The Cancer Survivor's Evolution: You're not alone
At the beginning of a new year, a client will often say to me “I should make resolutions but I usually fail to follow through, and then I feel bad about myself”
She is suffering because she wants more than a resolution can offer.
She wants a life that is fuller and richer than before she had cancer. Yet, she feels she can’t talk or think about her frustrations, because she believes she should feel grateful and optimistic all the time.
She’s usually surprised when I reassure her, “You’re not alone. In fact, many cancer survivors often feel this way”.
I explain that she's going through a predictable transition process for cancer survivors that is integral to their evolution. The transition has three different stages, which I define as the following:
I comfort her and let her know that she's in the middle 'Disillusionment' period, when many suffer from confusion, frustration, and depression. And that, while each stage poses its own set of challenges, this stage has many hurdles.
It is by far the toughest to get through on your own.
If you or a loved one is experiencing confusion or depression in your post-treatment period, realize that:
It’s normal for the glow of gratitude to dim.
It’s okay to question the meaning of your cancer.
It’s okay to feel dissatisfied.
Know that you are going through a predictable period of transition and that is part of your personal evolution.