Moving on after cancer


Moving on after cancer

Dec. 21, 2017 | by Ashlinn Sarah Jane

Moving on after cancer has been both easier and harder than I thought it would be; 1, 3, 5, and now 7 years later.

On days when I don't think about it or it doesn't come up in conversation it's like it never happened at all, but on days when responsibilities seem too much to bare I take a trip back to the time when my health was my all-time priority and everything else could wait.

There is something powerful about putting school, work, socializing, and everything else to the back burner to focus on yourself and your own well-being. A time to heal is certainly a powerful time and one I often now forget to make the effort to take since I am going on 7 years post-diagnosis.

I feel like I have so much catching up to do on time wasted in treatment and working a part-time job just to "get the hang of things" again, especially when it comes to work.

Another place I have had a lot of setbacks is socially.

Having gotten rid of all my social media prior to getting physically ill, I lost touch with most all of my friends and it is still a struggle to round them up one-by-one, keep in touch and most importantly have relevant things to talk about.

On days when I struggle to get out of bed and make the effort to do anything in a day, it often does seem like the easier way out would have been to just die from cancer.

Losing my mother from it when I was 17 is a testament to this. She is not around to hear the heartbreaking news reports, she is not here for the tireless efforts in a revolution, and she is not here to keep up with ever evolving and upgrading technology.

Some days I really do think I could do without it all and of course there is that part of me that just wants to be where she is, even if that's in the great big lifeless void.

It's difficult to keep going.

These days cancer is so irrelevant to myself and my development that it often goes without mention, even though having run a half marathon and raised some-thousand dollars is such a big accomplishment for me that I don't think I'll ever venture to do it again.

And suddenly that huge milestone is over-shadowed by the milestone it is to get out of bed, get dressed, get out of the house, and put in a day's work.

To put in that same effort, to find that purpose, that drive, after facing death straight in the face and accepting that might be it, just like that, all over, is indeed a milestone to achieve.

We have treatments and for sure some people even find effective cures for their diseases but life is never quite the same after cancer, for a patient or caregiver.

The survivor's guilt of getting through my acute diagnosis, and not having my mum around with me, is indeed the hardest to get over, but I only hope that if you are a survivor it makes you live harder for those who don't make it and likewise if you're a caregiver you put in that little something extra to live life to the fullest in their memory.

That's all I'm trying to do,



side effects leukemia Identity

Ashlinn Sarah Jane

Ashlinn Sarah Jane

I survived leukemia at 21 through an anonymous donation of stem cells. After losing my mum to breast cancer at 17, my sister, a survivor of non-hodgkins lymphoma was there to help me through. Through my posts I hope to showcase an honest portrayal of battling cancer, while sharing my personal story and the issues that have been important to me.