Call in three months time, and I’ll be fine, I know

Posted by Sappho on November 13th, 2012 filed in Daily Life

It’s the seventh week post-chemo. I’ve had the follow up visits with both oncologists, and the scan, but I still have the visit with the genetic counselor (tomrrow) about whether I’m at elevated risk for Lynch Syndrome (a genetic disorder that could increase my risk of colon cancer). I may or may not get a blood test at that appointment. I’ve been advised to get a colonoscopy (aren’t two colon preps enough for one year?). And, assuming ongoing tests and follow up don’t send me back into treatment, there’s the gradual recovery.

I have hair again, but it’s still too sparse to go bareheaded. I don’t tire at the end of my daily half hour walks, but I still have enough neuropathy that my toes sometimes go numb. I can get to the end of a workday without being completely exhausted, but I haven’t yet regained the energy to get back to my yoga class (or to work any overtime).

My big physical goal (besides staying in remission): Improving my energy. I made a list of what my life will look like with my energy back.

  1. I get up in the morning fresh and energetic after 8-9 hours of sleep.
  2. I get to the end of a full work day with energy to spare; I’m able, in the evening, to go for a walk with Joel and the dog, swim, go to a support group or professional meeting, do a bit of housework, or do some writing, my choice, and whichever of those things I do, I’m not dragging just from my workday.
  3. On the weekend, I can go for a hike on the Harding truck trail, as far as the picnic table, or go to a full hour of yoga class, or take a long swim, or go kayaking, or drive down to San Diego and go to the zoo (that is, I have the energy for the outing of my choice, not just resting up for the next week of work, though I can also sometimes take a day to just loaf).

I also got myself an account on the USDA’s diet and exercise tracking site. Meeting all their diet suggestions turned out to be really hard (just the sugar in low fat fruit flavored Greek yogurt and jam on an English muffin uses up a surprising amount of my allotted daily empty calories, and I never wind up with the right number of servings of everything in the same day). For now I’m dropping their diet tracking, and just trying in a more informal way to eat mostly healthy food, but I’m using their physical activity tracker. My goal: At least 300 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week.

When do I start to consider myself well again? I’m not sure. I think I need a colonoscopy that shows nothing wrong, a little more energy, a little less neuropathy. Maybe in a few months, I’ll be there.

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