WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
Monday, November 14, 2016
“Your last day of treatment is a day to celebrate! When treatment is over it can be difficult sometimes to get back to your normal pre-cancer life. The diagnosis of cancer dominates your life for so long, when treatment is over it takes a while to get back into your regular routine. I think I find my anniversary of being diagnosed a time of mixed emotions. You are thrilled to have made it another year of being cancer-free, yet you are also reminded of the anguish you went through.” – (Lynn Eib, When God & Cancer Meet)
As a cancer fighter, one of the most difficult moments during treatment is not the surgery, visits to the infusion center, dealing with negative physical and emotional side effects, or even accepting the fact that various medications have become a permanent medicinal staple in your life. Instead, it is transitioning back to normal life – as one could expect to get back to.
Moving on from cancer treatment is liken to coming home after a 9-month deployment in the “sandbox” (as a Marine in the Persian Gulf). One moment I am full-throttled…pedal to the metal…doing everything I can to accomplish the mission. Then suddenly, the fight is over – cancer treatment is over.
No more weekly visits to see my medical team.
No more visits to the infusion center.
And no more unexpected visits to the emergency room.
Life is back to normal – as one could expect to get back to.
Life after cancer treatment
While life after cancer treatment consists of regular cancer scans, learning new nutrition habits, making healthy lifestyle changes, and updating and managing estate and end-of-life records, I happily admit I'm looking forward to getting back to normal life again. However, even though I feel, and look (according to some folks) pretty darn good, I have to accept the fact that my type of cancer is a chronic illness, which means it never goes away. And though my type of cancer is a permanent bedfellow in my life, hopefully the recent treatment will prove to be an effective measure to control the growth and metastasis of my cancer cells. Time will only tell.
So, where do I go from here?
Again, I happily admit that I'm looking forward to getting back to normal life again. Despite the fact the transition could possibly be challenging at times, such as dealing with some latent side effects from the chemo/immunotherapy treatment, I’m looking forward to the next exciting chapter of my life.
Also, I plan to write more journals on this site. During my cancer treatment, CaringBridge proved to be an amazing therapeutic outlet for me. It not only allowed me to feel connected to my family, friends, and loved ones, but it also gave me an outlet to let go of some personal concerns and anxieties dealing with cancer. What is more, this site definitely helped me organize my thoughts to see some amazing beneficial life lessons from having cancer.
From this point on, I hope my journals will serve as a beneficial "life nugget," providing some wisdom and coping strategies to those who are going through their own life trial.
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