When I was in radiation therapy, I couldn’t wait until the last day. I wanted to ring that bell at the center. Life likes to put a damper on things. As I was about to have my last treatment or two, the radiation equipment went down. I went to the center and found out that there was no treatment that day, and they would call me about rescheduling.
I was so disappointed! The treatment center folks told me that I had to go to another center to finish my treatment. I lost a couple days in the process. It was weird. It was anti-climactic. It wasn’t exactly what I had imagined but I was through with my chemo AND radiation. Hooray!
At that point in early October, I felt much better than I had in summer. I was still tired and somewhat weak but I had built up my stamina for day to day activities. Now I was free! It was strange to not have daily appointments, and I loved it.
As I got further out from the treatment days, I started to do more fun activities. I’m not too adventurous, but to get out to the movies, go out to eat more, and shop were glorious activities for me. I felt giddy some days. This is what I called feeling manic happiness.
I remember going to our high school’s craft show. I love going to that craft show, and I go any year that I physically can do it. Of course, the corona, as my sons say, has moved it online this year. Interesting, but not the same. Anyway, in 2016 I felt so happy to be there. I was walking on clouds. I went with a friend and an intention to buy gifts! I saw a lot of parents that I hadn’t seen in a while, and they asked how I was doing. Now, it seems surreal. It was just a normal craft show day, but it made so happy to experience it.
I felt this way off and on for up to six months. My friends and I found some new places to shop, and it seemed like more fun than ever. So many cute outfits, so little time. Lots of silly laughter. We’d have lunch, and it seemed like the best food ever. When I went places with Jeff or our whole family, I was so thrilled to enjoy their company. I felt the manic type of happiness that knowing I survived and was finished with the hardest parts of beating and preventing cancer brought.
Another time of sheer happiness was when I had enough hair to go without a head covering. I started on it slowly, going from a full scarf to a band scarf or knitted band. I wasn’t confident at first, then one day in January, I took the plunge. It felt weird to have this short short hair, AND it felt great to have a head covered in hair.
I’m not sure if others saw this manic happiness in me. I may have seemed normal or frantic on the outside, I’m not sure which. I can only speak for what I felt and perceived of myself. As 2017 went on, I settled into a pattern of more normal emotions, back to my old self with a boost of kick-butt confidence.
If you’re in cancer treatment or have been in it, don’t forget to let yourself be happy! The feeling can be selfish, it’s okay. You’re saying to the world, I faced a beast, struggled more than I ever have, and I came out on the other side, smiling.
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