By Natalie Brown, as advised to Kendall Morgan
After I was recognized with stage IV lung most cancers at age 33, I needed to make numerous powerful choices rapidly, together with whether or not to freeze my eggs earlier than remedy began or not be capable to have youngsters. We determined to go forward with remedy instantly. To start with of remedy, I felt terrible. I used to be exhausted, and there was little I may 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 at first. 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 completely different. Generally, I can undergo remedy and it is like, “Hey, I’ve chemo.” Generally, 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 vitally tough to attempt to work and be on remedy on the similar time. If I’ve remedy on a Monday, I’ll do all I can as a result of by Wednesday or Thursday, I won’t really feel like strolling up the steps.
Emotionally, it’s all over. It is like a rollercoaster. Generally 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, in fact, however I desire a clear home once I’m in remedy. I rush round, cooking, cleansing, or ordering meals as a result of I received’t really feel like cooking. It’s numerous nervousness to ensure issues are excellent earlier than remedy. If I don’t get all of it executed, then I’ll attempt to do it within the week of remedy and it makes me extra fatigued. That’s when it will get irritating.
Generally 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 need to discuss 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 help by way of a mentoring program and on-line. I began seeing a therapist for the primary time in my life. I assumed at first I may deal with this with out skilled assist, however I couldn’t. Seeing a therapist has helped.
Numerous pals obtained 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 hearken to numerous music, particularly throughout remedy weeks. Sluggish, smooth music appears to assist a little bit bit. I take bubble baths, and I by no means did that earlier than. Enjoyable in a bath with candles. That helps rather a lot.
It’s important to give it time. I used to be not instantly in a position to speak about this the best way I’m now. I needed to take the time to digest the actual fact of most cancers after which I may share my story. Consciousness is extraordinarily vital, particularly in lung most cancers.
By all of it, I discover causes to rejoice. 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 rejoice everyone’s birthday. I rejoice scans. I had one a few weeks in the past that was actually good. I make certain to rejoice any little factor. Earlier than most cancers, I didn’t do this. I celebrated birthdays however to not the acute. Now, that’s tremendous vital to me. It doesn’t must be something huge. Any small scenario, I make it celebratory. This expertise has turned me right into a extra optimistic human. It sounds loopy. You’d assume the other. However I’m a lot extra optimistic in life than earlier than.