Normal Life

I spent the last year fighting for the chance for my life to get back to normal. For this cancer to be gone and for things to be the way they always were. Problem is, it’s just not possible.

I spend every day struggling. I didn’t realize how much had changed for me in this last year. So much beyond the cancer.

I always had issues with anxiety, depression, eating. Now they are worse than ever before. I lost a lot of weight when I was on chemo and because of surgery but I am gaining it back rapidly now that I can eat again. And I try to exercise but it’s not the same as being just out of shape and deciding to exercise. So many parts of my body were affected by the way I had to live my life this last year. My legs are so weak, my lungs don’t have the capacity they used to. And I endure terrible back pain if I try to do any exercise more strenuous than walking.

I have always understood how important a healthy diet is. I have read a great deal about how much more important a healthy diet is for someone with cancer. I have also struggled a great deal following through on this. I am grateful for the people who were there to support me through this terrible year but as far as they are concerned, I am cancer free and everything is over, but I feel like I need their support even more than before. I don’t have the strength to do this alone.

All this just brings me to the depression. I feel like a failure. I feel like everything I fought for this past year was for nothing if I can’t be better than I was. I know I am beating myself up but I just can’t stop it.

I don’t mean to whine about my life. I realize how unbelievably lucky I am to be here. No cancer and best case scenario of a worst case situation. I guess what worries me most is that the cancer will come back and I won’t have done anything to prevent it. I might even have caused it.

I want to record my story in this space. I want to talk about the bad and also the good. I don’t want to forget and I hope to maybe inform a few other people about colon cancer at the same time.

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One Response to Normal Life

  1. Jen,
    First off, you’re not alone. I’m about to complete my final chemo treatment on Wednesday and have found wonderful support from the folks at the Colon Cancer Alliance. I’m not sure if you’ve checked them out. If not, go to They host an online chat weekdays from noon – 1pm EST. Some days we chat and laugh and be silly, and other days it’s helping folks through their struggles. Nothing is off limits there. If you haven’t, please join us.
    Second, I’d recommend not trying to conquer everything at once, i.e. exercise and diet. Perhaps start with taking a 15 minute walk 5 days a week and eliminating just one “unhealthy” food from your diet. Do those two, small things for as long as you’re ready to add to the list (longer walks etc.). I’ve been lucky enough to be able to do some power walks on the treadmill most days, but that’s just me. I think giving yourself no more than 2 small goals at a time will build your confidence which will help you greatly. Best of luck and good health to you.


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