It is almost four months since my last Herceptin treatment and things are starting to improve a lot.
In the first six weeks, I felt nothing much about finishing treatment, especially as I still had all the treatment side effects. My Oncologist said it would take around three months for the medications to leave my system and I found this about right; at the two to three month mark, I felt a heap better.
I am noticing more physical energy and increased mental energy too (I can concentrate better and just a feeling of being mentally stronger). I am doing a bit more exercise each day and often going for a 45 minute walk on the beach first thing in the morning now that it is light and Summery. Somehow, I have lost 7kg. I’m not completely sure how but I think it’s a combination of the medications leaving my body, being more active (due to less headaches) and not eating treats (that I felt I needed when I was feeling yuck so often).
Nearly back to work
I am mentally preparing myself for getting back in to the workplace. I often go to the library for four hours at a time, writing, doing bits and pieces of work-like tasks to get myself into work mode again. I saw a career counsellor last week and went through a range of options for me to try for my re-entry into the workforce. I am looking forward to my new job.
In parallel, I have had a few projects on the go. I am looking to improve the BC Nirvana website so that is exciting. I have been looking for a new place to live and ‘nearly’ have that organised. Even though I am not in a traditional job, I am working on a number of different projects: good health, finding a home, BC Nirvana and finding the right job. There are a lot of options around at the moment. From one side, there is not much happening but from my side, there is lots going on.
What has been working for me
A consistent focus on my health and recovery:
- Daily exercise as a priority. Walking each day and doing chi gong. I hope to start cycling again soon and get back to the gym in the near future.
- Eating well
- Putting myself first. Listening to my body and reducing stress where possible.
- Acupuncture weekly. I have been able to get over colds and headaches quicker and each week, feel that I’m actively improving my health.
- Herbs. Taking post-cancer herbs and supplements.
- Art therapy. I still find this useful, especially when going through transitions.
- Osteopathy. I had a fall recently and started seeing an Osteopath. She has been doing fantastic things with my back and head.
- Career counselling. Looking at what I really want to do and how to get there. In Wellington, I saw Sue Mortlock who is very good.
- Friends and family. Lots of chats and outings with good friends and family.
- Pace. Reminding myself of what I’ve been through and to take things gently. Looking for part time work initially (three or so days a week) as I build up my energy levels.
- New goals. Setting new short, medium and long term goals.
- Keeping busy. Having a few projects to focus on e.g. the website.
- Good things to look forward to – celebrations and weekends away with friends, visiting other parts of NZ, planning next year’s holiday.