I just realised that it is six months since I finished all my treatment. And things have changed a lot! Things are starting to hum along nicely and…it is hard to believe that I was a cancer patient.
Yesterday, at work, I felt that I was in the zone. Going to meetings, writing emails, discussing complex issues..and it is like the bc chapter(s) never happened. It is usually when I get home that the fatigue hits and I re-remember that I need to treat myself with gentleness. I am still in recovery.
Sometimes I feel I travel between two parallel universes – going to work and being fine and then outside work, dealing with everything that a post-bc life holds (check ups, side effects, memories and uncertainties). Though at work, the parallel universe intervenes as I notice people working long hours and powering ahead and upwards with their careers. I don’t have the luxury of that at this point in my life.
Since August last year, I have:
- Stopped having migraines and headaches for five days out of each seven days!
- Lost nearly 13 kg! and bought lots of new clothes 🙂
- Bought a house that I love. It is a 1970s baby with lots of wood, orange formica with brown flowers, brown geometric shaped lino and macramé light fittings. It is a five minute walk to the beach which is the best part.
- Spent nearly a month in France on my post-treatment holiday and LOVED it. I would love to live in Paris one day…
- Started working again – initially at 3.5 days per week and now at 3 days per week. Re-established relationships with my colleagues again and got my head around policy and project and programme management.
- Kept up with BC Nirvana and I’m still enjoying it.
- And continued to be cancer-free!
Life is still not easy all the time with a lot of side effects still remaining from treatment but in taking stock, I have done pretty okay.
I have reduced my work days and am working three days (and have four days off). The balance has shifted a bit and I feel more in control of my health (though with a bit less money but hey, I have to put my health first).
I still have a lot of fatigue but with the rest days, I seem to be able to get through. I also have a whole week off next week. Overall, I feel like I am turning a corner in coping with work.
I am pleased with my progress at work. I feel that many of my thought processes and outputs are as good as pre-treatment days. My relationship management, financial management and project management skills are good. I still find very technical writing the most difficult since all the treatment but I am doing okay.
I feel that my confidence is returning and I am starting to see interesting things in each day (without having to think about bc regularly). Things are settling down to a new normal.
My headaches have reduced a bit and I haven’t had a migraine for a month or so. My hair is still falling out but perhaps a little less. It apparently is stress (not anything more sinister) so I am focusing on reducing those stressful thinsg. I am finding sleep quite hard…winding down after work is quite diffiuclt.
I don’t do much socialising these days. Maybe three social activities a week. I am often too tired and then can’t catch up unless I take a lot of rest outside work.
I do exercise each morening before I go to to work. In general, I’m too tired when I get home from work.
I had a check up with my plastic surgeon this week. It was all fine and I am scheduled for another check up in a year.
I had a mammogram a few weeks ago and I have a check up with my breast surgeon in a week or so. I expect that to be okay but there are always aches and pains that seem suspicious until given ‘the okay’ by the specialists.
What is going well
- Weekly acupuncture with Peter Larking
- Post-cancer herbs
- Talking to the Cancer Society specialists
- Friends and family
- Working and getting challenged and participating in interesting things
- Having colleagues once more. It is great.
- Things to look forward to eg holidays, minibreaks
- Lots of sleep – 8 hours a night
- I’m eating really well – lots of veges and salads (
- Exercise every day – before I go to work (cycling, walking, yoga)
- New hobbies – redecorating my house and learning perhaps how to be a gardener, learning a little French J
- Having income once again
- Planning my next holidays