PTSD… it affects most cancer patients

I write this after a few interesting weeks.  The previous two treatments were cake.  How nice to feel like a human again and full of energy.  Why did I feel like that?  No clue, but I definitely appreciated and enjoyed it!  My house saw some much needed attention, I talked with friends, I was a busy bee.

But, as I was feeling better and not fighting the chemo side effects, my emotions had time to catch up with me.  The emotions that had been put on the back burner since April all started surfacing in a matter of days.  When surgery, chemo treatments and just trying to survive day-to-day, the emotions were shoved away.  My concentration was on surviving.  But when I was feeling good, my mind started processing what had happened.  I started seeing what was put in my path.

To say it was a rough series of days would be an understatement.  Emotions rollercoasted back and forth in a cyclical nature.  I was tough to be around and it was tough being in my own head.  Thankfully, after 4 days of suffering I had the ability to step back and realize I needed to talk to someone about it.

After talking to my loving cancer nurse, she explained that this is normal.  Typically it happens after treatment stopped, but my 4 weeks of feeling good was a similar situation.

Most cancer survivors go through something similar after the end of treatments.  After months if not years of battling to live day-to-day with medications and side-effects, suddenly there isn’t anything more to do.   It is time to wait.  It is time to ponder what happened and that is when the emotions start bubbling forth.  And for some it is a huge rush of emotions.  All the emotions of “why me”, of sadness, of anger, of depression surface.  And with that comes the need to deal with them and process them.

My cancer group pairs with Cancer Cares out of Delaware and with them are cancer counselors that are used to dealing with this.  It is a tough thing to deal with.  It is something that is hard to deal with alone.  I am grateful for my team.  They have been there supporting me and loving me even during my 4 days of struggles.

Realizing what was going was the life saver for me.  It was the one thing that let me put a handle on it and help me deal with it.  It is normal, no I am not losing my mind.  It is a necessary step for healing.  It is something I can conquer with time and energy, just like cancer.  And with that realization, I can hope.  It may be a small ray of hope but it is hope none-the-less.


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