Right now: - It seems that the worst part of my treatment is over, if the fantastically uneventful first herceptin treatment is anything to go by. - Next week, Ned, Joy I are heading up to my parents' house in beautiful Northumberland. We always have a lovely time. (Alan has to work, but he's coming up for the last weekend.) - After that, Alan and I are going to a very very lovely hotel in the Wye Valley, Glewstone Court. We went there 5 years ago and planned our company. Five years on we're going back to celebrate our success, and Alan's 65th birthday. (We've talked about going back for a long time, but have only just got over the shock of the size of the bar bill last time we went! And we're not drunkards.... it's just a rather fine wine list of rather fine wine. What can you do?) - I'm getting into the habit of regular yoga, pilates and swimming, to build up my core strength. Every time I go to the gym I'm reminded of the times I couldn't walk from the sofa to the kitchen without being out of breath, so even though it will be a while before I'm competent at any of the things I'm doing, I'm thrilled by the fact I can do it at all. - I'm planning a party! It may become the Bah! to Cancer Party rather than the Survivor Party (thanks to Scarlet for the suggestion). - I've got some lovely knitting and reading and bubble bath going on. Not all at the same time, but they all please me immensely. - I continue to be asked to support cancer charities and resource centres, which I'm really happy to do. - The money Joy, Emma and I raised for Race for Life has topped £1000!!
So as you can see, life is good. Which makes it all the more surprising that I'm walking round under a bit of a cloud right now. (A metaphysical cloud, although it is raining in Wimbledon as I type...) Even though there's nothing wrong..... there's something not right. I've been warned about this: a kind of anticlimax that comes along when The Worst Seems To Be Over. I've been dedicated to my health and well being, completely focused on this dance, for the last nine months, after all. So I suppose it's not surprising - even if it does seem counter intuitive - if I'm a little down at this point.
I've suffered from depression in the past, and those were not good times, although ultimately, they have served me well: coming through depression taught me resilience and the power of the mind and that 'this too will pass', lessons that have all stood me in good stead while dancing with cancer. I do, though, tend to go slightly into panic mode when I'm not feeling positive - I find it difficult to accept that I might have a down day without being consumed by the dread of depression.
So, right now, I could be feeling low because: - It's raining. - Alan and I had a lovely weekend and now it's Monday and back to 'normal'. - The oestrogen-blocking side effects of my daily tamoxifen are producing PMT-like symptoms. - I have PMT (unlikely, as I seem to be having a medical menopause brought on my chemotherapy, but you never know). - I'm going through a medical menopause (although to be honest that's keeping itself fairly low key). - I'm tired. Although I'm sleeping, really vivid dreams have started up from somewhere, so I don't think I'm very rested. - Sometimes, everyone feels a little bit low. It's not compulsory to be cheery 24/7. - Even though side effects from tamoxifen seem minimal, my ankles keep swelling, and that annoys me no end! Why can't it make a less conspicuous part of my body, like my inner elbows or my earlobes, swell? I've had to retire an awful lot of pretty, strappy shoes. Grrr.
OK. I think I feel a little bit better for that list. I'm going to go Keep Busy now: pilates in an hour, then some food shopping, and then a knitting-to-deadline session. Maybe some party planning too.
Life is good, after all. (I'm going to keep on saying it until I mean it again. )