If only they told you…

It was quite the morning for me.  I woke up feeling like I had done some excruciating exercise throughout the evening.  I shuffled to the kitchen, eager to start my daily routine of medications that help my life be somewhat “normal” – and make it so I can go to work.  I was a little clumsy and dropped one of the pills on the floor.  When I bent over to pick it up, every muscle in my back and legs felt weak and I almost cracked my head off the travertine…this made me very angry…

It has been almost 16 months to the day that I wrapped up my chemotherapy.  A few months later, I started the grueling regiment of cooking my skin for 3 months with radiation.  I am on hormone-based chemotherapy now, and will be for the next 9 years or so – and I still have episodes of “chemo brain”.  The bone and muscle aches are atrocious; however, some days are better than others.  I feel like it has been a very long time, and things are lingering far more than I expected…so why am I experiencing such side effects?

The answer is not what most people think…  I have found several women who are years out from treatment and still feel like a bus ran them over, backed up, and ran them over again.  Some doctors will try to invalidate how you feel, and make statements like “oh, you shouldn’t be having those types of issues” or “you need to exercise more”.  How can you exercise more when you can’t even get out of bed or pick a pill up off the floor?

The truth is you are not crazy, and you are not alone.  Despite what an oncologist/any doctor may tell you, the long-term physical effects of cancer treatment are very real – and totally exist.  They are not in your head, and I’m here to tell you: I believe you.  My plastic surgeon remarked to me once, “if they told you what would happen post-treatment, would you still have done it?”  That’s a loaded question…they saved my life, but

I have not ruled out that all the issues I am having might be from the hormone-based chemo pills.  After all, those carry some wicked side effects: everything from losing your hair, chronic fatigue, weak nails, bone/muscle aches, etc.  When I switched medications, everything still stayed the same when I was off it for 2 weeks – which is why I look to the Taxol (that I was allergic to and they gave it to me anyway) as a possible culprit.  No one should take this post as me being a Negative Nancy…sometimes I just have to put it out there to feel better.  Cancer is very much a mental disease, as it is a physical one.

But hey, this is the new normal, right?

6 Comments

  1. Bonnie

    Great blog post! Although I don’t have cancer,it really it home for me ,as I can really relate to what you wrote with my EDS. Getting used to the “New Normal” is hard. ((((Hugs))))

    Reply
    1. dana (Post author)

      Thanks, Bonnie! You don’t have to have cancer to search for your #newnormal – it could be any disease or life-changing situation that makes you seek it out… One day at a time, right? Xoxo

      Reply
      1. Bonnie

        One day at a time is exactly right. Xoxo

        Reply
  2. Mindy

    Ahhhhhhgghhhh grrrrrrrre and yes yes yes !!!! All
    Of it .. all of it emotional … some days I feel
    Like I’m so sick of hearing myself complain and as days go by I feel like chemo and radiatin can’t be the reason whybi still feel shitty ..why I can’t walk when I get out the f bed .. why I get fatigued so easy .. why my mental state and clarity is impaired .. it’s got to be age also ??!!! Then I see my friends and husband and the same age peers and quickly realize it’s not age .. and then I read your timely blog and feel justified .. it’s ok 👌… but does the world wait for me ? No !!! I have to keep pushing and pushing and I will … kids husband home work family and friends… it’s all blessed stress and I truly love my life ..I just wish my body would keep up .. lol 😂

    Reply
    1. dana (Post author)

      Stay strong! We all have good and bad days…it’s all part of it…

      Reply
    2. dana (Post author)

      I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog, and I’m really glad it helps you feel justified!

      Reply

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