It’s four weeks on from my last Herceptin and I have turned a corner. Thank Goodness. Since June, I have had two migraines a week plus headaches totalling up to five days out of seven. It has been a pain I tell you. But as of today, I have not had a migraine for thirteen whole days.
I have gained three kilos since June and I think it’s just from being out of action with all the headaches and migraines. The most annoying part about them is the inability to get much done in a day or a week. On a migraine day, I would just rest and recover from that and sometimes, I had migraines two days in a row. So then…when I felt better, I tried to catch up on everything that needed to be done (by the way, it is impossible to catch up on a week’s worth of activities in two days. Logically, I knew that but I felt so behind with everything). I’m now gradually catching up with some things.
So as the Herceptin is coming out of my system gradually, I am feeling better and the side effects reducing. It takes around three months for the Herceptin to exit completely. Also, I’ve had four surgeries in just over a year and three months of CMF chemo and lots of other medications. So finally, I can start to recover properly. My skin isn’t very good though…I guess I’m detoxing. I’m sure the weight will start to come off gradually over the next few months.
Gradual re-entry to life
Mentally, I am feeling different too. I would say more optimistic about the future and feeling happier in myself. Time is a great healer. I’m also noticing that I can concentrate better on lots of things including reading, writing, crosswords etc. I didn’t realise how bad my concentration had got.
So it’s a case of gradually catching up with life and moving forward. Not trying to do everything at once. Easier said than done. I seem to have a driver inside me which gives me huge sets of tasks…which don’t get done. But hey, apart from a cold at the moment, I am getting there slowly by surely.
It is strangely freeing to start to feel more well…freeing but also, slightly overwhelming. I can’t remember what I used to do with so much free time. Oh yes, work and see friends. I haven’t had much energy or felt physically good since April last year. I am having to re-learn normal behaviour now that I have more energy. I have even started doing yoga again about 30 minutes each day – plus doing a cycle or walk.
I guess it’s time to set some new goals, get back to some part time work, get out the bucket list and start gradually making things happen.
I had a skype consultation with Robert Newby Naturopath and Herbalist. I am going to take some herbs for the next three to four months to help clean up any medications affecting my liver. Plus taking probiotics to rebuild my immune system after quite a few anti-biotics. I am happy about the recovery and rebuilding path ahead.
In the next month or two, I’m moving house. I want to move back to Kapiti as I made a promise to myself that I wanted to improve my lifestyle post cancer. Having cancer once is a blip. But having it twice in five years is slightly more than a blip – and I want to improve my health overall (by changing the things that I can control e.g. stress levels and the resulting stress hormones). So I’ve decided to move out to the Kapiti coast and have a more relaxed lifestyle near the beach. I will keep you posted as to how that pans out.
It will be quite a transition moving away from the city life but I am not attracted to the rat race lifestyle any more. And interesting to see what kind of work I can do from there. That will be the next step.
I have also planned a holiday with my Mum to France. The main destination is the healing place of Lourdes – it’ll be great to bring back some healing water and just experience a sacred healing city. Any bit of healing helps and I just felt I wanted to end the year on a high note after so many treatments. Life is short lived and it’s great to do things this year rather than wait five years.
What is working for me
- Acupuncture with Kym Binding phone (021) 02433635
- Fortnightly Chiropractor appointments with Gareth from Back to Living
- Herbs and probiotics prescribed by Robert Newby, Naturopath and Chiropractor
- Friends and family 🙂
- Daily exercise – yoga, walking on the beach and cycling (and I’ll rejoin the gym shortly)
- Planning on moving to a more relaxed coastal town
- Planning a holiday to Lourdes
- Art therapy with Mary Brownlow
- Planning a gradual re-entry to work once I’m feeling a lot better
- This website and feedback from readers! Thanks Serena Star Leonard for helping me set up BC Nirvana.
- Meditation, especially using Stephen Archer’s mindfulness CD
- EFT with Jasmina Kovacev
- The Cancer Society introduced me to Mary Brownlow and Stephen Archer through their cancer support programmes
Thanks to everyone for your support – and putting up with boring, endless stories of headaches and migraines.
What are your tips for feeling better post cancer and post cancer treatement?