Since treatment I have experienced days where my cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy seem like a dream (a terrible one I might add), then my tingling feet come on and it soon reminds me that no, this was no dream!
The side effects of treatment: tingling feet and fatigue are still ever present. My hair on the other hand is growing thicker and I have a few grey ones …. actually it’s gone slightly wild. I’m not complaining though, I am so grateful that I didn’t lose my hair.
What I am also finding is that when I have a day where I am very busy running around or I have to concentrate for long periods of time, when I stop, my body declares to my brain that it’s exhausted and I have to go to bed immediately.
Anyway, how am I adapting to my new normal? I’m not going to lie – all the way through my recovery, from my operation and journey through chemo I was waiting for the day when I could try and get back to a life rather than just surviving. The past 11 months it was all about survival – getting through each day – focusing in the moment. Over the past four weeks I’ve come out of the survival stage and I’ve moved into the “let’s focus on enjoying life”phase.
This phase is rather odd – I think I was expecting to get into some kind of routine very similar to how my life was before my diagnosis but this hasn’t been the case for many reasons. The main one being no matter how you look at it, cancer has affected the way I live my life moving forward. I’ll give you an example – focus – cancer focuses you on what’s important in life, yes we all have days where things don’t go to plan, but the fact I’m still alive and working on doing the things I enjoy, makes it worth it.
I’ve also set up my own business. This is a massive shift in focus, again very different to being employed. It’s hard work but I am really enjoying it and it’s been a dream of mine for so many years.
I’m also starting to plan ahead – something I couldn’t do at all last year. As I move into the next 12 weeks I am looking forward too:
- Hair growth and colour – I’m hoping that in another 12 weeks I can start to colour my hair. I was advised not to colour it for 6 months after treatment
- Chemo finally leaving my body – again this takes up to 6 months to get out of your system
- Going out and enjoying the sunshine – another side effect from my chemo drugs is that your skin is more likely to get burnt more easily
- Having fun!
My 1 year cancer anniversary is approaching and I’ve just had my follow up colonoscopy, which was very painful and that prep was so hard to get down, but it was normal – everything looked OK. I’m estatic – one of the lucky ones. I found this picture which I thought would be quite appropriate to share….
Absolutely! Here’s to the next 12 weeks! I’ll drink to that 🍸.