It has been a long while since I have done any updates, and I understand the reason why. I am so exhausted. So very exhausted and depleted! It is time to course correct and get moving in a new direction.
During the first year of recovery after cancer treatment I made comments about how my energy would just drain from me leaving me tired and breathless. On average it would take a few hours to recover my energy from those deep slides. Over time I just got used to them and adapted to them. THAT was a huge mistake! Two years of ignoring and adapting helped to create a blanket of damaged cells that now have me wrapped up in a ball of chronic fatigue and pain.
No one tells you about the long-lasting affects cancer treatment has on your body. Everyone thinks immediate and short-term. The protocol is, get in, annihilate the mutated killer cells, get out and then burn the place down! While this strategy is proven to be effective at battling cancer it also has side effects that are silent and debilitating. (This is my experience, perhaps not everyones) I went back to work six months after my cancer treatment was complete. In hindsight that was a mistake. On paper I was done treatment and on the healing side of things, however, as time went on reality was painting quite a different picture. I was not ok, I am not ok.
I compare my cancer journey to climbing a mountain. I recognized early on that it wasn’t an up and down journey on a single peak, it is in fact several mountain ranges. I have been scrambling at the top, trying to find the trail back to health and well-being and as a result have ended up on a peak to nowhere, exhausted and empty.
How did I get this depleted and lost on this beast of a mountain? I didn’t listen to my body. For 20 months it was giving me signs that we were heading in the wrong direction. I just kept thinking that if I ignored my pain it would go away. When it didn’t go away, I figured it was just the way it is and I best learn to live with it. I needed to get back to work and earn a living. I also encouraged myself to keep trying activity that I loved. I figured that if I could feed my soul the pain wouldn’t be so bad. My body started counter balancing by going to bed earlier. If my body needed to sleep, it needed to sleep. Like anytime before cancer, I figured my body would balance itself out. Unfortunately I was too far gone to recognize that I was too far gone.
I would get up in the morning and I would know what kind of day it would be by how much my joints and muscles hurt. My barometer was, If I could make it up the stairs I knew I could make it through the day. It would take me 2 hours to get my body warmed up and pliable enough to get out the door to work. I figured if I could just make it to Friday I could sleep on the weekend and recover for Monday. Over time, that wishing grew to if I could make it through the day hopefully tomorrow would be better. Better never happened.
It feels like in the last twenty months my body has slowly aged 25-30 years and I don’t know too many 70 years olds who would choose to persevere the physical and mental demands of my job . Heading out the door in the morning became a painful grind. I began to adapt to driving and doing display builds by taping my wrists and fingers. Again, just another signal my body was sending out that I completely ignored so I could get through the day. Finally, five weeks ago my body protested loud enough for me to hear. I could not push my body another day. My tank was empty and I felt desperate. There I was standing on top of this peak to nowhere, wondering what my next move would be. Instead of just raising a white flag and quitting a job I was great at, I listened to my partner Cheryl and talked to my Doctor. My family physician, who has watched me try and try again over these last two years saw what Cheryl saw, which was a very tired, depleted, warrior who needed to rest and recover.
I have learned that cancer treatment can cause mitochondrial damage. This explains a lot of the symptoms I have been muscling through these last 2 years. It also explains why I am so depleted and can’t recover from day-to-day, normal life. Coming from an allopathic viewpoint, with rest and reduced stress I may get better over time. “May get better” was a hard sentence to hear. There has to be something else.
As I was pondering different things to try, one thought rang out loud and that is the importance of cell nutrition. Even though I have a good diet, if I am not absorbing the nutrients, my cells won’t be getting the proper fuel it needs to do its job. That is when I had the idea of trying “iv therapy”. Perhaps my cells need the opportunity to soak in a bath of proper and adequate nutrition!
I made an appointment and was able to sit down with a Naturopathic Doctor to discuss things. He and my family physician basically have the same diagnosis regarding the mitochondrial damage. He also spoke about Adrenal Fatigue, which fits a lot of the symptoms I have been feeling.
I am not sure why there is so much contention between MD’s and ND’s both are pretty much saying the same thing except the holistic approach to treat what I’m feeling is not “medically” supported. I feel that trying the iv therapy is a moving forward approach that will help my cells heal and help me gain back my health and vitality. Today I had my first iv bag, and I am starting on supplements that support my adrenals as well. I’m looking forward to seeing how my energy and vitality will respond over the next couple of months.
Having faith in this direction has given me strength to make it off that peak to nowhere, course correct and try yet another path. I am working through some tricky terrain with the insurance company, but one thing I know for certain is regardless of whether I get financial coverage or not, I know I need to recover from the drain of this last climb and begin a new climb. Einstein said it best…”The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.”
For the record I have no regrets over my treatment choice. I believe that I made the best decision for me. I wanted to leave no stone unturned, and I didn’t. This next peak is about listening to the wisdom my body is whispering to me, apply holistic treatments to balance out my very depleted cells and continue on figuring out this vast mountain range.
Like any experience, if you choose to learn the lessons along the way, even in what appears to be a hopeless situation, you will emerge with a wisdom and fortitude that will carry you further than you can even imagine.