I went to church on Sunday. This was my first real outing since my surgery and of course, radiation.
Everything was wonderful except for the pain.
Now that I have technically finished active treatment, people look at me and seem to see just a normal, healthy person. So many memes now mention “hidden” illness and pain, and I suppose I have an intimate understanding of this after beginning Anastrozole. Others don’t get why I continue to experience pain and fatigue, both of which urge me to stay at home.
As one person said when I mentioned that the drug causes pain, “But medicine is supposed to make you feel better!”
Going out and about can be a cause of anxiety for cancer patients. Our bodies no longer look or act like they used to, and facing healthy folks’ reactions can be a bit of a scare. Add pain to the mix, and it’s all too easy to stay at home.
Cancer treatment can often mean accepting the Devil’s own bargain. The various treatments offer the possibility of a cancer-free life, but that life may be one of pain and illness. We accept that awful bargain, though, because we love our families and want to stick around for a while.
Puttering around the house and allowing myself to rest when needed sound much more pleasant nowadays than social interactions. Cancer changes you, and it ages you.
The pain should subside after a few months on the medication, but until then I may have to learn to just say “No” when it comes to going out with others. Hopefully folks understand.