I haven't written a real update in so long. Mainly this is because my "update" is: I AM EXHAUSTED. I've been averaging 9 hrs of sleep per night (along with experiencing sporadic insomnia, go figure!), and still, I feel half dead by late afternoon most days. This is normal/common for the last couple weeks during and after radiation, presumably because your body is putting so much energy into repairing all of the cells that spent 6 weeks getting an ass-kicking from the radiation. My skin held up very well, overall - my breast just looks sunburned. I can clearly see the lines of the radiation field, because the burn is a perfect rectangle, an inch or so around my breast in all directions. While my skin looks fine, I have no idea what the extent of the damage is INSIDE my breast (and LUNG, which the radiation field DID go into a bit). I know that my body is good at healing, but it just takes time. Right now it feels like that rectangular area of my body is sucking up all of my energy!!
I'm having trouble dealing with the fatigue. It makes me frustrated and impatient. I've always been a night owl - for years, my natural sleeping schedule has been 2 am to 10 am. That is, if I don't have work that dictates my hours of sleep, my body naturally reverts to its 2-10 am cycle. I was used to late-night alertness and slow mornings, whereas now, I'm more like a toddler - ready to crash by 8 pm, energetic and productive for several hours in the morning, then cranky without an afternoon nap and it's all downhill till 8 pm again. I somehow keep forgetting that I won't be able to accomplish anything more than dinner-and-a-DVD after approximately 7 pm - I have the best of intentions to do a bunch of tasks in the evenings, like return phone calls, fill out forms, work on the meeting minutes, map out my schedule, or whatever - and then I end up feeling like such a slug and can't do any of it and it makes me mad.
I'm also frustrated because I have several friends whom I used to see on a regular basis and now haven't spent time with in such a long time, and I want to catch up with everyone, and I want to have the energy to do it NOW, but I don't. :( I keep overestimating my energy. It's hard, because sometimes the fatigue hits so fast - I'll be going along just fine and then all of a sudden feel like I just cannot walk another step, or like I have to go home RIGHT NOW from wherever I am. I need to get better somehow at recognizing the fatigue sooner so it doesn't blast me like that. Or maybe I need to schedule myself rest times and stick to those, even if a scheduled rest time comes and I don't feel like resting/don't think I need it.
I got a chiropractic adjustment today for the first time in approximately a month and a half, and my chiro said that my spine has actually changed since my last adjustment, most likely due to my decreased activity level. e.g. I used to do trapeze and yoga once a week each, and now I haven't done yoga in 2 months and have only trapezed twice in the past 3 months. And I can FEEL it. :( I know I need to get back to exercising because it will be good for me in so many ways... but it's feeling like a catch-22 - exercise will give me energy, but I'm too tired to exercise. :P I've been walking an avg of 30 mins/day, but that's not enough.
Now it's 8 pm and I'm trying to decide between dinner or a shower, because I don't think I can handle both. AARRGGHHHH. SO ANNOYING. But I know that this fatigue is temporary and I will soon feel better and better. And I need to remember, too, that if temporary fatigue is the worst of my problems right now, then HALLELUJAH, because I am so blessed to be as healthy as I am. I freakin SURVIVED CANCER!! I am alive and well, and still have a full head of hair, and am not in pain, and yes, Tamoxifen is still coming up, but you know, it could be a LOT worse than it is right now. Underneath all of my anger and frustration at the fatigue, I'm grateful to be where I am right now.