Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Once a Soldier Always a Soldier

I need to talk. I need to write down all the things running through my head today, yesterday and last week. It seems like the last few days my brain has kicked into overdrive and there is a fire under my feet. I have come up with all these ideas that i want to do of all of sudden which most likely coincides with my body actually starting the healing process from chemo.   Instead of coming up for air this week after another hit of poison, I am just simply coming up for air. I decided I wanted my doctors to apply for me to go away to a rehab centre (not the drug kind where Lilo would be my roomie) after radiation so I could actually take a chunk of time on my own to focus on getting better. The thought of two weeks away from my family feels like a long time but it is about time I prioritised my health and for those of you who are parents, you will understand how easy it is to put yourself second, third, tenth...Right now I actually don´t want to take the proper time out of my day to rest as there is always something else I want to do that seems much more interesting. I actually loathe taking naps and sitting watching tv all day which is pretty much what one days while sick. I have also been thinking about when and how I will return to work as that is something else I feel i need to sort out. I have no idea how my body and mind will react to that change but I am itching to make at least a plan. And then I decided I needed a physical change and I had this urge to want to dye my hair...blond. I didn´t stop there...I also made some calls and found out how i could participate as part of this cancer charity in the Oslo Marathon next month. Ok I am not totally crazy people - I am not actually going to do a marathon. I want to try and do the 10K distance and I would be walking which will be a big enough challenge. I relayed all of these things to Dr Sunshine yesterday and quizzed her about each one and whether they were all possible. Questions ranged from "Will my hair fall out if I dye it now?", "Can my body handle a 10K walk now?", "When is best time to go back to work?" and "When will my legs stop aching"? Her response was simple. Wait. She told me to wait a few months before I did anything dramatic or that constituted a big change. My impatience and desire for change was common for people in crisis, she told me. Crisis? Who me? I am as cool as a cucumber! To be honest I am even struggling to stay focused enough to write this entry out as i am actually itching to get on with the next activity. I think a big deep breath is in order...for everything. I do think she is right and let´s face it, she has been right most of the time. I have been in crisis for over 2.5 years now and my body is recognising this hyped up crazy feeling as normal. I even feel it when I have a near fall on the steps, when my daughter trips down a hill, when I nearly drop a plate or someone brakes suddenly in front of me - I feel this jolt and shock of energy-like pain ripple through the right side of my chest. The side that held my dark passanger. It is a new sensation but I clearly recognise it as anxiety and stress. It is like my body has adapted into this kind of soldier on the battlefield - always alert and ready for the next attack. Being enemy ready also makes it impossible to ever truly relax. And I constantly feel like I have to face different fears on a near daily basis. The problem is that I don´t know when the enemy will retreat forever. I don´t know when I will be allowed to put my weapon down and walk off into the sunset without looking over my shoulder again. I so want the relief of knowing it is well and truly over. So i guess jumping into all these things could be my way of dealing with this ongoing Cancergate crisis - distractions that allow me to get some kind of control back in my life. Because unlike the cells in my body, I can control my recovery and rehabilitation. I can go to physio to get stronger, I can do yoga to settle my mind, I can get enough rest to allow my body to regenerate, I can eat healthy clean food to provide the right fuel to move forward and I can dye my hair whatever colour I fancy...these are things I can do. The real challenge lies in letting go of those things that I have no control over and just continuing to live my life one day at a time.



  1. dear kate,

    this has been some amazing processing you have been doing, and I can see both the "up" and the "down" side of it all. feeling yourself healing, getting re-invested in life, resetting your priorities for "you" time - all such good stuff. but you also have the realization about the fight or flight response, as well as recognizing some responses as stress and anxiety. good for you for recognizing the value and the meaning of what you CAN do to be able to wield some measure of control in your life. it will be the key to help you practice and master the art of living in the present. I admire so much what you have been able to conclude, and I am sure this post will help many, many of your readers, including me. thank you for taking us through your thought process - we can learn a great deal from it. and GO FOR THE BLONDE - YOU'LL BE STUNNING!!!

    Much love to you, kate, from your fearless friend,

    Karen, TC XOXOXOXO

  2. OBB! This post makes me so happy! I see, hear and feel LIFE running through your veins. Harness that energy, girl! And I agree with Karen: Go blonde!

    PS A breast cancer friend mine, Terri, started an amazing organization that might be right up your alley. Check her out: