This one's for the survivors: Emotions reflecting on milestones

Posted by valentinaz @valentinaz, Aug 26 12:07pm

Yesterday I felt very low energy, like something was wrong, but nothing came to mind. Depressed? No, too heavy a word, but I felt like something was in the way of my heart and head. Then this morning, I looked at my calendar from one year ago, and there it was: my first chemotherapy appointment. What a day THAT was, and clearly my body was circling around the memory of it. I write this to remind myself, and maybe others, that our bodies remember everything, and that's okay: it's just hard for us to allow our minds to remember. Once it dawned on me, I had a one-minute cry, and felt released. All of these anniversaries just want to be acknowledged. Or maybe our bodies want to be acknowledged and honored for how they carried us during those hard times of treatments and surgeries. So celebrate you and your body today, dolls, in any way you can! Love.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Gynecologic Cancers group.

Good morning @valentinaz, This post really resonated with me because I’ve had those moments too. I think when we’re cancer warriors~survivors~thrivers~over-comers, having faced all the elements that come with our specific disease like chemo, pain, nausea, myriad side effects, hair loss, anxiety…well, we become finely tuned to our body’s signals.
I believe you’re right! Our bodies remember everything but our mind chooses to forget the worst of what we’ve gone through.
Our bodies deserve a huge round of applause for being able to regenerate after the trauma it’s endured. It’s pretty miraculous really and personally, I view every day as a gift, a second chance at life.
Like you, if I have a momentary thought of mourning for what I’ve lost or bit of self pity, I allow myself a minute only for a spurt of tears and the move on.
But I also have, what I refer to as bursts of joy, when I’m so overcome with emotion for being alive that I almost feel giddy! It can happen at the weirdest moments like watching a Dish Soap commercial! Tears for no reason!
One moment happened in a grocery store, out of the blue. The background music was the song, “This is gonna be the best day of my life,” Humming along, I started to get all misty-eyed as I realized it was one of the best days because I’m still alive to enjoy something so mundane as shopping!

Another of those moments even prompted a new discussion I posted earlier this year. It was inspired by my husband and I finally getting a chance to resume a normal life and return to our winter in Florida. All morning, some little niggling thought kept going through my head that I’m forgetting something! But I had no idea what. Our calendars were clear, we’re on vacation… While walking along the beach, it hit me! It was the day, 3 years before, that I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and my life forever changed. I told my husband and he said, “Let’s get a picture of you on the beach right now. It’s a day to remember…because if you didn’t have your bone marrow transplant, this is a picture that could never exist…you wouldn’t be here.” So while my brain set that date aside, my body yelled, “Hey, Princess warrior! Time to celebrate a major victory.”
This is the discussion about Snapshots of Hope: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/snapshots-of-hope-life-on-the-other-side-of-transplant/

Thanks for posting this, Valentinz. You’re an amazingly strong warrior yourself with all that you’ve endured. Thank you for your meaningful replies and encouragement you’ve given other members. We often don’t realize that when we share our stories of what we’ve gone through and survived and over came, our tales may be someone else’s survival guide.

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Lori, I love your post so much! Especially your story of that niggling feeling of forgetting something, and it turning out to be your diagnosis three years before. What a poignant and beautiful idea to snap a shot of you on the beach on that day. I'm so grateful for your posts and responses. It's important for me to remember that I am a member of a much larger body of cancer survivors, and that we're linked together for better or worse 🙂 This is a strange "marriage," to be sure, but I feel connected to so many of the folks here, and am so grateful for them, and for you!

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