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What Next?

tongangirl
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2005

Hi, Im now one year clean! But I feel like I am stuck in this rut and cant get out. Everything is so different now. I quess my qestion to anybody and everybody is how do you get out of that rut and move on? I had a lot of plans before I got sick and I had a clear view of my goals and now everythings not so clear.....Any suggestions?

Racht's picture
Racht
Posts: 40
Joined: Nov 2005

First of all, congratulations! While I can't yet relate to being clean for a whole year I can tell you this. A battle with cancer changes a person, chances are you're not the same person you were "b.c." You may need to re-evaluate what really makes you "tick." My guess is things that gave you a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment before your battle are not quite the same as what you need now. You've come a long way. In some ways you may feel like you've lived more than one lifetime (I feel that way). I am so far removed from who I once was- and yet some things remained the same- or deepened and I feel even more sure about some things than I did before my battle. Other things don't mean so much anymore. It's just part of the journey... be honest with yourself, rennovate where necessary to accomodate who you've become. and I wish you well with your new HEALTHY life. If you ever want to chat look me up.

DIVA's picture
DIVA
Posts: 38
Joined: Apr 2005

I know what you mean tongangirl. I was in college when I was diagnosed with Lung Cancer and I was 21. At that time I was finishing a semester and had a full load of summer courses that would allow me to graduate on time and not a semester late. When I was a freshman I had transfered schools and lost my first semester credits so graduating on time was a huge goal. but before my full junior year I got lung cancer. I droped my may class that was 3 weeks 5 days a week. My doc had full hopes that after surgery april 30th I would have no trouble doing my actual summer courses but nothing turned out as planned. I left my full time job hoping to return in a month. I had only had the job 2 months. I went into the hospital and barely made it back out due to complications. I ended up with nerve damage in my left leg. I had gotten the new job planned to return and to finish what I started with school and the goal to graduate on time. I had planned to move out of my parents home and finally be on my own. I woke up May 12th out of ICU and had no clue what had happened or that 12 days had passed. I will never remember those days but what came I will never forget. It was about midnight and my family went home to get sleep. I tried to get out of bed with no clue that when I stood up I wouldnt be able to hold myself up. I fell to the floor Left ankle now sprained and with no way to scream for help because my vocalcords were still in shock from the tube I had in my throat for 10 days because I could not breath on my own. At this time it was May 13th that midnight... my 22nd b-day I lay on the floor for an hour sobbing and fell asleep. at 3am I awoke to the gentleman who was to take my blood pressure screaming for the nursing staff because I was on the floor (those 2 hrs were the only 2 hrs of sleep I got my entire hospital stay) It was not until the next day that I realized the full extent of what happened. I was still doped up on morphine. I had nerve damage in my left leg and it was sprained. That gaurenteed me that my left foot would never recover to even 80% of what it would be. I was devestated. I mean I thought it would all be a cake walk. I didnt have to have chemo it was just a surgery that my doc had done 100's of times..... I didnt know what my doc had done for me till days later. Those workers in ICU had no hopes for me. My doc had told them that I would survive that I was the most unique fighter he had ever seen. That if they didnt believe then my 20% chance of living went to 100% because I WOULD prove them wrong and did. I had to get up daily and walk. I could NOT walk without shoes and a walker. For a year and a half I only Lived in Nike Sneakers. They are still the only sneaker I can fully wear. I would get up out of bed daily and every step I took was like my left leg from my knee down was being electricuted. I would repeat to myself to "just do it" because 80% is not somthing I would or did settle for. 2 yrs 6 months cancer free and later.... my foot is 95% and at times 100% I may never have full correct feeling in my left leg and it may feel cold as ice at times but I know as long as I massage it and work with it I can be everything they told me I would never be again. Life is not our choice but how we deal with it is. After my mess I had to make a choice. to work part time (possibly for life because being on my feet daily would hurt progress of even being able to move it again when I shold of been working with it)and do physical theropy..... or school and physical theropy it was either one dream or another. It was work and live on my own or get the education that I deserved. I chose school. It often felt like hell.

I remember walking through downtown pittsburgh one night my first semester back at school. It was the only night and class that I had at the downtown campus of my school. I was nearly in tears because it was an up hill walk to get to the public transportation I took to that campus..... the worst part of my leg problem was actually being able to push myself over my left leg.....I made it to the Trolly stop and another student from the class came in shortly to the underground stop..... right as I was starting to walk down the stairs. I did not like the elevator down in the stop it smelled and was hard for me to breath in (I lost the lower lobe of my left lung) The man who approached me knew what I had bene through along with a lot of the students at the school in the business depatment.... he took my arm. Walked me down the stairs and missed the trolly with me. He then took the next one with me... It wasnt till then that I realized when I felt most unsafe was when something intervened.

I feel like the last 2 yrs 6 months have been like that one moment. No matter how hard the struggle things will come together and that we never fight alone. I found I was judged but those that were willing to learn from my survival made every bad moment wash away. My plans changed I am 24 now still live at home but I am working my butt off now to BUY yes BUY my own place screw the renting I was going to do. Its time to do something for ME. I wanted you to know my struggles because it was others on here who allowed me to see how amazing the fight and this moment really is. It is easy to let the pain of our former or current disease get to us but its how we over come it that makes life worthwhile.... I know things seem unclear right now but difference is LIVE FOR NOW!!!!!!! It took me some time to learn to live with that concept. Right now I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That my debts will be paid and in this moment I am happy to just be right were I am. It took me several months to fully stop feeling sorry for myself nearly every moment of the day. Things may not be clear and I know one thing that helped me. I wrote down everything in my mind..... everything that happened to me... and then days later looked at it again. I then realized what parts of the things I thought were wonderfull and parts where I looked and said to myself that even thinking that was just stupid because I had changed and it was a dramatic one and once I did as Racht said and re-evaluated myself that is when I saw everything that I had thought I was not I was actually those things. I have one friend who stuck by my side the ENTIRE time. Her now 3 yr old is one of my best friends. I have known Laura for 9 and a half yrs all through High School till now. The entire time I have known her she has told me I am her light and savior. Her reasons were that I was wise beyond our years and I am the strongest woman and person she ever met or seen. I didnt understand my strength till I had cancer. I didnt understand that I was smart beyond my years till cancer..... I hope I can talk to you on here I know those on here have helped me and that they all have become my family. I hope my story can help you see that when you are confused and in a rut that is when life will give you what you least expect. I wish you happieness and hope to give you support in finding your new or refined goals.

Kristin

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