It is interesting how some changes just sneak up on us, and others hit us in the face.
I’ve been thinking a lot about changes. In my cancer blogosphere, many people are annoyed at the expression/expectation that “cancer changes you”. It was something my mother-in-law said to me early on in the journey. Not so much that it necessarily makes you better or worse, just that it will forever change you. I see that.
One way that cancer has changed me is that I find that I often ask myself am I doing what I want to be doing? I ask this question multiple times a day. I ask it whenever I’m doing a new task or a repetitive task. Further, I ask myself If I was diagnosed with mets tomorrow, would I still want to be doing this task? I know that in some ways that may sound morose, but it can also be rather liberating. If the answer to the question is no, then I need to be asking myself why I’m doing that task, and if there is a way I can make it so that I do not need to do that task again. It means that I can say ‘no’ the next time I have an opportunity for that task. It also is validating. When the answer is ‘yes’ then I know that I’m doing something that I really want to be doing. I’m focusing on something that I should be focusing on. It is a useful test that I did not have before cancer.
Today marks 1 year from my first cancer treatment – this was me a year ago today:
Not really afraid, but perhaps apprehensive. I was so strong when I began chemotherapy. Just days before I rode my bike up Mount Hamilton. I was biking almost daily, and walking up to 10km.
A year later, I’m happy to report that I’m feeling in excellent shape again. Today I got on my ‘bent and rode over to a friends place so that we could walk. Then I rode home. I found myself bursting with energy. I felt strong both on my bike and on my feet. For the first time since surgery, I could lift my legs to start/stop on my recumbent without thinking about my abdominals. It is almost like something went ‘click’ and suddenly all the post-surgery weakness went away. I expected that I would gradually feel better – I didn’t expect it to be a sudden shift from struggling to strength. Just the other day I was writing about how healing take time. It does, so I must be careful not to over do it … but I’m just so glad that I am feeling strong again.