By Natalie Brown, as instructed to Kendall Morgan
Once I was identified with stage IV lung most cancers at age 33, I needed to make numerous powerful choices shortly, together with whether or not to freeze my eggs earlier than remedy began or not be capable of have children. We determined to go forward with remedy instantly. At first of remedy, I felt terrible. I used to be exhausted, and there was little I might do. It took time to come back to phrases with the analysis. How I really feel mentally nonetheless modifications day after day.
Total, the emotional impression and expertise hasn’t been what I anticipated to start with. I did not count on remedy to go the best way that it’s going. It’s going surprisingly nicely for stage IV, so let’s begin there. However I say emotionally, each remedy is totally totally different. Typically, I can undergo remedy and it is like, “Hey, I’ve chemo.” Typically, it is like, “Oh my gosh, I can not imagine I’ve lung most cancers. I can’t imagine I’m having to place poison in my physique.”
I’ve to change my life round remedy. I’ll do as a lot as I can earlier than the medication kicks in. I nonetheless work and it is extremely tough to try to work and be on remedy on the identical time. If I’ve remedy on a Monday, I’ll do all I can as a result of by Wednesday or Thursday, I may not really feel like strolling up the steps.
Emotionally, it’s all over. It is like a rollercoaster. Typically you’re up and generally you’re down. It is a complicated mixture of feelings with remedy each 3 weeks. I do know I’ll be down for per week, so I’ll hurry and stress. I’ll make certain all the garments are washed. My husband helps, after all, however I desire a clear home once I’m in remedy. I rush round, cooking, cleansing, or ordering meals as a result of I gained’t really feel like cooking. It’s numerous anxiousness to ensure issues are good earlier than remedy. If I don’t get all of it accomplished, then I’ll try to do it within the week of remedy and it makes me extra fatigued. That’s when it will get irritating.
Typically I simply shut down. Two therapies in the past, I cried and cried as a result of I used to be so fatigued to the purpose the place I couldn’t imagine I used to be having to cope with this. I cried the entire week. I didn’t wish to speak to anybody or get on social media. I went right into a funk. It occurs periodically. You’re simply so drained. The fatigue weighs on you probably the most, irrespective of how a lot you sleep.
To assist with the feelings, I discovered assist by way of a mentoring program and on-line. I began seeing a therapist for the primary time in my life. I believed at first I might deal with this with out skilled assist, however I couldn’t. Seeing a therapist has helped.
Quite a lot of buddies acquired me books. I attempted studying them, however I’d learn 20 pages and I simply couldn’t do it. I began listening to podcasts and that’s higher for me. These appear to assist. I take heed to numerous music, particularly throughout remedy weeks. Gradual, delicate music appears to assist slightly bit. I take bubble baths, and I by no means did that earlier than. Stress-free in a bathtub with candles. That helps lots.
You need to give it time. I used to be not instantly in a position to discuss this the best way I’m now. I needed to take the time to digest the actual fact of most cancers after which I might share my story. Consciousness is extraordinarily essential, particularly in lung most cancers.
By way of all of it, I discover causes to have fun. I’m turning 35 this 12 months. It’s one other birthday, however it’s additionally one other 12 months celebrating that I’m nonetheless right here. I have fun all people’s birthday. I have fun scans. I had one a few weeks in the past that was actually good. I make certain to have fun any little factor. Earlier than most cancers, I didn’t try this. I celebrated birthdays however to not the intense. Now, that’s tremendous essential to me. It doesn’t need to be something huge. Any small scenario, I make it celebratory. This expertise has turned me right into a extra constructive human. It sounds loopy. You’d suppose the alternative. However I’m a lot extra constructive in life than earlier than.