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:

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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.


  • Becky

One Comment

  • Agree about cancer changing a person. Having gone through a much more direct encounter with death twice with my heart it’s surprising all the mental confusion and low-level rejection, but no capital-C crisis, cancer has really pushed my limits.

    Feel it’s time to be a different person. More honest about how I feel. What I value gets my attention and people who judge me are off the list. It’s strange but the constant reminder of being an “unacceptable” person when I was very ill and as a result, left to fend for myself has made me kinder in many ways. But with no desire to return to the acceptability defined by people whose “kindness” is an easily shed skin.

    Cool that you are riding the recumbent. Is it you old one or the trike? Practicing on my bike and time between it deciding to go some direction and my agreeing to follow is still a few seconds.

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