A few small steps

I just went for a walk to get a sub. It took about 20 minutes total and my legs are burning as if I just ran across the country. When I think back about how far I used to walk, I can’t even imagine it now, but hopefully I will be able to build up some strength again eventually since my current physical state is probably close to that of a 90 year-old woman. All in good time. For now, I’m pretty impressed that I made it there and back and am still alive to tell the tale. Gold star for me.

I have been watching a bunch of TV, which is a good sign, because when I am at my worst, I don’t even have enough energy to to watch television. Which shows how much chemo destroys your ability to do even the laziest possible activity. I’m all caught up on The Vampire Diaries after falling behind for a bit and losing track of which ancient vampire was trying to kill which modern-day hybrid werewolf. I am aware that I am definitely older than the target demographic for this show, but lately all I want to watch are teen shows. I’m sure a psychologist would say it’s some sort of regression/coping mechanism, to avoid all of the very grown-up stuff I have to deal with daily. But I don’t think so. I just love shows made for 14 year-old girls. I have also been watching a ton of Felicity on DVD (thanks, Nicole!) since I somehow missed out on watching it as an actual teen. Very riveting stuff.

Felicity's big haircut.. such a dramatic moment in TV history
Felicity’s big haircut.. such a dramatic moment in TV history

I wanted to reply to each of the comments on my last couple of posts because they were all so thoughtful, but I felt anything I could say would not do justice to the kind words you left for me. I couldn’t believe all the love I got after sharing the sad state I was in. Honestly, if you are feeling down about humans and their ability to show compassion for each other, I urge you to go back and read through all the comments people leave here. I am so lucky to have so much support coming at me.

I am starting to feel better again, in terms of my mood and body pains and fatigue. Unfortunately, I just can’t seem to really catch a break, and my eye troubles have not let up. In fact, today, I counted seven little styes on one of my eyelids. I’ve lost count of how many I have had now since last week. I am not sure why it is happening as it does not seem to be a common cancer thing. I also have permanent teary eyes so it is hard for me to see most of the time. I have walked into a few walls. In short, I look like a mess. I am seeing an ophthalmologist on Friday so we’ll see what that brings. If they try to put anything in my eye, you will likely hear my screams wherever you are. After everything I have been through, I still feel squeamish at the idea of anyone or anything getting near my eye.

So with the eye troubles, I believe I have had every part of my body have some sort of issue. But it’s okay guys, it could be worse. I mean, my head could fall off. There’s always that.

My mom gave me this button.
My mom gave me this button.

17 thoughts on “A few small steps

  1. I had a really painful stye because of some mascara, and a hot wet washcloth over it really helped me feel better. Don’t know if you’ve tried it, but if you haven’t it might help!

  2. Steph~…old neighbour & car pool buddy!
    I have been reading your blogs….your powerful words and emotions..and I wanted to say that I am thinking of you and sending you lots of love, strength, optimism and healing energy!
    You are such a strong, beautiful, brave and courageous woman…and I am sure that with your strength, and the support of your family and friends…you will overcome this difficult time in your life….You will Kick Cancers ass and show it who’s boss!!!
    Taking a walk, watching shows that you enjoy and spending time with family and friends will help you day by day…so its nice that you are doing that.
    Always stay hopeful and positive as you are …
    You and your family are in my thoughts.
    With love,
    Michal (or as you may remember from my ESL days, where I was embarrassed to be addressed by my real name…”Michelle” haha)

  3. Steph, Your blog gets reposted to me via your cousin Helene. You are an inspiration and a damn good writer to boot! Sending you (and will continue to send) positive vibes!

  4. Steph, you are amazing! I have been reading all of your blogs, and thinking of you so much. I know all of the second, third and probably even fourth cousins are rooting for you. Thank you for sharing so much of your deepest experiences, from the small joys and triumphs to the absolute worst crap. We love you. Joanna

  5. Hi steph
    I am a friend of your aunt lorie, and I have been following your blog. Apart from all the crap u go thru on a daily basis, u truly r an inspiration and r leaving your mark on mankind. I am not sure what u were schooled to do, but somehow, this blog and how you feel, seems to me, is what you were meant to do….inspire others.
    Just wanted to leave a thought, a great way to treat stays…put a tea bag in a cup of boiled water, dunk it for 2 or 3 times, then leave it to cool. Then put it on your eyes.
    The tannic acid in tea bags should reduce the size and severity of the stays.
    Proud u walked, hopefully soon in the sunshine that will engulf u

  6. Hey Steph,
    I get the sense we might live close-ish to one another. I’m at Bathurst and Clark. I’m two weeks away from my final treatment so if, when you’re feeling a bit stronger, you ever want to do a walking thing together I would love to have a pal to motivate each other to gain some strength back. If we don’t live so close I could always drive to you too. I have a sweet doggie too who loves walks. Even if we just walk to grab a coffee or a sub, I always find it does me good to get out of the house a bit for some fresh air and to spend time with nice people who can relate to what it’s been like, and you seem really nice and cool!

    P.S. Felicity is an awesome show! I love that she could rock the big curly hair AND the sleek short do as well.

  7. Steph- You make me laugh every post, (well almost everyone). I am picturing you in a straight jacket at the eye doctor’s office with gauze stuffed in your mouth (and that’s just for the eye drops)! I find myself saying every week, “Can a girl get a break?” I too had an eye issue during cancer treatment but mine was a retinal tear. They said it could’ve happened even if I didn’t have breast cancer. I say, “What? Could my eye have waited a few years until I was well?” Like Gilda Radnor’s Rosanna Rosannadanna said, ” It’s always something, just be sure to wear clean underwear!” Good luck with your eyes. I’ll be listening for the screams:) Kathy

  8. Great to read an upswing, sty notwithstanding (notwithstying soon I hope). Best to your TV bliss and awesome feats of physical fortitude. Keep it up!

  9. Love the pin! I know you don’t know me Steph, but I am so glad you are sharing your story and I pray for you everyday. Every little bit helps. Nicki

  10. So glad you took a walk. keep it up and good luck at the doctors. love Rhoda and Sherwin. PS i tryed sending you some messages before, you either got three in a row,or none at all.O well i never stop trying and always thinking of you. love and big kisses we are in your corner.

  11. That pin says it all. I seem to recall long ago some super important thing was happening (which probably wasn’t all that important since we were likely 14yrs old) and you got an ICQ response of “sucks” which went on to become the standard response to almost anything. So again, that pin says it all. ALSO, Ben from Felicity has been in my yoga classes lately, no one seemed to really notice aside from an obvious fan in the corner of the room, but he pretty much still looks like the same ol’ Ben! So good to know that you’re starting to feel even a little bit better. Always checking in on you via the blog šŸ™‚ ALSO, I wonder if STY still exists in the Garnet parking lot. I’m going to investigate.

    1. Haha, I love this! Yes, I think I was dating some loser and something bad happened and he just replied “sucks” and we thought it was hilarious. Oh lordy. And that is amazing about Ben, I’m so jealous! Play the cancer card for me and get me his autograph, tell him how much his silly show cheers me up… I am not kidding.

    2. I am so proud of you. you took a walk. Please try and not walk into walls, someone might think your drunk. ps you couldntlook a mess because you are beautiful inside and out

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