Tuesday, December 20, 2011

3 Month Postoperversary

The times that I feel moved to post are further and further apart, and that's a good sign. Because what you want to happen when you go through cancer, is for it to begin to recede into the background, eventually. For it to not take up so much space in your head. For your body not to remind you every single minute that it's been traumatized. For your mind to dwell on other things.

Like your thighs.

I have always hated my thighs. They're sturdy. I am not built for speed, instead, I am, as my father has pointed out, built for famine. I am stocky and hardy - and no, not willowy. I always, always have wanted to be willowy.

Well, when I was first diagnosed with cancer in '01, I suddenly realized that I could care less about my thighs. I was so stressed out about not being able to have a baby, having to get chemo, what I was going to do about work, and, well, yes, dying, that my thighs zoomed down and off the "to-worry-about" list. It was refreshing, in a sick way. I was prioritizing, and really, what the hell was I going to do about my thighs, anyway? Gotta work with what you're given. Head down, fought the cancer. Won. Check!

Moving on, the hoopla washed away and gradually, the thigh-angst started up again. As before, I tackled them with squats & lunges and did the best I could to "play up my assets," as they say in Glamour.

And then, whammo, Cancer Round II. And who can worry about thighs when your breasts are being removed? Not me. Again, off the list.

But you know what? They're back. In all their gelatinous glory. Three months of recovery has made me go a little soft all around the edges, and today, I really hit the wall with the thighs. I know it's not right. I'm a middle-aged woman. I'm not supposed to care. But I do. Now that the foobs are squared away, I'm back to squatting, lunging, and angsting.

It's good, right?



Thursday, December 8, 2011

Reminder: Mother Nature is in charge

I've been feeling pretty darn good lately, and it's been really exciting to be doing things again, seeing people again, being out of the house and into life again. But for the past few days, I've been really dragging. There, I'm admitting it. It's out there.

I'd like to blame it on the season - we all know that responsibilities are quadrupled this time of year, right? Add to that keeping up with daily exercise, twice-a-week PT, solo-parenting for a week, participating in and even spearheading after-school and evening activities and events - well, even if I weren't eleven weeks post-op, I'd be dragging.

So I have been trying to take it easy, but it's just been too tempting. And there's this little problem of there only being 24 hours in the day. I've been pushing through, I'll admit. A little draggy before spin class yesterday? No matter. A mug of gunpowder tea, throw on the spandex, strap on the heart rate monitor, and I was there. I did the class, met a friend, came home, showered, met L. and a friend at school, hosted a play date, made dinner, dealt with reservations, signed up for a class, and fell into bed around 10. Nada problemo, right?

Well, wrong. I can do more today, but my body is really nagging me. It's like a toddler's pulling on my pant leg, whining, "When are we gonna lie down? Is now when we're gonna lie down?" So after I did errands this morning, I realized I needed to call the rest of the day off (until I chaperon the Brownie field trip, that is - but that, my friends, is a non-negotiable). So I have. No Pilates lesson for me, and although I know that this is the responsible thing to do, I'm pissed off about it.

Remember how I was content the other day? Well today? Not so much. There - see? We knew that'd be short-lived. I guess I should clarify - I'm still OK with the foobs, yada yada yada: I'm just frustrated that I can't have it all back right.this.minute.dammit.

But whoa, step back, perspective time. I just closed out 10 weeks post-op. I've been told by more than a few experts that it will take a year to feel completely like myself again. I know I'll be doing more, well before that time, but I'm still at the front side of the continuum of sitting on my ass . . . to racing around like the maniac I am.

My PT says it, over and over again: "Mother Nature is in charge, Sarah. We have to let Mother Nature do her job." Sigh. Just like you never want to admit your mother's right, so it goes with Nancy the PT. But often, both the PT and the mother know best.

So I'm crawling into bed for the next hour, 'til I have to help shuttle 18 8- and 9-year-old girls through Whole Foods Market and talk about nutrition. After which, I will come home, perform the bare minimum of duties to satisfy my own maternal obligations, and collapse into bed. And tomorrow? I'm giving myself a time-out. 'Cause I can't stand a whiny toddler.