Right now I am continually amazed at how far I have come. For example, I am currently drinking Diet Coke. From a can, without waiting for it to go flat or anything. Do you know how annoying it was not to be able to drink Coke for weeks? I was worried I might not be able to enjoy it ever again. God, I love Coke.
And I can drive again. DRIVE. I can go to places without asking someone to drive me. And I can ride in the car without putting a pillow between me and the seat belt. And soon, one of the places I can drive to will be work. It will be part-time at first, but I’m so close to getting back to normal completely.
And I can eat pretty much whatever I want, in larger quantities than before. I can eat a full meal now, no problem! No more leaving half of my food because I can’t finish it. Well, not often, anyway.
And I can sit up in a chair at the pub for a few hours without getting too tired. The first time I went to our weekly pub quiz after my second op was about four weeks afterwards, and it was exhausting. It hardly bothers me at all anymore.
What else? Editing Peeking Cat again – that’s a good one. And having enough energy to do some writing, and submit poems – I currently have work forthcoming in RAW Journal of Arts, Bonnie’s Crew, Amaryllis, Thimble Lit Mag, and Potato Soup Journal. And I’m working on my memoir.
Oh, and travelling! I’m going to Iceland tomorrow. We’re looking for the Northern Lights, which would be great to tick off my bucket list.
I haven’t gotten there yet with everything, though. My three drain sites haven’t healed yet so I can’t swim or have a bath, and it’s not comfortable to lie on my belly yet. So those are a couple of goals, I guess. Plus, I still get tired easily – I’m doing more now than I could before but because I’m doing more I get tired just as much.
All that is to say that no, it isn’t over and it never will be, because there will always be appointments and fear of recurrence and I’m kind of waiting to see if I feel the same way I felt after the first time it happened. It takes a while to sink in and for the thinking to start properly. (Though tell that to my hair, which is currently falling out due to stress or the operations or whatever. Did I mention yet that I was offered chemo and said no because there is little to no evidence of it being effective in preventing recurrence in my particular situation? Ironic that I’m not having chemo and my hair is coming out anyway. Not too much, but enough to be annoying.)
Besides my slightly gloomy outlook about the never-ending doom of cancer, I am very happy that I can do all of these things now. Because particularly soon after when I was recovering from the second op, I felt like things were never going to get better. Recovery has taken so long – is taking so long – that it felt like I would never eat normally again, never drink whatever I wanted again, never have enough energy to do all the things I normally did. It is incredible how resilient the human body is, and there is much to be grateful for.
Also, wanna see my scars? Please excuse the dressings on my drain sites, and the general grossness of the whole thing. This is how they looked about three weeks ago. Pretty big, huh?