Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gone But Not Forgotten

This month--on March 12 to be exact--it will be three years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The good news is I'm finally happy with the length of my hair and realize it hasn't looked so healthy and shiny since I was a child. I have to give Josie, my hair dresser, credit for being careful about over highlighting and babying my baby fine hair! It's not often one gets to start with a fresh new crop of hair, so don't ruin it by burning your hair with a cheap hair dryer and coloring too much.

The bad news is I wake up every morning to numb, stiff feet and a sore left arm due to the effects of chemotherapy and the removal of lymph nodes in my left arm pit--which causes pain and swelling. I've come to realize these side effects will never go away. Every morning, when I wake up and limp out of bed I am reminded that my body will never be the same. Recently, the muscle spasms I occasionally get in my upper left body when I suddenly turn to the left have increased. I find the sharp pain eases when I stretch out. I'm guessing this is yet another side effect of the radiation I received in that area and the cold weather.

I finally got back to my Bar Method exercise classes after a hiatus of about three months. It's so depressing to discover how out of shape I am and it will be a long haul to get back into shape again. But I don't have excuses, like going to chemo and radiation and recovering from surgery.

Everything is done. The fear of the unknown, the exhaustive treatments, the bumpy road towards reconstruction is behind me now. But I will never forget how tough it was. Now that it's over, I must face the music about all my health limitations and do whatever is in my power to improve my wellness. My cancer is gone, but not forgotten. And that serves as the spring board to take my health to the next level.

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