I've been a survivor for one year now. It still feels like yesterday and the emotional wounds are still raw. People don't see those. I have a wooper of a scar on my left thigh after the egg sized sarcoma tumour has been removed. I now walk with a limp at 37 years old and I will never be able to run and chase my three year daughter when she is playing at the park. To everyone else things are back to normal. I'm alive. I survived the 6 weeks of radiotherapy and the operation. What they don't see is the difficulty in day to day tasks. The inability to do the most "normal" things. The three monthly tests and the emotional lead up is horrific. The aching at night from being on my feet all day. Don't get me wrong, I'm bloodly thankful I'm here. Everyday I wake up and I'm thankful for another day. I just miss my old life. I miss the old me. The one that had energy, the one who didn't get irritable over small things, the one who was super flexible and naturally good at Yoga, the one who had confidence, the one who laughed a lot, the one who felt physically beautiful naked, the one who had a promising career, the one who considered having more babies....it's all gone. I now have to learn to love the new me and learn how to live with the new me...so that it feels normal...whatever that may be.
15 Comments
Frequent Contributor
Hi Ruby I liked this piece. I noticed on your home page that you said you find writing therapeutic. There are a group of us in an expressive writers group which you might be interested in. Send Kate a message and she can let you know more. It's fun to be able to post things and have people understand that it's just about the exercise of doing it. We don't want information or support for a particular thing out of it. We just sense that it is therapeutic to share pieces of writing. H
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Regular Contributor
Hi Ruby, I echo Harker's thoughts and agree with the idea of you joining the writer's group.In the writer's group it is also therapeutic to share thoughts with those who never pass judgement on how you are feeling and can often empathise with your current situation. I am 18 months out of treatment and I would also recommend that you keep up with your yoga. I also was quite advanced in my yoga practice until surgery and 6 months of chemo put an end to that. Now I attend classes that are of a much lesser "standard" but because my attitude has changed I feel that I now have much greater benefit from them. I have an awesome teacher who worked with me brilliantly when I could hardly stand up let alone do yoga! I am also a high school dance teacher and it is amazing how you can teach dance standing still. The neuropathy in my feeet meant that I am only recently able to jump and balance on one foot. I am still working out my new normal but give yourself some time. I am older than you -52- so I can only guess how much harder the physical stuff is but I guess I have learnt that at least we are here to experience whatever our new normal is. Take care and try the writer's group, Samex
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Deceased
Hi Ruby Yes, things are different. I still go through the three month jitters after eleven years. Most people would look at me and have no idea that I am in any way physically different from others. Ww have what I call the hidden disabilities. Many years ago, I think after, my first lot of treatment and before the thing recurred, my oncologist commented that I seemed to be coping - my response was that 'I was not coping but I was managing'. That is how I get along - I manage, I try to be in control, but not in a mindless way that I must be in charge, but trying to be realistic and using whatever I can to allow me to live as normal a life as I can. It is not the old normal - but it allows me to do most of the things I want to do. Cheers Sailor I keep sailing on in this middle passage. I am sailing into the wind and the dark. But I am doing my best to keep my boat steady and my sails full. Arthur Ashe
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Not applicable
Hi H I will definately contact Kate. Thanks for letting me know. Writing is such an escape for me and a place where I don't have to pretend. Sounds like you are the same. This is my second day using the cancerconnect and it's all new. I'm still finding my way around! I look fwd to reading more of your work. Ruby
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Not applicable
Thanks Samex It was nice to hear your story. I will try Yoga again when I have more strength in my leg. I'm still pretty wobbly. It ws wonderful to hear you are teaching dance. I teach art and it's wonderful to express myself this way also. Ironically, I am also the student welfare teacher at our school. It's amazing how you can still immerse yourself in others problems and cope with them but not your own! How do I join the writer's group? Sounds perfect! Ruby
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Occasional Contributor
I remember after being diagnosed, I sat in my garden reading through the 8 billion useful leaflets thrown at me by my oncologist on the way out his door. As I read, it dawned on me that my life was never going to be the same again. Even once the treatment was over I would still be fighting invisible demons and physical restraints. Then I went through treatment for a year -- the works -- and at the end, after cancer and doctor appt's had become my life, it all ended just like that. The thought, 'Now what?' persisted like a tic. I felt totally lost and frightened. My treatment ended two years ago and I can now happily say I am no longer paralysed by my fear of accepting my new reality and who I am. It DOES get easier, I promise, but it's an uncomfortable time and something you need to go through to complete your metamorphoses into a new and better you! Sending healing energy your way, LLx
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Contributor
Hi Ruby, just to let you know I've sent you a PM about the writers group - let me know if you haven't recieved this. Cheers, Kate
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Contributor
Hi Ruby, just to let you know I've sent you a PM about the writers group - let me know if you haven't recieved this. Cheers, Kate
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New Contributor
Ive just begun on this road, and I agree that one of the hardest things to deal with is getting used to the fact that everything has changed, it's completely out of your control and it wont go back to how it used to be. It's like Ive lost my best friend, I cant help but feel a sense of grief when I look back to when my life was simple, easy, fun and my mortality wasn't thrown in my face. I look at all my friends and feel kind of separate from them now. It's lonely. I'd give anything to go back to my old life. I hope you find peace with your new life Ruby. Christine.
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Not applicable
Hi Ruby I'm not sure if you are still on this site, I read your what is normal. I have just finished treatment for Ewings Sarcoma of my right arm. I had the humerus bone removed and replaced with a prothesis, I can't lift my right arm, can't hang up my own washing and still have pain. I also have a young child, although 9 now. I would love to connect with you and see how your doing now Nina
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Not applicable
Hi Ruby I'm not sure if you are still on this site, I read your what is normal. I have just finished treatment for Ewings Sarcoma of my right arm. I had the humerus bone removed and replaced with a prothesis, I can't lift my right arm, can't hang up my own washing and still have pain. I also have a young child, although 9 now. I would love to connect with you and see how your doing now Nina
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Contributor
Hi Ruby, I had breast cancer in 2010 with a lump out and a mastectomy and I find that life has changed for me. it changes your personality and its hard and wanting your old me back I feel it is hard also. I haven't had a recontruction either. Take it easy and with the flow and your hurt won't be so hurtful. This is what I do and its not too bad. Glenys. 0
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Super Contributor
I can't add much to what has been said .They know what they're talking about. I am 2 years since diagnosis and 19 months post treatment and I'm ok but in some ways still adjusting. I miss the old life too.
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Contributor
I am glad you are OK so this means that you have beaten the cancer but still adjusting to it. I am 16 months and I am OK and recieved a good result from it all. Boy if it is like this how can I cope with what is a head of me. I miss the old life too and others who haven't had this type of cancer don't relise at all. I'll just have to cope with two men in the house. My son isn't chatting to me at all. He just lays on his bed and Mum washes his clothes and dishes. he doesn't ask his parents what can I do for you as it is a one-way-street with him and he is 29 years old. He has his IT diploma and extension on it so he has 2 diplomas with IT. He is too proud to help at home. We have to tidy up a huge mess too. Glenys 0
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Super Contributor
Glenys. I would not be washing my son's clothes at that age unless he was doing chores around the house,eg lawnmowing ,cooking ,vacuuming.He is capable of helping ,doing his share.All members of a family should contribute in some way ,if they are capable.
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