Transitions

Transitions

I am an ovarian cancer survivor!!! That is a great statement to make. I am proud to make such a statement...and I do believe it. However, as life reminds us daily...there is always a "however"....Transitions of cancer is what I think of..... I survived....I'm glad for that, but it took a toll. One that I did not think changed me but it did. I had seven months of treatment starting in April. I adjusted.....I learned about ovarian cancer, chemo treatments, side effects of treatment, mortality rates, change in diet, attitude adjustments, survival rates, and many more learning aspects. I survived nausea, hair loss, fatigue, loss of normal activities, loss of normal thoughts, loss of intimacy, loss of the life I knew before. I am now in recovery...recovery of what? I can hardly remember what life is like without the big "C" in the forefront of my mind. I still see cancer every time I look in the mirror. It could be me with a scarf or me without and have a tiny thin hair. More hair than I have seen in months, but not the hair I remember. My perspective on life is different. I can't quite describe the change, but it is there. I am now waiting to return to what I feel is a norm, but also knowing that norm is gone. Transitions are troublesome, and I know, take time to evolve.

So dear teal friends, many of you have been through these transitions...any thoughts or wise advice? How do you feel sexy again? How do you readjust and love life and begin to experience life fresh without always comparing it to life with cancer?

9 Replies

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  • That's very thought-provoking Kim. Looking at your picture I think your Ovarian Cancer has knocked you sideways.

    For me laughter is good medicine and also a fair dose of 'head in the sand' helps it along. I'm not going to make a transition until I haven't got the energy to do anything else. To be honest my love-life is better than ever because we've been through such an upheaval and are ploughing on together in even greater unity. If anything life is better too because having cancer has reminded me that it's limited and therefore it is all the more precious. Your post made me reflect and I agree everything has taken on a different perspective but it seems to me it's a better and more wholesome perspective. I never understood the 60's existentialism but in hindsight it's a helpful way of thinking. I'm not going to dream about returning to a 'norm' because norm is where I am right now.

    This is very thought-provoking stuff early in the morning. xxx love Annie

  • Hi Kim

    Got to agree with Annie. My relationship with my husband has become even stronger. My illness was very much a "we are in this together" thing. As regards the love life, I had a very useful post treatment appointment with my Cancer Services nurse when we discussed everything. Cuddling each other is a great thing. We didn't put any pressure on each other to get back to "normal" and just made gradual progress. The first time we "went the whole way" we were both like fumbling teenagers, but it got easier every time. (We are having a temporary drought at the moment as I'm getting over my recent op and have my catheter in, though Mr Citrine says he could cope with that :) (Apologies if this is too much information.)

    I'd spent such a long time wearing comfy clothes, jumpers & jeans. In late April I suddenly felt the need to wear pretty clothes again. That made one hell of a difference as far as feeling sexy again was concerned. I felt more like the me I remember. I still miss my old hair style to be honest but have had a good trendy cut with highlights and lowlights so I can live with it.

    Cancer has changed me as a person. I no longer waste energy getting anxious about trivial things. I live in the moment, and I'm more gobby than I was before. Of course, we all have this question about what might or might not happen in the future. My oncologist told me to live my life on the basis that the cancer wouldn't come back otherwise I would be paralysed. I know no one can promise that it won't but adopting this attitude has helped me to make the most of the life I have.

    Give yourself time and be gentle with yourself. Praise yourself for all the courage you have shown getting through the gruelling treatment. Treat yourself and find distractions when you start to worry.

    Sending you love and hugs

    Mary xxx

  • Dear Kim

    Your post really made me think about all these labels that are put on us. They all seem to carry so much baggage.

    Some people call themselves warriors. I don't think we are so much warriors as the battleground and all we can do in that situation is try to be a battleground that provides the advantage to the medics rather than the disease, in other words take as good care of ourselves and be as positive as we can.

    This may just be me but in the term 'survivor' I find a bit too much of both 'aren't I wonderful' and smiling martyrdom attitudes. It's hard to explain really, but it does make me feel slightly uncomfortable. And if I stay disease free how long do I keep the label?

    So I now just try to think of myself as someone who has had OC and is now in remission (hopefully 'cured') and just living life in the best way I know how. And that'll have to do.

    Lots of love

    Linda xx

  • Hello Kim63

    Feeling and being sexy has little to do with what you look like, which is fortunate as 90% of the population would be in a perpetual drought if it were! Just get on with it.

    Enjoy

    Christinexx

  • Hi Kim

    I'm with you all the way with your feelings. I think having lost all of your hair is extremely

    shattering for some ladies...me for one. Everyone always told me how lovely my hair

    looked...now its a complete mess!! I don't know how I will ever be able to grow it long

    again and am still wearing my wig and hats after finishing chemo in May.

    As for ever feeling sexy again....don't know the answer to that one....let me know when

    you find out. I have a very loving husband who is very caring...but the intimate bit isn't the same as before OC op.

    I wasn't able to go back to work on the advice of my Oncologist...and also I now

    realise my job would be too much for me to deal with now so I am stuck at home all day

    which I don't like.

    On the positive side I'm looking forward to next year .....when we will all be feeling

    much better and readjusted to our new lives..and hopefully blowdrying my hair once

    again.

    Take care

    Angie xx

  • Hi Kim

    It's boring but I agree with the other comments. Since having cancer I have become less worried about upsetting people, more aware of what is precious in my life, especially my husband! I hope the following is not TMI but we have a better sex life than ever these days, sometimes a bit lazier and laid-back! I had HRT implants, which had testosterone in them and I know that, when I had these in my body, I felt really charged-up. Sex was better than ever. I think you can get testosterone products (gels/tablets) in the US? It may be worth asking your cancer nurse about this. It may also be worth asking for some support in getting past the present feelings you are having. However, it is early days yet. Your body and your emotions will have taken quite a hammering. Treat yourself to facials, massages, a new hairdo and a few treats. A walk a day, even if just a little way is a wonderful way of connecting with nature, especially if you follow the suggestions in the 'mindfulness' way of thinking. Be patient. You have done so well already. All the best

    Love Wendy xx

  • hello lovely ladies,

    i was waiting for post like this, nobody talks about love life after hysterectomy and nobody tell you what changes to expect. well, not in my case.

    i cant have HRT,my sexual drive is very low, big change for me because i used to be very active. feel my life is kind of over anyway, i have menopause least 25 years earlier and i feel like that too. my husband couldn't keep up with my needs before diagnosed with OC but now is totally different matter. very upsetting and wish i could be as before.....but don't we all? ... sorry for my moan....

  • Read fifty shades of grey....it might get your mind in the right place! Kim

  • Thanks everyone...all good thoughts for me to ponder on. Again transitions to life and daily thoughts! Km

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