How Good it Feels to Feel Good

It has been a couple months since my last chemo and I have continued to feel good. I spent the first month a little shell-shocked, waiting for something to happen, wondering when I would wake up to pain or when I would find a lump or get an infection. As with all my previous rounds of chemo, I went through the neutropenic phase where my white blood cells tanked. I also required 3 platelet transfusions within the first 2 weeks following this last chemo round as my platelets dropped to 4 and I had started to spontaneously bleed. That was something new and quite unexpected. But I still felt fine, physically.

Mentally, the first month I was silent as I processed and I was snappy when my silence was interrupted. It took time to come to the understanding that I didn't have to go into the hospital for chemo or testing, blood work or scans. I was trying to figure out how to integrate back into my job while keeping a healthy balance of not taking on too much. At the same time, however, there was a very big part of me that wanted to do everything right now. I wanted to dance. I wanted to travel. I wanted to go to every function, event and concert that was coming up. I didn't want to miss out on anything. I almost had a sense of frantic urgency to live my life while I still could.

I spent weeks thinking about how if the doctors were right with my initial 5 year prognosis, then I had just spent 1 of those years treating. Those were frustrating thoughts that often left me almost bitter. Then I would vacillate and remind myself that the trial I did in Houston would hopefully give me an additional five years of health and life. I was truly all over the board.

There was no exit interview when I finished my chemo. No hand out, no workshop on how to be a non-patient, no words of wisdom after the last drug was administered. I definitely floundered for a while with the knowledge that while I was currently not treating I would be a patient for the rest of my life. I now considered myself a non-patient, patient.

My eyebrows are back, as are my eyelashes and my hair is long enough to nearly lay down, it's past the prickly stage and is super soft. I have danced a few times and I am working 4 days per week. I am not napping and my strength is coming back. I am settling into a new routine, one without an alarm clock as I have learned sleep is more of a priority than waking up at 6:00 a.m. I am getting out with family and friends and enjoying my new found health.

The pearl of wisdom that I would cast at this stage of my journey is appreciate your good health. We all love our family and friends, but do we appreciate our fortune when we have good health? I thought I did, but it fell short until I began this journey. I cannot say enough, how good it feels to feel good.

I love you all, and as always, thank you for walking with me. Wishing you all a fabulous Thanksgiving, there is so much to be thankful for.

Lynda Wolters