Struggles After Cancer : The Reality of Moving On

So last night I couldn’t sleep.

1 : Because of this 2.5 week long cough that i’ve been having.

It’s been disrupting my sleep. I’ve gone through 2 cough meds, a whole bunch of supplements and lozenges.

I still have a cough.

It’s still disrupting my sleep.



2 : I was sad.


Because of how my body is after cancer. It started to change as soon as I started chemotherapy. On top of that, i’ve been on Tamoxifen since September 2015. At first, all I got was hot flushes and mood swings. After a year of being on it, other side effects popped up. My hair started to fall a lot. I craved sugar all the time. This year, it just got really bad.

I can go on and on about the side effects of tamoxifen, but different side effects affect people differently. It so happens that the side effects that i’m experiencing, effects the way I feel about myself as a woman.

I’m so angry at my body for making me learn about myself all over again. I’m angry at it for not being the way it used to. I’m frustrated that I have to always be patient, careful or justify to myself why my body is reacting the way it is. I’m sad that I have gone multiple doctors and pharmacists to treat a recurring yeast infection and it still comes back. I’m tired of crying because I feel less like myself and because I don’t know my own body.

I realize that a lot of people expect things to be all rainbows and sunshine for cancer patients after they’re done with treatment. However, the reality is that, dealing with life after cancer is equally as challenging. People always ask me :

“Ba, you’re so positive ! How do you do it?”

“OMG you’re so strong to carry on with life with just one breast !”

“You’ve gone through cancer, i’m sure you can go through anything !”


I’m NOT always a sunny positive person. I may put on a smile when i’m out with friends, but come home and break down in tears to my husband. I still look at myself in the mirror and feel sad that I only have one breast. I sometimes forget that I had a mastectomy done, and when I do realize it, it affects me. I still have my own set off challenges after cancer whether it’s with my emotions, my relationships or my health. It doesn’t mean that just because I have gone through cancer, that these challenges will seem small.

So what do I do?

  • I talk to someone. Whether it’s my husband, my close friends, my family or my doctors. Someone that i’m comfortable with sharing all the information with. Like this morning before my husband went to work, I didn’t dish out all my feelings because I wasn’t in the mood. All I said was “I’m not feeling okay, in my head” and he got the picture.
  • I pray. They don’t always work out the way I imagine because while i’m praying I cry my heart out and just end up soaking my telekung in tears. But it does help lighten the load on my heart when I cry.
  • I cry. Yes, I do. A lot. Sometimes with whoever i’m pouring my heart and soul out to. Sometimes, alone at 3am while my husbands snores fill the room (like last night). I don’t always let other people see me cry, but I do make it a point to tell someone (usually my husband) that I did cry and then we talk things through.

I always tell people that I have my down days. Today is one of those days. I’m at home in my Pjs, unwell and not in the mood. I’m sharing my tough day with you now because, everyone has days like this. Including me. It’s what makes me human, what makes all of us human.

And it’s OKAY.

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