For 8 months I have been someone with cancer and have experienced all the thoughts, fears and emotions that carries with it. It's not that long in the grand scheme of things, but it has been a pretty intense 8 months. Now it seems that part of my life has suddenly come to an end (thankfully!) and I need to pick up where I left off back in June of last year. Of course I am and will be eternally grateful that my treatment has been successful. Others I know have not been so lucky.
But shouldn't I be jumping for joy everyday? I have experienced moments of pure elation that I am alive, like a few weeks ago when I was standing at London Bridge station in rush hour, waiting for my train. I was listening to music through my earphones and watching the hustle and bustle going on around me and had a sudden rush of emotion which made me tear up. I felt very happy and very lucky to be here. But its almost like I have to keep reminding myself. I'm back to taking life for granted and I feel like I'm wasting the opportunity that I have been given. Maybe I'll come up with some brilliant ideas for saving the world when I've more energy?! I can only hope so because I need a plan, a hook, something to keep me moving forward.
Returning to work has been great. Now that I don't have the constant round of appointments to go to, work gives me back structure and normality. It wears me out and I'm certainly not ready physically to return to full time work, so I am grateful to the Blue Cross for allowing me the flexibility to do what I feel like I can cope with. I am a locum so they have no contractual obligations towards me, they are just dead nice!
I was a little over optimistic in regards to embarking on a running regime. I didn't run before I had cancer, why did I feel the need to start now??? Despite taking it very gently, after two weeks my ankles were swollen and sore and my knees ached. I thought doing a bit of exercise was going to relieve the aches and pains but it reminded me that I need to be respectful of what my body has just been through. I'll give it another go in a week or so as I do fancy doing charity run at some stage, it just might have to be a little later in the year rather than May!
Getting back on the motorbike was another joyous occasion. Will and I went out for a little ride in the Hertfordshire countryside and it felt amazing. I felt like I wanted to just pack my bags and keep riding. We got a bit over-excited and went home and started investigating riding from east to west across The States during the six weeks in July/August that we have free. We tossed around different ideas of buying bikes there and shipping them back; shipping our own bikes over; cycling? The excitement lasted a few days and then Will suddenly remembered and then reminded me that I will still be having Herceptin every three weeks until November. Bugger. Its not over just yet! So we're back to planning a European trip, which is not a bad option either. I just found it quite amusing that we could forget so easily.
I had an appointment with the plastic surgeon a few weeks ago and we discussed putting the final touches to my new boob, ie. a bit of liposuction to make it match the other a little better, and a nipple tattoo. He won't do this for another 4 months though, to give everything time to settle down after the radiotherapy.
So back to hair watch. I have finally ditched the scarves and wigs and it is truly liberating.
There are still a few baldish patches on my head and the few eyelashes I have are a bit wayward, but we're getting there.
The eyebrows make a hell of a difference and are courtesy of Karen Betts. I had them tattooed again last week as a follow up treatment from my Caroline Monk makeover last month. I love them!