Sunday, 3 June 2012

Relay For Life Recovery

So the Relay For Life is over.  I anticipated being tired but I didn't anticipate being so stiff and sore that I can hardly move.  My hips, thighs, knees, shins, ankles and feet are so stiff and sore it is hard to move after sitting or sleeping.  Last night after supper, we went for a short walk at the local conservation area on the water.  It was a short and gentle walk just to keep me moving and limber.  It didn't help because this morning when I woke up, I had trouble getting out of bed.

So after breakfast was cleaned up, my husband and I went for a walk.  It was a long walk through the neighbourhood just so I could keep my muscles moving.  It worked until I sat down.  Then I was stiff and sore again.  I'm very tired today.  It's a deep tiredness which is very much like how I felt during my treatments.  After much thought, I think this is not only caused by walking on Friday night but also because I don't have a "project" to work on.  I started putting together the Cathy Conquers Cancer team in April between my fifth and sixth chemotherapy treatments.  Ever since then, I've been occupied and on a mission.  My "project" is finished for now and I think that my mind is now ready to rest.  As a result, my body is also deciding to rest.  Part of what I'm feeling physically and mentally is an anticlimactic feeling.  I'm listening to my body and will give it some well-deserved rest.

Tonight I watched my old mixed 3-pitch team play for a bit.  It was very different to be sitting in the bleachers watching instead of on the field playing.  Last summer when I played, I was so exhausted all the time.  All summer long, I had explained my bone-weary exhaustion as just getting older and perhaps having to recognize that I was getting too old to play ball anymore.  Little did I know that I had lymphoma at the time.  A few of my team members and even the umpire asked if I would return to play this summer.  I was wise and said "no, not this year".  I just can't see myself being able to swing the bat and run the bases.  Certainly, I am not in any shape to play in the outfield or even the infield.  Maybe I could play behind home plate but my answer is still "no, not this year".

As I walked today, I was able to walk farther before I started to pant from exertion.  Any kind of hill or grade still causes me to run out of breath.  My goal is to be able to walk a good distance at a faster pace.  It would be nice to handle some of the hills in the area without running out of breath.

This morning, I had a sad moment.  I realized that it is about one year ago that I started working on "The Prayer" as a duet to sing at my daughter's confirmation service.  As I thought of the performance of that duet, I became weepy.  I remember practising and noticing that my high notes were needing more effort than they used to.  Again, like many of the symptoms of my lymphoma, I put it down to an aging voice.  Over the years, I have never had my musical performances recorded.  This duet was recorded as part of a church service.  The recording device broke down just after "The Prayer" had been recorded.  In September, I managed to get the tape from the church and isolate "The Prayer" and copy it onto another audio cassette tape of my own.  I did this so my daughter could have a lasting memory of my very special and meaningful gift to her.  When I think that this could be the last time I sing, it hurts deeply.  It brings me to tears.  Over the last number of months, I've been exercising a very strong mental restraint to keep me from thinking of my singing.  This morning as I allowed myself to remember, I started to break down into tears.  I decided to prod and poke my misery and I pulled out the cassette and listened to it again.  As I listened to the duet, I had goosebumps and I wept at the beauty of the sound.  I may get my voice back but I'm not sure it will ever get back to the shape that it was in.  I tried to softly sing our national anthem at the Relay For Life Opening Ceremony but I couldn't do it.  I tried to sing "London Bride Is Falling Down" as I watched the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the Thames River this morning.  I wasn't able to sing the children's tune.  This saddens me.

Instead of focusing on my lack of ability to sing, I'm going to spend my summer puttering in the garden.  I still want to try to play my flute again.  I haven't tried it yet.  So my summer will be spent trying to get stronger and trying to play my flute.

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