An exhausted woman curled up in bed

Feeling A Little Meh Lately

I will enter my sixth year as a stage 4 lung cancer survivor in August 2021. Until recent months, I've accepted my health issues. And I've had my fair share in addition to lung cancer.

Dealing with a lung cancer diagnosis

People deal with things in different ways when impacted by a lung cancer diagnosis and the health issues that come with it. Some can never accept it or get out of that dark place a cancer diagnosis can take them. I've never been like that, no matter how bad the diagnosis or situation. Through the years, I have been resilient and persevered most of the time. I never looked back, always overcoming obstacles and rebounding mentally as well as physically while staying positive.

Uncharted territory

Lately, I can't stop comparing my present self to my pre-lung cancer and health issues self. I hate this new feeling. I am trying to figure out how to work through it.

My energy has been drained due to treatment side effects for the last six or seven months of my one-year COVID-19 self-isolation. This has brought me, the ever-positive person, to a new place. It's not that dark place. It's more like a "meh" place.

I just want to shovel snow

I have always enjoyed the responsibility of keeping my sidewalks and driveway clear after a snowfall. My energy level has been at about zero. That hasn't stopped me from bundling up and going outside to shovel my driveway and sidewalks. I do it with the best intentions. But my body can't keep up. I'm totally exhausted and quit after two or three small swipes of the driveway.

There was a day this winter that I was totally exhausted from just getting bundled up. I'm very hard-headed. I tried to shovel anyway. I was fortunate enough to have an observant neighbor ask if I needed help. I accepted her offer and retreated inside to take a nap.

I've achieved many physical feats since my lung cancer diagnosis. But, for the last six months or so, mind over matter isn't working when it comes to shoveling snow or any physical exertion.

Lately, physical exertion can mean, standing in the kitchen to make a sandwich or walking my dog for more than five minutes. I hate feeling so drained and weak. After being capable of doing most anything I set my mind to, it's difficult to admit defeat.

The price we pay

There are treatments with very little or easily managed side effects. And there are also some that come with a cost and hefty burdens.

My oncologist and I have decided that I will take a long break from iv chemotherapy. Hopefully, the cancer won't progress or spread while giving my body time to recover and replenishing my energy levels.

Springtime in the Rockies brings warmer temperatures. April is our heaviest snow month. Hopefully, I will soon be recovered, full of energy, and outside shoveling snow and taking long walks with my dog again.

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