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What cancer patients, their families, and caregivers need to know about COVID-19.

Coming up on one year anniversary

secondchances52918
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2018

I’m coming up on the one year anniversary of the day that changed my life forever. 10/20/18 marks one year since i heard “It’s not what we were hoping for...it is cancer.“ I think like most I already knew before that call came. I keep thinking about how much I’ve gone through since that call & am still going through. I am a lucky one. I am 4 months and 14 days cancer- free.  And while I am so very blessed for my outcome I am feel like I am spiraling down a dark hole and I’m struggling to find my footing to find a way back out. i guess i am reaching out to any of my fellow head/neck cancer warriors to see if this is normal and if so please offer some advice to help. Or any fellow warriors that can offer some insight.

I continue having a difficult time with food and have dropped down to 100 lbs.  The only things I manage to get down without anxiety are yogurt with granola, fruit snacks, and McDs mocha frappes. I continue to try other foods but I just shake at the thought of putting it in my mouth let alone eating a decent portion of it. My medical team, my husband, and the family members that have bothered to support me through this say “you have to try.”  I can’t make them understand what it’s like. That I am trying. 

I miss so much of what I used to do. A simple meal out with my husband and/or kids stresses me out. I take forever trying to find something on the menu Only do have the wait staff observe My barely touched plate and question if there’s something wrong with the dish. I miss hanging out with my husband and friends watching sports/movies/tv having a beer and a few laughs. Alcohol doesn’t tastes good makes me feel funny and gives me a terrible stomachache. So my husband either Leaves me home alone or stays home quietly sitting on the couch. I recently discovered he’s been taking anti-depressants for a few weeks. I understand his struggle with this as well but carry a huge amount of guilt for making him so miserable and feeling like he has to keep things from me. 

I know there are others out there still fighting the fight and I have no right to feel this way and I say a prayer every day for strength for those amazing people. Please please tell me how to do it!  When I was going through treatment I had a calendar posted on my cupboard and crossed off each day. I saw an end date to my treatment. But with recovery there is no end date circled in red to tell me when my body will be back to normal.  No end date to tell me when I will be back in control. 

GingerMay's picture
GingerMay
Posts: 134
Joined: Sep 2016

Hi Second and congrats on the 4 1/2 mos. cancer free mark. I am not the one with cancer in my household but am a caregiver to my husband. I wish these boards were more active because I know there's a lot of good people out there with many valuable things to say. For my two cents and from someone on the sidelines, I think it must be very difficult to transition from treating cancer to being cancer free. Even after a "cancer free" diagnosis, life does not go back to normal or any semblance of what it was.  Actually, the anxiety takes a new form. At least that has been the experience in my household.      

I can only suggest be patient with yourself and hold onto the good moments when they come. Others probably won't get it. The spiral, the black hole is something I relate to. Read what you can with online forums, or perhaps finding in-person support groups might be helpful. I never thought I would go to one, but I did and after attending a few times, I started to feel a little better. Perhaps also cutting out some time to enjoy small things you always liked... perhaps going to a movie, knitting, or walking outside. It is a journey for sure, not a sprint. I will be wishing you all the best for you and continued wellness.  

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