The Emotional Cycle of Fighting Cancer (multiple times)

I had planned to do a totally different post for today, something that was not even related to cancer or health or being sick. When I sat down to write this though, this idea just hit me.

I talk about so many aspects of fighting cancer. It is easy, because I have been doing it for five years and I am still taking chemo. It is as much a part of my life as doing homework or deciding what to eat for dinner. But, one thing I do not share often, is the emotional toll.

I work really hard to not express my emotions publicly. I want to be real, but there is such a fine line between being too honest and romanticizing something really difficult.

Between three cancer diagnoses (two different types), I have experienced this emotional cycle several times. After five years, I am finally putting it into words.

*disclaimer, these are the emotions I have felt, but not everyone will feel the same way I have. While I am doing great right now, these are all a reflection on past feelings and emotions throughout my journey.

Starting with a diagnosis:

Shocked

You will think “how could this happen to me? I did not think this could ever actually happen.”

Naive

At this stage, it is difficult to comprehend what is to come. You try to think positively, and it can be easy because you do not fully understand.

Confused

So much information. So many medical professionals to meet. So many tests. So many questions.

Exhausted

You finally have a chance to stop running and you realize how tired you have grown.

Motivated

You are ready to fight. You have had time to accept it and now you are ready to beat it.

Hopeful

The treatment seems promising.

Anxious

Is the treatment working?

Scanxiety

Waiting on test results to show if the treatment is working is extremely challenging. Waiting is the worst.

Confused

Results and medical terminology are not always easy to comprehend.

Relieved

If the results are good, a huge weight is lifted off of your shoulders.

Grateful

You begin to look at life in a new light. You are living on borrowed time and a feeling of thanksgiving will overcome you.

Hopeful

You will feel hopeful for a future and for the opportunity to continue living, something that was not promised in the immediate past.

Tired

Continuing treatment can grow on you and you will fall weary.

Ecstatic

When you finally finish treatment, you will celebrate closing a difficult chapter of your life.

Confused

Trying to return to normal life is not clear or easy.

Aware

You will always think about the possibility of relapse or long term side effects in the back of your mind.

Inspired

You will want to keep moving forward and you will try to distance yourself from treatment and cancer.

Confused

You grow symptomatic and question why

Sad

Your body says it is not okay, but doctors keep reassuring you that you are fine.

Expectant

You are intuitive and you learn to expect what is coming.

Composed

The bad news hits. You have practiced your reaction face over and over. Keep it together.

Frustrated

More treatment. More risks. UGH.

REPEAT

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s