I'm reading a book called, "Danciing in Limbo" about the post treatment phase of survivorship. Some of this stuff hits the nail on the head and some of it is quite disturbing. It talks a lot about feeling a let down after treatment when the feelings being super motivated and stronger than the disease wear off. It suggests, strongly, that those feelings are just a defense mechanism. I think not. I agree that there's some strange emotional stuff going on after treatment, but I attribute it to having more time to focus on being scared, and having much of your support system reverting back to "normal" life while your life will never be quite normal again.
While I was in treatment, I had ups and downs, but a lot of the time I felt like superwoman. I believed I could beat the beast and I did. I felt like the strongest person in the world. I don't deny that I needed to feel that way, but I also believe it was real. If it wasn't, it wouldn't have happened. I was also spoiled rotten for the first time in my life, and had just about everyone I know TELLING me all the time how wonderful I was. I got to like that. It's not like they're ignoring me now, but I'm not sick any more and I'm not being pampered like I was. The party's over. Part of me kind of misses being the center of the universe and the most heroic person all my friends and family ever met. I think that's where my let down is coming from, in part. I'm just plain spoiled.
Then there's the fact that I do have more time to think about long term concerns and fear of recurrance. I WAS focused on remmission, and now that that's a done deal, years of uncertianty are looming ahead. I'm actually in a scarier place than I was before, and to everyone else I'm all better. This is the part that the book has absolutely right. I was in a couple of other life threating situations in my youth, but when they were over, they were over. I knew I was safe. Not this. This has that uncertianty factor we all have to cope with. Just as we think it's all over we're facing a new phase of emotional adjustment and our support people have no idea what it's all about. WE aren't even sure what it's about. We're supposed to be happy, but something feels off. We're not counting our blessings, we're losing sleep.
I think I'm gaining some insight into this, and my outlook is still positive, overall. I understand the heebie-jeebies. I expected that. My years as an oncology nurse taught me about that. The ex-spoiled rotten superwoman thing was not what I expected, though. I never thought I'd miss being a cancer patient.