Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Moving On

It has now been over 2 months since coming out of the hospital from the transplant, and I'm doing well!  I feel very grateful to have made it this far without any major setbacks and feeling as well as I do.  For a few weeks there (mostly the two weeks pre-transplant to about two weeks post) I was pretty down about the whole thing.  Of course, part of the problem was feeling poorly quite often, but the other part was having read the transplant handbook!  It really had me freaked out!  The book had a lot of personal accounts and some horror stories probably meant to prepare me for the worst.  What it ended up doing was making me feel like I would never feel better!  How depressing!

My hair is coming back!

I am happy to say that I am feeling MUCH better.  My life is resuming, though there are some differences I imagine will be permanent.  Physically I still tire very easily, which can be difficult to "plan for" like the handbook says... I didn't know that a trip to Philadelphia would wipe me out for three full days when I came back!  I wish I could have planned for that!  Another not-so-fun difference: premature menopause.  Yeah, gotta love the hot flashes!  I still have a hard time thinking clearly or holding thoughts for long- it's hard to explain.  For example:  I used to be able to think of things through the day that I need on my shopping list and then when I finally got around to writing them down, they'd all come back to me.  I can't do it anymore!  If I don't immediately write it down it's gone.  And that sort of thing happens in all sorts of situations; teaching preschool, speaking in front of people, trying to think of words  in everyday conversation, etc.  I guess I lose my train of thought easily.  I'm still hoping my mind will come back- and there's still time, it's only been a short while after chemo.

Yesterday I went to have my "3 month" PET/CT scans (officially the 3 month mark is May 7- three months since the last day of chemo on Feb. 7).  I will be going in next week to see the result of those scans.  This close to the transplant they should be clear.  I'm not worried.  It's the future scans I worry about, and I do worry.  It's not something I ever really thought about before this second go round, or if I did, it passed quickly.  Must have been the perceived invincibility of youth.  Now, it's always there, and when I think about the possibility of cancer coming back it scares me, but I let it motivate me to push harder in everyday life.  So what if I'm tired?  I still have two children and a husband that won't ever get back this time in their lives.  And my life, probably being shorter after cancer and chemo twice, needs to be as full as I can possibly make it.  I am trying to enjoy my family as much as I can and trying not to sweat the small stuff.   I read the following quote on Facebook and it struck me:

Always we hope someone else has the answer. Some other place will be better, some other time it will all turn out well. This is it. No one else has the answer. No other place will be better, and it has already turned out. At the centre of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.
~ Lao Tzu

This is it, it has already turned out.  One can choose to interpret the quote with optimism or pessimism, I choose optimism.  Life is good now, and it has already turned out well.  I look forward to the future, but want to pay more attention to today. After all, it's the choices we make today that make tomorrow.

I am grateful to everyone that has followed my journey and kept up with my blog.  Your comments have lifted my spirits when I've needed it most.  I made it through this cancer journey only with the help of family, friends, and faith.      

I wanted to write one last post to let everyone know that I am "moving on."  I may not be done with cancer and its lasting effects, but I am done focusing on it, and therefore done with this blog.  I have started a new one that will be my family blog and will be where I record my progress with future scans and doctor visits, along with the other events of my life.  If you'd like to follow, please come along!  The address is