"Don't spend time worrying about how you are going to die. Worry about how you are going to live today"

Monday, May 2, 2011

How can I feel so good???

Today was a great day.  I am just sitting here completely perplexed as to how one can feel sooooo good while going through chemo?  I am not complaining....don't get me wrong, but I just don't understand.   I can honestly say that in the last few weeks I have felt better than I have in the last five years.  I just find it so completely odd that I am going through chemo and I just feel so full of energy and my body feels so young and strong.

I was talking to my husband about this yesterday and said to him "there is seriously something wrong with me if going through all of this makes me feel good....I really need to take a look at altering my life moving forward!".  What I mean by that is before breast cancer I was always tired, my body would ache and feel tight and I just felt crappy.  I guess I didn't even realize how crappy I felt until I recently started feeling so good.  How can this be???

I guess when I look at my pre-cancer life, it was nuts and completely full of stress.  I work long hours as a sales representative.  I am a mom of a 4 year old.  I teach aerobics a few times a week.  I try to fit in workouts when I can.  I cook dinner every night.  I host almost every holiday at my home and cook it all myself.  I entertain a lot and have plans on most weekends.  I was starting a business on the side too in hopes of one day transitioning from corporate America to my own business.  Life was completely nuts.  I always felt stressed out from everything, especially my job.  The stress of hitting sales numbers each month and not losing customers in a competitive marketplace just hits hard.  All of that just adds up.

What I am realizing now is that with my crazy out of control life before cancer, I thought I was healthy, but I never really took care of myself.  I hardly went to the doctor even if I was sick.  My workouts were often missed because of work or the guilt of being away from my son.  Eating right was hard because I always have lunch with customers (usually catered food) or being on the road.  I sat in my car all day driving which caused me horrible hip pain.  My feet hurt terribly and the orthopedic surgeon said I would most likely need surgery on my heel.  I felt aches all through my upper back and often in my hands from typing on my computer while parked in the car (a horrible position to type in).  I was exhausted at night.  On top of that, I felt like a real crab most of the time and was becoming someone I didn't want to be.  I was impatient with my husband and young son.  I just felt spent.

Getting the diagnosis of breast cancer certainly didn't make me feel better. That completely blew up my oh so crazy world worse, but now that I am further into this I have learned some things...life changing things.  I guess for me I have realized just what a horrible job I have done at taking care of myself.  I have realized that I put other things before my health and my family (like work).  I also learned that I stress out WAY too much over things I can't control and that only manifests itself in bad ways on me physically and emotionally.  What in the hell was I thinking?  Did I really need breast cancer as a wake up call?

I don't know what to do moving forward.  I am scheduled to return to work in a few weeks and I just don't even want to go back to my old life.  I can't even fathom going there again.  I just keep thinking that for once in my life I have actually been focused on myself and my health and it makes such a difference.  I am completely pain free.....after 5 years of body aches, stiffness and tightness in my back.  There is something to be said about that!  I have so much energy and sleep less (usually only 5-6 hours a night since December).  I eat better and have tried to eliminate all refined foods, switched to more veggies/whole grains, reduced sugar, eliminated diet soda, added in supplements/vitamins and reduced alcohol (wine) intake. 

I feel great.  I can't believe I have my last chemo on Wednesday and I feel great after all that I have been through (lumpectomy, bilateral mastectomy, chemo and just dealing emotionally with breast cancer).  I guess I know that going back to my pre-cancer life just can't happen.  I will compromise everything positive that has come out of this experience.  I don't know how to go back to work and the crazy life I had before and make it different.  How do I do that? 

I know I no longer want to continue with my current career path but I have to find a way to change that in the coming months.  I feel like my job will kill me - literally due to the stress.  I have fought so hard to live and be here for my family I just can't go back to that life.  Here I sit trying to figure out how things will be different in the future.  I have to figure this one out, soon!

For now I marvel at the day.  I got up and had so much energy.  I worked out at the gym and did an hour on the elliptical - 680 calories worth.  I couldn't even do that before breast cancer and chemo.  I honestly know the changes I have made in diet, exercise and stress reduction have changed me and healed my body and mind.  I have to continue with that plan.  For now I will focus on getting through that last chemo on Wednesday and keep feeling good in the next week (hoping for no side effects).  Then I have to get a plan for the future.  Something's gotta give!  It just has to!


  1. I came across your blog from the breast cancer forum and want to let you know how helpful it has been for me. I am following the same chemo treatment you did and will have my 2nd session this Friday. I am an avid cyclist, and raced up until this summer. Exercise is a very important part of my life, and I am continuing to ride/train 2 hours a day. Reading this post made me happy, because it makes me feel that some fairly intense exercise with a few of my close friends is possible throughout this whole experience. It helps me mentally if I can feel like a normal person, and I do believe is important physically of course also. I too am trying the cold caps and hoping for success! I have been shedding what looks like a lot the past few days... Thanks for your this blog! My email address is stacey@argusinvestmentrealty.com if you would like to respond.

  2. Thanks so much! I am sending you an email now. :)