*dusts off the screen*
Is anybody there still?
I know it's been a while.
A lot has happened. A lot is still the same. I've learned a few things this past year about myself and about others. Some of it was not always pleasant but there has been some really good stuff too.
I am cancer free now. I had my 3 month check up on July 1st and the last PET scan showed no evidence of cancer, just gallstones (which I already knew about). The only lingering issues I still have are the weight I gained during chemo, fatigue, some stomach issues, and hot flashes/night sweats.
Even though there is nothing there (full hysterectomy), there was the possibility of traveling salesman cancer cells...which the chemo should have taken care of but you never know...so I was really nervous about lighting "up like a Christmas tree" (The Fault in Our Stars). I think I'll always be afraid of that each time I have a checkup. I am not dwelling on that but I would be lying if I said it didn't color how I look at things now. How could it not?
Mostly, at this point, I find it manifests itself in less patience for the things/people that hurt me or give me grief. Life is too short to put up with bullshit. The other thing is that it makes me want to start checking off the list of things I want to do like learn how to rock climb and hike the PCT. And also it makes me want to spend more time on the things I do love and less on things I don't.
One thing I know for sure, beating cancer doesn't make me a superhero. I had a whole team of doctors & nurses and family that did that. I am just a woman who survived as best she could. But I am proud of the fact that I was able to work through chemo and continue running. I think I did pretty well.
Before and after the surgery and then during chemo, I felt like my whole life was focused on cancer. First getting the huge cyst out, then recovering from surgery, then getting ready for chemo, and then chemo. When it was all over...it wasn't all over. I thought being done with chemo would mean I would be me again. I didn't realize I would still be dealing with the effects 4 months later or that it would be normal to experience side effects for 6 months or longer. I mean, I KNEW how horrid chemo was and what it did to my body but I guess I assumed it would bounce back quickly.
I guess I expected too much. Like someone reminded me yesterday, we basically had to "kill" off all the good stuff in my body to kill the cancer and that will take a while to recover from.
I am feeling much better and stronger now. I was a little depressed in May because I wasn't seeing any improvements in my body and I was so exhausted all the time. And then my sweet stripey-rotter, Spike, passed away...from cancer. I admit that I was bitter and angry for a while. I was so angry that cancer had taken so much out of me and was still controlling my life. I just wanted it all to be over with! I want to be healthy again and not worry about getting cancer again. I want to not have to go to checkups every three months and take blood tests and PET scans and worry about the results. Someone told me just this weekend that I was not the same woman I was a year ago. That I was not the happy, fun, and goofy Lisa I used to be. Yeah, no shit. But I'm trying.
The last month has been pretty good though and that's helped my mood. I took a vacation which helped tremendously with all the work stress. And I can run again without pain (had a little plantar fasciitis). And this weekend I joined 24 HR fitness again and had my first training session last night! He's a masochist! But I think it's going to be really good for me and will hopefully help me lose the weight I gained. It's been frustrating not being able to lose it. Though from what I've read, it will take a while for the steroids to wear off and allow the weight to come off, I think adding weight training will help that along.
So, I'm planning on chronicling my comeback here and will try to post once a week or so. I have plans to go social networking free for a month because I need to spend more time doing and less time on the phone and other gadgets but I will still blog. I have a lot I need to work out and writing helps.
Until next time...I hope you are having fun whatever you love doing!