Survivor’s Surprises

I haven’t really wanted to talk about it, not wanting to appear pathetic, but I’m feeling almost swept away by the power of it all. I’m feeling physically quite a bit better, although my right breast feels radioactive, amazingly hot to my touch, while the left one is equally cold.  I have to keep exercising to maintain the range of motion in my right arm–a definite tightening of something continues there. I’m still experiencing joint pain, although that is letting up.

But hardest is the emotional part. It’s not over. I’m very shaky these days. I’m going through the furious stage of loss I think. A good friend from MN visited this weekend and observed I got easily pissed off about this and that. She thought it was healthy and great. I’m not so sure. But it does feel like a loss process. The loss of what? Freedom from the medical world that once it’s got its grip on you, does not let go? The illusion of perpetual health? Worry about recurrance?

After the chinup stage and all the support, I’m now dealing with the reality of being a breastcancer survivor, which is not as physically or emotionally painless as I’d assumed. It’s hard not to get depressed. I cry easily. The support is pretty much gone, at least the daily support and the sweet med people who cheered me on, so when even a small loss or rejection comes along, I collapse.

I’ll get through it like everything, but I’m not Lance Armstrong. People like him inspire and depress simultaneously, although I did cheer him on and was happy to see him win. But now I feel as if I’m dealing with a small death…everyone thinks it’s time to get over it but the grief is not so easily assimilated. A hospice volunteer for many years, I’m now doing hospice work on myself.