We had guests over the other day and we were busy preparing for their arrival. I was in the kitchen cooking the third dish on our menu, Little Man was in his toy room undoing all of my hard work in re-organizing all of his toys, and DH was in the backyard tending to his first great purchase since moving to the north, a charcoal grill. I felt great. I whipped through all of the preparations and I actually had some time to sit down when I was done. I grabbed a tall glass of water and plopped down on the couch. My body felt heavy like it could sink right through the couch and floor. I was tired, really really tired. The doorbell rang shortly after. The thought of pulling myself together and getting through the night seemed like am impossibility. I was exhausted to the bone. I just tried to stay focused on the fact that this was going to fun, something I really wanted to do. In the end, we had a really nice time but then later, after the last dish was put into the dishwasher, I felt it again. Utter exhaustion. I dragged myself upstairs and got into bed. I thought I would fall right to sleep but instead I noticed that my heart was racing. I felt agitated. Today really wasn’t stressful, why do I feel anxious? I have nothing to feel anxious about.
It’s been 10 months since my last day of treatment. Ten months. I can’t believe so much time has passed. I’m now starting to feel this distance. Treatment feels like it happened a long time ago and I can’t remember the pain like I used to. Many of the details and memories are starting to fuzz around their edges. I’ve had to actually refer to my cancer dossier, when at one time I had memorized each word on every one of its 1000 plus pages. I don’t think about cancer every day, in fact I think I’ve gone days without thinking about it, but somehow it winds and its way back to the forefront of my consciousness.
The distance from treatment is allowing me to tune into other aspects of my healing journey. I’ve learned that a cancer diagnosis and treatment can cause a person to have PTSD or PTSD-like symptoms. I’m starting to learn that my body reacts when I’m faced with something stressful, even if it’s the best kind of stress. Cancer really is the gift that keeps on giving and now I’m learning how deal with all of these presents.