I’m really embarrassed at how infrequently I’ve been blogging. I’m well, but my attention has been focused on other things—mainly trying to develop a regular routine again. I’m working about 2/3 time, exercising regularly, marketing The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte, trying to get my garden in, and researching the new book. Blogging always seems to be the last thing on the list.
The good news is that, judging from how much exercise I am able to do, I seem to have built my stamina up to my pre-cancer levels. However, that’s still not all it could be because, during the six months before the diagnosis, I was working too much and not taking care of myself. Hopefully, my energy levels will continue to improve if I stick to my program of healthy eating, regular exercise, and slow, very gradual weight loss. But I don’t want to minimize this milestone. Even though I still have a long way to go to meet my end goals, I’ve achieved something important in getting back to where I was before the cancer.
I’m not going to make any promises about when I’ll be back to regular blogging, but I’ll try not to go a month between posts. Hope you are all well!
Here’s what’s going on in my little corner of the world. I finished radiation five weeks ago. And after a couple of weeks, I realized that I wasn’t getting my strength back. When you’re undergoing radiation, your immune system puts all its efforts into dealing with the damage and it can’t always keep up with the other issues in your life. That’s what happened to me. My asthma got out of control, and I was coughing about two hours a day. It’s hard to build up energy under those conditions.
So I went to see the doctor who treats my asthma, and he gave me a whole slew of stuff, and about the middle of last week, the coughing finally subsided to manageable levels.
Since I was feeling better last week, I started to follow a more normal schedule. I worked half time, did a little bit in my garden, and did some research for the new novel. Next week, I’ll increase my work hours from 20 to 25, a workload that is going to be my new normal for the next few months. Then in late summer, I’ll evaluate whether it’s time to work full time again.
I suspect that I will start blogging again soon, perhaps at the rate of two or three posts a week. Right now, the bigger priority is to put in some regular hours on the new novel, which basically got shelved the whole time I was in treatment.
I hope you’re all doing well. What’s going on in your lives?
I have decided that in gratitude for surviving breast cancer, from now till Easter, I will donate 1/4 of the proceeds from my Amazon paperback sales of The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte to the Cancer Wellness Center in Northbrook, Illinois. They provide much-needed services—counseling, wellness services, classes, seminars—free to cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers. They’ve been a godsend to me. You can link to my Amazon page here.
Dear Blog Friends,
This last week, I’ve been trying to adjust emotionally to life after cancer treatment. It’s not like stretching a rubber band and having it snap back to its old shape and form. Post-cancer life is uncharted territory that requires exploration of inner space and decisions about what paths to take.
I haven’t been able to read your blogs this week, and this afternoon, I finally admitted to myself that I’m not going to be able to catch up with the backlog. I’m sorry. I’m hoping to get back into a regular pattern of writing posts and visiting other blogs soon. In the meantime, please know that I’m thinking about those of you I usually read regularly.
The other day I mentioned that I recently had another biopsy. The results came in yesterday. My lymph nodes are clear, so we caught the cancer at the earliest stage before it has spread at all. I still need preventive treatment to reduce the risk of its coming back, but it shouldn’t be too bad. This was the best possible news at this stage, and I’m very grateful.
New Year’s Day is traditionally considered a time of new beginnings. This year, that construct has a totally different meaning for me.
I thought December 31, 2013, would be the New Year’s Eve that I looked back over the year with great joy because I’d finally published my first novel. Well, life had other plans for that particular date in my life. About mid-day on New Year’s Eve, I received a phone call telling me that I have breast cancer.
The tumor was small, we caught it early, and at this point the prognosis is good. I have another procedure next week to remove a lymph node and biopsy it, and the results of that procedure might change the diagnosis considerably. But for now, I’m assuming that my outlook is good and that we’ll be able to lick this thing with minimally unpleasant treatment.
That said, I don’t really know what’s ahead of me. I plan to keep blogging, but it will probably be less often. I assume my energy levels will flag as I undergo whatever treatment regimen my doctors recommend, and it’s more important to work on my next novel than to post here five times a week.
I do not intend to turn this into a cancer blog. It will still focus on my writing, but I may mention my health as it relates to my life as an author.
And I guess that’s all I really have to say about this right now.