoy the moments of sunshine between the clouds. The weather isn’t as warm as it has been, but still rather nice. If I were feeling better I would consider getting back in the swimming pool. That is something that will have to wait until after this cold goes away. The good news in that, is that my incisions shall be well healed by the time I jump in the pool.
Every day, either before or after my shower (or both), I look at myself in the mirror. I know many women who are not able to do that. I’m really happy with how my body looks. I see fat on my legs that I’m sure will become more trim when I can finally get back on the bike and ride – again, this cold is sidelining me. Aerobic activity is out of the question until the cough goes away. One day, I’ll find a way to share a photo on this blog. A photo of my scars but also of my new breasts – so that others can see what the type of reconstruction I had actually looks like.
I am finding that I am remarkably more mobile. I was almost able to do a sun salutation (yoga) last night. I got as far as the plank part, where my core said ‘no chance’. I cannot support my body with my stomach/core just yet. Again, once this cold goes away, I hope to get back to the Y and the Living Strong Living Well program. They have allowed me to enroll in a second session because I could not complete the first. I’m grateful for that opportunity, as I am finding the targeted strength training to be very helpful. I was seeing some great results before my last surgery.
As my cold lingers on, I am struggling with some emotional / intellectual demons. I find myself going down the path of think I’m never going to feel better, I’m never going to be strong again. The Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is helping me see that I’m telling myself these things. It is helping me figure out how to stop telling myself these things – to re-program how my thinking works when I’m not feeling 100%. I don’t have the answer just yet, but I’m working on it. I’m also giving myself permission to rest … but at some point, and the things on my to do list pile up even higher.
I’ve never been one to procrastinate in the past, but I’m struggling with it now. I need to start getting back to work, but I struggle with the motivation to get it done. I use the cold as an excuse to not try. I use chemo brain as an excuse to not try. I tell myself, maybe tomorrow, or maybe next week. It will all be better sometime in the future – but the reality is that I need to stop procrastinating and start trying again. I won’t really know what I’m capable of – or what I’m not capable of – until I try it, but part of me is afraid that if I try I will discover that I cannot do what I used to be able to do. That I will have cognitive deficits. That’s what is really scaring me. And not trying, procrastinating, means I won’t have to find out that I cannot do what I used to be able to do.
Time is also needed to heal these wounds. I may be finished with treatment and surgery, but I have not healed from those assaults. The neuropathy in my feet is still a significant problem – but I’m feeling changes – I can feel blood flood to my feet (I can feel the swish of my heartbeats). This is a new sensation (very odd). I’ve told that we will not know the extent of my recovery (or damage) for at least another 6-months. Neuropathy can take 18-months post surgery to heal. The cognitive deficits associated with chemotherapy are even less well understood. I’ve learned from various social networks that people start to really get back to their ‘normal’ after about a year. So, right now, I can expect that I will struggle with some things – but that I can hope that as time goes by it will get better. I will regain most of what I had before treatment. It just takes time.
So, this afternoon, I will try to get some contract work done. I will try to do some of the more technical stuff I used to do with ease. I know that once I get started, I will enjoy doing it, but getting over the initial inertia is hard. I need a push (or maybe another cup of coffee!).