Around 6 months ago, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma. It was the most traumatic time of my entire life. I wasn’t in any support groups, I had no idea what to expect, and my cancer center didn’t give much advice. I had no idea about all of the crazy things that were happening to my mind and body. I spent almost 3 weeks in the hospital because my disease was so intense, and that’s where I began chemo.
I’ve received so many messages lately from people on Instagram through out the world, that have just been diagnosed. I’m going to be real with you and tell you that the beginning is by far going to be the worst time of your entire life. You’re going to be depressed, anxious, scared, in pain, and you won’t know how you will make it through. I didn’t know how I would make it through. 6 months later, I’m here, just finished radiation and chemo, and I’m still standing. I made it through. If you can make it through chemo, you can make it through anything.
The most traumatic part is going to be losing your hair. That’s when it’s all going to become very real. You won’t be able to sleep, and probably all you will do is cry. You’ll cry because you feel like your world is falling apart, and it is..but at the end of the day, it will be falling apart in a good way. Next, you will be in pain from chemo and have serious side effects. During cycle 3 of my treatment, I couldn’t write anymore because my neuropathy was so bad from the Vincristine and Procarbazine, and I could barely walk. They had to get removed from my last two cycles. Rest assured that although chemo sucks, you will learn to manage the side effects. And you will learn quickly.
The most important thing that I can tell you is that you have to take it day by day, and soon..it will be over. But you have to keep going. You can’t allow yourself to become a victim. Having cancer not only destroys your life, but it also destroys the lives of your family and friends. It affects everyone around you, and you need to learn to be strong for the people around you also, not just for yourself. It’s about you, but at the same time, it’s not always about you.
In these months, you will learn who your true friends are, and you will learn very fast. These will be the people visiting you, lifting you up, calling you, texting you, and trying to make you feel as normal as possible. They will constantly be checking in. There will also be people that reach out to you to make themselves feel better for being shitty people in the past. Old friends. Ex boyfriends, etc. If they don’t sound sincere, don’t bother with them, they are no longer part of your life for a reason, and I had no shame in blocking these people, because you cannot afford to have any more stress. None at all. There will also be people that you thought would support you during your crazy journey, and are nowhere to be found. You’ll laugh at these people when you’re done with chemo, because most of them are losers that you could literally run circles around. Sorry for the harsh words, but #fact.
Take these months to focus on yourself, and learn who you really are and what kind of person you want to be, because at the end of the day, cancer teaches you that. Everything happens for a reason. I can’t tell you the reason you have cancer, doctors can’t tell you, but I truly believe that maybe there was something in your life that needed a change, maybe you needed a wake up call. I got mine, and I got it real quick. I learned very fast. You will do. Don’t ask yourself “why me?” Every day. Because the real question is why NOT you? God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. Fact.
Within these few months, you will learn to enjoy the little things in life, like spending time with your family and friends, going for walks, hanging out with your pets, and just smelling the fresh air. You will have a new outlook on life, and even just being alive will be enough for you. You will learn what is really important. Let me tell you that this is one of the best things cancer teaches us, because I know people who have everything in life, but are still miserable. Knowing the importance of life and living in the moment is one of the most amazing things that this journey will teach you.
It’s okay to cry every now and then, but you have to keep going. That’s the most important thing that I can tell you. I’ve been through it all within the last 6 months, and documented the majority of it. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions, or just need someone to talk to. That’s exactly why I started this blog! To help others help themselves 🙂
I can be reached via Instagram (jessdecris) or if you want to email me, there is a contact me option on my page as well.
Til next time! 🙂
Find my book “Talk Cancer To Me” available at amazon here: