It really is the start of a new phase and I am indeed back! It is wonderful to be able to unpack right to the bottom of the suitcase, particularly knowing that I will not be re-packing in a few days. (All being well and being ultra careful not to tempt fate, of course!) I am slowly trying to pick up the pieces from last October when life changed.
Things have of course changed a bit in my 9 months of limbo and treatment. Friends and colleagues have moved on, new ones arrived, rainy season is here, and there have been lots of changes and developments I need to catch up on at work. It was strange and emotional walking back towards my desk and I really had to brace myself to cross that physical threshold.
I am trying to reconnect both professionally and personally, although this is hindered a bit by the fact it is prime holiday season and many folks are away. I am also trying to ensure that my daily routine prioritises my health and have joined the swimming pool, and make a point of swimming most days. This has been sabotaged a couple of times by monsoon rains at the wrong time of day, but I keep trying!
I have also finally ditched my headscarf (yes, I’m topless now 😉 ) and although I still feel self-conscious about the skinhead hairdo, I feel better without the scarf so I hope I do not frighten too many people while I wait impatiently for the hair to grow back a bit more.
A surprise has been the revenge of one of my chemo treats – a feast of jazz music for the i-pod, which I just loved when I got it. Well now it has bitten me while I was unawares – I tried to listen to Jamie Cullum the other night and realise that if I even think of his music it transports me instantly back to those awful groundhog days. Sorry, Jamie! I am sure this will fade in time but for the moment, you are off-limits!
I am also trying to do things which I could not while I was in the chemo cave – that’s not difficult really, as in the latter stages of chemo life consisted of sleeping, swimming and trying to eat so I usually only left home to go to the pool. And, of course, for those awful blood tests which always marked the imminent return to Bangkok for the next punishing dose of chemo. As my strength returns I am eager to pick up on the things which I could not do and go to places beyond me in those recent months.
Time marches relentlessly forward and I am doing my best to march forward too, with all the changes, fears and uncertainties that have been gifted to me by whole experience.