In the last couple of weeks I have had several conversations with some of my survivor friends, about not feeling like they are doing great. feeling not OK. What do you say when someone asks you how you are doing? Do you lie and say “I’m great!” or do you say ” well I am having trouble sleeping and I am having panic attacks and I think I might have lymphedema but I am not sure and….” I have been feeling guilty about my issues with my anxiety. One of my friends said to me “It’s OK to take medication because of your anxiety you have had a rough year and you have been through a lot, give yourself a break!” It is very easy to feel bad about feeling bad. Not only does cancer take it’s toll on us physically but it takes a toll on us mentally too.
I was standing in my bathroom the other day thinking to myself, “Did this really happen to me? Did I really have breast cancer, and surgery and chemo?” It floors me sometimes. How in the heck did this happen? I was walking along one day and Bam I have cancer. Who thinks that is going to happen to you? A healthy 41 year old Mom of three girls, nonsmoker, healthy eater (most of the time) in good physical shape. It’s really hard to wrap you brain around sometimes. I wonder if there is such a thing for cancer survivors to have post traumatic stress? I am thinking the answer to this is yes.
The point to my rambling is that I decided it is OK to have bad days, it’s OK to need medication if your are having anxiety, it’s OK to be scared and unsure. No one prepares you for having cancer, no one thinks it will happen to them. There is no book what to expect when your expecting cancer. There is no guidebook no instruction manual. We all just plug along on our own personal journeys.
How wonderful it is that we have each other though.
Cross posted on Spruce Hill