Thursday, February 27, 2014

Putting the Pieces Back Together

It's been awhile since I have posted anything. It has been a rough beginning to the new year. I have been reluctant to blog anything because lately my blogs haven't been all that positive. I hate to always be the "Debbie Downer".  I'm not asking for sympathy or for anyone to feel sorry for me.  I'm also aware that I'm not the only one in this world that is suffering from something.  I know there are others who are going through things that are much worse. But this is my way of coping and processing this 'new normal'.  I'm trying to remain strong so that I can become a better, healthier self.

As I stated earlier, my beginning to 2014 has been a rough one. In mid-January, I was hospitalized for shingles, which were excruciatingly painful and possible GVHD of the GI tract (nausea/vomiting).  I was quarantined to my room for a week.  It was definitely not a place I wanted to be. My experience was quite different than the previous years' hospitalizations while I was being treated for leukemia. I was on a different wing of the floor and the nursing staff was not familiar with taking care of stem-cell transplant patients which resulted with me becoming very stressed and put me in a slightly depressive state of mind.  Thank goodness it was only a week!

Things didn't improve upon my discharge and return home.  I ended up that weekend with the cold/flu with more nausea/vomiting.  I felt like I couldn't catch a break.  Thankfully, I have wonderful friends who I work for and babysit for, who allowed me the rest of the month off to recuperate.  Even though I had the rest of the month to recuperate, being the end of February now, I still do not feel 100%.

I currently have a head cold and a persistent cough that will not go away.  I've come to the realization since my treatments and stem-cell transplant, that this has become my 'new normal'.  My winters especially have remained consistent with the head cold/congestion and cough which depletes my energy reserves.  The lack of energy may have to do with the sleepless nights where I'm unable to breathe or I'm coughing so persistently I can't catch my breath.  Some nights I wake from a sound sleep because I'm coughing so hard.

I'm at a loss.  I have been hoping and praying that each new year will be the year that the tiredness, the ongoing colds/coughs, the lack of energy etc. will become less and less.  I know that even the most healthiest person gets a touch of the common cold/flu and has those days where they are worn out.  But my experience has remained consistent.  After three years, I have recognized the pattern and have come to the conclusion that my body still isn't strong enough.  It's not strong enough to ward off the common cold/flu.  It's not strong enough to handle a daily exercise regimen.  Any time I attempt something physical my body gives out.

I'm trying to comprehend all of this.  I'm trying to understand why after three years I shouldn't be more energized or more strong and healthy?  What is keeping my body from progressing?  The longest I have gone without some form of ailment, complication or side effect from the transplant has been at least two weeks, and this has occurred maybe 2 or three times since my transplant in 2010.

The cancer may no longer exist.  But just because it doesn't exist and its been three years since the stem-cell transplant, doesn't mean I'm all okay.  I continue to face battles daily.  Battles that are related, in one way or another, to cancer and the stem-cell transplant.  I'm not sure where I go from here or how to change things and make them better.  I try very hard to remain optimistic but even the most optimistic person has those days of feeling hopeless.  I just need to find a daily mantra to keep me motivated and keep holding my head high as I continue on this journey post cancer and post stem-cell transplant.

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