As I’ve said before and I’m sure I’ll say again, there are no two people/cases alike when it comes to cancer. We may have the same diagnosis, but treatment, side effects, and recovery depends on the individual. I admit that I completely underestimated my recovery from my second cancer.
When I had my first cancer, I recovered from it fairly quickly. And when I say recovered I mean how I am feeling physically, energy level, etc. However, I was 16 and did 1/6th of the amount of treatment I did for my second cancer. I still needed time to recover, but I was able to jump back into school and activities with minimal problems. I was pretty active in high school and always kept busy, so I was happy to get back to my routine. I’ve always been one to keep busy and usually put too much on my plate, but I get it done. So, when I was diagnosed for a second time, being 23 and working full-time, I figured I would be able to jump back into my routine once treatment was finished.
It has now been about 4 & 1/2 months since my 17th cycle of chemotherapy and I am still working on my recovery. I thought if I could do it before I could do it again, not taking into account that my body was already damaged prior and is now getting 6 times the amount of that. I struggled during chemo with energy and knew that this second time around would be more harsh, but I was not expecting recovery to be like this. Today, I still struggle with energy. I struggle with feeling sick often. I struggle with patience and wanting to be in a “normal” routine again. I struggle with my changed body. I struggle with recovery, period.
What I am learning as time goes on is that I need to listen to my body and be patient with it. Coming from a society wanting instant gratification, I just want to bounce back and be the busy body I once was. But in reality, that body is gone, and I need to accept that and take care of my new body. I know what I have been through, but for some reason I block it out and think I need to be at some point in my recovery by a certain time. Sometimes I lie in bed and have to tell myself that I went through a hysterectomy and 17 cycles of chemo, so I am recovering from two different things at the same time. I am trying to gain my energy and strength back from chemo, but also struggle with the changes the hysterectomy has done to my body.
I have started working again part-time and needed to take a day or two off already due to getting sick from my weakened immune system. I walked the trail over the weekend (a trail I used to run) and the next day I felt miserable. My body is sore and my stomach muscles feel like they have been ripped open (oh wait…they have been). Some days I still need that extra sleep. These are all examples of what recovery is, and sometimes is gets discouraging. Some days I wonder why try? Why feel this horrible? But then I remember that I want to be healthy and that takes time. This new body of mine may not be ideal, but at least I’m still breathing.
The body is an amazing and beautiful thing and can handle so much. You do not really think about it until something happens that makes a drastic change to it. My body has been cut open, had poison pumped into it and had a deadly infection in it, but it fought and overcame it all. So when I look at the big picture…4 months of recovery is not much compared to everything it is recovering from.
What I want you to take from this is to LISTEN to your body, and appreciate it and your health. Be patient with your body as well. I tend to give advice and not take it myself, but when it comes to my recovery I am really trying to be patient and listen. When I try to rush my body I end up feeling worse on all levels. I have a long road ahead of me and I am sure some bumps with come along the way, but I am just happy to be here and continue to work on my health and happiness.
Love and take care of yourself ❤ If anybody has any suggestions about ANYTHING from their recovery (vitamins, workouts, etc.) please share! The goal of my blog is to share with and help others, but I would love your help too! There are so many things out there to try today to better yourself that I get overwhelmed, so some feedback would be much appreciated!