Middle ground

I am in a pretty good place right now.  Apart from kicking myself that I didn’t start this sunrise swimming strategy months ago, that is.

I have now reached the end of the second week of this dawn swimming and cannot believe how good I feel, despite having fewer hours sleep every night.  I am astounded at how much difference there is between an evening swim and a morning one.

I feel as if I have more energy – take that, Tamoxifen!  I hadn’t realised just now tired and fuzzy I was feeling all of the time.  I am still on a bit of a low peep but definitely feeling less tired.  Twang Arm is taking a bashing and it feels as if it is losing its grip (every pun intended 😉 ) – it is less painful and I am able to swim quite a bit faster than before.  More than anything else though, it is a great psychological boost and I find my mood lighter and motivation stronger with this different daily regime.

The timing is good too.  We are in a particularly frenetic period at work and I am finding it hard to keep my promise to myself about maintaining a healthy work life balance and this start to the day helps enormously.

However, I have to remember that I am still in that recovery phase and my body still marked from the ravages of the triathlon hell of cancer treatment.  It is difficult to communicate that though.  In this strange post treatment life, I feel that the rest of the world expects there to be only two states which I can be in – either ill or completely well.  There doesn’t seem to be an in-between.  Yet the reality is that I am physically still very much at an in-between stage.  I am well.  I am pretty strong. But I am not quite fully well.  The punishing months of chemo, surgery and radiation have really taken their toll on me physically.  I still have some neuropathy (numbness) in my fingers although it is improving.  My toes are still uncomfortable, numb and feel stiff and too big for my feet!  I have a horrible kind of deformed toenail where one of my toenails fell off and another is still a gross black colour.  My fingernails keep splitting.  I feel generally sluggish and slightly lethargic, and my thinking also feels a bit slower.  I have the side effects of Tamoxifen to add to that – perhaps that is the main cause of the sloth-like state.  Perhaps I should have a label round my neck which says “handle with care”?

So I feel that I am very much in a kind of middle ground, albeit a good middle ground, which is heading in the right direction.  But a middle ground nonetheless.   I’ll keep you posted on how that ground shifts as I am sure it will continue to do so.

5 thoughts on “Middle ground

  1. Ooh look after yourself love, and practice telling people that you’re not going to do x, y, z – or just go home and make yourself switch off. People can and will cope with you giving a bit less of yourself and you don’t have to feel apologetic about it – even a small amount of Philippa makes a huge difference!

    • oh Helen – thanks so much for that, I think I came across as more whingey than I meant to!! All is good, really, if very busy, and I will soon be gearing down for leave over Christmas/New Year which I am really looking forward to. Everyone is incredibly supportive here too – I probably more need to tell myself that I am not going to do x y and z 😉 – And those morning swims transform the whole day – I was wide awake first thing this morning (Saturday) and realised that gives me extra weekend hours! I hope all is good with you? Take care and stay well x

  2. Am very jealous of your swimming in the dawn mornings – good for you nonetheless. I wonder whether the way we feel after such treatment should not be compared to how we felt before treatment – maybe we should look upon our post treatment as a ‘new’ beginning. I too don’t feel like I used to but I am still here! I wonder whether this is as good as it gets and we just have to make the most of it. In any event, you certainly are doing your best to have fun and don’t let work ethic get you down – none of us are irreplaceable and no-one really cares, only the ones who love you. I know that sounds harsh but I think its true – you either work or you don’t, there is no in-between. Have a great Christmas and do whatever you want – one life. Ann

    • Thanks for your words Ann- it is indeed a challenge, not comparing the before cancer/treatment with the after because they are two such different beasts. And the main message I would like to stress from the post is the one which revels in the new boost the morning swim has brought – I hope it will put the whingey message in its place. Carpe diem – Seize the day indeed as who know what the morrow will bring. Take care, P

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