It’s funny how you learn a lot about people and about yourself when you go through something like this. It’s not only life altering for you and your family because of the physical devastation but because once you’ve made it through treatment and can see the light at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel itself has changed. Your view of life and all things in it are now perceived differently. You’ve changed by the time you’ve come out on the other side. Maybe some have changed with you. I remember when things looked so dark I couldn’t see the shore of the ocean and it felt so far away. I’ve now finished treatment and made it to shore. I’m adjusting and learning to live on this new island. I’m still recovering from everything but I’m here, I made it.
Are there others here on this island with me? Some have shared my journey and will be with me always. Some who I thought would be there, took the first few steps and jumped ship. Some that I didn’t expect to be there, stepped up and have made my heart smile. Some didn’t know as I didn’t have the energy to go out of my way to tell people beyond my closest friends and family. Even that happened in phases as I felt ready to share. If someone called and I felt comfortable enough I’d tell them. Being so sensitive and emotional during that time I couldn’t handle anyone being insensitive. So I felt that it was best not to tell everyone because you really don’t know how people will respond. You’re already overwhelmed with so much that anything else can put you over the edge. I also only told the friends who reached out to me and kept checking up on me even though they didn’t know exactly what was wrong. During that time I had consultations, tests, treatment, more tests, more treatment, follow ups, and it continues. Your brain can only handle what’s happening at that time. Not only that, physically the treatment (referring to chemo) makes you feel horrible … Nausea, fatigue, mood swings, thrush, heart palpitations, fever, bone pain, immune system compromised and let’s not forget the mental anguish that goes along with all of that. You’re at the height of vulnerability.
Now there are a few friends that know through reading my blog. One of the friends called. I appreciated the phone call, he made the effort to reach out. I think that all anyone wants when they’re going through something like this is to know that they are loved and there are people who care and are willing to make the effort, even if it’s just a phone call to say a kind word. There’s usually one caregiver (my mom) and the rest are there to support and help in different ways. Some days I just needed to hear that I’d get through this and be fine. Fortunately I did hear it. Positive, supportive words can do wonders :).