Sunday, June 20, 2010

First night out

Almost two weeks after my final chemo, I was still feeling exhausted but was eager to start getting back into the swing of life. It was Friday night and drinks had been organised at a new bar in the Valley. Usually, it would be a no brainer - I would be there with make-up, glamour shoes and a fabulous cocktail ring. However, getting ready I didn't feel like myself, I actually felt a bit nervous. I have been out to the movies and dinner, but it has been seven months since I step foot in a bar. I had a shower and had to have a rest as I was exhausted after that. I was getting dressed and had to have a sit as choosing shoes also exhausted me. Putting on make-up made me cry, as putting on mascara merely highlighted that fact that I have about two stumpy eyelashes left. Mum offering to pencil in eyebrows didn't help my cause either, again it highlighted the fact that I have Whoopi Goldberg's eyebrows. I just didn't feel like me. I felt like I looked like Uncle Fester with make-up and wig. It is horrible to feel uncomfortable in your own skin. I just don't feel like me anymore. I keep expecting to wake up one day and feel like I used to feel. However, I know that will take time and even then I don't think I will ever be the same. Going through something like this changes you as a person, you would be a robot if you didn't change.

It was good to see friends at the bar and was good to be out on a Friday night. However, I felt so self conscious and felt like everyone was looking at me and knew the I was a fraud. I had fake hair and fake eyebrows. Although, half the girls in the bar had fake diamonds, fake designer handbags and fake boobs, so I wasn't the only girl dressed up in fake.

I have had the goal of making it to the Wallabies V Ireland game on June 26. I have finished my chemo and have not yet started radiation. I have cleared the consumption of rum with my oncologist, so I am excited. It has been a dry Reds season, which was very very very difficult for me. I will probably have two rums and pass out - but they will be the best tasting rums ever! I just hope my eyelashes and eyebrows make an appearance in time for the game.

Just as I had to adjust my parametres in November to take into account my treatment, I have to adjust them once again for my recovery. I have to be realistic about my energy levels and what I can do, but I also have to start pushing myself a little bit. Being able to come back to work after so many weeks away has been great. I am exhausted by the time I get home, but it is worth it. I have to stop being nervous about doing the things that I used to love doing - like going out for cocktails, driving up the coast and going away for the weekend. I just have to keep thinking that every day from now on is going to be a little bit better. I am preparing for the next stage of treatment which is radiation. Once the 30 doses of radiation are complete, then there will be only one stage left before I can reclaim my life.

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