I spent some time this evening in one of my on-line breast cancer support groups. This particular group has over 2,000 members. One breast cancer survivor shared how she has been cancer-free for seven years and was just diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I don’t know about you but when I hear of PTSD, I think of soldiers in the battlefield.
This woman’s physician described it as her body has been living in fear, anxiety and in anticipation of having to go to battle again. It is more than waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. The first thought that came to my mind was, “How exhausting.”
I am two years out as a breast cancer survivor. That’s two years of living with the possibility that the breast cancer could recur. There are times when the anxiety level goes up. This is especially true around the time of a follow up appointment. I am still having mammograms every six months.
Keeping the beast at bay is no easy task. You have to walk through the fear to get to the other side. I believe it is possible to distract ourselves and retrain our brains. It takes time and tenacity.
I have a choice. I can live in fear, dread and anticipation on a daily basis. Or, I can chose to live in love. I believe that love changes everything and breast cancer is no exception.