Thursday, June 10, 2010


Like Lindsay Lohan or Tiger Woods I have been – and continue to be – in rehab. Though my rehab isn't as glamorous as crack or sex addiction. Just another cancer patient trying to get my body and my life back to a less tumultuous state. And it's a self-inflicted rehab so no ankle bracelet needed to alert the authorities if I get off track.

Every day has been a little bit better than the last, which is encouraging for sure.

My taste buds have really made a comeback. I had wild mushroom, spinach, goat cheese and pine nut stuffed poblano peppers last night and was melting at the party of flavors. It's wondrous not to have everything taste like Metamucil – or like nothing at all. The appetite is getting there as well. Still small, but it's nice to know the feeling of hunger again. With the start of the summer season also started our first season as part of a crop share with a local farm. The CSA allows us to have access to a bag full of fresh fruits and veggies every week, plus access to pick-your-own herbs, flowers and more veggies. I'm psyched for the local, chemical-free nutrition.

My legs were covered in raised flesh-colored bumps which made my skin feel as if it were covered in fish eggs but now a week after they popped up they seem to have subsided. However, they have moved to my face. When I run my hand over my cheeks and nose it brings back shudders of my horrible middle school acne days. The bumps are at times itchy and a bit red but I think more noticeable to me than the outside world – at least that's what they tell me. But I'm assured that they will move on out just as they did from my legs. If that's the worst that my body is reacting after what happened to it, I'll take it!

I've been going to yoga, hiking, walking and even had a day of kayaking. I'm taking it slow and being patient, but I don't let a day go by where I don't push my body to do something to get it back into shape. It spent way to much time atrophying in a hospital bed. Yoga class is hard for sure, but I really enjoy being back at the studio. I like having the instructor there to adjust me as needed and to be surrounded by others with a similar mindset in such an encouraging and welcoming atmosphere. I'm at once amazed at how much strength and flexibility I lost over the past few months and at what my body is still capable of and the strength it held onto. I can walk for miles on end on flat ground without a problem. My endurance remains but it's the uphills and quick exertions that are tough. But as I said, every day gets a little bit easier. I will be running the 5K in the Hartford Marathon in October ... if not an earlier race.

I still need a daily nap, but the nap duration requirements have lessened. An hour is ideal and the pass-out point usually happens around 3pm. That's when I hit the wall. I wake up several times throughout the night and look forward to an unbroken sleep some day.

Overall, I'm just listening to what my body needs and trying to comply ... though pushing it past its limitations at times as well.

The timing of this rehab period couldn't have been better if I planned my cancer relapse myself. The weather is beautiful this time of year and the sun and warmth and thunderstorms and passing showers are nothing less than cathartic. So is time with Sammy the wonder dog, always good for a loving snuggle or a raucous romp through the woods. Craig is wrapping up school next week and will have a couple weeks off before his summer gig so we can spend time healing/enjoying life together.

The plan is for me to ease back into work after the July 4th holiday. I'm really looking forward to getting back and to restoring my sense of purpose while being part of the greater community. It'll also be nice to feel like an accomplished adult again rather than a sick little kid.

Now if my hair, eyelashes and eyebrows would start growing back then at least I wouldn't look like a cancer patient anymore, but I won't be escaping that anytime soon. I'm as hairless as the Pistons' Charlie Villanueva, but not nearly as good with a basketball.


  1. Nowhere to go but up, honey. This is truely a time for healing, and it sounds like you are doing so well. Keep up the good work, and enjoy summer, knowing the worst is behind you. Sending love to you. Irene

  2. yay this makes me so happy :) we are all rooting for u! <3