What Being in Recovery for Cancer Really Means

When someone says they’re in ‘recovery’ for cancer, this is what they really mean.

Read the full transcript:

I’m in recovery for cancer.

But that doesn’t mean I’m better.  

What Being in Recovery For Cancer Really Means

Recovery means the ‘what if’s.’

What if I hadn’t gotten cancer?

What if the cancer comes back?

What if I’m not really ‘better?’     

What if my body is beyond repair?

What if people treat me differently?

It means unintentionally feeding a mental illness that fills up with terrible thoughts.

Maybe I deserved to get cancer.

Maybe next time I won’t be so lucky.

Maybe someone I love will get cancer.

Maybe I’m not as strong as I thought I was.

Maybe I’ll never get my shit together.

It means feeling guilty for surviving when others have not.

It means forever having emotional and physical scars.

It means constant checkups and accepting a new ‘normal.’

It means anxiously awaiting unknown test results.    

It means being prepared for what could happen again.

I may be in recovery for cancer,

But there is so much more going on.

Sometimes I need a helping hand to remind me of my strength

And that I can face whatever comes my way.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Cancer

10 Really Powerful and Amazing Things Cancer Taught Me

A woman diagnosed with breast cancer shares 10 powerful and amazing life lessons she learned from her cancer diagnosis. if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_GgKYK5Qo_F962XJnx_div').setup( {"playlist":"https:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/GgKYK5Qo.json","ph":2} ); Read the full version of 10 Really Powerful and Amazing Things Cancer Taught Me. Read the full transcript: 10 Really Powerful and Amazing Things Cancer Taught Me You can’t live scared. Surrender to [...]
Meghan McCain tweet feature

Meghan McCain Tweets About Dad John McCain's First Round of Chemo

On Friday, almost exactly one month to the day that it was announced her father Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was diagnosed with brain cancer, Meghan McCain tweeted that he had just completed his first round of radiation/chemotherapy: My father completed first round radiation/chemo. His resilience & strength is incredible. Fight goes on, here’s to small [...]
woman thinking sketch

When I Outgrew the 'Cancer Journey' Metaphor

I, too, used to look at my life as a “cancer journey.” There is nothing wrong with that. But at some point the metaphor started to work against me. I had outgrown it. Cancer terminology raises passion and debate. I used to talk and write a lot about my “the cancer journey.” I still use the [...]
Pencil sketch of two hands holding each other

7 Things Your Friend With Cancer Wants You to Do

People often wonder how they can help cancer patients and their families. Since you can’t take their cancer away, can you really make a difference? Yes, absolutely! Your friendship is significant, and the things you say and do will really matter to the patient and his or her family. So if you want to make [...]