Moving forward

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Photo by Lynnelle Richardson from Pexels

I promised an update on the recovery program I enrolled in through the BCSCF. I had planned to write during the program, and let you know how it was going, but I found it fairly all-encompassing.

When I first started going to the sessions, I was very tired, and also wondering if I had made the right choice? It was difficult to revisit some of the feelings and experiences I had had over the last year and a half. And also to hold space for 11 other stories of hardship, fear and suffering.

It has been worthwhile though. Halfway through the program, I experienced a real shift emotionally and physically. Some of the weight of cancer, got lifted off. I think it’s a combination of working on the exercises that were given, both mentally and physically, and sharing space with others who have gone through much the same experiences as I have. It’s connection that is difficult to find on my own.

I am more relaxed than I was. I generally sleep better. I have more hope for the future and what I’m going to do with it. If I have a bad day, I know that I can talk to my new friends – because we all have bad days, where the worries of cancer come hurtling back.

It was difficult to move on from the program once it was finished. If felt like I was grieving another loss. But once another 3-week cycle was up, I felt better about getting on with life and also had been in touch with others from the group. And that’s how life goes. Full of beginnings and endings and hopefully you keep the positives and shed the negatives along the way.

I am trying not to ‘waste time’ although there can be benefit in time wasted. For the last couple of months, I have felt very grateful to have the room to just be happy and enjoy life, and not worry too much about working, or my health or anything else. It’s been a real gift.

I am truly excited now about pursuing my passions. One of the gains I’ve made, since having cancer, is that I am more confident about my place in this world, and what my talents are. After all…we only get the one chance at this life.

 

I did a good think for myself, recently

pexels-photo-268533.jpegI had a surge of energy at the turn of the new year. I was so excited to start 2018 without any cancer treatments scheduled, no planned trips to the hospital. I was so ready to just get on with life, and all the things I want to do.

February rolls around (granted, it’s winter) and my energy and enthusiasm has significantly waned. There has been a ton of snow, so many very cold days, still so many appointments to recover my back health, and it has been exhausting.

I find that I am getting stuck in ways I don’t want to be stuck in anymore. I am falling into old ‘cancer’ routines, where I would watch TV for hours simply because I was too tired to do anything else. This is not the case now though. With a bit of planning, I am sure I can accomplish more.

I tend to overwhelm myself with projects I want to do. This, in itself, leads to indecision about what to work on. I am driving myself a bit nuts.

Some of this is recurrent-stress related. I had my 18-month exams this week and while I was totally expecting a ‘normal/unchanged’ result (which I got), it is still nerve-wracking.

I do not want to get stuck in ruts in anymore. The time to do things, really IS now.

So I signed up for a recovery program through Breast Cancer Supportive Care, here in Calgary. It is designed to get you living your fullest life and feel more normal again in many areas that make up the whole person. Our first session seemed really good, and I am looking forward to diving into more of the homework for this week.

I’ll keep you posted as to how it goes.

One day at a time…

…as the old saying goes. How true it is, when trying to recover from cancer treatment.

I’m very lucky to say I am cured of the particular type I had. But it’s also a really frustrating period too. My body desperately needs reconditioning. I know I am going to have to do a lot of physical work in order to get my stamina back.

It is frustrating because I feel ready to dive into this blogging thing and really making a go of working online. I often get sidelined by fatigue, and also overwhelming emotion. You would think I would be joyful most of the time, but I’m finding that that is just not possible.

So I’m trying to relax a bit more again, and take it easy. I will read some helpful magazines. I will do art. I will not beat myself up for not doing the work (yet) that I want to do.