Once upon a time, I thought that I would fight cancer, do the chemo, do the surgery, do the radiation, and then either be fine … or not be fine. What I didn’t expect was all this in-between. I’ve been surprised by the number of days post-surgery and post-radiation and post-NED status that I just really don’t feel like myself. My swollen arm (from the lymphedema) and bruised back (from the subluxed ribs that keep falling out of place, now that the heavy tumor is gone) make me feel crabby, and I don’t like that at all.
It’s been a real struggle for me to find peace about all this. To find a reason. To come up with the “oh, but now I’m a better person” tagline. I still don’t accept it. Heck, I often have trouble realizing what I’ve been through this year, much less accepting it. It’s been a crazy ride.
But slowly, slowly I am finding my way back to normal. My daily walks are helping me get stronger in so many ways. Physically, mentally, socially … for walking with friends is a lovely luxury, and I’m really enjoying that part. Little Bear is growing into a happy, smiling kid, always ready to play ball or trucks, and when he started walking last week (!) I was the happiest mother for a brief, shining second. He is getting really good at it now, and Toddler Planet has a toddling boy once again. Widget is luxuriating in a frenzy of playdates, cousins, and grandparents, and being a wonderfully social boy. This is a child who calls everyone “friend” and will only go out to play when everyone is ready. We call it, “leave no kid behind,” and we are having a great time working as a team. Daddy is relaxing too, now that we’re further away from the diagnosis and completion of treatment. He’s as relieved as anyone that the fight is over. And it seems to be.
But still, when I walk by myself in the evening, I often find myself struggling, trying to outrun the demons and the shadows of cancer. I look for peace behind every bush and tree, and still, I cannot find it.