Physically, I’m doing well – Mentally, not so much

I wasn’t sure what to write about anxiety. It is really difficult to explain.

For me, it becomes a compulsion to be doing something, which is why I’ve had a hard time taking a rest. I feel like I need to be doing something all the time, otherwise I’ll spiral down. If I can keep my mind occupied, then it doesn’t have a chance to spiral.

It means that I’m overly sensitive and often on the verge of tears. It can be something trivial that sets me off.

The other day at the grocery store I ran into someone from boxing. She asked how I was doing. Physically I’m doing great, so I often say I’m doing well. I told her that I missed boxing but it is unlikely I’ll be back anytime soon because of my lymphedema. That brought me to tears. I held them off long enough to get checked out, but was crying when I got into the car. It is hard to explain, but I miss the camaraderie at the club.

Physically, I’m feeling strong again. I walked 4 km on Crescent Beach on Saturday. I don’t remember the last time I could walk the full length of the beach – it was before treatment. Unfortunately, after that I crashed and spent the evening sleeping. Maybe I was pushing it.

I went swimming today for the first time since chemo. It was nice to get back in the pool. I actually swam more than 500m, which is more than I expected for my first time out in months. Yesterday, I started the day with a boxing routine on my Quest (virtual reality boxing). I felt great doing it, but my normal exercise rush wasn’t there – or it was muted – as was my rush from being in the pool. Exercise usually makes me feel really good, especially when it is strenuous – but I’m not getting that same feeling. The feeling is muted.

I remember the struggle and the breakthroughs from the last time I went through this. I’m not having the same anxiety – in that it doesn’t feel the same. I’m numb to the fear, which is what I had the last time. I’m not numb to the loss. Loss weighs heavily. Boxing is one of the losses. The rest of me feels like things should be normal. I don’t have the same mental losses – the loss of innocence, the loss of physical body parts. There isn’t as much loss this time – I didn’t even lose all my hair!

I am super sensitive to not being (or the sense of not being) appreciated for all the work that I’ve done. It is so demotivating when someone wants to just throw it away without acknowledgement of the past work. I’m also afraid that my work won’t be as rewarding next semester as it has been in the past.

  • Becky

One Comment

  • Big hugs for you. Can you confide in a friend who can “shore you up” for a while?

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