Recently, I had my physical therapist tell me that being a cancer survivor is one of the hardest phases of the cancer journey. I was nearing the end of radiation and couldn't really understand what she was saying. I was so excited to wrap up radiation and start moving away from the treatments, it consumed most of my daily thoughts.
Now that I am done with radiation, I understand the problem. What is there to consume my daily thoughts now? I can fixate on what is happening in my body; are all of the microscopic pieces of cancer gone? Will my immune system step up to the plate and stay strong? Can I focus on living this year and being a wife and mother and daughter and sister and friend?
I found this article on Livestrong.com. It really articulates how I am feeling and some of the feelings that Brian is going through. This article was written by Mary Elizabeth Williams and posted on Salon.com.
Of all the possible outcomes one could have after a diagnosis of metastatic, Stage 4 cancer, I have had the best. Last month, my doctor told me the tumors in my lungs and under the flesh of my back — after months of treatment in anexperimental, Phase I clinical trial — had disappeared. And now, having endured surgeries and side effects and weekly monitoring, I can, with my last regular treatment mere weeks away, begin preparing for the rest of my life. Yet when my friends ask what we’re doing to celebrate, when they high-five me and ask, hopefully, “So now it’s over, right?” I don’t know what to tell them. I don’t know how to explain why I don’t feel yet like partying.