Battle Fatigue

‘Battle fatigue ‘ has definitely crept in and this final stretch of the cancer twelve month journey is proving to be so much more challenging than the earlier ones were.
The waiting for surgery was frustrating,  the operation whoopsie with its resulting kidney drain complications was traumatic, the chemotherapy was exhausting and the consequential change in  appearance from total hair loss was character building, but the current stage is depressingly infuriating and positivity-weakening.
I suppose the earlier stages were primarily concerned with adjusting to the diagnosis and adapting to the various aspects of the treatment – there being no point kicking against the traces because it simply had to be managed. The big difference nowadays is the feeling of emotional exhaustion-cum-irritation-cum-utter dischuffment. Now should be the time when I start to rebuild my health but instead I seem to have more and more wee health niggles and things which give me cause to grumble that I have had enough, thanks very much!
I keep getting the awful news of others for whom the cancer journey has ended , so I do know how lucky I am, but in a weird way, the deaths seem to increase my own reservations about it really and truly having been removed. “I have developed two totally separate cancers since 2007, so what’s stopping a third”. Thoughts like that, though utterly useless, do still occur – and bleeding from my bladder doesnae help!
I feel as though my whole being is depressed, suppressed, compressed – everything that indicates restriction, constriction, limitation, negation. I want back my energy, my positivity, my normal feet, and I want to be free of this soul-destroying bladder uncertainty.
I pee extremely bloodied urine and  almost always have discomfort/aches/pain in my nether regions. More investigation is on the horizon (flexible cystoscopy this coming Thursday) so maybe soon we’ll have a better idea what is causing the problems. Mind you, I had a cystoscopy a month ago  when the stent was replaced under general anesthetic.  This procedure is to be under local anesthetic so maybe by being awake  I can find out more. I’ve been under the impression for ages that it was the stent causing all the issues because of being a foreign body, but can no longer be sure, because nothing makes sense. I was advised the blood was because the urine pooled and that every now and again that collection came away. For a wee while (no pun at all) that did seem to fit, but now it doesn’t. I can pee blood most voids during the day, when it doesn’t get chance to ‘pool’, yet have pale amber urine during the night, when it does get a chance to collect more. I am never without UTI-type symptoms, which every now and again become far more intensive because they actually are signs of an infection instead of just a mimiking.  Strangely enough, it invariably develops at a weekend which delays getting treatment for it.
My joints ache, especially my back and knees, probably because I have hardly any decent exercise, and that lack of exercise is because my toes hurt so I am less inclined to walk much. Why my toes hurt is another mystery. Again I was advised it was just a continuation of the “walking on stones” side effects I had but, if it really is a result of the chemo, why is it so different to what I felt during the treatment? The GP diagnosed corns under the pads of my big toes causing additional pain, and I have treated them seemingly quite successfully, but a development is the edges of my toes hurting a lot and appearing blistered, plus the pad on the foot has a swelling.  My feet ache continually.  As an enthusiastic walker I find this most disconcerting.
I’ve had issues with intermittent insomnia for quite a while but in the past few days it has seemed worse. More or less ever since having the stent I’ve had to get up at least twice overnight, only getting two or three hours sleep between needing the loo, but at least was able to go back to sleep quickly after each visit. Thankfully the hours between have lengthened in the past week, but dropping off in the first place has been much harder.
Maybe it’s just a case of being aware of the difference between previous acceptance of the vast changes in circumstances, because there really was no choice, so that that once one starts getting better the lack of patience for no longer being in control, or in achieving progress in returning to my version of normality, is intensified.
Trying to keep positive, there are good things in all these trials and tribulations: a) my eyes are not as dry, so the almost blinding, spontaneous weeping doesn’t happen as often, and they don’t feel as itchy or uncomfortable, b) I have found a new ultra short hairstyle which I would never have dreamed of wearing if I hadn’t lost it all first and c) I am learning new skills re crafting of various kinds, including modelling scenery etc.

The first part of the background near station.

The first part of the background near station.

[Pic shows two of my scenic backboards being tested. They’re not quite in the right position next to each other here but it gives an idea of how they will look.]

I think I have learned to pace myself better so my energy levels are not too bad, but my umph does still give out occasionally, much to my chagrin .


Basically, I am getting heartily sick of being a cancer patient, albeit now ex .  I know ” This Too Will Pass” but meanwhile, I am finding this last leg of my journey to be utterly draining mentally and emotionally,  and to be blunt I am battle weary.

Ah well, roll on Thursday .

4 thoughts on “Battle Fatigue

  1. Ann Oldwife

    As always with your blogs, Susan, I am left feeling full of admiration for your courage, your stamina and your writing style. I hope you will soon be well again, I hope it with all my heart.

  2. Vivienne

    Your blogs never fail to move me, either to sympathy, compassion or more usually to a smile but always to a tremendous surge of admiration. Dear friend we have never met but I must have known when when we started this pen-pal-ship that you were going to be someone I would like to know as well as someone I never fail to include in my prayers. Stay strong Susan you are such an inspiration.


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