Terrible and Wonderful: Chapter 4

So when will I be “back”?  Able to have a full week of meetings and activities and not be worn out?  I’m certainly grateful for the returning energy, but my last chemo was on Groundhog Day, and my last radiation was at the end of April.  It’s August.  That seems a long time to wait for recovery.

Taking a break from mowing

I did, however, have a significant landmark in the last week.  I mowed my yard for the first time in 11 months.  Okay, so it was only the back yard.  And I had to stop three times and rest.  And I was red-faced, totally soaked with sweat, and exhausted at the end.  But dang, it felt good!  Tugging on my old work gloves, the ones that fit the handle of my mower so well that that’s how I let them dry out after mowing, putting on my old yard shoes, filling the mower tank with gas, yanking back the pull cord, hearing that little engine crank right up.  Who knew I’d miss that and be so happy to be able to go through the process again?   And to be able to walk behind the mower and see the mowed grass under my feet.  I may not be all the way “back,” but I’m much closer.

Chemo effects still pop back up sometimes.  Like this weekend.  I realized that I wasn’t tasting food very well at all, and sure enough, my tongue has that odd feeling I had during the last chemo, the feeling I had when I couldn’t taste anything.  It seems that my body still has some of the poison in it and releases it every now and then.  When will the last of it be gone?  My skin is very sensitive.  When will it change back to the way it was pre-cancer treatments?  I don’t know.

Yes, this post is full of questions.  Ones I can’t answer.  I’m back to the unknown, a recurrent topic here in this blog.  My tired body is telling me right now just to rest with it.  One day I might be able to do all that I used to do, at the same speeds.  And I might not.  Whatever the case, I can enjoy the cooler, less-humid weather and the tiny taste of coming fall –  and being able to mow again.

My yard gloves resting on the mower handle

These gloves can wait a little longer for me to get them back to full use.  They don’t mind just hanging around.  And I suppose I really don’t, either.  Even if I’m not completely back to speed, I can still look out to the east from my back yard and enjoy the view.  I can watch the crows that keep our neighborhood company, as well as the clouds that come and go, not attached to anything, not the sky, not anything.  They don’t try to be anything other than clouds floating.  It’s a lesson of being who and what you are.  I can do that, too.  Even if it’s not who I was, it’s who I am now.

Someone who can get out and do some activities, actually quite a few.  Someone who has much more energy than even a month ago.  Someone recovering, becoming a healthy person again.

Someone who can mow the back yard.

View toward the Cohutta Wilderness from my back yard

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