Tell me if any of this rings a bell…
The Beginning: Get up, find a lump, feel confused, panic inside, see the doctor, see a specialist, get a mammogram, see an oncologist, have an ultrasound, get an MRI, biopsy the lump, do it all over again and again and again, receive a breast cancer diagnosis, feel in shock, go home, make a plan, fall into bed and don’t fall asleep.
Breast cancer treatment affects more than just your body. It can take an incredible toll on your emotional well-being as well. You likely have a ton of anxiety about your treatments, and how it will affect your life moving forward. If you’re a mom, you’ve got to worry about how this will affect your kids and your family. A demanding job or the needed income is another added level of stress that can make a huge impact. Add all of this to the physical symptoms of treatment, like joint pain, it’s an understatement to say that it’s hard.
For Jenn Abbott, finishing treatment for breast cancer is like a flying trapeze. Having received her “NED” (no evidence of disease), she is in mid-air, no longer holding on to the bar that represents the medical team that saved her life, while at the same time, not yet catching the second bar that represents the rest of her life after cancer. She is in limbo, facing post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by her cancer treatment which included five surgeries and a severe adverse reaction to chemotherapy that meant she had to stay in the hospital for two weeks. She feels PTSD after cancer treatment is real.