So when your cancer treatment finishes, you can carry on with life as usual, right? But what if you don’t recognise the person you have become? What if you are not sure any more what life ‘as usual’ means any more. What if the rollercoaster of diagnosis, and chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy has stripped you of your confidence, your identity, maybe your job and relationship?
There is a Zen saying ‘No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man’ , and for so many people the end of their cancer treatment is the start of the new life that no-one is prepared for. And once the medics have finshed messing with your body, fear can really mess with your head too.
Depression is unfortunately all too common after treatment finishes, some people will be expecting to punch the air, and wear their ‘ cancer survivor’ mantle with pride. But what if you don’t feel like a survivor? What if dealing with the complexities of life is just too overwhelming? Kathy Bates, the Oscar winning actress spoke openly about her struggles, and I admire her for this.
Too many times we hear that depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses are not spoken about. Is this healthy?
Suicide is in the press today, due to the tragic death of Gary Speed, a fit and apparently successful man with a loving family. His loved ones are in my prayers tonight, and all the other people in similar circumstances, I really hope the Samaritan campaign to prevent suicide will be given more air time, sometimes we really do need to talk.