I am one year out from my surgery for Uterine cancer. In the big picture things have gone as good as they could have. I have needed no additional surgery or treatment. I am very greatful.
June 2, 2021 was the date i got the news…. July 5, 2021 was the day the surgery happened…. Alll was going well. Normalcy was returning to my life…. Then…
On the anniversary of receiving the news…. I lost it. Suddenly that evening a giant ball of emotions erruped from me. Now i have moments that i just break for days. I also lack the ability to keep focus. I'm a bit of an emotional wreck.
My family and friends try to be supportive but it's such a hard thing to explain. I can't just shake it off. I've spoken to my therapist and realize there's no magic button to fix.
The combination of survivors guilt and the PTSD are big challange right now.
Looking towards this community to see how you dealt with this. Please share
@YEG-Heather Hi Heather……Congratulations, on this 1 Year Anniversary….this is wonderful to hear……
There are challenges, thereafter, and I too, do understand….You may have “bottled up” your emotions, while you were in “Fight Mode”…..all hands on deck, to fight! There was no time, to deal with emotional side of things…..thrown to the side…..
Slowly, now, brighter days are …ahead - and yet your emotions, now, come up…..IT IS OK….to cry….to “break”….to let it out….it must come out…..Terrific to hear you reached to chat with someone……Unfortunately, well meaning family/friends do NOT “understand” the emotions we feel, when cancer “treatment” ends…..the “Why me?”…the “What about the lady I met in the hospital, and cant find now?”……the emptyness inside….the FEAR of recurrence too……these are all “typical/to be expected” emotions….(in my opinion)….
Share with a trusted person…….write down your thoughts……cry them right out…..lean on us……For me; when I feel overwhelmed with emotions….I just get up & start walking….around the block!……To me; nature is so healing…..
I hope the old saying “Time Heals All Wounds”, will kick in….one day soon, for you Heather……
Celebrate this 1 Year! And ALL that you HAVE acheived, and gone through….and HERE YOU ARE!
good morning - such a beauty #YEGweather day!
how awful that you are having such a hard time on the anniversary of your surgery. I feel for ya, GF.
it is so great that you can even connect the dots from that event to now….I don't know that I would be so aware.
here are my suggestions:
*can you still contact the counsellors at your cancer centre? they may be able to help.
*contact WellSpring and see if they can connect you with some peer2peer support
*contact Information Specialists at CCC - 1-888-939-3333
and of course, this community is here for you too.
thank you so much for the reminder that just because the treatment(s) are done, it doesn't mean the cancer story is finished. we are here for you till the entire book is written.
Thank you for posting and being vulnerable. The mental health journey of cancer seems to erupt, when we least expect it.
I had a similar experience. I was finished treatment and starting to feel like we could “live” again - when bam - panic attacks, anxiety, dizzy spells hit me like a wall. There really was no precipitating event - it just happened. Now, 3 years later, I can see that prior to this , i didn’t have “time” to really feel the emotional impact of cancer. I was too busy getting through surgery, chemo and radiation.
The silver lining is that this is part of the process of healing - the emotional side of our journey. Be gentle with yourself - practice self care when you can and for me - getting exercise/fresh air was so important. I found posting here really helpful - my questions, worries or just reading other posts. I also read “ Picking Up the Pieces - Moving Forward after Surviving Cancer” helpful.
Remember your body and mind are still healing, long after treatment ends.
Thank you for posting - you are not alone! kim
@Kims1961 thank you for the book recommendation. I just got it and it has helped me realize that i am not alone in how i am feeling.
IT has been hard to tell people that i am struggling right now. I have heard… but you look so good .. but you are so lucky… 🙄
And most people just don't know what to say.
I was unprepared for the struggle after cancer. I am thankful i have this group to vent to.
I don’t think any of us really are prepared for the struggle during or after treatment. Even when we have watched others go through this process we realize how much they did not share. This site is a really safe place for honest talk. I’m thankful you found it as well.
@YEG-Heather My story is very different - everything that could go wrong - has gone wrong- the outlook is bleak and I struggle to stay positive - yet deep within I have a kernel of hope. You know what lifts me up? Success stories and good news. Don't feel guilty for surviving and thriving - those of us still in the quicksands need to hear good news like we need air - because it helps us hold on to hope. I would never want someone doing better than I am right now to feel bad for it. One thing that might help is writing down something you are happy and thankful for every day. Another thing that might help is finding your new purpose. In my heart, I HAVE to survive this because I have so much to say to and about the health care system in Canada and my journey through it (not a happy story so far). Is there something you could celebrate getting up for every day? I agree with others that finding the right person to talk to may be very helpful. I am very aware that all the stress I suffered when my middle child became schizophrenic wasn't processed and I believe it led to my body failing as a result. So do try to process it and come out the other side.
