I was walking briskly down the driveway last week and realized for the first time since the surgery that I was NOT aware of my body! My arms were swinging briskly, I was standing straight and not pulled inward, and there wasn’t the sensation of a tight band around my lungs and rib cage! I remember wondering about 6 months ago if I would ever NOT be aware if the new restrictions of my body. This is not to say that it’s still not tight when I raise my left arm. And there is still a sensation of glass shards when I rub my finger across my pec muscle. And losing 10% of lung capacity from radiation damage to the lungs still affects me when I ride my bike hard, uphill. I find myself wheezing, like pneumonia, but without the liquid in the lungs. And I still have a big sad spot in my heart (psyche) that never goes completely away. (That gets worse on week 2 and definitely 3 of the cancer drug, every cycle.). But I am getting used to it all. It’s amazing what the human body can adapt to. I miss the Ben & Jerry’s, but not the rest of the past year. I’m getting into the hard months of the year when I think I have bodily memory of last year. And it’s when my mother died. And when the father I never got to know died. And the time of holidays that I had radiation treatments every day throughout last year. And when I cancelled Christmas. And I found out who my friends were and who really cared, or didn’t. Holidays are a stressful time normally. I think they may always be forever more.
But I can walk down the driveway and now forget for a few minutes. That’s progress.
I will try to reach out to others. I always thought that when I was depressed, there is likely someone else who is worse off. If I reach out to someone in some way, I may help them. And it gives the added benefit of forgetting about me. It’s time to try to forget more about myself and walk briskly. It’s time to switch from taking care of me to looking forward and out away from me. It’s time.