The Aftermath of Cancer: PTSD Awareness

Trauma goes beyond a life-threatening diagnosis. It's a mixture of the corrupt healthcare system and facing multiple unreliable professionals who make you question your sanity. It's doctors who misdiagnose and put you through more than what is necessary. A total of six so-called professionals is what traumatized me. I lost confidence in the medical community. 

There is a thing called PTSD. It does weird things to you like keeping your stress levels elevated, episodes of insomnia, short-term memory, and feeling like you can't protect yourself anymore because you are no longer in control of your emotions or fears. I continue to speak out about the aftermath of cancer because it needs to be talked about more. The weight of everything you endure finally catches up with your mind. 

The scariest moments of my life were going through extreme panic and believing, I mean truly believing, that I was about to die. My mind spiraled into complete chaos. It takes every bit of energy you have to fight those thoughts. You know you're irrational, but you can't control it. 

Having PTSD is a battle of rediscovery and learning to accept the things you cannot change. It's losing a part of yourself and redefining the meaning of life. 

I went from this carefree individual to a person, always on edge and overthinking. I became guarded and fearful of things that were out of my comfort zone. There is no going back to who you were before a cancer diagnosis. I lost myself amid a battle and didn't even realize it. Many cancer survivors suffer from guilt, PTSD, depression, anger, life-altering side effects, and toxicity of chemo that not only affects them physically but mentally and emotionally. It takes time to turn an unexpected trauma into strength and resilience. 

There is a healing process you must go through. It's normal to be sad, angry, and depressed. What you have witnessed is a lot to acknowledge, and don't let anyone convince you otherwise. You may feel guilt, but you still appreciate life. I call the aftermath of the "new normal." How we move on is also a part of our story. 

We have never been to war, in the line of fire, taken another person's life or worked in a place to witness horrible events. We just had something unexpected happen to us that changed the course of our life...

How is your "new normal?"