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How do you live with the realization you had cancer?

This is the post excerpt.

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How do you live with the realization that you had cancer? That what you had you will always have effects from… you will never truly be healed? Knowing that what I had is exactly what others die from… why didn’t I? When you realize that everything changed for good with those three words… you can never go back. I know looking back I felt therapy could undo what just had happened… that cancer, family… everything would be fixed with a little support… I was in so much denial looking back… but now, why am I in therapy if I can’t undo the last year? I can’t turn back the clock… it’s done and over… what more is there to get from it? It wrecked me, but I’ll never be the same… ever… cancer has left its permanent mark on me far beyond the scar. What I need is to no longer live in fear, no longer regret choices surrounding my diagnosis, no longer be angry that I got cancer… I need to no longer wait for what can never change. I look around a room filled with people who have been touched with cancer… and I’m one of them. That’s me, I had what everyone wishes to never get… and now I look back at going through it, and I can’t… I can’t to this day look back and allow myself to go through all the feelings, but I need to. Tonight I have the body scan and radioactive iodine treatment locked into my head… I did that alone… I did that like it was a job interview, like failing meant I just moved onto the next one… all business, no emotions… no support. Tonight I remember how it was like to anxiously await results… but now I realize I was in cancer treatment, this was far beyond my comprehension, even to this day. I was waiting to be told this was done… honestly, I was so lost in what was all going on mentally, still am. This all means so much more when it hits you that you had cancer, I’m almost in shock that I did… I sit and think about it, age doesn’t even matter, I had something inside of me that could have killed me, I had surgery, omg I had major surgery… I have side effects because I had cancer… the more I say it to myself the more real it gets, the more painful it gets… the more different I feel. I feel as though the rest of my life will be monitoring return, praying it doesn’t happen… but yet, spending Saturdays in bed freaking out over period cramps determining I’m dying of cancer… you laugh, it’s happened more than once. I’m angry this ever happened, I want an answer as to why, I want to feel like it wasn’t my fault, I want to be the me before cancer ever hit… I’m searching for answers I will never be able to find. I don’t know what the realization of cancer is suppose to feel like, I don’t have the words to describe this… I’m in shock… like omg I had cancer, and as discussed tonight… it doesn’t get much bigger than that…now I actually believe that. Going back, I wish I had valued people more than I did, valued family relationships because if someone else in the family got cancer, I would want to be there for them… I didn’t allow that. I wish in times like right now I could experience a therapy session… it’s times like now that I actually need a session, I could be more honest, more real, more accepting towards help… that’s just not how this works. Sometimes I feel… I don’t know… if I was forced to read this out loud in session… I would be in touch with what I wrote and the emotions I felt writing it would come back to me, good or bad… and if I allowed it, I could experience it. I’m going to hate myself for adding that to this later on, but it’s truth. The more I feel in session, the less it hurts outside of it… I don’t understand why that is… but the few times I have it has been beneficial. Tonight’s group showed me how anger is normal, fear is probably always going to be present, and not everybody handled themselves in ways they are proud of. Cancer sucks, that’s that.

What You Thought You Knew

A million thoughts run through my head, up till now I’ve walked the line… nothing lost, but something missing. I don’t know what I’m feeling, I looked at the body scan pictures and feel this is all a dream. I can’t decide what is wrong and what is right… I feel so sad and down right now, I want relief… and I don’t know what that looks like or how to get it. I need to leave to ensure I’ll be okay, but I wasn’t like this hours ago. I don’t understand why this happens and why I can be fine with life one minute, and then the next wanting a way out. If only I knew what the scan would tell me… I don’t want to go alone, I don’t want to be alone. I look at the body scan picture, and yes fear hits… but so does loads of sadness as no one sat next to me telling me it was almost over. I don’t understand any of how cancer has left me, I don’t understand me. I feel like I lost those around me, myself, and what my life meant all with those awful words of cancer. Something is missing in my life, and I’m seeing it is something I hate. It’s just really disheartening that I’m battling this with myself and a therapist, who can’t actually be next to me during anything that may happen. I just wish I knew this bubble expands, that I will find more to life than these temporary feelings tell me life is.

Therapy

I’ll be completely honest with you… my cancer journey is really hard for me to talk about… I have a hard time with people caring about me… I build up this huge wall to keep everyone out… but it’s all so real in therapy. In therapy I am a 24 year old who is 19 months into remission and really struggling with the aftermath of cancer. Side effects, friend issues, family hardships, and my own fears about the future are all real and open in therapy. Doesn’t mean it is easy… but it’s real. I’m beginning to learn how to allow someone to care for me… and ya guessed it, it’s my therapist. I have my follow up in March… I had a scan in September and they said a mass or scar tissue is present… so March is huge as I find out what it is. I want my therapist to go with me… I want my therapist to wait in the lobby and be there to help me after. But that request was turned down. I’m sad, angry, scared… yet happy I was able to lower my wall and ask, allow someone to help me. This is a hard journey… harder when you are facing it alone. Cancer is so scary… my mortality hit me in the face all of a sudden at 22. I wish there was more support out there for a young cancer survivor. I feel like no one my age understands me anymore, I’m so isolated in my illness that I just wish I could find someone like me to talk with. If this is you, I would love to talk. Cancer is a journey no one should have to go at alone.

Feelings

Have you ever just felt like running…. running from life and everything that is now you? Cancer threw me out of myself, and I don’t know how to get it her back. I feel like nobody understands the deep fears of return, the pain the scar holds… the life that was thrown my way wasn’t my choice. I’m so lost and scared for what this future holds… I long for understanding and caring for where I’m emotionally at. Tired of running from my feelings, yet don’t know how to deal with them.

To be continued.