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PTSD

9 Nov

2013-07-09 01.52.41

Yesterday I met with a good friend whose fiancé just finished his last cancer treatment. She asked what life was like after cancer and what to expect emotionally, physically, etc. This one’s tough to answer because everyone is different. My fight is a little different than some because my cancer has come back a few times, but I believe most of the emotions are the same whether you were diagnosed once, twice, or however many times. Cancer is cancer. There is no easy cancer. Being told you have cancer, then mustering up all you have to fight back is one thing, but after? When they tell you ‘you’re done’? It’s a little like post traumatic stress disorder; trying to cope and adjust after a terrifying or traumatic event. It’s been almost three years since my last treatment and I just recently got my first totally clean bill of health, ever, believe it or not, I feel like I’m going through a grieving process…again. I’m sad that I can’t trust my own body. I was in my 30’s, healthy and active when this all started and boom, I find out there are cells I can’t see inside of me trying to kill me. I’m sad that I can’t do some of the things I used to do without struggling to breathe because of the attack on my neck. I’m sad that my kids are afraid to ask what my test results are and I’m even more sad that I scared them because they’ve seen me so sick. I’m sad that I wasted so much time and energy worrying about stupid inconsequential stuff before I had cancer; stupid stuff is just that…stupid. There are so many things to grieve because after cancer and dealing with your mortality, you not only think about where you came from, but more importantly, of where you want to be. I recently visited a friend who is a massage therapist and polarity therapist . After her treatment I asked her what my body was telling her and she told me that besides the overwhelming feeling that my body was in constant self protection mode (not healthy), that I had a broken heart. Guess what, it made me sad. Now, I have known her for a very long time and she told me she remembers a girl with a fire inside of her, I replied, ‘I miss her too.’

What happens now? ‘The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.’ ~ Eleanor Roosevelt. Count me in. Despite the sadness, I am alive. Some of the great things post cancer is that I’m more patient, I don’t worry about stupid stuff, I try to understand people better and listen to their stories, I have less fear, I dream bigger, I care less about what people think of me, I love deeper, and yes, my heart breaks even more. I’m less tolerant of anger, hate, and jerks in general. After the first surgery my prognosis was bad. When you’re given an end date your perspective on life changes a little; I’m more focused on peace, adventure, and how I want the rest of my ‘living’ to look like. I’m hoping someday to regain more confidence in my body cooperating with me, and I’m hoping to find that girl with the fire inside of her once again. Life is short and it’s totally worth living.

Today I wear Kat Von D Painted Love Lipstick in Hellbent…yeah, it’s red! These lipsticks have lots of color but are surprisingly rich and moisturizing (although not as moisturizing as some of the others). I chose this color mainly for the name; I have so many shades of red lipstick but who could resist the name? Hellbent on living life! Cheers!

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2 Responses to “PTSD”

  1. Catherine - Facing Cancer Together November 11, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    I am full of emotion for you reading this post. Congratulations on your clean scans. No matter what else, that is very good. I hope your heart finds a way to heal after so much hurt. It sounds like you are working on it but by bit.

    • Anna November 11, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

      Thanks Catherine, I’ll get there. Just some hard emotions right now.

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