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I’m 4 1/2 years into my cancer journey, stage 4 but clear scans so far after lung mets Resection, rectal cancer with colostomy bag, had chemo and radio on pelvis.
my whole life is overshadowed by cancer. I hate my colostomy bag and all the grief it gives me, I had pointless radiotherapy because it did nothing to my tumour, I got metastases anyway and it left me menopaused at 38 and with vaginal dystrophy. I get flashbacks of treatment and surgery, especially when trying to be intimate with my husband because I’m reminded of how much it ravaged my body.
will it ever get better? I’m so tired of feeling like it’s taken so much from me, part of me doesn’t even care that my colostomy saved my life, I hate it, I hate everything this dam disease has done to me and my family.
sorry to rant, thanks for listening x
I am really sorry to read about what you are dealing with at the moment, the physical reminders must be really hard to deal with. I wanted to reply to you because I’ve asked myself the question you ask so many times - “will I ever get better?” I pondered on that for a long time, it even got me thinking about what “better” actually means. I wrote a poem about it a couple of years ago - I’ve included it below in case it is helpful. I think the thing that has helped me most is to try to let go of the past, it’s an important part of who you are, but it’s not coming back, so there’s little point in wishing for it to come back. The future is unknown, it’s not ours to own and it too will be what it wants to be. The present is what we can control, and there is beauty and joy to be had even in the very smallest of things and even in the direst of situations.In terms of overcoming flashbacks, the thing I found most helpful was to try to get the positive experiences to outweigh the negative ones. I had a massive problem with going back to the hospital (I’m still not 100% with it) because of all the bad memories it contains. I found the best thing was to drown out those memories with positive experiences, so the more times I went back there and had a normal experience, the less I experienced the problems with bad memories. I don’t know if you can apply that to your situation, but perhaps the more times you do normal things and try to allow them to be just normal, the less the negative memories will crowd your psyche?
Hope this helps
Catch it early, before it spreads, you’re young and fit, you’re in good stead.
When all’s said and done, and the fighting’s begun, I suppose you could say, it’s better that way.
The doctor says take all the meds you can muster, we’ll batter ‘em hard, make the tiny cells fluster
You reckon that where there’s a will there’s a way, and I guess you were right, I feel better today
Then there’s moments alone, in the dead of the night. Dreams of hope mixed with fear, dreams of fading sunlight. I train the brain through the strain, come what will, come what may, “just keep steady now love, from the path never stray!”
Then you spin and you fall, lose your mind, lose it all. So I talked and it helped, spilled the beans, spilled myself
But it’s never quite real, that road that I steal
All those games that I play, all the thoughts I betray
But I am better, trust me, with this brand new memory. They ask me questions today, “I’m ok”’s what I say.
Because I wiped myself clean, pretend things never seen
It keeps sadness at bay, all those things I can’t say
So I sit here in silence, laugh and smile with violence,
A life lived in grey, I’m better that way
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