Coffee Is My Best Friend
One of the daily challenges I face is fatigue. It’s so annoying because I’m a “go-getter” and I have always been an active person. In fact, over the years, my husband would comment on how I never sit down and relax. It’s true. I’m always doing; and with a toddler in tow it’s hard not to keep busy. His energy is boundless! But the fatigue has altered me, and I’ve had to accept that my energy is not what it was pre-cancer treatment. It’s flawed.
Cancer-Related Fatigue is real. I was very embarrassed to admit that I was tired All. The. Time. Sleep and rest did not rejuvenate me. I had no get-up-and-go. I was irritable, exhausted, drained, and sluggish. I was also frustrated. Why was my energy so low? I ate well, and I exercised (within my present limitations). I did not have chemotherapy or radiation for my cancer, so why was it taking so long to regain my energy after the surgery? Could it be the hormonal treatment that is causing this fatigue? Does it stem from the emotional and physical stress that comes with living life after cancer? Is it low iron? Could it be parenting a toddler all day and working in the evenings? Is it a compilation of all these things? I don’t know. Days turned into weeks which turned into months. It has not improved.
This morning in particular I struggled to get out of bed. I felt heavy all over, and very sluggish. I forced myself up because my husband was leaving for work and somebody had to take care of our toddler (that somebody being me). So I dragged myself out of bed and started my day in a battle for energy. I woke my toddler. I showered. I dressed. I started breakfast.
“They” say you should bake and cook with your little ones; allow them to [safely] explore the kitchen. I’m not one to let my son near a hot stove or oven, but one thing I do (and he loves to do) is get my toddler to make my morning latte. He does it so well! He is very focused and careful as he meticulously prepares mama’s coffee; smelling the concoction, dipping his little finger into the frothy milk, and then proudly showing me the end result. It’s a morning tradition that I’ve come to cherish. Coffee and Liam. My two morning loves (and caffeine my best friend).
Don’t be fooled. Caffeine does not cure my fatigue, nor does it “perk” me up like it would most people. It provides me with a tiny amount of fuel to jump-start my sluggish self. It makes me calm. It centres me. My foggy brain begins to awaken. I’m a better mom for it. I can relax. I can sit. I can breathe. I can sip. I can sigh.
The point (is there a point) to all of this, is that as I was walking up Bayview Avenue at 10am with my toddler in tow – getting errands done quickly so that I could take him to the park before he melted down (and threw his terrible-two’s tantrum right there on the sidewalk for all to see), I saw a sign. A sign that made me laugh because it was EXACTLY how I felt today (and feel most days). A sign that seemed to be created solely for me. A sign that prompted me to walk in and buy myself a latte.
CONGRATULATIONS YOU MADE IT OUT OF BED! Yes I did. I made it out of bed. I will continue to make it out of bed no matter how tired, sluggish, listless, and drained I feel. I will make it out of bed so that I can be a mommy to my little one every single day of my existence. I will make it out of bed to be a wife, daughter, sister, auntie, and friend. I will push on so that I can remind myself that I kicked cancer’s butt and that I won’t let it kick mine. I will make it out of bed so that I can stop and smell the coffee.
Excuse me for a moment as I go and make myself a latte…
Coffee Is My Best Friend. Published by Crystal Joy Hall