Today is the anniversary of when I returned to work last year.
I definitely had hoped that my capacity would be much improved by now, but the hip replacement kind of pushed those goals out a bit.
Hopefully, it’s just longer time frames, I’m still aiming for the same things, and my Wellness team have all said they think it’s possible.
I’m still dealing with high fatigue, but the pain levels are so much better than what they were. I was pretty much bed bound for two months prior to surgery.
It’s interesting the anniversaries that have stood out for me this year.
The first anniversary of returning to work.
The second anniversary of when I started chemotherapy.
The second anniversary of when I lost two-thirds to three-forths of my hair in one moment (which was the day before my second chemotherapy infusion).
I’m so grateful that I was able to get the hip replacement done in May – the idea of it dragging out, being so incapacitated, and in constant pain, on top of the memories of surgery, recovery, and then chemo and how sick I was during and after that – even considering it makes me feel a bit panicked and anxious.
There’s still some healing to be done mentally and physically.
And that’s okay.
There’s a massive grief piece around diminished capacity that I am still processing, some days better than others, and sometimes it’s triggered and overwhelms me.
And that too is okay.
It’s important to acknowledge the full spectrum of emotions to fully process and integrate them.
I’m happy to be back at work full-time in a role I love.
I’m grateful that a friend lent me the money so I could get into pretty much the first available spot my specialist had.
I’m frustrated with my fatigue.
I’m relieved not to be in so much pain.
I’m still mourning all the parts of me that were lost or died with the experience of cancer. I didn’t really have anxiety or panic attacks before cancer. Hypervigilence around my health wasn’t a thing for me. I never had to consider accessibility for myself. There wasn’t a part of me that thought, “but what if it’s cancer again” at every new or sustained ache and/or pain.
It’s better, and apparently, it continues to get better – and I’m looking forward to it with an active curiosity around what life after cancer really looks like for me.
I think I am currently where I thought I was this time last year.
Wish me luck!
Related blog posts: Cancer
- Blackberries & Prescribed Burning (an allegory for cancer & chemo)
- We are the Ancestors
- Act III
- Tips and tricks ~ Cancer Edition: Pre-Surgery
- Sunday 24th October 2021: Cancer Journal 17 ~ Chemo Edition
- Counting the Days
- Sunday 03rd October 2021: Cancer Journal 16 ~ Chemo Edition
- Milestones along the way
- Thursday 09th September 2021: Cancer Journal 15 ~ Chemo Edition
- Fuck Cancer
- Friday 13th August 2021: Cancer Journal 14 ~ Chemo Edition
- Haunted Temple, Sacred Vessel
- Friday 06th August 2021 (Cancer Journal 13)
- Friday 23rd July 2021 (Cancer Journal 12)
- The hospital week: first week post-surgery
- Wednesday 14th July 2021 (Cancer Journal 11)
- Sunday 11th July 2021 (Cancer Journal 10)
- Monday 05th July 2022 (Cancer Journal 9)
- Monday 21st June 2021 – Surgery Date (Cancer Journal 8)
- Plaster Cast
- Thursday 03rd June 2021 – the worst meltdown
- Sunday 30th May 2021: Cancer – telling your colleagues
- Friday 28th May 2021 (Cancer Journal 7)
- Friday 28th May 2021 Plastic Surgeon
- Wednesday 26th May 2021 Cancer Clinic
- Tuesday 25th May 2021 Left Breast Diagnosis
- Friday 21st May 2021: Biopsy, Left Breast
- Tuesday 18th May (Cancer Journal 6)
- Monday 17th May 2021 Arranging the biopsy
- Saturday 15th May 2021 (Cancer Journal 5)
- Wednesday 12th May 2021 (Cancer Journal 4)
- Friday 07th May 2021 (Cancer Journal 3)
- Cancer surgeon
- Sunday, 02nd May 2021 (Cancer Journal 2)
- Saturday May 01st 2021 ( Cancer Journal 1)
- Facebook post
- How to tell people you have cancer.
- Deciding strategies
- The Camus Question of Choice
- The Follow-up Tests
- The phone call.
- Check your breasts