Life after breast cancer: How long does it take to heal?

This week I learned a new term from the doctors that I thought was only associated with vehicles. They said

This week I learned a new term from the doctors that I thought was only associated with vehicles. They said I was flooded, just like an engine. For me that happened because of too many doctor’s appointments, too little sleep, too many life changes, too many needles/scans… too many stresses and worries all at the same time. Apparently this is a very common thing to have happen during recovery.

Sometimes I think my dear husband should trade me in on a new model. I know I have been really lucky to have his support. There is a very, very high divorce rate for women who go through breast cancer… close to 70 percent, I read in one of the many helpful little books on it. These poor guys in our lives, who watch from the sidelines and don’t know what to say, what to do, are scared too, and it’s a bit overwhelming for them. He was very lucky to have a squadron of guys and woman who provided all kinds of support and insights. His golf game also improved a little too! Something about giving those balls a major swat sure helped to blow off steam. I am glad he was able to do that.

I know there are many other women out there like me, who are recovering from all these treatments too. When I had my fifth chemo treatment, I got too much of the cocktail… and I literally watched my fingernails melt into my hands within a 24-hour period. Since then if there is more then one noise, e.g., people talking and a radio on, I find it really difficult to concentrate… it’s kind of like when someone has the volume too loud on the TV and you want to turn it down because it is bothersome… except I can’t. I never realized how noisy our world is. Makes you wonder, what did the chemo really do?

I have learned to live with these things, and feel lucky that I am able to manage around these difficulties. I guess what still surprises me is that healing takes longer then expected… and it’s hard to be patient. I celebrate every “new” thing that comes back to me. It’s been a over a year since my last treatment. I would never have believed anyone if they had told me it would take this long (or longer) to feel strong, and well again.

Life is good.

Jordan is a Best Health reader and guest blogger. Find links to all of her posts on the Breast Cancer Blog home page.

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