Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Day 773 - The Person I Used To Be

Several people have asked me if life returns to "normal" after breast cancer treatment. I wish I could say "yes" but I would be lying. When I was going through chemo, radiation and recovering from my surgeries, I used to get really down and exclaim: I JUST WANT MY LIFE BACK!

It's so hard to go from being an active, healthy person to someone with cancer. It sucks. Big time. Now that most of my treatment is over, I have gotten my life back but it's very different.

I remember telling a friend about my diagnosis and what lay ahead. She was very encouraging and upbeat. She did her best to bolster my spirits but I distinctly remember saying: "I sure hope I recognize myself by the time all these doctors get done with me."

Life before cancer - active, healthy, 130 lbs.
Fast forward two years later and I do not recognize myself. I went from being fit and active to being this big, lethargic blob. I went from being able to wear cute clothes to having to buy plus-size, elastic waist everything. I used to wear high heels. Now I can barely walk without tripping, teetering or stumbling. I used to work out, lift weights, climb mountains and run. Now it's all I can do to walk around the neighborhood once a day trying desperately to get in 10,000 steps (I'm not even close).

Don't get me wrong - I am grateful to be alive and done with treatment. But this journey has definitely taken its toll on me. Weight gain, lethargy, brain fog, instant menopause, irritability, neuropathy in my feet... All these things have turned me into someone I do not recognize. And I miss the person I used to be. I want my life back!

Post cancer - fat and unhappy
The first step toward getting my life back - or at least some part of it - is to lose this damn weight. I have never really been an overweight person so the 50 lbs. I have gained over the last two years has thrown me for a loop. I don't know how heavy people can be happy. My hat is off to them. I can't do it. I know that everyone says you have to be kind to yourself and accept yourself. I can't. I know what it's like to be thin and active. There is absolutely nothing acceptable about this fat life. Nothing at all.

I can't do much about cancer. It's either coming back or it's not. But I can do something about this weight. I know that if I can get control of my eating and drinking, if I can lose these 50 lbs. - I will have a BIG part of my life back.

And that would make me VERY happy.

So my blog is going to take a turn in a different direction. It's going to look more like a weight loss journal and less like a cancer survivor blog. I'll still talk about cancer survivorship and things that I'm experiencing. But starting this week - it's all about my weight loss and getting my life back.