Seven weeks on
It’s seven weeks since I finished Herceptin and I am feeling a bit better each week. It is almost a month since I had a migraine. I can’t tell you how life changing that is. I now can actually do some things consistently. I still have a couple of days of headaches a week and wake most days with a kind of seedy, nauseous feeling. But that is usually gone by the afternoon. I usually need to start the day very slowly. I still have a bit of fatigue but am focusing on building up my fitness. Also my concentration is improving.
With acupuncture, we are working on bringing up my digestion and liver function instead of constantly focusing on headaches and migraines. And my acupuncturist has taught me a few qi gong exercises to build up my energy. I am finding those really helpful. Most days, I go for a bike ride or walk and will re-join the gym or something like that in a month or so.
I am also taking herbs and supplements to rebuild my body after all these treatments. I am taking a pro-biotic to rebuild the good flora in the intestine, herbs to help move residue of all the medications I’ve taken for the last year or so and a good anti-oxidant. I am just getting used to the new system of taking them as the herbs are three times a day and need to be refrigerated.
At the end of the year, I will start looking for part time work. I am starting to feel that I can contribute in a small way and consistently (without having to take sick leave constantly for migraines etc). As I feel better, I start to want something for my brain to do plus more social interaction. The challenge is to find work that doesn’t use up all my new found energy and doesn’t put too much pressure on me and my health. So starting gently in a supportive environment.
There are lots of decisions to make about where to work and live etc but I will leave the decisions until the time I need to make them. That is new for me as I used to plan things way in advance.
My overall goal is to live a healthier lifestyle and really enjoy everything I do. It is a new way of thinking for me. It requires knowing who I am completely and what suits me. And prioritising a healthy lifestyle over a stressful job, working too many hours etc. It feels pretty radical to move out from the rat race as I call it. I will keep you posted on how things progress.
It is starting to sink in that I am cancer free and that I can make plans for the future. I am feeling a bit more positive about life but still feel the effects of so much cancer treatment over the last few years.
What is not going well:
- When I have headaches, they usually do not respond to medication. So having pain for a whole day starts to get me down. A GP friend suggested that I don’t take any headache medications at all as there is a toxic build up. So it can be a bit challenging at times.
- Lots of aches and pains too small to mention – but I guess all the accumulation of side effects from all the surgeries, chemo and medications.
- I have a friend who is very ill and hospitalised at the moment. My heart goes out to her and her family. It is very sad.
What is going well/helping me
- Acupuncture and Qi Gong with Kym Binding
- Eating really well
- Friends and family
- Writing for BC Nirvana
- Doing exercise daily – getting out in to nature e.g. walking, cycling etc.
- Listening to my body about what I am able to do
- Planning a post-cancer holiday. I will end the year on a high note! Remember doing cancer treatment is not a holiday. Have a holiday before returning to work.
- Taking herbs and supplements to support my recovery
- No migraines for nearly a month!
- I’ve now had a few celebrations of finishing cancer treatment. That’s been great.
- Art therapy with Mary Brownlow