Friday, September 9, 2016

My New Normal

My New Normal

Wow.  It’s been a while since I posted here.  It seems like the last few months have flown by.  It’s been a crazy, emotional, exciting few months. 

I finished up my radiation treatments towards the end of May.  Radiation was much easier on me than chemotherapy.  My skin, 2 weeks after my last treatment, looked worse than when I finished up, which surprised me.  Now, 3 months later, my skin in that area is slightly darker, but it has healed nicely.

This summer I still maintained a much lighter schedule.  My energy is coming back, but I know my limits.  I also know that one of the reasons I am doing so well is that I don’t overdo it.  I rest.  When I got sick last year, I cut out all of my “extra” busy commitments that I had.  I needed my energy to work my job and to fight my cancer.  I am adamant about NOT getting so busy ever again.  All of those meetings, clubs, associations, and parties just don’t seem as important any more.

I thoroughly enjoyed sitting in my backyard most mornings having a cup of coffee…or three, lol.  Since our lake was redone a few years ago, it has really changed the atmosphere in our yard.  I love just sitting out there, watching my 3 dogs enjoy themselves.  I really think that pre-cancer, I would have felt like I needed to be DOING something productive.  I have decided that sitting and appreciating God’s handiwork in nature and enjoying my precious dogs having a great time IS doing something!

In July I went to Nashville for a few days on a Beachbody trip.  This was bittersweet to me.  Last year when I went I had a cancer spreading in me that I didn’t know about.  I was diagnosed about a week after my trip last year.  It was wonderful seeing my Beachbody family.  I hadn’t seen most of them since the trip last July.  I paced myself.  If I attended the morning sessions, I rested in the afternoon so that I could go to the evening events.  The next day, I slept in and skipped the morning sessions and attended the afternoon ones.  I listened to my body and had a wonderful time.

I also attended my class reunion, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. My classmates rallied around me when I was diagnosed and I will never forget that. Many of them that I didn’t know very well in school, sent me messages and cards, telling me that they were praying for me. GHS Class of 81 rocks!

August was a rollercoaster of emotions for me.  On August 7th I had my first Pet Scan since I finished my treatments.  I had every reason to believe it would be clear, but that tiny voice kept popping in my head with the “what ifs”.  It was a very emotional week, waiting for the results.   During that week, I had the anniversary of my diagnosis.  I’m glad it all happened during the same week.  I got all of the worrying, remembering and stress out of the way at once.   A flood of memories poured back in my head…..telling Dan, telling Ryan, calling Debbie who was out of town, calling Steff and listening to her cry, telling my Dad.  Telling my Dad broke my heart, because I knew what he was feeling.  The look on my brother’s face.  I’m so glad he was here and not in Germany.   All of those memories came flooding back, especially when I would try to go to sleep.

Last week a Facebook memory stopped me in my tracks.  It was a picture of me at my first chemotherapy session.  I was so scared.  I was smiling, but inside I was so scared. I just wanted to run away and scream. If I could go back in time I would tell myself “don’t be frightened. You can handle this. You’ve got an army of people praying for you and you will be fine”.

Now, as I am finding a “new normal” in my life, I am thankful.  My two granddaughters are happy and healthy, and I have another granddaughter due in October.  I am thankful for family, thankful for friends, thankful for healing, thankful for life.

At my first treatment:

July 2016, almost one year later.  Hair is growing back!

My backyard, my happy place