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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. 

smbrand158's picture
smbrand158
Posts: 19
Joined: Oct 2011

Before cancer I was always planning and I followed through with my plans. Eightteen months later I am still having trouble getting out of bed most mornings. Oh, I can make plans about changes that I want, but it's the follow through that I fail at. My therapist tells me to sit with it, my friends say that I am not ready.Sometimes I think that therapy is keeping me where I am. Lately I dream about plans, vacations, reconstructive surgery and getting my body back into shape.  I pour over pictures, maps and the internet, but I don't make the call for the appointment or the reservation. I even planned a divorce eight months ago, but haven't yet given my attorney the go-ahead to file. If it were not for a job that I love that allows and forces me focus on something other than myself, I probably would stay in bed most days; going to work has been my saving grace.

I don't think that it's having had cancer that is holding me back, but it's all of the **** that came along at the same time as cancer; menopause, medications that double the effects of menopause, losing a breast and not feeling sexy or attractive, and a partner that bailed emotionally. Like you, it could be the fear of losing home, for me home probably representing control and what I thought I knew to be truth.  With cancer there wasn't any control, I got cancer even though I took great care of my self; it still came.  My marriage; well I certainly didn't have any control over my partner and the person that I thought I knew is someone totally different.

The voice in my head doesn't tell me that everything may go splat, but it does keep reminding me of betrayal and the loss of what I thought was true. I wish that I could believe the voice that tells me everything will be alright.

So, will what I have shared going to be of any help to you? I don't know. I can empathize with you though.

I wish you well

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