Thursday, September 15, 2005

September 15 - Healing

Eight weeks now since treatment ended. Feel wonderful! Good energy, good attitude, grateful for what’s been gained, beyond viral response. Certainly, my perspective has been enhanced and, without effort, I still notice the beauty in the world, visual and otherwise. This is nice – a part of me had been suspicious that this renewed appreciation of life and living might be a hidden lovely side effect of treatment, that I would somehow lose it as the drugs left me. Fortunately, it remains.

The last month has brought end of summer and beginning of another cycle of school: James and Annikka both starting new courses and balancing work at the same time, and Phillip now in grade 10. Amazing how the time passes. It will be one year next month that I was positively diagnosed with hepC. Treatment seemed agonizingly slow to start and painfully tedious to get through, but retrospectively the last year has flown by. Perhaps this is part of the healing process: part of separating myself from the thought of being infected with a “communicable disease”; part of moving away from the distaste of treatment.

Healing is generally happening at a pretty good pace! Social life has picked up immensely. Ron and I had a great weekend out in London, Ontario with friends. Finally seem to be able to get out and about with people who I’ve been neglecting for months. More energy is available and I have hugely increased physical strength – can now carry two bags of groceries in knapsack and more in arms when walking home and shopping through Kensington market – absolutely impossible a short time ago. I’d lost a little weight towards the end of treatment, but it’s returning nicely. Had Shiatsu massage with Allison Tuesday, who commented that I seemed less thin and drawn, and that my colour was much, much better (as in I now have some). Will definitely be continuing the Shiatsu therapy. It was invaluable for me during treatment and I continue to reap benefits.

Also keeping up with yoga, with some limitations, i.e. I tried to do a Bikram class this past weekend and did well for about the first 45 minutes, after which blood pressure started climbing and, at about 60 minutes, had to stop, relax and cool. Perhaps body just not up for hot yoga quite yet. Am convinced, though, that I unloaded a ton of toxins in the process. Will stick to room temperature Hatha yoga for now, both at home and for classes. Yesterday, attended a “yoga for you” class at a recently discovered site in the market (, and loved it. Seems a perfect class for the recuperative time my body and mind now require. Will continue there weekly, supplemented by my home yoga, for awhile.

Still awaiting return of hair growth. And waiting. Cut it short, short. Was slightly traumatic at first, but am adjusting and it would seem that lots of people really like it this way. Am having way fun using product to create different effects. During treatment, it started coming in completely grey/white, but that’s something that would have happened eventually anyway and is easy enough to deal with (hello L’Oreal). Tooth situation seems to be straightening out – is actually not tooth abscess, but it would seem there’s some bone/gum loss from the chemo, so it’s more of a periodontal thing. Anyway, is much improved. Hot flashes have returned (were gone during treatment), but are becoming more infrequent than a couple of weeks ago. Think that’s about it for residual icky stuff. Everything else good!

Awaiting the autumn. Has been continuing hot here, up to 35 degrees last week. Cooling now though. Wonderful in the morning walking in to work, with sun and a breeze, squirrels knocking chestnuts out of the trees onto the streets and a few progressive leaves starting to turn colour at their tips. Autumn is beautiful here, with crispness, colours and smells that remind you that you are alive.

My sister Sally is picking me up at work tomorrow and we’re driving up north for a weekend at the cottage, just the two of us. Will be lovely. The following weekend, Ron, Phil, his friend Mike, and I, with Sal and her daughter Sarah, heading up again for the weekend, with a “Fall Fair” being held in the local town – is always great fun. Am hoping to be able to cottage maybe once more prior to heading up for Thanksgiving in mid-October, when we’ll close up for the winter. That final weekend always a surprise – has been warm enough some years to swim, and other years so cold it snowed. The autumn up north will be at its spectacular multicoloured best over the next month, or so, and I want to incorporate as much of it as possible. The cottage is that place where reflection, consideration and growth all seem to flow.