@YEG-Heather Good morning, I am sorry to hear that you are struggling emotionally as a result of the anniversary of getting your cancer diagnosis. My heart went out to you because my 2 years anniversary was yesterday July 24/2020 at 1 p.m was when I received a phone call telling me I had lung cancer and September 17 was my surgery. You asked for people to tell you how they dealt with the emotions they had on their cancer news anniversary. I think it is different for everybody and I also think it is very courageous of you to come to this site and share your emotions with all of us.
For me I saw my anniversary as a celebration just like my birthday because on my first year anniversary of being diagnosed I was still here and I had no evidence of the disease, so I felt I had been given a new lease on life, in a way I was reborn into this new life of living with the fact that I had cancer and there was nothing I could do about it except keep moving forward and be thankful I had been given a second chance at life…I was chosen to be one of the lucky one. Do I feel bad about all the ones who do not make it? Of course I do with my whole heart I wished that everybody that gets a cancer diagnosis would get well in time but it is not always the result that everybody gets and that’s a simple fact of life.
I made it so far and because I did I try to give back to people and society in any way that I can, I try to pay forward the wonderful gift I received, so on the date of being diagnosed with lung cancer I like to remember not what I have gone trough to get where I am today instead I like to remember all the wonderful people on cancer connection, the mentors, the caregivers, who with their help, courage and dedication make it possible for so many of us to keep going, help us push pass our fears and I specially think about all the other cancer patients who are still fighting every day just to keep their head above water….so yesterday on my cancer diagnosis anniversary I was grateful and thankful that I was still here celebrating my 2 years anniversary.
I so wish for you to be able to see and recognize the fact that you did not choose to have cancer like you did not choose to be a cancer survivor but you are, the choice was made for you. I do hope you find the help you are seeking to come to term with the many conflicting emotions you are living with right now…I wish you all the best and if you feel comfortable doing so please come back and tell us how you are doing! Warm hug to you!! 🤗
Resilience….today is a brand new day and I will make the most of it!!
@YEG-Heather, Heather, you are definitely, not alone in your post-treatment experience. I finished my radiation, and chemo treatments six months ago. As someone mentioned here, I was in fighting mode thru treatment, and my only focus was to stay rested and strong to deal with the pain and discomfort. Today, I am Cancer free (Thank GOD), and my body seems to have recovered for the most part. I was feeling fine until four weeks ago, when Anxiety set in, out of the blue. At first, I was puzzled by the body sensations, at one point I thought I was having a heart attack, which took me to see a Doctor, and after an ECG, he told me I was fine. I have been taking medication to deal with the sensations of fear, and I am doing much better. I am a very rational person by nature, so this has nothing to do with intelligence. In my case, Citalopram, Mindfulness and Meditation, have helped a great deal. I am starting to feel like myself again. I believe that we all suffer some degree of PTSD after Cancer treatment that manifest in various psychological ways. It would be extremely unlikely to go thru what we must to treat the cancer, and not end up with some trauma. I have accept it and I am taking steps to address this side effect, time heals most everything, be kind and compassionate with yourself, and know that this too shall pass.
Hi Heather I too had a 1 year anniversary recently, after having had ovarian and uterine cancer at the same time. My phone sends me memories and this week were pictures of me with my old hair style Pre chemo and radiation. While I am cancer free I worry with every pain or bump. I have never had professional mental health support until a couple of months ago and it helped a bit.
What helps me the most is playing my fight song (Rachel Platten)really loud with my earbuds in, when I am the only one home. My dog usually cuddles with me and I have a bit of a cry sometimes. I think about how lucky I am as there are so many worse off than me.
@YEG-Heather , thank you for being such an honest survivor. Yes, I write survivor because the delayed impact you are expressing is often part of the ‘survivor’ journey. You won the cancer battle a year ago, yet now your body and mind are dealing with the remainder of recovery….and it can be a wallop, for sure.
There are days when I, too, feel very frightened, fortunate, guilty for surviving, and the inability to properly reciprocate to my loving caregivers…..and the oncology specialists who had a lot to do with my recovery success, play it off as ‘just part of their job’….
Recalling my battles with basal tongue cancer, they seem so long ago, yet there are days when I am not convinced!!