I was thinking about my last post about the battle just beginning when you have finished treatment. I will have to back track and give credit for the actual battle of surgery, chemo and radiation itself because that is one super hard battle, however the difference being the patient and the caregivers expect that battle. I guess that is my point. You can see it easily in marketing, it highlights the fight. They should highlight the fight because you are fighting for your life, it makes sense. What I am trying to let everyone in on is the fact that the battle doesn't stop there, to win the war you have to battle out your "new self" as well. It is at that point when it seems to be that the support comes to a dramatic drop off.
I was reading on a Facebook post "do you feel like your families don't care about your pain and are tired of hearing about cancer". This is a common and realistic comment. For the cheerleaders who surrounded you during your treatment time, they are of the mindset that the fight is done. That same post went on to say "I'm just not bringing it up anymore, I'm just hurting on the inside".
As a survivor, I can completely relate to that sentence. It's heartbreaking and I am sure that her family doesn't even realize what is going on inside of her at all. I'm hoping if I bring it up then some awareness will be brought to the situation and also to the people who are not patients. Some cancer patients find it easier to not talk about it because they aren't even sure what's going on and they don't want to appear to be weak after fighting for so long. Some cancer patients are so tired of that being the topic of conversation so they move the conversation in a different direction but that doesn't mean it's not on their mind and they aren't struggling with how to work through this phase of the cancer journey.
Think before you speak. Please grow with them, let them find themselves and be patient. When a soldier goes to war (God Bless all soldiers) they come back changed. Cancer is a war with many battles so is resonates that the person would come back a different person. Allow them to be that person and give them the space and the continued support they need to reclaim their lives as a survivor.
Smiling while trying to figure it all out, blurry because life was a bit blurry then.