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Dec 8, 2018 · Facing Cancer Recurrence, PTSD & Acknowledging Mental Health in Cancer: Managing Symptoms

And good morning to you. It's a different feeling to get a diagnosis of recurrence. Not the same quality of fear as with the first, but a different flavor of fear. The undercurrent of dread that I didn't realize I was hauling around with me until it surfaced powerfully and I was able to identify it and name it. The dread I am still carrying but want to address. My treatment – craniotomy in 2006. No chemo or radiation. Endoscopic endonasal surgery in 2015, followed by additional time in hospital with septic shock. Then a stint in hospital to remove a kidney that seemed to have a mass. It was benign, but they didn't put my kidney back in :)! Then back for gamma knife radiation to brain. There are pieces of the original tumor still in my head, so I live with watchful waiting. My original surgeon said, "go out and live your life", but to me this was not helpful. I don't think he really knew what he was saying to me. How does one live a life that has been so profoundly altered!?! And that, Merry, is what spoke to me in your blog post. That you've been on that journey. I am searching for clues that will work for me. Thank you.

Dec 8, 2018 · Facing Cancer Recurrence, PTSD & Acknowledging Mental Health in Cancer: Managing Symptoms

I'm new to this social media connection. I just read your blog post. Thank you for writing. Your post feels helpful because I have felt so alone. And odd. Learning that others have thoughts/feelings/symptoms similar to mine is encouraging. I've had surgery for brain tumors including all the usual trauma that goes along with that, followed by 9 years of no symptoms but annual MRIs, followed by a s.u.r.p.r.i.s.e. recurrence and more surgery, followed by a feeling that I'm just flailing away at life these days. It's like the poem by Stevie Smith – I'm not waving, but drowning! I remember one of my original surgeons told me upon discharge from hospital to "go out and live your life" and I've been struggling with the "how?" I intend to explore PTSD. Thank you.