During my cancer journey, it became evident to me that I would be going through a gamut of emotions…and I did. Fear and anger were the predominant ones initially. Fear of what I was up against. Anger that it happened to me. The lady who worked out 5 days a week, ate right and all that good stuff. Then as time progressed there came hope and joy again. In between the fear and anger, of course.
Now….post chemo and recovering from both chemo and surgery, I am afraid and angry. I am afraid because I lost my job and I have to find a new one at the age of 48. Angry that I have to find a new one because there were no protections for me, or others like me for that matter, to make sure I had my job to go back to. Fear of not having medical coverage I can afford (thanks Trump). Anger that older people such as myself have a harder time finding work, though we still need to support ourselves for years to come. Fear that my chemo brain, fatigue and pain will keep me from working to the best of my capacity. I just took an online test for a job that had a memory component as well as a reading and comprehension portion. Lets just say I’ll be surprised if I hear back from them. Of course going back to my previous job I could still do, but very likely with some sort of assistance.
So now I face a new world I haven’t faced in a decade…job hunting. Trying to find something that pays the bills, gives me insurance but doesn’t give me the responsibilities I had before. HA. Bills and the medical/cancer patient…you can well imagine what that is like. No wonder so many cancer patients file bankruptcy.
So you survive cancer- now what? Today I am having a bad day. I am tired, afraid and angry. I’m hard on myself. Always have been. I have to learn to be gentle and patient with myself. I just went to the edge of hell on earth and fought my way back. I need to understand that I am going to have lingering side effects no matter how much I tell myself its all in my head. I get up everyday and repeat positive mantras (yeah I know, its a little cheesy but it helps me!!) and I have started working on my memory and all that seems to be a little off.
Just because treatment is done does not mean everything goes back to the way it was. I am fundamentally altered. My life has been changed in big ways and small ways. Depression likes to rear its ugly head. What? Depression? But you lived!! Yes but….
I am not alone in this I know.