I want to share with you what it is like to almost die from cancer, and after remission, what some cancer survivors like me, continue to experience.
I also added a picture of me when I thought day after day that I was going to die for at least six months while taking transfusions and on chemo.
As you can see here, I don't look the same as I do in my other pictures on the right.
But for some miracle and positive thinking I rebounded and I have slowly moved into remission and I am gradually feeling better.
However, I do know that some people with my type of cancer and seriousness have moved onto the other side.
So sometimes I ask why me and not them, and why am I still alive. This Harvard article explains it all.
So I found this article which came from a Harvard Study. I am sharing it with you because I really never realized until finding this article things that have been going through my head over the past year.
I have some semblance of FEAR that I know many of you who almost died with cancer, but for some miracle, turned it around, and now having to deal with emotions that you never realized that were going on inside your head.
The article deals with a lady who had recovered from a serious case of breast cancer and is a survivor much like me with Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma which is a blood bone marrow form of cancer.
I am sharing this with any of you going through this same experience that I went through and those of you who never have to illustrate what a person with major terminal cancer feels everyday of his of her life.
So here we go and I hope you will learn from it and if you have family or friends or even if it is your very own experience, you know how to help them by being a friend and a confident. Why because those of us experience cancer feel very much alone, and I believe we will feel this way for the rest of our lives. So with no further ado, Here is the article and the link below.
The mental and emotional challenges of surviving cancer a Harvard Study
One of my closest friends is a two-time breast cancer survivor. Terry (as I’ll call her) has been cancer free for eight years—long enough to be considered cured (generally defined as being in remission at least five years).
But in no way is she “free” of cancer. Every abnormal blood test, every callback for another mammogram terrifies her so badly she can’t sleep until doctors rule out a recurrence. In some ways, the ongoing psychological and emotional challenges she faces have been worse than the physical treatments she endured.
I thought about Terry when I read the latest government statistics on the number of cancer survivors in this country. Nearly 12 million Americans—4% of the population—are still alive after a cancer diagnosis.
In many respects this is terrific news, and a testament to improved diagnosis and treatment options. But survivorship comes at a psychological price. We discussed these challenges at length in the Harvard Mental Health Letter, but here’s a quick look at some of the major issues.
“Damocles syndrome.” According to Greek legend, once Damocles realized that a sword was dangling precariously over his head, he could no longer enjoy the banquet spread in front of him. In the same way, the specter of cancer hangs over some cancer survivors. They can become emotionally paralyzed and have a hard time deciding to get married, change jobs, or make other major decisions.
Fear of recurrence. Given cancer’s potential to lay dormant for a while and then spread (metastasize), cancer survivors often experience ongoing fear of recurrence. Follow-up medical visits, unexplained pain, or even sights and sounds they associate with treatment can trigger bouts of anxiety and fear that are as debilitating as those that occurred during cancer treatment.
Survivor guilt. Although happy to be alive, cancer survivors may feel guilty that they survived while fellow patients they became friendly with during treatment or as part of a support group did not. (Early after a diagnosis of cancer, people first ask, “Why me?” When survivors think about those who have died, they tend to ask, “Why not me?”)
Recognizing these challenges, the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Cancer Survivorship explored ways to help people rebuild their lives after treatment ends. You can read the report, “From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost In Transition,” for free online or buy it from the National Academies Press.
Given that one in three Americans will face a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives, living with cancer is a topic that touches all of us. If you are a survivor, or know someone who is, these Web sites may be useful.