EOT, Post Treatment, "when I'm done with treatment.." While we are in the midst of treatment these phrases dangle before us like a piece of candy on a string, just out of reach but promising sweetness. I really didn't know what to expect for myself after treatment. I have read other peoples' experiences. I have read the materials provided by the pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals, which I have come to realize are Pollyannishly optimistic. My general experience throughout this process is that we all experience treatment a little differently although there are many many similarities. In the support groups I follow often one person will ask about a befuddling symptom, certain that they are manifesting bizarre and unusual reaction, only to have a half a dozen others respond with similar stories.
To be honest I hadn't looked into the post treatment stories very thoroughly. I figured I'd cross that bridge when I got to it since life on treatment was basically best lived one day at a time. I knew I wouldn't immediately "bounce back", that it would take time to rid my body of the poison I'd been ingesting and injecting for the past 48 weeks. I knew it would take time to renew my body from the strain that it had endured, the anemia, the weight loss and the compromised immune system but beyond that I didn't have much of an idea of what to expect.
Here I am 10 days after my last shot, still not knowing what to expect from one day to the next. My energy level is improving slowly, I tend to overdo it and wipe myself out by capitalizing on the newfound ambition. My appetite is back and making up for lost time and although my mouth is still a little sensitive to certain foods, I'm finding my taste for variety is coming back. My mood has improved greatly...well until yesterday, that is.
I had been developing pain and goo in my ear for a few days. I put off going to the doctor because I knew I'd be over there on Friday for blood work, and also because that's what I do, I procrastinate. I put off those visits to the doctor until I'm really miserable. By Friday my ear was visibly swollen and incredible painful, my neck jaw and head all hurt as well.
This occurrence took some of the air out of my sails and seriously dampened my mood. "Haven't I suffered enough in the last 11 months?" and "Can't I just start feeling better?" "waah wahhh"
I realized that treatment doesn't really end when you stop taking the meds. There's going to be a transitional period while I detoxify and regain my strength and hopefully my sanity. Like most things in life we hope treatment will be linear, predictable and finite; and like most things in life it is none of those.
And like all other things in life, we take it one day at a time, we do our best and we do it better with the support of others.
© 2011 Jennifer Hazard