When I was diagnosed, I battled with whether or not I would share it with the public. And I did; I did because I was tired of telling people one by one that I was diagnosed with this thing. The day that I posted that status, my notifications were going crazy, phone ringing off the hook, phone constantly vibrating due to text messages; I chose not to answer any calls. There was a reason why I posted it, so I would not have to really verbally talk about it over and over again. That quiet down within a couple weeks. And after my surgery, it started up again where people were coming to visit me, sending me well wishes, etc. That, too, quiet down within a few weeks. I was somewhat relieved because I was not interested in pity parties. I just wanted to go back to the way things were before this all happened.
Going back to work and school was my first step to normal, so I thought…..
Growing up, there were things that I dealt with internally and some that I shared with others for understanding, insight, and to relieve things off of my chest. With the information that I shared, a one or two things would happen and sometimes both; my trust would be betrayed, or I would just get the feeling that I whatever I was sharing was becoming annoying and that the next person was tired of hearing it. I am experiencing the latter with in my cancer journey.
What I’ve learned in my life thus far is that some problems are short lived, some are not so short lived, and others follow you for the rest of your life. I thought that my cancer situation would be one that would be short lived, especially after the surgery. I did not know what to expect. I did not realize why my doctors kept telling me why I needed to find a support group and that my husband and mother were not going to be enough to get me through this. My husband does his best to be there for me but there is so much he can really understand. My mother can try to put herself in my shoes all day, but she will never be able to understand the emotional tug of war that I am experiencing in my mind. Others, they just don’t know how to be there for you no matter how hard they try.
So here I am needing to express myself with barely anyone to speak to. After a while, people expect or hope that this will be all over for you, so you just try to swallow the pain and try to get over it. And I wish I could get over it, but cancer is not a scratch that you put a Band-Aid over, or a cold that you take over the counter medicine for and I had to learn that. I have gotten tired of telling people how I really feel about my life because in my mind, they get tired of having to be an emotional support.
I had to come to terms with the fact that I will never be normal again. Always, on the back of my mind, I will be thinking what of is next. There’s anxiety, fear, anger, sadness, and sadly, PTSD to deal with. For those who have not suffered from cancer or any condition that is life threatening, they think you just have cancer for a little while, a doctor waves the survivor wand above your head, and all is well. Cancer is more than physical. Its’s mental and emotional. It changes your world in ways that you would never imagine! Sometimes I sit and contemplate, how did I get here? But I am here and no matter how long of a ride this is going to be, the best thing that I have gotten from my experience is the value of life and how precious it is.