No matter how many times I go through chemo, I am always amazed at how it catches me off guard, surprising me with all of its twists and turns. I’ve had two rounds of chemo so far, and am already finding myself taken aback by the side effects, side effects that by now are not a surprise to me.
This time around I had a port put in, because during my first round of chemo, my IV infiltrated chemo into my arm. So we decided on a port. It has made things much easier for me, as I am such a difficult stick. So now my arm that was infiltrated can heal, with no need to use it again.
Before I started chemo, I was full of promises to myself – I will push forward, doing things every day, staying active, continuing to pursue goals and interests that I’ve always had. Then chemo actually started. I was very quickly shown that the control and energy I thought I would have was not to be, at least not in any consistent way.
So now, I find I have to talk myself into attempting the simplest things. Things like getting out of bed, doing a simple chore, eating, etc. And each event takes a lot of self-talk. The days of jumping up and engaging actively with the day are no longer. Now it’s more of a dragging myself out of bed, and into anything I want to attempt doing. Each challenge requires me to lecture myself, and push on through.
I’ve been doing pretty well, but have learned that I have to take each day at a time, and go with what I feel able to do. There’s a fine line between pushing yourself , giving in to your symptoms, and knowing the difference. Sometimes pushing yourself is a good thing. Other times you have to listen to your body and give it what it needs, even if you have to debate yourself on the decision for ages!!! Nothing is easy! Never a person who wants to give in, I fight myself tooth and nail with what I take on, and with what I let go. My mind games are exhausting!
I think for any of us living with chemo, the deal is to listen to your body, keep away from judging yourself, and stay in the moment. Whatever you do or don’t do is what is right for you. So, a day in bed, followed by a day of errands, with rest breaks built in, is all ok. And ask for help! Use whatever support system you have, to turn to for assistance. You are not a super hero!
Oh, and if you’re at the “bald is beautiful” stage, embrace that too! It’s all part of the journey, and it’s all to get you well and healthy. You have to do your part and listen to your body. Give it rest, give it good nutrition, and be gentle with it. You and your body are in this together. So give yourself a hug, and accept each signal that your body shares.
‘Til Next Time,