Struggling with life AFTER cancer treatment.
31 women die from breast cancer in the UK every day, but for every death, two women survive.
I am one of those two women.
I am obviously so grateful to be one of those two women, however, It shouldn’t be assumed that just because a woman survives breast cancer that her life is now as sweet as a cherry on an ice cream sundae.
For some of us, the hardest part of the cancer journey is surviving life AFTER treatment.
The doctor tells us we should return to our lives and put the experience of cancer treatment behind us.
But going through treatment fundamentally changes you forever and it’s impossible to go back to the life you knew before.
When we're first diagnosed we go into a state of shock; everything else falls away and suddenly our whole lives revolve around cancer and the fear of dying. We switch into survival mode. We go to doctor’s appointments, have surgeries, chemo, radiation. But our feelings switch off, the severity of the trauma is just too big, so our emotions shut down to make sure we survive.
But then it’s all over, the treatment stops and there’s no need to be in survival mode anymore. So we switch back into manual, and suddenly all our feelings start floating up to the surface. And the enormity of the ordeal hits you like an emotional tsunami; you’re thrown into complete confusion, loss and disarray. And there’s nothing sweet as a cherry sundae about that.
Life after cancer treatment can be the hardest time of all.
If you’ve been through treatment and are still struggling, even if you finished treatment years ago, what you’re feeling is perfectly normal, acceptable and understandable. It just hasn't been addressed. Which is why I'm here and why I wrote my book - The Cancer Misfit.
Don’t force yourself to put on a brave face and pretend life is peachy if that is not your truth.
I battled in darkness for years after cancer treatment because I was too embarrassed and ashamed to admit I was still struggling.
Don’t make the same mistake I did.
Reach out and get the help you need.