As the healing of my scar progress, I feel the process mirrored inside of me. To say that the last seven months have been the worst of my life is still an understatement. Just saying the words in my head feels shocking: “I had cancer”. Essentially the same disease that killed my grandmother. In general cancer is so filled with awful connotations and it can still get my heart racing, it’s hard to shed all of the meaning implied, even though it has not been fatal for me. But that is important non the less! It’s crucial to me to both acknowledge that it has been a incredibly tough time, but now it’s over. I need to let go of this. For all I care I’m now completely rid of cancer, hoping to never see it again. Until anything points in any other direction, that’s what I’m assuming.
I don’t want to spend my precious time worrying about a recurrence that most probably will never occur. And in the unlikely event of the opposite, that it will reoccur, spending my then even more precious time worrying would be even worse!
The scar is fading and so is the horror of what has passed, it’s time to digest what has been and ultimately put it behind me. The physical changes becomes a metaphor for what I’ve been through and when these changes aren’t as visible anymore, one way or another, it’s a tangible access to healing. The hair is almost back to normal thickness, eyebrows and lashes are more than halfway there. The scar tissue is healing well; I’m gently stretching the tissue every day and have done so for the last five months. It will require daily routines for the rest of my life to keep the tissue soft and to prevent it from contracting. Whenever I skip a day or two I can immediately feel it tightening.
The healing inside is less visible; I’m doing my best to get back on track – adjusted to the right velocity. I guess my initial thoughts on my healing might have been a tad optimistic, I’m simply not my old self anymore and it’ll take a little while to figure the new me out. I’m currently at work at 60% and that plays out very well, planning to increase that number slowly for the next couple of months to make sure I’m totally stable and grounded in my new situation before I add to big of a load. I’ve been having a chat with a counselor at Kræftens Bekæmpelse talking about the psychological effects and stress; there are most certainly situations where it all becomes too much and I need a break. Too many questions or people around me can make my brain melt down, leaving me somewhat incapacitated and numb momentarily. There is a slight chance that the antihormones are doing this to me, but it could just as well be the effects of the chemotherapy still at play or just from the pure stress of it all. Most probably it’s a combination of all those things. It’s a mix of physical and mental challenges that my body has been put through, so I’m trying to give myself room to heal and to not demand too much too fast. Right now I consider time my best friend and ally and I feel the progress on so many levels. As long as I’m not rushing anything I’m confident that all will work out.
This was never a blessing in disguise, I’m not a better person now or more grateful for my life. I’m not myself anymore and it will take while to find out who exactly this new person is. On the other hand, this wasn’t a punishment or even unfair. No one did this to me. It just happened. It wasn’t the end of the world. There are no guarantees for progress in your life, things can go back and forth. This is far from the best time of my life, but it’s still a good life and I’m happy to play the lead; life was never about being easy all the time. What I’m trying to say is that there’s no point in trying to see this in the context of good or bad, it just was. And now it isn’t anymore. But luckily, I still am.
1 thought on “Healing is more than scar tissue”
Tusinde tak for dine ord og tanker. Endelig har jeg fundet et andet menneske som har lignende overvejelser og tanker som jeg selv. Jeg har igennem hele mit behandlingsforløb, ofte følt mig alene med mine oplevelser og overvejelser, både i mødet med “systemet” og i mødet med andre brystkræftpatienter, eller oplevet at jeg skulle forsvare mine synspunkter.
Men ved at læse din blog, var det næsten som at komme hjem, helt vidunderligt at opleve at der findes andre med den samme tilgang til de udfordringer brystkræft kan give. Tusinde tak for at du går i offentligheden og arbejder for et mere menneskeligt syn på brystkræft som ikke er begrænset af sociale normer om hvad der gør et menneske til en kvinde.
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