Published by: Nibs
on 5th Apr 2012 |
View all blogs by Nibs
What happens next - When doctors, nurses, friends and family
have stopped hovering around you, taking care of your daily
needs to help your recovery?
You're told with such repetition and conviction that 'you will
get better - you will make a full recovery', you become
brainwashed into believing it. You believe it to a point
where you have absolutely no doubt in your own mind you will
make a full recovery.
Do you think about how long that recovery will take?
Do you think about further post chemo affects?
Do you fully understand what has happened to you over those 11
Do you understand fully about the nature of the pain you still
Do you fully comprehend the mental and emotional affect this
short year has had on you?
I think perhaps not immediately.
With continued pain throughout your body managed quite
successfully with painkillers you (naively as it turns
out) try to return to a normal lifestyle with a view to
returning to full time working.
Trouble is, the normality that was can no longer exist.
As each day draws to its close you ignore the growing
discomfort and stiffness of the joints along with the increased
pain by repeating to yourself over and over the mantra that has
been drummed into you, 'I am getting better. I am making
a full recovery...'
This continues day after day, week after week. You
struggle more with household chores of washing up dishes,
ironing, hoovering and continue to ignore the increasing pain
hands begin to seize and knuckles no longer work as they
ankles feel like knives are being driven into them and yet, you
ignore it all and push yourself through each day believing it
will eventually improve.
Until, your spine also begins to shout at you. This time,
forcing yourself to rise from your bed in the morning, pain so
bad that it draws tears from your eyes and you make your
way down stairs to the living room where you finally sit and
How sad the situation, when it takes a message of pain
from your back to finally make you stop and listen to what
your body has been trying to tell you for so long.
The message to STOP!
You finally fall into a pit of despair and loneliness realizing
that none around you could possibly understand or comprehend
what's happening to you.
The people in the outside world are the outsiders now. To
them you look fine. Your hair has grown back, your skin
has colour, to everyone around you - you look
normal. Therefore they conclude, you are now back
to normal and everything can go on as it did before
you were ill.
But for you, the word/term normal no longer means what it used
to. The world is different. Your body
is different. YOU are different.
The courageous facade you portray every day to the
outsiders becomes impossible to keep up. They don't
understand and fail to see the truth that hides behind the
And so you do the only thing you can do...... You
Accepting one's own disabilities, temporary, long term or
permanent is a tough pill to swallow. From the beginning,
the pain never really went away but I'd always
believed eventually it would go. From my neck,
shoulders, spine, elbows, wrists fingers, hips, knees to
my ankles and toes the nature of the pain had
I've never felt lonely before, but realizing my predicament
made me feel lonelier than ever. Not lonely for
companionship but a desparate need for someone to speak
to who would understand. I knew at this point that
outsiders were incapable of understanding how the after-effects
of the chemotherapy has affected me.
Plus there was no more safety net of Y Bwthyn as I'd
had to sign off their books when I'd attempted to return to
I felt at this point I had no one to turn to who
knew what was happening and would be able to help.
Finally accepting that I needed to search for
help I threw a message to
Spirit/God/Cosmos/Universal Energies for direction.
I found 'Rowan Tree Cancer Care' at Mountain Ash and
explaining my situation was registered for counseling
sessions. These helped more than I ever would have
Alongside my visits to Rowan Tree I found a
Healer/Therapist by the name of Keith Jones in Barry who has
helped from healing energy work to correct advice on
Progress is tediously slow, but it is forward progress
So. Here I sit in front of my laptop once again writing
up a chapter for my Bravery in the Face of Fear feeling
quite settled and calm and no longer worrying (well not at this
point in time anyway) about anything.
I'm now praying for new direction and just sitting back and
I know my prime objective is to get well and I can only do that
at my own pace at home.
It is difficult, more so when you feel the safety nets of
support and help are removed. The
intensive treatment, care and attention you are shown
during the early stages of your illness suddenly no
longer exist as those who were so attentive to you now move on
to help someone else.
Organizations like TENOVUS and ROWAN
TREE are so very important to help people through the
trying times that follow.
When in most people's eyes the scare of cancer is now over they
feel they can sit back and let the person in
recovery continue with life as they did before it all
It's not as easy as they think for most of us.
I'm reminded every day, almost every hour of what
I've been through by my constant
When my head is no longer in my joints and bones, when I walk
my feet are no longer hyper sensitive with the sensation of no
shock absorbers at my ankles - then I'll know I'm fully
Until then I'm learning to be kind to me.