On September 9, 2018 By Ree M. In NOT being a blob!
“When you focus on problems, you will have more problems, when you focus on possibilities, you will have more opportunities”
A lot of factors play role in having a healthy mindset while going through something as intense as chemotherapy. One such factor I would say is perception. I have come to a realization regarding a lot of things while being on this journey, that demands immense amount of patience and courage as each day would have its own little surprise ready. As overwhelming and tedious as it is, the treatment can also end up overshadowing your true strength and power to perform functional activities on a daily basis.
There are so many conditions known to the man kind and there is so much data achieved along with, all the research studies being conducted around the world with a hope of understanding and taming cancer better but, yet we tend to be most horrified by it as it has been a norm to hype the situation more than it really is when cancer is involved. I totally agree to the fact that sometimes, the metastasis can get aggressive and it also can end up taking someone’s life, but those numbers are slowly and steadily coming down.
My perception of cancer or rather chemotherapy before starting treatment was that, it is going to make me weak, so much so that I might be bed ridden for days and it will practically damage my body completely, but, little did I know, how much of a difference would the little things make.
Maintaining a general mobility post infusion is very vital. Initially, I found it very difficult to move around without having the fear of collapsing but, eventually realized how important it was to avoid generalized muscle wasting. I would walk around in the house post each meal at my own pace and rest up as soon as I felt weak. I also started going for morning walks during my good days which would be the 5th day post infusion until my next infusion. Basic mobility not only helps you with muscle strength but also, helps have a clear head space. Along with this, the fact that I could do things like: making my own bed, being able to walk up hill without any issues, cooking my own breakfast helped me regain my confidence and taking charge of my body and mind.
Depending on how one’s body takes the chemo drugs, weight gain or weight loss results. This occurs as either of the two things take place as a side effect.. severe constipation or nausea/vomiting and dehydration. I experience bloating for about 2-3 days post infusion and I have also gained 10 lbs in the last 4 months. Yes! 10 lbs! Part of this weight gain is due to the medications prescribed to me and the rest of it is due to diet intake I had to take in the initial months to maintain my iron levels. Although, there is absolutely nothing that I can do about the weight right now as a proper workout requires a normal body strength which, I am still in the process of building up to and also, that would end up stressing my body which is a big NO. That being said, I figured what I can do is toning and strengthening my muscles and that has been working well for me so far. So, I would suggest don’t be sacred of performing your daily chores and doing what you really want to or what you need to do. Just speak to your doctor and know what your best options are, know what works best for you, most importantly know your strength and endurance level and definitely do not have the misconception that you can’t do any physical activities just because you are undergoing chemotherapy.
Lastly, I would want to mention this quote I came across way before but, only understood what it really meant until I had to imply it to myself.
“One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change”