It has been six years since I began therapy, and three years since I walked away from the scans and appointments. My unique prognosis was 5 years, ten with the trial; I’m on six years. As far as I do know, my most cancers is presently dormant, a phrase many with an incurable illness desire over “remission,” as remission is usually heard as “cure.” I presently don’t have any outward indicators of the illness. But there’s the rub: I’ll by no means be with out my lymphoma, and I’ll by no means be myself once more.
My hair, eyebrows, and lashes have grown again, my pores and skin not peels, and the boils on my face and head are gone. But what folks don’t see is what haunts me each day.
I’m fraught with exhaustion, fatigue so nice that I nap nearly each day. This just isn’t the tiredness you get from staying up previous bedtime. This is the slack-jaw, I must sleep now sort of feeling that surpasses every thing else–work, play, household, and leisure. Because of my fatigue, I’ve issue sustaining a traditional work life. I want a settee in my workplace to relaxation on, or entry to the mom’s nursing room down the corridor to put down, or recently, the flexibility to do business from home to sleep throughout my lunch hour. My social life doesn’t exist previous 7 p.m.
I’ve persistent joint ache from the consequences of the trial drug. There are occasions once I want strolling aids to help me on account of ache and irritation. I’ve additionally skilled points with stability, which I’ve since gone to rehab to work on.
The chemo mind, a fog that has lived with me for years now, is a continuing companion that swirls by way of my ideas like smoke, clouding my short-term recollections and scrambling my phrases. This makes the best of duties typically overwhelming: Grocery purchasing, interacting with folks, or retelling tales.
And then there’s the trio of hysteria, PTSD, and survivor’s guilt which are connected to me like a shadow. Anxiety is the most important of the three. After all, the physique that also homes me has betrayed me as soon as. It will certainly do it once more. The realization that I undergo from PTSD didn’t manifest till I reached my terminable date–5 years, and I realized that just about each different particular person on the trial with me had both handed or relapsed. Why haven’t I? When will I? Cue the nervousness. Now, I hyper-panic over every thing, certain that every hangnail, bruise, or hiccup is the beast’s return.
The survivor’s guilt is maybe essentially the most advanced and complicated. Most folks don’t perceive why I might expertise guilt for nonetheless being alive and thriving. But, you see, MCL is so harsh it’s one among only some cancers on the listing of compassion disabilities that enables for incapacity advantages. However, I nonetheless work a full-time job and by no means required incapacity, whereas so many different folks in my place did. I’ve not relapsed, whereas practically all have. I’m nonetheless extremely functioning, whereas so many have died. By all accounts, I’m doing miraculously. But inside, I’m a catastrophe.