So in addition to the handy hints of my earlier blog about how to help someone through chemo here are a few tips for after.
Here it is 10 months post chemo and I am still dealing with side effects. At 6 months I had a day or two of the eye twitches...at 10 months here is what is going on...
I am still tired...mostly at night but certain things exhaust me---I have less patience with conflict --just want to run and hide away.
I am still dealing with my emotions running a bit wild and a bit low...not all the time but occasionally I find myself in a shop window or a mirror and just get low. It doesn't last long but when you have had long hair most of your life it does push a bit on the good attitude. I also find mirrors in the bathroom a bit depressing due to my body's weirdness. That will change but it will take a few months more for any semblance of normal to appear.
I wondered at the beginning of all this--where the survivors got their incredible energy and now I find I have it...not all the time but during the day during the week I have this enthusiasm and energy that I never knew before--okay so maybe this doesn't go hand in hand with being tired at night but it does coincide with me in my life. Does that make any sense?
My nails--okay so they are still on my fingers but they don't grow past the ends of my fingers and we don't want to talk about the thumbnails---these don't quite make it to the ends of my fingers...don't know how long this will be.
My hands --I need to keep them warm as they hurt and itch and burn if they get cold. So what am I doing about that in Colorado at Christmas? I am wearing gloves and that is the thing that works.
What is really hard 10 months out---is that I am still in the fight. I am fighting for my positive attitude, to stay away from fear, to find joy everywhere I can, dealing with my appearance and its massive changes, getting ready for further surgeries...but most people expect me to be done...you see CHEMO is over so I must be fine. FINE! the end of Chemo is not the end of the trail...the end of chemo is the end of the roughest part but not the whole thing...next summer hopefully I will be done with most of the after stuff---and by then it will be two years that I have spent on this beast of an illness. But really only 2/46ths of my life. A drop in the bucket.
So if you want to help a friend---don't stop helping at the end of chemo...check in now and then and see how they are and if there is anything you can do...
And thank you for continuing to be in my life...it helps.