“So what is next?” She asked me as we chatted in the bookstore, “My treatment is almost over; I am still wearing this wig and I am wondering how I am going to regain my strength and reenter my former life.” These are profound questions that any cancer survivor has. You spend so much time “fighting the fight” that when you’re done you look around and literally have to figure out what to do next.
I thought back to this time in my life, remembering how I thought that once chemo was over my hair would instantly reappear and I would resume my life as if nothing had ever happened. Then reality struck. My hair wasn’t growing very fast and I was exhausted from even the briefest activity.
“My advice would be to focus on rebuilding your immune system.” I told her. “I take a lot of antioxidants now and I will gladly drop some by for you.” I take a mushroom supplement that someone recommended when I was ill, Vitamin D, Calcium and Vitamin C to name a few. “Then there is yoga, that will help as well,” I continued. “I just started that and I really love it!” She responded.
“Also, remember that hair takes a really long time to grow,” I bluntly reminded her. “No one told me that and I wish I had known.” I continued. “I have to say that you look really great,” I told her. It was true. Her skin was beautiful and her eyes were bright. Her wig was very flattering and looked just like real hair.
“So do you,” she replied. “And you are going to play tennis. That is a good sign!” She walked away and I thought about what she said as I stood there in my tennis skirt. It is a good sign; there is so much life to be lived after cancer. That is what is next.