A sobering reality

This entry is going to be a bit different. It’s not about living in China, or being a single, home-schooling mom, or any of those things. This entry is going to reflect on my cancer recovery. A good friend of mine has recently began her recover from breast cancer, and some things she says have made me very reflective and introspective.

For the previous three years, I had a progression of trying to eat new foods, and some would work and some wouldn’t. Sometimes, one that I couldn’t swallow a week previously, suddenly became no problem. And I stopped needing to wash down every bite with milk. I still have a very dry mouth, but swallowing milk with each bite is no longer necessary.

I am no longer losing weight, I plateaued. It’s cool. I still have a pretty high metabolism. But for some reason, that doesn’t keep me warm. I am much colder than the average people around me. I wear about 3 layers of clothes and my fingers, toes, and nose still always feel like ice. I take thyroid medicine, but it doesn’t seem to help this. I have to take thyroid medicine everyday because my thyroid was burned by the radiation.

My migraines seem to be under control. I don’t even have 2-3 a month anymore. Compared to 2-3 a week, it’s a HUGE improvement. I do have a constant pain in my neck though. It’s clearly from having a scar. I don’t mean it just hurts when I touch it. It hurts a lot. And, I thought the twitching from the nerve reattaching was over, but it still pops up every once in a while.

Ok, but here’s the thing. I was under the silly impression that I might go back to some sense of normal –ok, maybe not exactly normal, but I didn’t think I wouldn’t be the same. I mean, of course I’m not the same, but I just thought I would not be so different, I guess.

There are no new foods to add to my list. Whatever I can’t eat now, I will never be able to eat. Nothing has changed for over 6 months. No more saliva than 6 months ago. My recover is over. My hair has made it to my shoulders. I even get it trimmed about every month. I can eat chocolate and lemon now. I can drink juice and eat yogurt. There are no new discoveries. It’s over and this is as good as it gets. It’s a bit sobering.

The long-term effect of chemo can mess with you so bad. I know I’m getting older, but my bones and joints hurt all the time. It also messes with my brain. I’m not as quick and my memory is not as good as it was. I play a lot of mind games and write to stay sharp and I’m practically O/Cd keeping mega-organized, so that I don’t spend time on lost things. But it’s kind of feel like this cancer stole about 20 years of my life. I went from feeling like 20-something to feeling about 60 and I totally missed my 30’s and 40’s.
When I was recovering, and things progressively kept getting better, I had all of this hope. Nothing is getting better anymore. This is all I got and what I have to live with now.

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