Let me preface this post by stating that I am feeling physically healthier and stronger these days now that my body is almost completely healed from the operation, eating only healthy foods, and exercising 40 minutes daily. Yes, I’m now back to exercising daily for about 40 minutes on the treadmill in addition to stretches, weights, etc.
Having said this, though, I was surprised by how unexpectedly difficult things have been for me emotionally and psychologically as I settle into month #2. Let me try to articulate the jumble of thoughts I’ve had to deal with for the past couple of weeks.
Perhaps it’s because I was on Spring Break last week and had the “luxury of time” to let the past couple of months’ events sink in or because I was now “settling in” to an established routine and no longer having to deal with new tests, new medicines, etc…or perhaps it was the continual pressure to aggressively lose my excess fat so as to minimize the unnecessary hormone production in my body but not losing it fast enough…For the record, as of yesterday’s weigh-in, I’ve lost almost 20 pounds since the day that I discovered my mass (aka almost 2 months ago). My hope is that I’ll hit my weight-loss goal for this month when I weigh myself this Sunday.
Regardless of the reason, though, last week I found myself moody, restless, uncertain if what I’m doing is effective, and a number of other emotional states and just feeling as though my ability to handle stress and life’s unexpected curve balls has been severely diminished. And for a person who likes to control things in her life, this can require a bit of adjusting. For example, my dog Bentley developed an ear infection and my subsequent ineptitude to deliver his ear medication properly made me want to cry the other day. For a day or two, I wallowed–albeit internally–in the irrational fear that this ear infection was not only going to escalate and cause him to lose his hearing but ultimately kill him prematurely…and all because his “trusty” owner–me–couldn’t figure out a way to cajole her canine furball into taking the medicine, no matter how much he hates the medicine drops.
See? Totally irrational…Ugh…I’m definitely more emotional these days than usual. 😛
Needless to say, I had to take myself firmly in check last night and tell myself to get a grip and see things in a more realistic perspective.
More than anything else, though, I think month #2 has just been more difficult than month #1 because I’m now having to deal with the permanence of things and hoping that what I’m doing right now will be effective enough to ensure that cancer never gets to proliferate again. In month #1, I kept myself busy with tests, surgery, dealing with the infection, making sure I eat ALL of my medicines and supplements, etc., but in month #2, I now have a set routine down to ensure that I’m doing everything humanly possible to maintain my health…and yet unable to do any sort of definitive testing to confirm that what I’m doing–and the drastic changes that I’ve made in my life–are sufficient to keep cancer at bay. Hmmm…I don’t know if I’m making any sense. The fear of recurrence is a trying thing…
In any case, month #2 is making me deal with things that I didn’t expect…perhaps something about “the calm after the storm”…?
Since I deal better with concrete goals, though, let me articulate a few for the next month:
- Lose the remaining 3 pounds this week to stay on target with my weight-loss goal. As sis pointed out, in lieu of opting out of chemotherapy, I need to lose the excess weight, eat healthy, and exercise daily with the same seriousness that I would have had receiving chemotherapy.
- Monitor my progress and ensure that I lose an additional 10 pounds by the end of May, bringing me into month #3 during that month. Ultimately goal is to be down to a healthy weight (115-120 lbs.) by my birthday in July, if not sooner.
- Get blood test to ensure that cholesterol and other levels are now within normal parameters.
For now, I am doing everything as best as I can. The rest, I’ve just got to leave up to my Lord. Otherwise, I’ll drive myself nutty with the uncertainties. 😛 Here’s praying that I continue to draw my strength from Christ who strengthens me (one of my life verses of Philippians 4:13) and retrain myself to see the positive things to everything…yes, even Bentley’s ear infection. 😛