Yesterday, I took a nap. Twice. I’m learning, and listening to my body.
When I first got my diagnosis, I’m convinced it was because I was listening to my body. Something was off, I didn’t feel right. One doctor sent me to have a colonoscopy, and I was told I had a mild pancreatic deficiency. That should have been a tip for that doctor to send me for more tests. But even in the absence of that, somehow I knew to keep pushing.
In late January of 2015, I was sent for a CT scan by another doctor as a precaution before I was able to get in for an echocardiogram. I was having intense chest pain that couldn’t be explained. It was after this CT scan that I got the news. Although the news of having cancer wasn’t what I wanted to hear, I was glad I listened to my body and kept pushing.
After my diagnosis, I was hospitalized twice (once for the intense chemo regime known as 5-FU). I had a hard time when the ER doctor asked me if I should stay in the hospital, and when the nurse asked me if I was in pain. My dear friend, Mary, advocated for me several times. I was learning to listen to my body in a different way. I was learning to stay ahead of the pain, when my body was hungry, and when to feed it. I was learning to tune in.
Ups and downs.
Since that time, there have been treatments, colds and recovering from the ups and downs that inevitably follow the harsh medicines of chemo. I keep listening and tuning into my body. Sometimes that means adjusting my medication, or talking with my doctor and nurses about what’s going on. Being honest with myself and my doctor has been key. Sometimes I have to push harder than I would have in the past. It’s my body, and I’m the one living in it. I know when things are off.
It’s not been easy learning to listen to my body. Energy goes up and down, sometimes on a daily basis. There are days I have to take one or two naps. There are days I want to get up and do things, but I just can’t, and shouldn’t. Then there are the good days – like when I walked three miles for the Purple Stride 5k Walk. It’s all a part of the process.
I hope you will listen to your body when it’s trying to tell you something. And then follow up with that information.