Oh boy. This has been the blog post I’ve been putting off this whole week. In fact, if we are being entirely honest, I’ve been thinking about what I am going to say when it’s all done-and I am at a loss for words. How can we celebrate? We’ve won, right? The battle is over! I can move on with my life. No more treatments! Right?
Well it doesn’t work quite like that. I’ve found instead of wanting to celebrate the end of a grueling 7 months of chemotherapy- I have complete anxiety over it. (Don’t get me wrong- I do love cake.) But the battle is never over. I am not “done.”
For 7 months I have been pumping poison into my body. I’ve lived every other week combatting the effects of the poison. I’m physically weaker. My hair is thinner. I am exhausted. And my brain…lord I can’t do anything without writing it on a post it note. Yet, I still have some major worries about the road ahead. How can I really live without my therapy? How can I move forward? I should be celebrating! I should be creating a video montage of the last seven months, right? And then I should write a big, “FU Cancer- I Won” on my wall, right? Is that how it should go down?
I have no idea. There isn’t a manual on the emotions of it all. Maybe others survivors will say, this is normal. You’ll soon forget it was even part of your life.
This battle has made me stronger, no doubt. BUT it’s also made me appreciate life and living well in an entirely new way. It hasn’t been all bad. I’ve formed new relationships with people across the country battling this disease. I’ve fostered the relationships I do have. I feel as though the drugs have become a big part of my mental state. And for seven months Mr. ABVD (my drug regimen) has kept cancer out. Perhaps we can look at it as a bad relationship. I am breaking up with chemo to live a long fulfilling life, but there is a risk that without him, cancer can sweep back in.
Is it ok to say that I am scared to live without Mr. ABVD, or does that seem ridiculous? I have so much to do. I have big goals, and want to inspire people who are battling or have lost loved ones. I want to raise awareness. I want to speak publicly on the topic, and raise funds for organizations like the LLS and The Mario Lemieux Foundation.
Bottom line: I NEED cancer to be part of my life. It is shaping me into the person I know in my gut I am supposed to become.
It’s a complete change in life- the transition from patient to survivor is scary. I feel a sense of obligation (as I am sure others have as well) to continue living a life without cancer but cancer will always be part of me. It’s who I am now. And I am blessed because of it.
The next post will be from a girl just completed 12 ROUNDS of chemotherapy- and won in the knockout round. Let’s do this.