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post traumatic stress disorder around anniversary date

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2009

I am a 5 year AML & unrelated BMT survivor. I was originally diagnosed on 12/07/2005 and the memories of being hospitalized with poor prognosis to survive and the Christmas season lingers with me. Every Christmas season I relive the emotions and memories and there are all so many triggers to remind me of those desperate days after my diagnosis when I was facing induction chemo and pneumonia, and I wanted to bad to have my life back. I prayed wanted to wait in line at Walmart again. To sit in traffic on a snowy day. My hospital room was decorated for Christmas. Initially, after my BMT I did not realize where all of the emotions where coming from but as the years have passed I have recognized that I am having some ptsd. It is an emotional time for me. The first several Christmas' following BMT I would be sick with cold, flu, etc., and it would cause added distress because illness causes me fear of reoccurrence and triggers the memories that much more. Christmas is one of the days I lived for. The other is my children and grandchildren. When my children and grandchildren spend the Holiday with others I can get depressed. Since diagnosis, there have been those events, planting spring bulbs in the fall - will I still be here to see them come up in the spring? Putting Christmas decorations away, will I be here to get them out the next year. I am a 5 year survivor and this past year has been the first time I have committed to projects at home that I will enjoy this next season. It is so difficult to find your new "normal". When I get depressed my daughter accuses me of wanting all of the attention. That is not it at all. Are there any other suvivors that struggle with ptsd around an anniversary date or Holiday?

Daddisgrl's picture
Posts: 116
Joined: Feb 2011

Hi Kate; I'm on the other end of this; 12/2005 was my dads last Christmas & we were pretty sure it would be his last. He is gone 6 years this week; and it's still hard for me with flashbacks of every anniversary. The diagnosis; chemo; "remission"; relapse & not moving fast enough for stem cell transplant. Our Thanksgiving & Christmas was spent with my dad getting his levels checked. I'm sorry your daughter is the way she is; she very well could be in my shoes & understanding what you feel. She's very lucky to still have you here. My dad was late 60's & had one of the worst subtypes. He fought like heck though.

Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2011

I just had my six month of remission and will also agree that is seems like each time I get the slighest cold I feel that sense of OH NO. I tried to go to the hospital to visit my f-i-l recently and the idea of walking into a hospital room was NOT going to happen.

I would suggest getting some counseling to deal with this. I have gone for a bit to deal with a few things and it has really helped.

You are doing fine now, embrace the good things, like the fact you can watch your children open gifts on Christmas. The new normal is different than before, it is ok to moron it but you need to embrace the new things that bring you happiness.

Keep your chin up and know you are amazing in being able to admit that somethings are harder to deal with than others.

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