Happy Cancer Girl

A Happy Girls Journey with Cancer

Fears of Recurrence

on November 17, 2014

It’s been a long six months since I last posted, it’s hard to believe how time flies by so fast. I say long because lots has happened but I never felt like it was stuff to share on this blog. I still struggle with what the blog should be about, seeing how it’s called Happy Cancer Girl and is about my cancer journey…the blog should generally only have all of my cancer stuff.

Anyway, back in April I went to a retreat with YACC and it was amazing. I was able to spend a long weekend with other young adults who had/have cancer. It was the first time since my diagnoses where I felt like everything could be ok and I could move on.

In June I went to a YACC conference, it was not as intimate as the retreat because there are many more people, but having experienced the retreat, it was nice being able to connect with the people I had met in April and also to be able to meet more awesome peeps. I didn’t feel as manic as I did in April, so I was able to enjoy the conference and take in a lot of different thoughts and perceptions.

Owen and I started building a house this summer. We had decided we were going to build a house the year before, but I was always a little apprehensive about it. Not because we will be living across the road from my in-laws (it’s true we are), but because I feared building the house and then not living long enough to actually live in the house. But after April I was ok with moving on and building our dream home.

Something happened this summer…I don’t really know what was the driving point, but at some point I decided I was done with cancer. I had it, I don’t anymore, let’s get over it and forget about it. I was volunteering with Ovarian Cancer Canada and I stopped going to the meetings. I made every excuse I could come up with. If people talked about cancer around me I would smile and kind of act like I didn’t hear them. I wanted to literally forget that I have had cancer. Cancer is not me and I am not my cancer (probably taken to a whole new extreme).

So what’s changed? Death and a lot of it. In the past few weeks a lot of young women have lost their lives to cancer. Most of these women I knew personally, a couple I didn’t, but have relationships with others who were close to them. One woman wasn’t a part of the YACC family, but was someone that I knew growing up. She was a doctor, she was healthy, athletic and a part of our nations army. Although I haven’t seen her in years, her passing seemed to unhinge something deep inside of me. A fear that I have been able to keep behind a locked door.

Yesterday I was working at my new house. We have a room in the basement that is being finished and I was working on the concrete floor. I feel like I broke into pieces on that floor. One minute I was working and fine and the next minute I was in tears. I don’t know if the feelings are called survivors guilt, or if I’m just terrified of death. What makes one person get cancer and die way before they should and another get cancer and live to a ripe old age?

The flood gate only opened yesterday, but I feel as though my chest is going to burst. I don’t know how to deal with these feelings. I suppose I should go back to my therapist and talk about it. I don’t think I’m ready, I haven’t even worked out what it is that I am feeling.

Today my thoughts are with one of my closest friends who is having surgery, I really want to be there with her. I want her surgery to go well. I want her recovery to go well. My thoughts are with all of the women who have recently lost their lives. My thoughts are with me and for myself and what my future holds. My thoughts are jumbled and I feel trapped inside myself. I wish I could stop the thoughts, but there’s no music in the world that can help the anxiety that I am feeling today.

So on that heavy note, I will leave you. I’m not going to post a video because I don’t have one that can describe how I feel….or I don’t have the energy to search the internet for something.

If I don’t post again this year I hope you all have a lovely holiday season!


10 responses to “Fears of Recurrence

  1. Anita Finnamore says:

    Love and Prayers Renee.

  2. sherry kirkpatrick morton says:

    Oh Honey my heart goes out to you, Your wise young lady to share the good and the bad times you may not always be able to find an answer to the why’s right away,but know that your life has a profound purpose as the very words you speak will bring a new found realization to someone that you may never meet. Love and prayers Auntie Sherry

    • Thanks Aunt Sherry. I always hope that my experiences will be able to help someone else. I’m sure this is something everyone goes through, but the after effects of cancer aren’t really talked about. The doctors are very focused on healing your body, but the mind is left for you to deal with yourself. I’ve read that a lot of cancer survivors suffer from PTSD but it’s not something my GP has ever talked to me about.

  3. Aunt Mimi says:

    I am speechless. Your writing is like prose, beautifully expressed. My heart feels your pain and struggle to understand your emotions re life and it’s meaning. I am hopefully that being able to write about your feelings will help process this.
    Aviva Rubin blogged “No one who gets cancer escapes the fear of its return”

    • Aunt Mimi, I believe that is true. It probably doesn’t matter what one’s diagnose, stage or treatment is/was, it will always be something that happened and could always happen again. Writing about my feelings does help, it helps me sort out what it is that I am thinking. It also helps others understand what I am going through, because I don’t often talk about it. I hope you enjoyed your vacation, it looks like you ladies had a lot of fun!

  4. Aunt Suzy says:

    Oh Renee, my heart aches for you. It’s such a confusing time for you, and I wish I could be there to help dry your tears. Even if the cancer never returns, it has left profound changes for you and your future. You are facing all that head on with such honesty and openness. Please know you are loved and admired.

    • Thanks Aunt Suzy. I imagine this is something I will deal with for the rest of my life, but I’m hopeful that I will learn how to deal with such overwhelming feelings. Give those sweet babies a kiss for me!!

  5. Lee Ann Buxton says:

    Keep your chin up Renee” still think about you every day.But ya know myself its always at the back of my mind every day its always on my mind I guess its something you never forget so I know a little of how your feeling but you had a so much bigger challenge than I did .But Renee thoughts and prayers always are with you all the time I pray for you and me and everybody else has had to face that horrible 6 letter word.But please remember I am always thinking about you every day.So please keep your chin up girl .I also know how it feels to have people around that you’ve known all your life young and old who has lost their battle to that 6 letter word.So please Renee think about good things and I hope you have a great Holiday season.so will ttul. AFA Lee Ann. and thanks for up dating your great Blog.

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