Ever have one of those days where you just feel ‘off’ from the get go and nothing wants to go right?
That was my day today. It just started weird and didn’t get better. For some reason, I had a lot of frequent hot flashes today and they make me anxious (something to do with the hormones they release), and it just went from there.
I actually thought about cancelling my lesson because I could tell things would be rough, but I went in the end and even made myself do my full practice after as well. I think I was hoping the activity would help sort and even things out, but it wasn’t the case today.
Off days happen though. I wasn’t surprised to find myself struggling through my lesson and just not able to get my body to really cooperate with me. My emotions were also pretty near the surface today too and I kept getting easily frustrated. Boss could tell something was definitely up with me, and kept making adjustments and telling me things were ‘ok’ when I got frustrated. We actually covered a lot, it just wasn’t done very well, and not a lot was working on my own.
There’s been a lot of stress this week, so in some ways I wasn’t surprised to be off today, and I don’t think Boss was surprised that I was either. At the end of a what seems like a really long week, it’s understandable that I am pretty exhausted.
In an unexpected surprise, the oncologist wants to wait at least 4 more weeks before retrying the hormone therapy at half dose. He is seeing some positive improvements, but he would like me to be a little more stable health-wise, with no open wounds (still have a small one), more active, sleeping better and less exhausted, and not having side effects from the medication for the hot flashes (no hot flashes would be nice too). By waiting, it increases the chances that I might be able to tolerate the HT. My family doctor agreed and I am on sick leave for at least another month.
My appointment with the oncologist was a little bit of a reality check though. One of the comments I made about having to wait was that my illness and treatments and prevention seemed to be ‘never-ending’. The oncologist just looked at me and said ‘it is never-ending’.
I think part of me until that moment really believed that if I can tolerate the HT or not, once I get past that, then the cancer part of my life would be over. Unfortunately, even though I am cancer-free, there is going to always be something–whether preventative treatment or screening or scans or testing–that is going to keep cancer and thoughts of cancer part of my life. It doesn’t mean it has to rule my life, just that it is always going to be peripherally there and something I will always have to consider.
I will put having cancer behind me, but having had it will have an impact on the rest of my life, even if in just small ways. There is no going back to ‘before’ and I think that yesterday I just started to really understand what that means and how I will have to adjust my thinking going forward. Cancer prevention is now a part of my life, but I don’t have to dwell on it. It’s like fire prevention–good to be aware of, but doesn’t rule your life. You still have to remember to change the batteries in your smoke detector though, and you don’t have open flames next to flammable objects.
One good thing about off days is that they are just that–days. Not weeks, not months, just a day. Tomorrow I will probably wake up feeling better, or maybe it will be Sunday, but it won’t take long. Monday will start a new week with new goals for healing. I see the surgeon for follow-up tomorrow and I think I will feel much better once that appointment is behind me too.
Sometimes you just need an off day to lead you to appreciate how often you are ‘on’.