Sunday, December 29, 2013

Gentle with myself

This business of healing after treatment, has taken me a very long time.  I'm not the most patient person in the world, and I really have had to find the love for myself in allowing myself to be patient; with me, with my process, and with the wisdom of my body.
Over a year ago, I started the process of labeling my blog and devoted myself to writing my book.  As I relived what I went through during treatment, I found myself further and further in a place of depression that began to scare me.  Reaching out to my cancer therapist, I realized that I was reactivating PTSD and that I needed to be gentle with myself.
I asked her, feeling broken and finally at rock bottom with my depression, "can you please give me something to help me not feel this way anymore."  I have always been a person that did not believe in this.  I have always been a person that has fought to learn about myself and grow, and be happy.  But I simply could not find that happiness anymore.  She replied, "I could give you something, but that is not going to take away what is causing this unhappiness, Heather.  What is making you unhappy?"
Tears started flowing, and I had to share with her how angry I was and the despair I had around the loss of my fertility, and how much cancer had taken from me.  I was living a life, that I had not thought I was choosing to fight for so many years ago, when I decided to take chemo.  I naively chose a life full of the dreams I had, once had.
I shared with her that I didn't want to be an angry person, and refused to allow myself to be angry.  I left there understanding, that that is exactly what I needed to do. Once, I allowed myself to be angry, and to feel the anger, the depression lifted.
A year and a half later, I am married to the most loving, caring, supportive man I have ever met.  I am not ready to write about our journey with fertility yet, but want to say it has been full of mourning and loss, and I hope soon, joy and the family I have always yearned to have.
My book, remains in process as I need to be gentle with reliving the horror of treatment.  I now understand why so many cancer survivors I know, move on and do not think about what they went through.  I often think about how I do not want cancer to define who I am, but at the same time cancer has defined the life I get to lead and live and in truth, it has defined me.  I am a Cancer Survivor who still finds myself, wrapping my arms around me, holding myself, soothing my inner child, and saying, "Yes, you did go through all of that.  You did make it.  I don't know how long I have on this planet, but right now, Heather.  You made it."