It has been about two and a half months since my last post. I didn't fall off the map, actually, I have been very busy but I just had to put a pin in the whole "cancer thing" for just a little bit. After being told the treatment was done and that I would be moving into the screening process, I had to just take a step back. My mind felt overloaded - my house was full of medical supplies and my calendar was clearing itself of the numerous medical appointments that had consumed the last year. I had this vision of the party that I would have after I was told all my scans and blood work looked good, the sense of accomplishment of kicking cancers ass that I would have and all the energy I would have with this new lease on life. (Before I go on I just want to it make very, very clear how grateful I am that I got through this year and how much I appreciate how well I am doing - in no way am I complaining).
I walked out of my oncologist office feeling like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders but another feeling took over. It felt like I had been spun and spun around like when I was a kid, spinning in a circle and then tried to walk in a straight line. The last year my life was spun up side down, I now feel like I am stumbling around trying to find my way. Of course, me being me, I blow out of the gate and think I can go back to my "normal" pace. I waited so long to be me again that I got a real wake up call after a week and a half of over doing it when I got a flu over Canada Day weekend that put me to bed for 2 full days. Getting sick, despite the whole getting cancer thing, was not something that usually happened, or it did and I just pushed through. I learned very quickly that I can't push it, or I really pay for it, in ways I am not use to. My body is totally different, which I am finding people have a hard time understanding because I look ok and I am out doing everyday things. I think it easily slips peoples minds that I have had body parts removed and muscle groups cut through. Hell I forget sometimes and get frustrated in myself, why I am not back to old me. Someone asked me this summer when I was going to be back to "Amy" again, which I am not 100% sure how to define, but I answered with the self realization that never, will I be back to who I was. As I thought about it more and more I came to the conclusion that I am a very different person in some ways and will always be. I went through too much in the last year not to be. I look at things differently, I feel things differently, physically and emotionally and my perspective is totally different than before. For the first couple weeks that was a negative thought and a point of frustration, and to be honest I still have moments of that, but now I have a new challenge that I am excited about and it is reacquainting myself with myself and loving that person. The "new" me has traits the "old" me looked at as weak or a downfall but I am realizing that that is not true. I experience anxiety now that I never use to at weird times and that's OK, I try and embrace it and realize that my body and mind are processing all of the things I buried the last year to just make it through. I can't push myself as far right now and even though I am back to work with Sun Life, I am easing my way in to a work schedule and not over doing it. I realize I don't have to do everything for myself to prove I am capable, I now ask for help when I need it and have learned that I can help myself by saying no and not feel guilty that I can't balance everything on an overloaded plate. There is a lot of me that is the same, some things that are coming back, some things that have never left but I am a new Amy and I just needed some down time to see that.