how i’m doing – update

I have realized that a summary posting of how I am doing is a good thing to do. Unless I tell you, you won’t know exactly how I’m doing. Some of what is below has been said in other posts. This is a summary of how things are today.

my health

  • So far, things are good.
  • Radiation is completed. I’ve started two oral drugs to help slow the growth.
  • Some side effects now appearing — achy joints and hair loss (more below)
  • Some insomnia kicking in too — doesn’t help that my brain races at night

my mood

  • Surprisingly calm (as I type this)
  • There are good days and bad, as expected
  • I know I still have moments where I am struggling because responding to all incoming messages can be overwhelming, which is the real reason for silence from me; because I care, very much, that you reach out to me

covid-19 life

  • I miss hugs the most – and yes, Vince is always there to give a hug; I mean from friends and loved ones
  • I’ve become a hermit, venturing forth very early on Saturday mornings when fewer people are likely to see me
  • I’ve learned that my hydro consumption is up; toilet paper consumption is up; neighbours are stupid; social media is addictive (windows on everyone’s world)
  • I’m amused by watching people and their hair (Dr. Bonnie Henry has had a cut and colour since salons reopened here; waiting for Trudeau’s mop to be shorn)
  • Personal hygiene has taken a hit (not showering daily); toe nails that turned into weapons; and brushing teeth (well, let’s say once a day is better than not at all)
  • Clothing choices tend towards t-shirts, jeans, leggings or track/yoga pants
  • The clothes in my closet are gathering dust!

my hair

  • Okay, the biggest downside of the radiation is hair loss – not only am I most likely to lose my hair, it is possible the loss is permanent
  • Unlike the first dance I had with cancer, I didn’t rush to shave my head, adopting a wait-and-see attitude
  • Unfortunately I met a woman who finished the same type of radiation 3 weeks before me and she was completely bald
  • I sort of lost my cool there and convinced myself that if my hair was shorter that I could deal with the loss better (hence the short, not-so-flattering but oh-so-practical haircut)
  • It’s been falling out these past few days (not in clumps, but in strands; definitely thinner in places but no bald spots – yet); it’s been 19 days so far (and full side effects from radiation can manifest in 3 to 4 weeks); so the next 2 weeks will be interesting
  • If things go patchy, I will shave it

back to work

  • Yes, I have returned to work as planned; isn’t it better to go with life than lay down and wait?
  • I’ve now been back for two full weeks, full-time hours
  • I am not pushing myself; it feels okay (but yes, I have had days that I am more tired than usual)
  • It also feels better than being bored out of my mind (the 2 weeks prior to returning to work, I was climbing the walls)
  • It’s been really good for me (though it was really shit those first few days waking up to an alarm again)
  • I am working from home and will likely never get back into the office (my immune system is officially kaput thanks to the cancer-related medication)
  • I often go hours without feeling sorry for myself; I generally save the pity parties for the nights I can’t sleep

I found this quote, and I think it describes where I’m going.

Live. Laugh. Thrive. ❣

2 thoughts on “how i’m doing – update

  1. Thanks for sharing, Gayle. Although we work together and communicate every day, it’s still difficult to have the same quality in-person talks we had in our office. I always look forward to your updates.😊

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