Has it really been 3 years? Indeed, my chemoversary was this past November 24th. I would have never thought that dates as such would be so meaningful to me, but they are. They feel like small accomplishments. Tiny baby steps towards a better me. Though at the time, I did not feel quite healthy, as chemo DOES attack cancer cells, but it also attacks the healthy ones.
Throughout the chemo regimen I went through, 4 AC and 12 Taxol, I made sure to be very careful with what I ate, and especially fill my body with all the nutrients it was deprived. Prior to each chemo treatment I was drinking lots of fluids, especially vegetable broths and teas to fully clean my body and allow for the chemo to get into my veins and do its thing. From the moment chemo would fill my body, I would attack it with all types of juices mostly mixed of 80% vegetables and 20% anti-oxidant fruits.
Though I knew I was on my journey to a healthier me, the end of chemo treatments left me with a sense of emptiness. A feeling I came to find out is totally normal. Though after the surgery I was considered fully NED (No Evidence of Disease), my oncologist and I still opted for chemo treatments in case a tiny cancerous strand had escaped the main tumor.
Once the treatments were done, it felt as if someone had robbed me from my security blanket. those 3 to 4 hours a week, taking on those liquids through my port into my veins felt like I was doing my job, as if those 4 hours were my certainty that I was doing all for the cancer to leave my body. But now what? I was left in the street and was told to go enjoy and live my life. Suddenly? just like that?
Then, the world around me expected I would simply go back to my old self. What was I so worried about? My hair was growing, I no longer had to go to treatments, my energy was getting better. So what was my problem? Well. I no longer call it a problem, but something else that many of us experience during and after (even many years later) and that is called PTSD... Yes.. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder indeed! Surprised? Well, I was...
What amazes me is how through all these experiences I now understand my Mother better than when she was alive. I recall making fun of her and even giving her a hard time about certain things. Things that I so understand now. We become so much more sensitive, always looking for our purpose, shying away from problems and stress.
What to learn about PTSD and Cancer? Here are some links to read more about it: