I saw my abs today! It was their first sighting in a year and a half! I finally feel like I'm getting my body back. It has been slow, but little marks of progress along the way make it a little easier.
I decided earlier this week to "test" to see if I still need to wear sunscreen all the time (it's getting a little old...). I had a couple of errands to run each day but was mostly in the house, so I didn't put on sunscreen ... and I have a couple of faint sunspots on my face. Yup, still need to wear it. While I understand that it's a good idea to wear sunscreen in general, if I'm just going to the grocery store and back, it'd be nice to save the few minutes it takes to put it in, as well as saving the sunscreen for when I need it, as well as saving my skin from having that crap all over it. It's OK. It's my price for living right now. Chemo messed up my skin (temporarily), but chemo let me live to complain about it.
And Tam, I read your birthday blog post ... For whatever it's worth, the anti-nausea drugs they gave me made my vision blurry, but my eyes cleared up just about immediately after treatments ended. I had trouble with Neupogen, so they switched me to Neulasta - is that available to you? Maybe it would help more? I needed only one shot, and it sent my white cell count through the roof! I had all kinds of "chemo brain" and often had trouble holding a normal conversation because I couldn't think of words and because I would forget what I was talking about mid-sentence. It went away after treatments ended. I have a little trouble every now and then now, but it's mostly gone. And they said side effects could last for up to 18 months, and I'm still inside of that window. The butt problems went away, too.
As far as life after cancer and its problems ... no, it's not the same as it was Before. But it is good, or it can be good. The scans aren't endless - they just feel like it, especially because we have so much life left. Hell, I'll certainly outlive my oncologist by quite a margin! It is super-easy to get bogged down by all of the negative possibilities — there are so many of them! I have just decided that they are not a possibility, and I do my best to live so that my thoughts, my hopes, and my actions all match. It ain't always easy, but it's worth the work!!
If you want to talk, let's figure out a way to exchange e-mail addresses without posting them here. (If not, that's totally OK, too.)
Hope you are feeling a little better...
Another self portrait
1 month ago