As I look at my posts from last December, I feel sympathy for the “me” that I was. I had no idea what lay ahead of me. I knew the words chemotherapy, mastectomy and radiation. But what I didn’t know was all of the things that each entailed and what it would all mean to me.
I have said countless times in this process, “Well, no one told me about that!” I could give you examples, but I don’t want to be guilty of fear mongering. Unfortunately, everyone has to have their own experience with cancer because no two people are alike.
So I will say this. I’m proud of me.
When I look back on what my body, mind and soul went through this year, I am amazed at the sheer amount of trauma I endured and was able to persevere.
Before I had cancer, I thought that having cancer affected the body in a whole different way. The truth is, I didn’t know how much of the body it does affect. The answer is the entire body. I mean that in the literal sense. From the top of my head to the tips of my toes. In fact, I still get nerve pain in the tips of my toes and my hair is still growing back.
To be honest, it’s a solitary process. As much as I had people around me to care for me and help me, no one can really understand unless/until it’s you. And even then, everyone’s situation is different, as I mentioned before.
It’s scary to be as debilitated as I have been. I’m regaining all of my faculties. But it has not been easy. And it’s likely to take me a couple of years to be at full capacity. That’s OK. I’m glad to be given the opportunity to heal and persist.
Just keep this in mind when you’re dealing with a family member, friend or co worker who has had cancer. Just because the treatments are over or the surgery is complete doesn’t mean that everything is “back to normal.”
There is no “back.” There’s just a new normal.