I survived cancer! What now??

I was so lost for a long time once I finished chemotherapy and radiation. I was having treatment for cancer for 9 months straight with doctors, nurses, family and friends all checking in, I was on a schedule with weekly, sometimes daily appointments for it to all just STOP. No more treatment, no more house calls and it was at this point the reality of what really just happened to me was sinking in.

The pressure to jump straight back into life as it was before “You are all clear now! Off you go! Oh gosh it can be so overwhelming, you have to be kind to yourself and take your time.

We go through huge trauma! Your mind is not the same, your body is not the same, your body aches so badly, your heart races, you have panic attacks, you cry a lot and you are so tired for a very long time after!

I don’t know what was harder my cancer diagnosis or finishing chemotherapy and trying to return to ME!

Someone that is going through cancer gets really good at putting on a brave face!! We become a pro at it because we don’t want people to worry about us anymore!! Finishing treatment and returning to the big wide world is much harder than I ever anticipated. Yes I was very grateful to have finished cancer treatment but the “what now?” was so hard.

There is a constant uncertainty, will the cancer come back, what will my blood results be this time, what’s causing that pain in my elbow, should I get a scan done?? The panic, fear and worry is very consuming and to be honest I am five years post cancer treatment now and I still have these moments they are just not as frequent as what they were and in time I have learned to navigate my way through these situations a little better each time.

It was from these challenging times that I stopped and looked at the big picture, I became so grateful for each day, my priorities changed after cancer and that crazy busy stressful job that you once had is not fulfilling anymore, you get stuck in limbo land where you don’t want to do what you used to do, you want to find a new path, a new lifestyle a “new normal”. You want to be there to watch your children at school, dance, sports, you want to be a part of it all, a healthy work/life balance. 

Since being diagnosed with cancer I look at everything in my life so differently and when things don’t go quite to plan or I don’t agree with someone or I get angry or whatever emotion or situation arises I ask myself why am I here right now witnessing this? Why do I feel this way? And what is this trying to teach me? Life is too precious to hold onto anger or regret, I work through situations and what has happened, forgive and move forward. 

I also don’t believe that we make mistakes in life and I always believe we are in the right place at the right time. I believe these moments are lessons that we are here to learn, you can only do the best that you can with the knowledge that you have at the time. 

In those tough times remember to stop and smell the sunflowers, look at the beautiful tree’s, the clouds, the moon, take a deep breathe and remember how beautiful life can be! 

To all going through a cancer diagnosis actually not even just cancer anything in your life that has been so challenging that it has changed who you are, please look back and see how far you have come. You are seriously superstars, give yourself a big hug and don’t forget to always try and look for the blessings in our challenges, what you have overcome to be who you are today is very inspiring. 

Wishing you peace, blessings and happiness. 

Xo Mel 

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