Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Are they gone?

I figure by now all those extra people we don't know, who were hanging around before the break, must have gone.


Don't you just hate it when the stats take a jump and all these new people show up? All of them loudly proclaiming this and that, using assumed names and dropping cake crumbs on the carpet. Ugh! I hate strangers.

So, it's been about six weeks since I cut out and I hope everyone has had a good Lent. It's more or less over, so I thought I'd bring the blog back.

Nothing much has been happening around here. The weather has been nice. My hair's a little longer, and curlier (SO odd!) and though I've been spending nearly all my time at home, I've started a kind of diet and exercise regimen to build myself up.

I've started taking long walks in the hills again, and have some nice photos for y'all of the countryside around S. Marinella. I'm scouting out places to collect various wildflowers, blackberries, crab apples, rose hips, nettles and other wild things, and will be going on more collecting trips. I made a batch of bay leaf liqueur that turned out quite well, so I think I'm going to try a few more, maybe make enough to give away as Christmas presents.

Art classes resume next week. When I was diagnosed, as you know, I started thinking very hard about the Big Meaning of Life questions, and kept coming back to Art. I didn't realise how prominent a place it had taken in my - for want of a better word - soul, and over the last year being unable for the most part to take classes regularly has emphasised this position. As luck would have it, classes have been definitively suspended for four months, since Andrea went to Australia to see her family and run some painting workshops there. This coincided exactly with the time I had to spend recovering from chemo/surgery, and I am just now starting to feel as if I could handle classes again. I've been eating lots of spinach and taking lots of vitamins, so I'm ready to start. Andrea just sent an email from Melbourne saying we're starting next Monday!! I'm practically bouncing up and down with excitement.

I'm doubly grateful to some of the people who donated money specifically for art class fees. Work has been very generous and patient with my lack of steady output, and between LSN and all you folks, I've not been in very much financial difficulty, having enough to cover living expenses and doctors' bills. But I was worried that I would not be able to continue my art classes, and I see that a few other people were thinking the same thing. Thanks to them, I have enough to cover all the upcoming classes for April and May. And now that I'm feeling so much more energetic, I have taken a bold step and signed up for a class that will go five days a week in the mornings plus one extra in the afternoons on Mondays. Again, work has generously allowed me to shift my schedule around to accommodate the classes, so I expect to be a very busy bunny starting next week.

No medical news. I'm recovering pretty nicely, physically. I can walk to and from the shops quite easily, and am actually rekindling my ancient weight-training routines from way back in my fencing days. I won't be taking up fencing again, but I've been reading a lot about the sequelae of radical hysterectomy and surgical menopause and a big issue is osteoporosis, so I've turned into a bit of a health nut. I'm thinking of starting Pilates. I can't afford much in the way of classes, but there's always YouTube. Hurrah for the internet!

Loss of bone mineral mass is something that starts at menopause, and since I've been surgically altered, things are a little more drastic. So I'm on a new drug, called Livial, that is supposed to address all the hormonal issues as well as prevent bone mass loss, without being a hormone itself. A lot of people are worried about hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer risk, so this is good. But in addition to the drug, I think it is just sensible to think carefully about ways to prevent trouble down the road with diet and exercise.

You may have noticed the addition of a few sidebar links. I've replace the "Cancer" list with "Post-Cancer Diet and Health" and I expect I will be writing and posting a lot about my discoveries on maintaining health. After a year of intense focus on my health, on liver, kidney, neural damage, all manner of systemic damage, and now premature menopause, I have become accustomed to routinely monitoring blood factors, blood pressure, pain, hours and quality of sleep, energy levels, mood and various responses, in reaction to the drugs I was taking. I've also been taking massive vitamin supplements of various sorts, all directed towards repairing various kinds of damage and replacing or boosting systems.

The diet research I've been doing has turned into a kind of scientific experiment, using myself as the test subject, to see if a carefully organised and monitored system of diet and exercise can speed up recovery time, restore systems to full functioning, and maintain an optimum level of health as long as possible. We'll see how it goes.

Other than that, nothing too exciting. Which for me is pretty exciting, really. I have written before about how it has been difficult to transition from being a sick person with a scary deadly disease, to being a cured person looking at an indefinite period of life in the future. Frankly, it's still a bit of a shock, and I'm not sure I'm doing very well at it. But I think the switch from staying home a lot to going out to work every day, will make a big difference.

So, anyway. We're back. The world is still a mess, so there's plenty of stuff to laugh at. I hope the scary new people have gone away, so we can all resume our conversation.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is helpful.

As one of the new people I apologize for my intrusion.

Teri C.