Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - 6

Survivorship

I

COVID-19

What Fresh Start?
BY L ISA OR R

f I'm being completely honest, 'survivor' is still a term I struggle with.
Something I often ask myself is: will I always feel this way? Is it hard for me
to accept this term because the wounds are still so fresh? The mental battle
that occurs within me daily is almost more difficult than the emotional
and physical toll the nine months of treatment took. Why? Because I knew
that we were actively fighting the beast during those nine months. We were doing
everything we could to keep it at bay. I was being checked in on by medical professionals and checked in on by friends and family.
These days, with the current state of the world due to COVID-19, I almost
feel as though I have to beg to be seen by my doctors. My check-ins post treatment have been cancelled, my first scans after treatment have been delayed
even longer than I originally wanted them to be. Every day there is something
new that I am anxious about... a twinge in my left arm, a random pain when I
take a deep breath, a 'new' lump I feel or has that been there my whole life? It
is a daily struggle. A daily battle. But you know what? I must remind myself
that I can have, and will have, 'normal' health related issues for the rest of
my life. Right now, I am here. Right now, I am breathing, and I get to see my
boys grow, hug my loved ones (virtually, of course), and make plans for the
future when life is "normal" again.
"Normal." Another word I struggle with. As a cancer survivor, there are a
lot of things that I have come to realize may never feel normal again. I wish
I could say that a day has gone by where I haven't said the dreaded "c" word,
or where it hasn't crossed my mind in some way. Not only are there the physical tolls that cancer took, but the mental and emotional struggles feel more
daunting most of the time. I have come to realize that the only thing we can
do is take life one day at a time... which truly isn't bad advice for anyone right
now, cancer survivor or not.

6

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
JUNE 2020

The current state of the world is
oddly familiar feeling for a cancer
patient and/or survivor. 2020 was
supposed to be my fresh start, instead it is a tornado of fear, anxiety
and trying to keep a level head for my
kids. It is all feeling eerily recognizable to this exact time last year. It's
triggering. It gives me flashbacks to
treatment days, feelings of frustration
of having to isolate like I did when I
was severely immunocompromised.
The only positive spin to it, as crazy
as it is to say, is that I'm not alone in
it this time. I'm not the only one who
can't go somewhere out of fear that
someone may be sick. I'm not the only
one who worries about something
new pertaining to health every single
day. The feeling that we truly are all
in this together is comforting.
Both fighting cancer and embracing my survivorship have been different while raising my two kids. Not
only am I responsible for my own
physical and mental health, but every
waking moment of my day is spent


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Elephants And Tea - June 2020

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Contents
Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - 1
Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - Contents
Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - 3
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