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Carrying On Enthusiastically After Surviving Cancer

carpediem2
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2013

One of my biggest challenges is to sustain the enthusiasm for living live fully and creatively.  Before my ovarian cancer diagnosis, I was a dreamer and a planner.  Half of my excitement in life was daydreaming about what I was go ing to do in a few days, months, years.  After my diagnosis - I noticed that a tiny voice keeps creeping in when I think about joyfully planning things. The voice says "or everything may go "splat" and you'll be back in treatment fighting for your life".  

I've been back in treatment once, and yes - my whole life was turned upside down.  But for the most part I am enjoying long stretches of remission, yet I can't muster the joyous enthusiasm I once had for planning exciting adventures like I used to.   

Naturally, almost everyone I know has not had the experience I have had of facing my mortality for two brief periods.  So there isn't anyone to empathically cheer me on in my emotional world.  I know a social worker who is very helpful.  But regular people in my social network, not so good. 

I have free time, and some money to spend on joyous adventures, but it's very hard for me to plan anything.  I have an emotional attachment to staying close to home also.  It seems that I'm afraid of losing "home" if I have a recurrance, so the idea of going away kind of frightens me.  Yet - I want to live my life as fully as possible.  Does anyone relate to this?  Please share if you do. 

justsayin's picture
justsayin
Posts: 15
Joined: Mar 2013

I am reading your message with tears running down my cheeks.  Tears for you and for me.  I feel like I'm reading my own thoughts.  I was afraid I was the only cancer survivor who felt like this.   I know we are supposed to be happy and grateful for second chances, and I am.  Very much so.  But the small voice you mentioned creeps into my head too... making me wonder if this is the last time I will shovel snow.. ever.  Or if it's a dumb idea to look at new cars because - well you know.    I also find myself being more critical of others.  I have a very impatient attitude lately and I totally see it in myself, and I hate it!   I want to be that laid back, life enjoying woman I was two years ago, but now all I want to do is read a book quietly under a blanket or go to bed early so I don't have to think about what that little ache or pain might really be.

I can't help thinking about the what if's.   what if they missed something, what if it comes back, what if we are too late.  ANY strange feeling at all, and I'm thinking the worst.   I want it to stop.  I want to be happy and healthy and enjoy every day but that little voice won't shut up!

 

justsayin's picture
justsayin
Posts: 15
Joined: Mar 2013

I am reading your message with tears running down my cheeks.  Tears for you and for me.  I feel like I'm reading my own thoughts.  I was afraid I was the only cancer survivor who felt like this.   I know we are supposed to be happy and grateful for second chances, and I am.  Very much so.  But the small voice you mentioned creeps into my head too... making me wonder if this is the last time I will shovel snow.. ever.  Or if it's a dumb idea to look at new cars because - well you know.    I also find myself being more critical of others.  I have a very impatient attitude lately and I totally see it in myself, and I hate it!   I want to be that laid back, life enjoying woman I was two years ago, but now all I want to do is read a book quietly under a blanket or go to bed early so I don't have to think about what that little ache or pain might really be.

I can't help thinking about the what if's.   what if they missed something, what if it comes back, what if we are too late.  ANY strange feeling at all, and I'm thinking the worst.   I want it to stop.  I want to be happy and healthy and enjoy every day but that little voice won't shut up!

 

FlaLady's picture
FlaLady
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2013

I think all of us feel that way, but not many admit it.  I think it's normal and natural to have these fears.  I have (had acc'd to the MD's, I am getting chemo once a month-5 days that week- for 4 months, then tests and perhaps rediation) lung cancer, 3A non small cell and am scared day and night.  I really believe we all are afraid.  I hide it well from pretty much everyone simply because I found that very few want to hear anything other than positive things.  Being 63 and divorced, I have a lot of alone time and that is difficult.  I am joining a support group after my next round of chemo as I do need to talk about the fears and only if one is there or has been there can one understand.  I am also going to try (I feel very weak, tired, I guess from the chemo) to start to date.  I figured if there is someone who can accept me, and want me, me with no hair and a bit thin of late, the has to be a good person inside....and that is what we all deserve.

So, yes, I believe it is normal to have all kinds of emotions, even the fear ones. 

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