I’ve been meaning to update the blog for a little while, but things have been busy. I started to write a post a few weeks ago and it went like this:
I am feeling awesome. That is the brief update in one sentence.
Here is the longer version: My skin is much better, my energy is almost normal, and I am able to complete everyday tasks like it is nobody’s business. It is strange to feel so great about the littlest things. I did the dishes! I can go grocery shopping! I can pick up Nate and give him a bath! Some days, I can do all these things, one right after another. Amazing, yes? I feel like all these little tasks have been so difficult over the last many months that the return of the ability to do these things is such a huge gift.
I hope you are smiling as you read this. Because I am smiling as I write this. So, we are sharing a smile, you and I.
But then last week I had a bit of a crash. My energy dipped really low and I knew something seemed wrong. I dropped Nate off at daycare and was so exhausted that I had to sit down. With no bench in sight, I sat down on the ground and called my nurse at Princess Margaret. She suggested I come in and get blood work done, just to be safe. I was disappointed. After only a couple weeks of feeling so great, it felt especially cruel to suddenly have to go back to the hospital.
I sat in the chair in the blood lab, the same lab where I had to get my pre-chemo tests done, and the memory of the last many months flooded over me. I remember closing my eyes tightly as the nurse drew blood. I hoped and wished that all was well and I was simply experiencing a momentary, although extreme, dip in energy.
A few hours later, the blood tests showed that everything seemed okay. The doctor suggested that I might simply have a run of the mill virus. I suppose that it’ll take a little while for me to get used to reading the cues and signals from my body, and get used to the idea that not every glitch or stumble in health will be one that’s life-threatening. I think that’s one of the hard things after a cancer diagnosis – trusting your body again.
The next day, I left for New York. Throughout this whole thing, I’ve continued to work towards completing my dissertation and PhD. I defended my dissertation on Thursday and am happy to report that it went well. New York was great. Mitchell joined me for a couple days and we ate and napped and walked around the city. I was still a little low-energy, but made the best of it.
And now we’re back. I’m trying to adjust to a new life – no more treatment, and no more dissertation! Two really big milestones. I’m starting a new job in just a couple weeks and am preparing for a new beginning.
My energy is still low, but I’m trying not to be too impatient. My body’s been through a lot these past few months, and I know it’ll take time to re-adjust.
And although there will be some tired days in my future, the long update is still pretty similar to the short update: I am feeling awesome.