I posted this over at Mothers With Cancer and I figured, “Hey! Why not post it here, too?”
Today marks the four year anniversary of my survivorship. Everybody seems to have differing ideas of when that starts, but my family has always considered the day I had the cancer removed from my body as the day I became a survivor. So I awoke to eight red and four pink roses.
I still have times when I mourn what I’ve lost or get angry at how my body has aged with stiffness and arthritis, but those emotions come less and less. The events of four years ago seem surreal, almost no big deal at times. Funny how my husband never sees it that way.
But while my body has healed and my life has moved past the crisis, my head hit a little glitch. I found myself in a perpetual funk that I couldn’t seem to shake. I’d never dealt with clinical depression and had always been able to pull myself out of the pit we all find ourselves in from time to time. But this time there was no escaping. I finally accepted that I was probably depressed.
When I explained my lack of interest and blase’ attitude to my doctor she acknowledged what I had already figured out. Not a bad depression – it wasn’t affecting my relationships (much) or my work – but a depression nonetheless. I told her how ridiculous it is when everything is so much better than it was just a couple of years ago. I wasn’t depressed then, why should I be depressed now? Easy, she said. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was in survival mode for so long, doing what I had to do, that now I have the time to be depressed (Greatly paraphrased here.)
I’m now on the very mildest of antidepressants and it seems to be doing the trick. I’ve started slowly shedding the pounds I gained with treatment and the following medical issues I had. My life is about all sorts of things other than cancer and my husband and I are training to do the Philadelphia 3Day in October.
I finally feel more like a thriver and not just a survivor!