I wonder how you are doing now, seven months after your original post? I still remember the awful feeling after I'd been waved off from the hospital when my treatment finsihed. I was grateful that the horror of chemotherapy had ended but at the same time terrified that no one was 'doing anything' now to make sure that they'd got all the cancer. I left my job six weeks after the end of treatment and a month later had a complete break-down because I didn't have a reason to get up in the mornings any longer and couldn't hide from my feelings of despair, terror, anger, etc any longer. It was impossible to explain how adrift and alone I felt and it wasn't until I found a support group that was set up mainly for people post-treatment that I gradually worked my way through all the grief at the loss of my old life and came to terms with the reality of my new life. I now facilitate support groups with the same organisation. I have written a book ("Journey to Me": http://janegillespie.com.au/book.html) about that tumultuous time and how I came through it to a wonderful new place, where I am happier than I ever before. If you would like a copy, please email me at email@example.com. I'm happy to let you have it for $15 post-free and could send you a PayPal invoice or give you my bank account details if you just wanted to do a Net transfer. I hope you are feeling more 'you' these days or at least more at peace with the new you. Sending love and understanding...
I really doubt that any of us ever get back to a normal life. As a matter of fact I am not even sure I want to. During my normal life is when I developed cancer. Now in my life as a survivor I have learned so much about how to avoid becoming a cancer patient again. I doubt that in my normal life I ever gave more than a moments thought to those small niggling ailments that when awareness was thrust upon me turned out to be cancer. It was not just me either. I went to a well respected doctor . I told her I thought I had colon cancer. She told me I was too fat , lose weight and I will be fine. I asked if I could have a colonoscopy anyway . She asked me exactly what I didn't understand about too fat. Several months later and a different doctor. You have a loose loop of colon , it just keepss filling and emptying , see me in three months , you will be fine. A few weeks later ,same doc. I have a major problem ...DO SOMETHING. He said ok ,just to cater to your paranoia I will put you in for a scope. Woke up from the scope . Turned out to be stage 3 c colon cancer into 6 nodes. Had an operation and chemo. This is my new life , not normal but as a survivor. I know what precautions I need to take and at what intervals. I never miss tests . I take notice of what my body tells me and I make sure I pass that information on to doctors. Last january I started year 20 of survival. It has not been perfect and a lot of my problems stem from long term side effects from treatment. BUT no cancer. I am treating my long term side effects in the same way and I am surviving them as well. One of the things I hear so often from survivors who have just been turned loose after treatment is I feel abandoned , no one is doing anything for me. Please do it for yourself. Make notes , ask questions of your docs about what you should expect about your ongoing treatment and then hold them too it.. Best wishes to everyone Ron.
Hi Maggie, I'm still in the very early stages f recovering from surgery and commencing surgery this week. I had to do a big shopping epedition a few days after diagnosis to prepare for being away from home and returning after surgery. I stood in the isle of toothpaste and spent 20 minutes trying to decide what toothpaste to buy. I'd read that a certain ingredient cause thyroid cancer. Couldn't remember what the ingredient actually was and really struggled with the toothpaste. I told my husband later and he told me to stop. I wear dentures. I clean the dentures with toothpaste and then rinse it off. The toothpaste doesn't actually go in my mouth. It made me realise that I had to stop stressing about everything. The worst had happened. The diagnosis. I had to see the diagnosis as lucky because it was picked up early and that gave me a great chance at survival. Life will be different. I can't change what has happened. I can only live my very best life in the future to the best of my ability.
That;s all any of us can do. Maybe join some groups away from cancer. When I finish my radiotherapy I'm going to join a group to play mah jong and going back to Tai Chi next year. Plan a weekend away, a holiday,
something you want to learn or an outing of any kind.
I hope you have come through some of your feelings and that life is improving for you every day.
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