The Rollercoaster of Recovery

Like probably most people, I figured after my treatment was over and the cancer wiped out, all my problems would be solved and life would be awesome again. In reality, sometimes I feel that way now, and sometimes I still feel like crap. I’ve discovered that recovering from cancer is like a rollercoaster ride – full of ups and downs, moments of joy and moments of terror, and a sneaking feeling that, at any given time on this ride, it could all come crashing down in disaster. Notice, I say recovering from cancer, because although this October will mark my 2 year anniversary of being cancer-free, I have not yet fully recovered, physically or emotionally. There are times when I think, damn, I should be recovered by now, or that I feel guilty because I’m not feeling totally grateful or 100% amazing – I mean, what could there possibly be not to feel wonderful about? Thankfully, most of the time I do feel pretty good – but then sometimes I catch a glimpse of the discoloration on my arms that the chemo left or I hear for the hundredth time from an unknowing stranger how I look nothing like my old driver’s license picture when I had long, past my shoulders hair – and the good feeling gets a little reality check. Yes, there are still scary times ahead for me. Times when I get an unexpected call from my Oncologist that sends me into a mini-panic or when I have to convince myself that the random pain that just popped up isn’t really the cancer growing back. But, fortunately, there are also times of joy ahead for me. Like seeing my youngest daughter start Kindergarten and my oldest run for student council, or my sweetheart and I getting closer to our 20 year anniversary. So, on this rollercoaster that I am grateful to be on, I’ve decided to let go of the bars, throw my hands up in the air, and just enjoy the ride.

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