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Fighter: Head and Neck Cancer

43 Year Old Female

New York, NY

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Head and Neck Cancer

Stage: IV

One Day at a Time

March 2nd, 2019

This Is My Truth...

I don't know of a single cancer survivor that hasn't experienced mental health related issues after cancer. It's just a matter of what it is and how bad. You should never feel bad about yourself if you find yourself suffering from depression after cancer. How could you not be depressed after something like this?

I thought I had been doing pretty well my first year or so after cancer, all things considered. I struggled in various ways, yes, but the heavy-hitting emotional fallout didn't hit me until nearly two years later. Reaching two years out from my cancer diagnosis was a huge milestone. I should have felt like I was on top of the world, right? No.  I was terrified out of my fucking mind, and felt like if something was going to happen to me, it was going to happen sooner rather than later, and I had the fear of God in me.

I was tired of feeling so afraid, tired of feeling so vulnerable, and tired of having my own body scaring the hell out of me with all of its strange post-cancer pains and behaviors. I lost interest in various hobbies, didn’t want to be around anyone besides my family and a few extremely close friends, and didn’t even really want to be around myself. I largely withdrew from the world and stopped being social for a long time. Two years after my cancer diagnosis and fight is when I finally hit an emotional rock bottom and a very deep depression. 

I didn’t stop living my life, but my inner struggles were becoming visible to the world. I would go out on weekends with my family, or with friends, and have the time of my life. But whenever we returned, this misery was always there waiting for me: the waiting, the wondering, the fear and the doubts. I wanted out of this experience and would have given everything I had just to escape what had become a truly miserable life. Who would want to be around someone like me? Even I didn't want to be around me, or my body, but what choice did I have?
Cancer is merciless. It will push you well past your limits until you break, listen to you screaming for mercy, and then just keep on pushing you relentlessly. The only person that could hear my internal screaming was me. I'm trying to replace my worry with Faith. I was so afraid that my cancer was going to come back, and that I was just going to die of cancer anyways. Developing faith and an independent system of beliefs is helping me to relieve me of those fears. 
I try repeating to myself “You are not your body.” I'm so much more than that. I had to learn to stop seeing the shortcomings of my body as some sort of personal failure, and to recognize the true me for me, the beautiful soul within. I try to tell myself my body’s failure is not your personally, so stop beating yourself up for that as though you’re any less of a person than anybody else. You’re not. 
Part of why I was depressed was because I feared dragging my whole family through this hell again if my cancer were to return. I have to learn to forgive my body for failing me. This is the true nature of life. These things can happen. There are no guarantees for anybody. I stopped identifying with my body, and learned to forgive it for doing what bodies sometimes do.
 There are a few amazing people out there that just had a magical way of connecting with me that would immediately put me at ease, relax my fears and my mind, and help me to just live in the moment. Soulmates, soul brothers, and soul sisters, they’ve all meant the world to me, but I have blocked everything and everyone around me. I am hoping this Journal/Blog will help heal me and others mentally and emotionally. This is the only way I can Express to others that are puzzled off by my behavior, mabye they and evern I can have some clarity and begin to understand the effects of the Horrid Disease.