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One ball at a time

This is harder than I expected.

I’m done with treatment, and it was successful. [insert cheering here] That’s the best of all possible things to follow a cancer diagnosis with.

But it’s still hard. I’ve done little for the last sixteen months but focus on survival: staying alive, getting through chemotherapy and radiation and surgery and more chemo, doing the bare minimum at everything else. Now I’m free of all that, and I have to pick up all those balls again. My research career is a mess, my house is a disaster area, my body is weak and wobbly. I feel like I’ve forgotten how to do all the things that make a successful and happy adult, not just an alive one. (I realize that latter is no mean achievement.)

I remember being active and doing things, writing, weaving, actual research, but in a vague, unfocused way: with a sense of wonder that anyone ever manages those things, and a general disbelief that I could manage those things again. It’s rather like being depressed, though I’m not. I’m tired, overwhelmed, and still recovering. It’s only been three weeks since I finished chemo, after sixteen months of abuse. I know it will take time to recover and remember how to juggle.

I’m winning, but victory isn’t easy.


  1. laura says:

    It seems this is an important part of the healing process to know how to manage. Thank you for expressing this.. as it is exactly how I feel as I am so hopeful to be healing and heading back into living as I once did. It is hard to be patient when things have been sort of stuck in survival mode, things piling up, and one wants to dive in and get it done. You are so freshly out of chemo/surgery and everything is still soooo much in a state of immediate post bombardment in your body. I get a picture in my mind of post world war 2 in Europe. I can vividly see and feel my body telling me too much, but I think yours will not be as apparent … exhaustion and that is probably the late sign of too much. When much value has been placed on how much we get done and done well, it is hard to shift gears to a new mindset of kind self care. Being happy, thankful and content in doing little bits while having patience for bad days and baby step improvements is something I keep working on. You being an accomplished go getter, I hope you will find a gentle healing slope to where you once were, bit by bit. Hugs!

  2. Take care of yourself and try to life just one day at a time.

    And if you can’t do the later, at least do the former.