Sharing the After


fullsizeoutput_a215I meant to start out writing of how absolutely thrilled I am about being 6 month “cancer free “or the “freedom” from which the lack of cancer treatments and appointments has given me. NED, “no evidence of disease.

I meant to focus on my gratefulness to have come through it all and my perseverance to think positively. Once I realized that the medications once prescribed to me to curve the side effects had caused depression, I reached out to alternative relief,  I slowly gained my inner strength. I look back now at how I “made lemonade out of lemons” and pride myself with only having a handful of days that brought a heavy sorrow in my heart. These are all true, BUT……

What I am really want to share is the reality of the “after”.

My daily thoughts are as follows:

  • What was all this for?
  • Why am I even complaining about this? I’m alive aren’t I?
  • Will it come back? I should be thinking more positively.
  • I shouldn’t eat that, smell that, drink out of plastic bottles, etc.… or Ill end up getting it again.
  • I MUST exercise today. Ufffhh…I’m tired.
  • I wonder if it is spreading elsewhere in my body. What hurts today? Is it the cancer?
  • Have I left an impressible memory on my children today? What will they remember of today?
  • How much longer will I have before “it” returns? Will I see my children grow up?
  • If it does come back, do I do chemo again?
  • Should I go on tamoxifen?
  • I only have this one life- I need to be dramatic and do something great!
  • I really should be doing something grand to compensate for this heartache, like move to an island and sell bananas, or go on a crazy shopping spree!
  • Should I quit my job?
  • Will I survive another diagnosis?
  • Am I stressing out my husband? Does he still think I’m beautiful?
  • I can’t believe I was bald!
  • I wonder how I will ever be normal again…

The truth is, I will NEVER be “normal” again. The overall theme stems from the gloomy cloud of reoccurrence. I have these thoughts daily and they are far from abnormal. I am comforted by that.

Also, I am empowered by these same thoughts because I didn’t give up. I’m still here.  By the grace of God and my ability to put faith ABOVE fear, I am once again arriving to a clearing…and clarity is a gift.

I see that I am constantly struggling between the two worlds: my life “before” and” after”. Honestly, the words “I had cancer” makes its way into my conversations without much thought and I say it as both an empowered statement of accomplishment on those virtuous days and a form of an apology or excuse on distressing days.

What about the middle? During the fight?  Oh no, can’t focus on that! I have positioned those feelings just slightly off to the side- to be accessed when I’m strong enough to smile and sigh without hesitation.   I worked so hard to get to here!  It has taken everything I have to get to my “happily ever after cancer” and I am putting my trust into that.

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