I submitted my last post to Yahoo Associated Content, and it was chosen for publication: Blindsided: Navigating a Post-Cancer Life.
I waffled about submitting it. On the one hand, would it be selling out, exploiting a very personal issue for the sake of benefitting my dreams of being recognized as a writer? On the other hand, it could help someone out there – someone dealing with similar issues and possibly feeling very alone. The latter won out; I really want to do my small part to raise awareness about the other side of cancer.
With advances in technology and medicine, more and more people are surviving cancer nowadays. That’s a very, very good thing. However, with the increasing survival rate, a sector of people is growing with unique issues that just aren’t talked about much. How to go on from cancer? How to pick up the pieces of a broken existence? How to mend hearts and psyches and families who have been bulldozed by cancer and cancer treatment?
The first, and perhaps most important step, I think, is to acknowledge it and talk about it.
Obviously, as I alluded to in that post, my own family is going through a very difficult time. It’s all rooted in the cancer Michael had two years ago, and the havoc it wreaked on our life long after the cancer was driven out of his body. For a long time, we just kept hoping that things would get better, that the pieces would fall back into place. But things continued to grow more and more difficult until we finally reached a breaking point. Things aren’t going to get better by themselves. There is help out there, but it requires a humbling of oneself, and reaching out. We are trying to pick up the pieces now, but it’s not easy.
If you or someone you care about is facing cancer, please be aware of the emotional impact of cancer, and the utter devastation it can inflict, not only on the cancer patient, but on everyone around them. There is help available, but you have to ask for it.