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Friday, January 25, 2008

Down for a few days but not out

Today I had my port removed! WOO HOO!!!! Simple procedure but it means so much. No more chemo being put into this body! So the doc says no heavy lifting for a few days but I can still do cardio and leg weights. Today will be my rest day for sure and tomorrow I will hit the treadmill or the bike (if my sore knee can handle the pedaling). I prefer the elliptical but I probably shouldn't use my arms that much yet.

Now to get a few good weeks of workouts in before the next surgery on Valentines Day which will put me out of upper body lifting for a few weeks.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Getting confidence back...or not...

A local DJ has been diagnosed and has starting blogging her experience. I posted on her blog the other day saying "It is a scary journey but I have met such wonderful people along the way and I have discovered a strength and confidence in myself that I never knew was there." But I have realized this week that there is some confidence I have lost as well.

The confidence I gained throughout treatment was in how strong I was and basically just how I was dealing with having to fight for my life. However, yesterday I was in front of a crowd of 50+ people and the chair of the committee who planned the day's events and I was flustered. If you know me well then you know I enjoy public speaking and leading. It is usually one of my most confident moments but this time was different. I am always aware of how I look in front of a crowd - is my hair in the right place, is there spinach in my teeth, will I trip up on my words. Yesterday was a much more hightened sense of that awareness. I felt the need to prove to myself and everyone else that I still had "it" - leadership skills, public speaking skills, and even creativity. I was so afraid of having a chemo brain moment and forgetting something major during the discussion I was leading or in coordinating the day. Granted only the 8 people on the planning committee and about 2 people in the group we were presenting to know I had cancer recently. When I didn't have hair and puffed up on steroids I was very insecure but I knew people would also be understanding of why I might not be focused. Now I am starting to look normal again and so people might not be as forgiving of my oversights.

So I have gained confidence in who I am and how strong I am but I am insecure about my ability focus and remember things. I hate chemo brain. It has forced me to give up my quest for perfection. That is a good thing but not an easy change to make. I am hoping in time I will be able to "shoot from the hip" with confidence.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Starting another challenge and getting my life back

Yesterday I signed up and weighed for the start of the local Gold's Gym challenge. I have gained back a bit of what I lost in the last challenge but I am not overly concerned about it. Since ending the last challenge I have had two surgeries, lots of chest muscle pain and the holidays. I was not the gym rat I was during the challenge. That all changes right now! Another 12 weeks of intense working out and making sure I am eating right all of the time - not just part of the time. If I can lose as much as I did during the last challenge then I will be thrilled! It won't get me to my final goal but it will make a big dent in it. I will have two minor surgeries during the challenge but I will work around them. I am also on meds which are "famous" for causing weight gain but I am mentally refusing to accept that fate.

As for getting my life back I am starting to feel the pressure I was feeling before I was diagnosed. This is always a busy time of year for me and I am feeling like I need to prove to myself and others that "I am back". So I have several projects I am working on outside of the standard work and home stuff (and gathering information for tax season!) Surviving this next week will be the biggest hurdle right now. The key is to learn to juggle everything without having to give up myself like I have done in the past. This might mean I am taking my research to the gym with me to review and highlight while doing cardio. I have always been good at juggling!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Here's to a great '08!

I hope everyone had a great New Year's! I am excited to see what this year will bring. Onward and upward.

Today I met with my oncologist and she signed off on being done with treatment and approved for me to have my port removed. Getting the port-a-cath out will be a quick and easy process but mean so much. I have no intentions of ever needing that darn thing again!

She said everything looks good. I cried when I left her office - out of relief, out of fear for the future, and out of exhaustion. You know the let down you get after the holidays (or finals week or some other major event)? You get so tired and might even get sick and just need to recharge and refocus. That is me right now. I am so tired from all the birthdays and Christmas events throughout December, work, family, working out, finishing up over a year of treatment and not sleeping well with the expanders. (I can't sleep on my side or on my stomach and I wake up with tight chest muscles every morning.) I look forward to a few days off while recovering from the port removal.

Even with the exhaustion, 2008 is starting off great!