The Answer Is...

Oh, well perhaps I should tell you the question first?

Although it's the question EVERYONE has been asking ME lately, so maybe you already know it:

"Are you feeling better, because you seem like you're feeling better??!"

So.  As I said above, the answer is...

I feel pretty good.  On the one hand, I honestly feel better/healthier than I have in years.  Eating good food, drinking filtered water and exercising regularly is pretty fantastic medicine.

But as "normal" or "good" or whatever as I might appear to everyone, I still am struggling.  It's hard to know how to respond to THE QUESTION, though.  You want to agree with people when they tell you that you seem like you're doing so well.  You want them not to worry.  You want to not worry yourself.

But the truth is, I do NOT feel normal.  Yeah, I feel healthier, more fit, more positive, and so on.  But I don't feel like the me I was before all of this.  (I'm pretty sure she dropped dead somewhere along the way.)

I still feel like a stranger in my own body.  My guts and mid-section-innards are still a wreck.  I feel like I have to poo a thousand times a day, but am still barely going at all.  I honestly wonder if my pooper shrank in the same way my vag has, because it seems a lot more effort is involved in getting a lot less stuff outta there.  I also have to pee 50 times a day - and at least twice in the middle of every night.  Which means I'm sleeping like bullshit.  The daytime hot flashes seem to have cooled down (thank you hormone replacement pills) but they still pop up at night sometimes, also waking me up.  I then struggle to get moving each morning, feeling like a bag of cement in my bed as I hit the snooze button for an hour or more.

I'm terrified to have sex because of the pain issue, but I'm also terrified of the whole Incredible Shrinking Vagina thing.  I halfway feel sexier than I have in years because I'm no longer saddled with the mysterious bleeding and weight gain nonsense, but then the other half of me just feels freakish and defective still after all I went though down in them thar parts.

Then there is the numb toes thing, which I had not realized had anything to do with the cancer treatment, but now that I do, I've become more aware of - and it's ANNOYING!  As is fatigue, although the exercise helps a LOT with that.

And worst of all is the fact that, officially, we still DON'T KNOW if it's all gone and I'm ok.  They say that hanging on the word "remission" is not a good idea, but I can't help myself.  I want to hear that word.  And I still have 54 days til that PET Scan.  Ughhhh.  Most of the time I feel that it is gone and that I can trust my instincts and believe that I AM better.  But there are moments when the not knowing creeps up on me and scares the shit out of me.  I hate those moments.

So, yeah.  Do I feel better?  Generally.  Do I feel "normal"?  Not even remotely.  Is that a bad thing?  Not necessarily.  And all of those things are ok with me, so I hope the are ok with you.

Xxo, Phoebe


Nan said…
You are on a roller coaster ride
- sometimes you're in the driver's seat, in control of everything (except for things that none of us can control, like gravity)
- sometimes you're in one of the cars, just cruising along and enjoying the moment, including the highs and lows, the sudden turns and surprises, the joys and the terrors
- and sometimes you may be hanging off the back end, experiencing nausea and numb toes, fears and doubts, feeling out of control and praying for your life.

The fact that you're OK with it all is the key to living your life fully and honestly. And I am surely OK with that!! Thank you for sharing all the sides of your journey with cancer!

Love, Mum
Rocko said…
like I said before I can't imagine trying to get the mental/physical adjustment to jive together at this point! but I also believe you are more in fron tof this than you give yourself credit - you just haven't wrapped your brain around that yet either. it sounds like you have ALREADY made a lifelong commitment to change (health regimen). I think if you look at it like EVERY DAY, regardless of whether you are in treatment or in the gym, is part of the battle you are winning. promoting health is a LIFELONG process for all of us, and I believe Phoebe 2.0 will be prepared for whatever is next, normal or not.

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