The difference

It’s completely unreal.

By Saturday, I felt like myself again and was sleeping in 4-6 hour blocks with less medication.  I have energy again.  I have been out for walks.  I have been experimenting with latin moves in my kitchen.  I even tried on my 2.5 inch heels (that left much to be desired!), and discovered my feet seem to be smaller, or perhaps they just aren’t in a state of perpetual swelling from dancing so much.

I am going to bed after 8 pm and waking up voluntarily before noon.  I am tracking all my side effects (mainly an average of 17 hot flashes in 24 hours). I am looking forward to returning to dance and can actually picture doing it.

Again, unreal. Who knew that something could affect your life that much?  I have no idea what will happen when I see my oncologist in February, but I hope I don’t have to ever go back to that state again.

Tomorrow, my surgeon is going to stitch closed my final wound so it can heal.  After 7 weeks of having a bit of a gaping hole, I have never looked more forward to stitches in my life!  He is also going to drain the collection of fluid in my lower abdomen which should release some of the pressure I am feeling.  Hopefully it won’t come back–fingers crossed!  In general my abdomen has been feeling better every day and less swollen during and after activity.  I take that as a good sign :).

This weekend, I am going to travel to the mainland to help out as a volunteer at a competition.  I have mixed feelings about that.  On the one hand, I am eager to support and help out the local dance community.  On the other….

This competition was supposed to be my ‘comeback’ competition.  In was the last competition I did last year before starting chemo, after my first surgery.  Way back at that time, my treatment was supposed to be all finished by October, giving me time to get back on my feet and prepare for this year.  That was before I found out I needed a second surgery, and my timelines got all moved back substantially.  So it is a bit of a bittersweet competition for me.  Watching others compete is going to be hard.

But I will be ok.

The main thing is that I am well enough to travel and help out.  I could even do a little bit of social dancing (although it would be my first real social dancing since surgery–not sure if I am ready to trust my barely healed body to a random stranger who’s dancing ability I don’t know), but we will see.  I think it will be a good thing for me in general to just get out and do something a little new.

Boss is competing with 3 students this weekend, so I am patiently waiting for the weekend to pass to get some direction and suggestions for my return to dance.  I really feel like I am starting over in some ways.  My body is different enough that things just don’t want to move like they used to, and it isn’t being very cooperative in the few things I have done in my kitchen.

Going back to dance shoes is going to be another challenge.  My feet and ankles are really not sure about this whole ‘change of balance’ thing and from the little I have done I can tell that the muscles in my legs, ankles and feet will have to be redeveloped and restrengthened for the new lower centre of gravity to support my movements.  The muscles definitely have to move in different ways now to compensate.

Hopefully early next week I will have a better idea of a plan worked up and negotiated with Boss.  Right now I feel a little aimless, but I know it’s temporary.  Boss has lots of ideas, so there is lots to do.

I hope the stitches heal quick and easy.


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