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Change Takes Time
After cancer treatment finished I felt like I would never recover, almost like life outside the hospital just wasn’t meant for me. It’s always difficult to have faith after such a traumatic experience, but I battled with it and had good days. But I had plenty of bad days too, like everyone does I think. The bad days were pretty… bad.
A Search For Fairness
In the beginning (even now) I complained a lot about how unfair things were. I came back to school having skipped a year and had to skip every Friday just because I was too tired. Now I’m at college, I still face challenges – like returning to hospital for an eating disorder six years after treatment. I still haven’t got back to all the stuff I want to – all the things I used to do before.
But the cancer experience is a part of me now, just like any other part of my life. And I think, even though it’s difficult, it’s useful to stop looking for fairness. Just take each day as it comes.
Post-Cancer Changes are Especially Slow
In the early days, I expected things to immediately go back to the way they were before. Now I know that cancer takes a lot out of a person, it’s not all going to come back in a day. As cancer required a lot of change, returning back to life and society also requires a lot of change.
I guess it’s also important to adjust expectations and not expect too much of yourself. There’s a lot to be said for defining a new normal and really letting things take their time. For me, life after cancer has seen continuous changes. I continuously reinvent myself to face every new day. At some level, I don’t really think I have a choice.
Ever since I left hospital, I’ve been seeing a psychologist which has helped. Recently, I’ve started seeing a psychiatrist as well.
Setting small goals helps me too, as well as going for walks and listening to relaxing music. Just taking things slowly is the main thing.
While it feels like things won’t get better, they will and they have. I give whatever I can to myself every day, if that makes any sense at all.
And what would I say to others? Take it slowly, and do your best every day. No one can ask for any more than that. Don’t ask too much of yourself.
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