Its been 2.5 weeks since that last poison supplement and I'm feeling about 95% myself. And with this absence of illness and overall weakness -- no longer do I huff and puff from the driver's seat to the front door -- comes overwhelming relief and gratitude, plus this strange background thought - did all that shit really happen?
It is such a drastic improvement that the only glaring, immediate reminder of that horror is the lack of hair on my head. I had a month or so period where it started to grow back, in October, during my surgery recovery. (That's where the Eleven for Halloween came from). But it started falling out again a couple weeks ago, and now there are large qaudrants that are white as snow and smaller ones where small hairs cling like pathetic burrs. I look ridiculous.
I wish I could bask in my newfound wellness, and I am, I really am, but I can't help it - the hair thing. It hasn't bothered me less over time. I'm at this point immensely sick of it.
I look with disgust at my wig collection, cursing them while I urge the hair on my head to grow, grow, grow. And this is a little TMI (but we're beyond that, aren't we?): I don't look for indication of growth on my head. I actually look south. Because I learned from that period in October what the growth indicator is, and that, my friends, is my nether regions. So every morning I take a little looksee down there. Nothing yet.
This next bit is for my fellow sufferers. I mentioned in an earlier post how I'm leery of my wandering mind and how I'll handle anxiety and errant thoughts of doom and gloom. I decided to do something about it to give me some sense of control, and there are 2 organizations I came upon.
The first is through Livestrong. They partner with YMCAs across the country to offer a 12-week long (small) exercise class for those who have gone through cancer treatment. It's an opportunity to regain strength, flexibility, and endurance. And it's perfect for someone like me who needs some guidance, encouragement, and understanding - and mostly structure, to get back in the game. It's free. (There's a big chance I have 80 year old dudes doing hammer curls with me - but more the merrier, and maybe I'll make a friend or two!)
YMCA / Livestrong link
The second organization I reached out to - at my social worker's suggestion - is Bodhi Mind and Spirit, a yoga nonprofit geared specifically toward women who have had breast cancer. They come to your home and offer 1:1 yoga instruction along with mindfulness. This is also free, and by donation. I plan to donate. I know they go as far north as Vermont and serve all of MA.
I greatly appreciate this home yoga concept because a) I'm scared of germs at a yoga studio and b) to be honest I've been incredibly self-conscious and scared of going to a yoga studio in my new town. I can't wear a hat when inserting my forehead on a mat, so I'd meet people bald. I've been planning on embarking on my "let's meet new people" stint when I'm all done with this shit and that's not till spring. I don't want to wait that long to get back into yoga. I know I could grow a pair and suck it up and just meet people and be me!! But guess what? This is not me! Cancer is not me. Fuck cancer. Truly. It's not me.
Anywho, I'll report back on the effectiveness of these programs, both of which start in January - when I'm done with my 6 weeks of radiation (which is 5 days a week). Forgot to mention I'm "mapped" - meaning they know where to point the laser beam on me via tiny tattoo dots on my chest). I love that I forgot to mention that, it means my mind is on other things.
In the meantime - grow grow grow!!