• Bengal's Avatar

    Bengal posted an update

    Today, July 25th, is the 2 year anniversary of my last ( "it's over") chemo treatment (22 radiation sessions in there as well). I have really mixed feelings as I contemplate this milestone. Yes, I have now been 2 whole years cancer free and for that I am most grateful. Also grateful to the folks, doctors, nurses, techs, etc......who all collaborated to see me through, some of whom I continue to see periodically for my follow-ups. What I did not sign on for are the long lasting side effects that still plague me and in some instances seem to only intensify with time. Chronic Fatigue; to those who say it isn't a real thing? Yes, I can attest is is very real. At times crippling joint pain. I had mild osteoarthritis going in. It has intensified to the point there are days I cannot stand it. In desperation I have at times turned to Oxycodone. Thanks to the surgeon who over prescribed after my surgeries I have a temporary supply. Don't know what happens when that runs out. Stomach ulcers which may or may not have been triggered by chemo but probably not helped by high levels of anxiety. I am on a special diet which eliminates some of my favorite foods (spaghetti sauce!) and on a medication one of the side effects of which is -----joint pain.

    I survived cancer but cancer robbed me of many things in the process. It left me with this different and not always pleasant life which, after 2 years, I still struggle to accept.

    I have been chastised for having a bad attitude and told I should just be grateful I am alive ( by one of my doctors) and, of course, I am grateful my cancer was discovered and was treatable. But I cannot help feeling that in the process I have somehow been cheated. I allowed myself to be put through some pretty, to the uninitiated, unimaginable tortures. The exchange was supposed to be good health. I have gone from being a robust, physically active, outdoors person to a virtual invalid with lost strength, little stamina and almost constant pain. So ,as I said up top, really mixed emotions on this 2nd anniversary.

    1 Comment
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary. Survivorship isn't always easy. I know that chemo and radiation have caused me to age quicker. I know some 90-somethings that move around better than I do. I try to just be thankful that I am still here, even though I sometimes have to watch from the sidelines. Take care.

      4 months ago
  • Bengal's Avatar

    Bengal posted an update

    Solstice salutations! I hope the return of the sun brightens your outlook, illuminated your path forward and lights up your Holiday spirit.