Life after cancer 

These days whenever I see people they tell me how amazing I look, but they can’t believe I had cancer, chemo, etc. I don’t know if I would use the word amazing to describe myself, but I do think I look healthy and “normal”. I’m glad to hear that everybody else thinks I look so great!

People ask how I feel, I think they assume I’m going to say that I feel great too.

I definitely have days where I feel great. Where everything goes the way it is supposed to and I can almost forgot that I am a cancer survivor, and a pretty recent one at that. 

Other days I feel sad and scared and angry. Particularly when something happens that reminds me that I’m not the way I was before…like I fall asleep at 8pm, or cannot sleep at all (or more likely can barely hold my head up at 8 PM, however go to bed at 10 and do not fall or stay asleep for hours), or try to go for a run, or something happens to remind me of my work accommodations. 

I also worry about it coming back. I’m not constantly anxious about it but in the back of my head the fear is always there and I have never really felt like I was done with breast cancer. I don’t know, I think part of the reason is because I’m pretty young, I’m only 43…I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me and it’s hard to imagine they will all be cancer free. I’m in some groups for young women with cancer, I am among the older women in these groups and I can’t imagine what it’s like for those that are in their 20s and 30s. 

I have already had two recurrence  scares; one when I had a call back after my mammogram, another when I found a lump in my left breast. That was only a few weeks ago, and I had to go for an ultrasound and mammogram before they ruled it benign. Not even a year from finishing my treatment and already two scares! It’s awful to think that this is what’s ahead of me, when I let myself. 

For the most part though, I am pretty happy. I’m trying to get back to myself. I go to the gym, go for walks (and throw in some running intervals), even though I still have accommodations at work I am still working full-time, I have fun with friends and fun with my kids and my husband. I really try to enjoy my life as much as I can. If the cancer comes back I will be glad I did so, and if it doesn’t nobody ever regrets making the most of their life!

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3 thoughts on “Life after cancer 

  1. You do look amazing!!! Just because you do… Regardless if someone knows or doesn’t know what you’ve been through. You are glowing…a positive light shines through!! Kudos to you for being so open and sharing your story and feelings, and for living life to its fullest and not taking anything for granted!l. It teaches us all a powerful lesson. I look forward to walks together soon!! Xo

    • Aww thank you Elena, I look forward to walking together soon too. Perhaps we should look at our schedules and pick a weekly evening, maybe invite our other local friends to join in?!?

  2. I know what you mean. People tell me all the time how great I look and that my hair looks so great. I think my hair is too short and I can’t wait for it to be longer. Cancer stole almost a year of my life, my left breast AND my hair…just seems unfair. AND, I keep gaining weight to boot! I would LOVE a do-over for last year…like with NO cancer…*sigh*.

    I understand the fear bit hanging back in the back of your mind…it never really goes away. Just silently mocks me while I try to go on with my life.

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