When I was diagnosed the doctor handed me basically the You Have Cancer: Now What? booklet. It stated that the hardest part would be between treatment and diagnosis. But I've found that afterwards is hard, too. Turning back to carefree, getting my life back, processing feelings, dealing with symptoms that feel like PTSD. All harder than expected based on what I was told. It reminds me of when I graduated from college and no one told me that I and my other twenty-something-year-old-thinking-feeling friends would have major existential crises. Oopsies!
I just came across a piece by Michael D. Becker, on Curetoday.com, which says this: "There is waiting to be told you have the disease, waiting to start treatment, and now waiting to determine whether or not the cancer has returned. Clearly, one of the hardest parts about having cancer is the waiting. But based on my personal experience and in reading various cancer patient blogs, anxiety about cancer returning is the most difficult and debilitating form of waiting. One published study even suggests that post-cancer anxiety is likely to be a problem in long-term cancer survivors."
Thank you, Michael. Yes yes yes yes. He goes on to say "Doctors and nurses were excellent about making me aware of the possible side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy and what to expect during treatment. What needs to be discussed more openly and proactively is the potential psychological impact following cancer treatment."
I could not agree more.
It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
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