This hydrangea was in my backyard and I think it suits my post today. Much like a life splintered by the diagnosis of Breast Cancer, the fallout comes after all of the treatment is done. This pom flower, flourished through her treatment, but now as Autumn creeps in, you can see where perhaps her splendor lay, but now is riddled with pink splatters ~ like how the rest of my life is now speckled with cancer.
But it’s not all flowery after you’re through with the treatments. As many who have endured disease and illness (not necessarily just breast cancer), the aftermath is often the hardest. I remember the distinct “WHAT NOW?” feeling after treatment was over. I was sent out into the world with a few follow up appointments scheduled for future dates in my back pocket, some daily meds to take and a bewildered look on my face.
Because what the hell do I do now? There’s no one to tell you how to live after you’ve endured the ugliness of cancer, the treatments, the surgeries, the chemo, the radiation, the humiliation, the poking and prodding by others. Family and friends are weary from care-taking and the disruption to their lives. All are ready for life to get back to normal ~ as are you.
But life will never the normal like it was BC (before cancer).
Twinges of pain or abnormalities in my body are now greeted with the fleeting thought that it could be a return of the monster that grew inside of me although I immediately change my thinking so that I can dismiss that idea. But having endured now 15 surgeries, years of testing and re-testings, I’ve never quite been able to greet a twinge with that serenity that I long for in my life. There have been too many extras that have popped up after the initial breast cancer diagnosis that keeps me on my toes.
But those twinges, when they come, remind me to stay conscious of my body and to listen to her. I now don’t scoff at my intuition and I go with what my gut tells me because my body knows herself and I’ve learned that she’s right. I may delay checking out my symptoms, but I do listen and trust in the message that something’s not right. I’ve been blessed with an oncologist who listens as well and has fought for testing that proved that there was something wrong and she’s gotten me on the path to health again.
It’s kind of like a seesaw after breast cancer. Things are great and then there’s testing…then there’s a bit of anxiety until the results are read. Then off we go again, gaily on our way until the next bout of testing. Hopefully we can keep that spring in our steps for years to come.
But it never quite leaves you, that pink speckled mark of cancer on your psych and life. Not to mention the deformation of your body as a result of the testings, the chemo, the radiation and the surgeries. We are just never the same. We are changed ~ mind, body and soul.