That you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.
Yes, to this classic lyric and line.
But what about when you get “it” back? What happens then?
All summer I’ve dealt with muscle pain in my legs and hips. I’m certain it started from pushing myself too much on my trip to Massachusetts. When I came home I wasn’t sure whether to rest or keep moving. A month later I had my scans. The news of cancer progression tightened everything up, causing widespread pain. Sitting was difficult. Standing felt impossible. I couldn’t drive. I was laying flat a lot.
As a result, I haven’t had much of a summer. No long walks or road trips. No picnics on the grass or patio night hangs. I did have a few moments in early June and housebound hangouts with friends. But not nearly enough.
I try to practice thinking, “This is my life right now. This is how it is. It’s okay.” But once I’ve had the experience of disability, come around to a resolve, and get back out there it’s more like, “Hell no. That was not okay. This was to be the summer of Jen. I barely got started.”
I began seeing my physiotherapist in late July and it has helped a lot with pain management and loosening tight muscles. We’re on the right track. But I’m not out of the woods yet. I’ll have my first radiation treatment on my hips next week. Between the massages and the laser zaps, I’m hoping it will result in long-term management.
The good news is this week has been really nice.
My summer has started, everyone. But wait, it’s almost September. Damn it.
I went to the beach for the first time last Sunday. This week I was able to sit through three movies: 1) A cheesy prehistoric shark film. 2) An animated film about monsters on vacation. 3) An indie that stole my heart about being in eighth grade.
Going to the movies. Getting out to exercise. Writing in coffee shops. Going out for dinner with friends. Attending city events like the farmers market or concerts. And blasting music while driving in my car. These are my things. They’re what makes existing with cancer more than okay. Take those away and it’s incredibly difficult. Slowly give them back to me and the emotions are heavier that you could imagine.
I wrote about this before back in February when I had debilitating muscle pain. I don’t like getting reminders. But they are humbling. Let’s hope I don’t get another reminder for a long time. Because I have plans for a spectacular fall.