After Cancer

 Many cancer survivors finish treatments and begin a waiting game. They wake up each morning and check to see if the person they were before cancer has returned; they keep waiting to recognize themselves.

The truth is, the "old you" is still here, but not exactly. You are not exactly the same person you were prior to cancer. You are a bit different now, and you likely have the scars to prove it….and that is ok.

Some of the same people you used to hang out with may not be coming back either. Cancer, like any significant trauma often serves as some kind of weed out system. It is difficult not to take this personally, but sometimes, for whatever reason - people just can not hang.

We are indeed physically scuffed up after cancer, but I believe we are psychologically stronger than we were before it. You may not feel that way at first; you might feel tired as hell and even pissed off about all of this continual loss!!! "How much more do I have to lose?!!???"

Even if you don't feel like a bad ass survivor, you are one. The work after cancer is about acceptance and integration. To move on, you've got to move through.

Lots of people try to stuff their experience for a while after cancer. They try to pretend it didn't happen and just move on, which is understandable as the experience was likely quite painful. But "stuffing" doesn't work because it did happen. You did have cancer- both you and your cells know it happened.

You have to move through it to move on. This means talking about, writing about or exploring what you really went through, how it's changed you, and what you felt about all of it - the treatments, the relationship changes, your body changes- everything! You're ultimately getting to know you through it. This sounds like a bad book title: "getting to know you through cancer" but really, you will. This part of healing from cancer is a really important part of moving on and creating a life free from obstructions and moving into one that you truly want to live!

Love and Light,

Dr. Regina