In the Air!

In the Air!
400 feet above the ground in Orlando.

Florida

Florida
Taking my first step towards a new life.

Virginia

Virginia
Spending an afternoon at Marymount during my internship!

My rocks!

My rocks!
Wouldn't be where I am without my parents!

Graduation

Graduation
Walking for my Masters. An interesting book end as this all started when I graduated from undergrad!

Awesome Nurses!

Awesome Nurses!
After my port removal and saying goodbye to my chemo nurses before moving away from Michigan. Wouldn't be doing that without them!

Hair again!

Hair again!
Growing longer each day

Last Chemo

Last Chemo

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Silliness

Silliness
Something to remember and return to. A good day!

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

My New Normal Days 27 & 28. PTSD is Real

Three years ago I was going through chemo.  That comes to mind still very vividly and when it does all I can think of is "what if it comes back?"  As soon as that thought crosses my mind its very hard to not relive everything that happened.  It's really frightening and overwhelming when it happens because in that moment I am back in the infusion room, laying in bed feeling like my life was just not ever going to be the same.  A year ago I spent some time talking to a counselor about this and some other things.  One of the things I was told was that these flashbacks are not out of the ordinary for someone with PTSD.

When I heard that I actually didn't know what to think.  And it has taken me a year to completely be able to accept that I do have PTSD.  I felt that something like this was too big for what I had gone through.  In my mind PTSD was associated with what soldiers have to deal with after going to war.  They made such large sacrifices and I sat in a chair with an IV in my port.  A year later though, I actually find some comfort in know there is a reason I can't push the fear away all the time and the memories are so incredibly vivid.

I know I don't have it as bad as so many others who have gone through all of this.  But I also know that it is often hard to accept.  And it isn't something I think is talked about that much.  I had a moment hit me recently and I was just standing in the bathroom swishing Listerine and suddenly all I could think about was how I couldn't use it during treatment and the next thing I know, it all came flooding back!  I started to freak out and breath hard and cry uncontrollably!  I was back in the hospital and then the infusion room and everything seemed to come back all in a few seconds!  Thankfully I was able to turn to a friend who just let me talk until I calmed down.

The odd thing is, I can talk about what I went through with a complete stranger and have absolutely no reaction.  But when I'm alone the most random thing seems to trigger these moments.  They aren't often, thank goodness, but I think its something we need to talk about more so these moments maybe won't be so scary knowing others are going through it too.

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