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In remission- What do I do now?

Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2005

Hi out there~ I am a NHL survivor, remission for 6 months and I have no idea who I am now. Everything is different about me from the way I look to the way I look at life.

I feel like this cancer has stolen ME away and I want ME back.

The worst part about it is I do not know how to express these feelings properly so the people around me don't "get it", , , heck I don't "get it".

I have tried to go back to my life, went back to work, doing social things, but it is not the same.

Kind of like taking a drink of orange juice after brushing your teeth. It is the same juice but a whole different taste and not satisfying. I know how to make the orange juice taste the same again, but I don't know how to make my life feel the same.

Has anyone else felt this way? Were you able to go back to life as it was? How did you get there or how did you adjust to the new life?

Being a survivor is proving harder for me than the cancer treatments, absolutely no disrespect to those of you who are finding the cancer treatments difficult.

Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

Hi frissa,
I am glad you are in remission and I hope it is forever!

Cancer is not an easy disease and I think we are all changed some way. We see life in a different way, our priorities change, etc. Have you tried writing about your feelings? Sometimes that helps us focus and later you might be able to express the feelings verbally. I personally couldn't go back to my life before cancer but I adjusted to my "new" life. I know I have limitations, some things I cannot do but I can still do things I like and have fun. My priorities changed too. One thing is I decided that I was not going to let cancer rule my life. Something that helped me was therapy, it helped me put things "in order" in my mind.

I have the feeling I am a lot older than you so perhaps that made a difference. In any case, do not give up, basically you are still the same person you were before and there have been changes in your life. Cancer or not, we all change some as we get older.

I am sorry I could not help you with the right answer. I am not sure if a support group with people your age will be able to help but it might be something you might like to try.
All the best,

Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2005

Thank you for replying. I think I just needed to hear that I am not the only one who is different.

I am glad you are well too.

Posts: 23
Joined: May 2002

hi, frissa
congratulations on remission. I have been survivor for almost 6 years... and I also found that it was much harder in the aftermath of treatment as opposed to being in treatment. I felt like I didn't fit into my own life. In the first months following treatment,I hated my house, my job, my car (you get the idea)..I was forever altered, so there was no way I could back to "normal", or the way I was before. for me one of the ways I got through it was to do the things I enjoyed in the present..and I tried not to force myself to do or like things I used to...my experience was that the first year was the hardest. but the whole experience was a HUGE growth experience, in so many ways!

a suggestion is to find someone that you can share these feelings with, someone that can relate to your experience either a professional or a fellow survivor(hey that's what you are doing on the website!, and I would be more than happy to listen )
This adjustment to life after cancer was a process for me, just like the treatment, but it's just not as clear or as well publisized..
hang in there! you still have you! you get to rediscover you.

please email me you want to continue express your feelings.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi, frissa. I wish I could answer the "what do i do now?" I'm a 3-year survivor of stage 4 non-Hodgkins. I beat the odds, but sometimes feel beat. I have watched friendships die amd been devastated and others become strained because I'm no longer the "me" that people once knew. They don't understand chronic pain and the battle in your life to just exist some days. My two daughters just sat me down last night and told me that. They want the "old me" back and don't understand why not. The are 23 and 25. It was extremely emotional and I am feeling pretty emotionally beat up and still pretty sure they don't understand how much even more than them that I want "me" back. The physically strong, the fun, upbeat, totally positive, taking on the world, always on the go "me" seems lost somewhere and I am desperately seeking her. Maybe "she" doesn't exist anymore. I felt attacked, but loved. The love was the positive, but I was feeling even more alone with both the emotional and physical pain that cancer brings. I am usually a very spiritual and upbeat person, but they don't understand I am tired. I don't ask for help, never did and unfortunately didn't receive it from the people in my life that I thought would just be there without being asked. I was wrong. It was surprising those that came forward and without my asking were there. I'm so happy to be alive, but I want "me" and my quality of life back. I'm searching and working toward it and with God's help "I" will be back, but part of me cries out for them to just be OK with who and where I am now and where I'm heading. It could a really wonderful "new me!" I don't know, I'm just rambling, but this is the first time I've allowed myself to express this with the possibility that someone would understand facing death and the aftermath that includes chronic pain and other physical and emotional chaos. I want to scream out "just be there, no demands, no judgements, just wait for me." What's that saying, "Don't walk behind me, I may not lead; don't walk in front of me, I may not follow; just walk beside me and be my friend." Sorry for the rambling, but when I read your thoughts it helped to know that someone else was not being heard or understood for who "me" is at the present. With God's help "we" will be OK!
Mutti (mother in German)

Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2006

I'm new to this website. I am grateful for the chance to listen, learn and share. I am a ten year survivor and am still looking for the "Me". I guess "ME" is an ever changing stage. Set backs and set forwards.
I think my cancer treatments was a game plan, a goal to follow. Now??...it's facing choices and decisions??... searching and finding.

Thanks for sharing and letting me share.
Respect and compassion to all.

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