super excited yall! I received my travel information the other day for my first descents kayaking trip in Wyoming! ( FD is another young adult survivor program- adventure program, they have surfing, rock climbing, ice climbing and kayaking throughout the country and some international for young adults and adults over 40 – free to cancer survivors, first timers like me can get full travel scholarships based on need)
I am super excited for this kayaking trip, granted Montana was amazing on itself. I met many wonderful people and I feel like their motto ” come to camp, it could change your life” is true on many levels. knowing that I can do things like rock climb again and be active is amazing! I was feeling so worthless because my exhaustion was getting to me and I felt no one understood. Montana was a week of self care, and realizing that its ok to take my nap and to take a day in between. Other people don’t understand because they haven’t experienced (and I hope you never have to go through chemo or radiation ) and being around others who have really opened my eyes. I don’t feel alone anymore. I know I wasn’t before, but to have met people who had a similar situation and to see the side effects and hear their stories made it seem real. made me feel not different. ive always felt different because I was ” a sick child” , and “different sense of humor ” – the list goes on. and then I went through chemo. – like really, what next??? lol. I can laugh now. but now ive seen what ive felt in others and knowing we can commiserate together makes things easier, and easier to like myself on days when im totally exhausted I can’t get off the couch to do more then change the channel and use the restroom.
kayaking though – WOW I never thought id make it back to Wyoming ( family trip to yellow stone when I was like 7) but to go kayaking?? and with fellow cancer survivors? im excited to meet this new group of individuals, but also to learn kayaking. they said they treat everyone as if they have never seen a kayak outside of the tv. ( they do have more advanced groups that people can join after their first year or if they have experience prior to the first camp).
I was very nervous about going to the first group though. “will it put ideas in my head? ” – it did sort of but in a good way- made me aware of follow up tests I should consider from the chemo / side effects. like I am freakin nervous about the idea of relapse even though my doc said I have a very very very small chance. but I never thought about getting chest xrays or heart stress tests and some of the chemo side effects could be damaging those areas and that’s one way to monitor.
will it be sad the entire time? – it had its moments. we had “campfire chats” like twice in the week where we specifically talked about something that we needed to vent about or to share stories from the “older survivors” to the “young survivors ” – or like 5 year remission compared to 1 year remission. other times, we talked about it freelance. like while waiting for rock climbing some of us talked about being exhausted and not sure if we could do it and the tiredness, we shared experiences of that and how it sucks and what we do to bypass it. ( positive talk), the first night a couple of us sat around the hot tub and talked about what type we had and how long our treatment was and how we all need to start working out again because weve gotten exhausted and too tired to exersize. plans for the future and where we want to be next summer when we meet again. there was a ceremony that celebrated life of those who passed between camp due to relapsing. it brought up the idea of who chooses for me. who chooses who lives and who dies? I was able to bring this up to others and find out what they thought. some go off of , when its there time its there time. ( but again who chooses?) others didn’t want to think of “who chooses ” and stated, it just happens. sucks but it happens. luck of the draw? idk, I think its something im going to have to ignore and move on, because I don’t even want to think that there is someone or something that says, ok this father of 3 is going to die and this girl of 18 is going to live . next!
will I be able to do anything??? what if im too tired? – I was so scared of this, I even asked on the phone to the kayaking place what would happen if I couldn’t participate. I ended up being so energized from people around me, that I did not need too many naps. eventualy I did pick and choose which workshops / activities I wanted to do and did take afternoon naps ( the week felt longer then a week) but I was able to participate in almost everything I wanted to do mostly because the energy was addicting!
before kayking though, im going to Canada with dad for our yearly fishing trip. yaaay! then 3 or 4 dayslater I fly out to Wyoming 🙂 ( have it in my date book so I wont mistake that lol)