In Part 1 of these essays, I described what posttraumatic stress felt like to experience, and in Part II, I described the various things that I did to cope with and recover from it. In this final essay, I'm sharing the things that I've done to manage my life after suffering from posttrauamtic stress after cancer.
This is Part II of my three part series of essays on my struggles with post-traumatic stress after cancer. In Part I described what the whole experience felt like, and in this part I'm sharing the story of all that I did to cope with and overcome it, and all of the wonderful people that helped me get there. Fighting cancer was the easy part. Recovering from PTS after cancer is so much harder, because at first you have no idea who or what you're fighting against, only to realize it's you.
I thought I had been doing so well after cancer. I had a new job and was back to life and living, but little did I know just how wounded I was inside. The stress of cancer survivorship started getting the better of me. A cancer warrior friend had died, and other friends of mine were experiencing recurrences. I had strange pains in my body, and thought for sure that my cancer was back, and that I was next. I had done so well for so long, but was so spooked and simply fell to pieces just short of two years after my cancer diagnosis.
I arrived at work on a seemingly ordinary day on Thursday, May 21st, but found myself unable to think or concentrate at all. I felt a lot of nervous energy and anxiety building, but didn't know why. I had also started having cancer-related nightmares in the previous week, as if to predict something rotten coming. It turned out that this particular day was my last two days of chemotherapy, four years ago, and I remember those days all too well.