Wednesday, 7 November 2012

You are Better! Oh wait? What now? Am I?

The day treatment is completed, is a weird day.

You leave the hospital and if you were anything like me, you spent a lot of time there. Between chemo, radiation, doctors appointments, side effects, (I got sick all the time being having no white blood cells), in for pain, meeting with surgeons, going to surgery, recovery in hospitals and so many many more things.

Then all of sudden, you are leaving! Great! trust me when I say no one wanted to be done more with everything than me. But everyone around you wants it to be done too, and this is where I had some major problems. Everyone around me was so ready to be done, and I had a lot of side effects. More so than just health, I had the weakness, all that stuff, dealing with chemo fog (not being able to think clearly), survivor guilt (that is a weird one) and just dealing with a lot of fear and emotions you didn't have to deal with before. getting back to normal is a tough thing to do, something I still struggle with almost ten months after finishing treatment.

I went back to work as soon as I could because I needed the money. Perhaps too soon. My boss didn't understand, I couldn't really work nearly as well as I used too. I used to be a workhorse, and I simply couldn't when I got back, I didn't want to, I wanted to do other things, like have fun again. But I didn't really have that option. Work has been a constant source of frustration for me, but I won't get into it so much of the details. This as well carries on.

It strained relationships. I had someone ask me why I just didn't "get over it". trust me I would if I could. Check ups still stress me out, and I usually get really worked up around them.

Survivors guilt is weird. I am so happy to be alive, and be living my life much better than I did before. You just question sometimes why you were okay and why someone else wasn't.

Physically, I can't do a lot of things I used to. Soccer, baseball, football, can't do it. But I found cycling. This has been my escape. It is low impact, and I get to be by myself. It is one of the rare times I get to do that, I feeling I needed after a year of everyone else taking care of me. It gave me some of my freedom back. This is me and Sara biking in the rain at the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer 2012. I am happy to say we are doing this again, biking from Vancouver to Seattle to raise money for cancer research.

Sometimes I get really short with people when they complain about how bad their day is, it could be worse and I know that, but I can't fault others for not knowing how bad it can be. It is a good thing that some people do not have to deal with things like this. Everyone has problems, and I think I need to respect that a bit more. Just because I had big problems doesn't mean others are not important.

Problems and side effects linger. And to be honest most people don't get it in my experience, but not because they don't want to. I try to deal with it the best I can, and get help, but I can't always find it.

I just try to make the best of everyday, as best I can. Smiling helps.

1 comment:

  1. I'm really sorry you are having such a hard time, and I can imagine it's largely because no one understands that 'done' doesn't mean 'better'.

    Are there cancer support centres in your area? They might have programs designed to help rebuild your energy, provide complementary therapies, and be there with support. Our website is stuffed full of people living with the other side of treatment. If you ever want to connect with people who most certainly get what you're feeling in this situation, you are very welcome.

    Take care and - yes - smiling is a good help.