I’m running again!!
That’s such a wonderful exclamation to be able to make. At some point during the last few months, I hit a wall, it was a barricade in my mind. My heart knew that at some point I would feel like doing something again, but I could not formulate those thoughts. It wasn’t necessarily a wallowing in self pity type of barrier, it was more like not being able to fathom ever feeling well again, not being able to think beyond right now. I knew it would happen eventually, but I was so exhausted, I couldn’t even think of anything that I would enjoy once those days came.
“They” say that chemo does a number on your brain cells and your ability to have concise thoughts, but it’s something totally different when you’re actually experiencing it. Knowing that you can’t force yourself to think clearly or even into the relatively near future is quite shocking. Brain fog is what it’s dubbed, but it’s something more than that. If you are a mother, remember back to how you felt in those first few postpartum weeks. The sleeplessness, fatigue, and foggy thinking. Add that to how it feels when you take a narcotic pain killer and the swimmy head that follows. Then add extreme fatigue and slight malnutrition and you might be able to conjure up what it was like.
To be able to say that one day I woke up and felt like a completely new person is such a blessing! By the time Michael came home from work that day, the children and I had deep cleaned our house, I had dinner going (including homemade bread), all school work was complete, and we even managed to get the entire house vacuumed. It felt so amazing to be able to participate in the the seemingly mundane tasks my life is replete with. My brain allows me to think clearly now and my energy level is normal. I enjoy cooking and housekeeping again, and I’m getting back in shape. Muscle memory is a real thing, but I’m a testament that there’s no such thing as cardio memory!!!
I have signed up for a St. Patrick’s 5k on March 14. I won’t be back to my previous fitness level by then, but I’ll at least be able to finish and know that I’ve conquered something that seemed so daunting a few months ago!
Physical fitness isn’t just something I’ll be doing because it’s a good idea for everyone, it’s more of a life prescription and doctor’s orders now. The biggest long term complication I face from having my ovaries removed is osteoporosis at an early age. Along with diet, exercise plays an important part in keeping bones healthy. Since I’m embarking on menopause approximately 15 years before I would have naturally reached it, this is even more important for me. My bones have 15+ extra years to deteriorate than most women’s.
The surgery (oophorectomy is the fancy medical name for the procedure!) will be on March 17. Due to my anesthesia complications after my mastectomy, the surgeon is planning for it to be an overnight stay.
Through everything, I have known that I am loved for and cared about by a God who sees all and really does have it under control. I’ve laid my worry down [mostly], and I’ve put on my armor and walked headlong into this battle. It definitely hasn’t been easy and I’m here to tell you that God will absolutely give you more than you can handle. But, it’s because he’s counting on you to seek refuge in him.
Being on the other side of the hardest part of this battle is refreshing, and I want you to know that I’m definitely human and have had many emotional and angered moments (and my darling, Michael, has been so tolerant of my outbursts). On the whole, having faced this with the attitude that God is in the details and is working something good from this has made it SO much easier to face. Something Michael and I constantly try to teach our children is that any job feels easier when you do it with a happy attitude and for the glory of God, and it stands true for this season in our lives, as well. No I don’t always feel like having a good attitude. This journey has been very difficult, but I can’t imagine how much harder it would be if I were constantly grumbling and complaining.