After Treatment for Lymphoma, an Emotional Roller-Coaster

Emotions are a big part of this lymphoma survivor’s story.

When all else fails and I just need to pick and emotion, I choose gratitude.

Recently, my husband and I were sitting shoulder to shoulder at church on a Sunday morning. Within the span of a 45-minute service, I got the giggles, cried and then got the giggles again. Scott finally said, “I don’t care if you laugh or cry. Just pick an emotion!”

Pick an emotion? Just one? It sounds easy, but after the year I’ve had, finding my emotional center is proving to be a challenging task.

At this time last spring, I was diagnosed with lymphoma. Over the next six months, I focused my energy like a laser on getting through treatment and getting better. Luckily, I did. I’m a lymphoma survivor. And I’m grateful every day to be alive.

Emotional Ups and Downs

The joy I felt when I achieved remission was like nothing else I’d experienced. I was so high from it at first that I naively assumed every day after would be a celebration. But as time marched on, some other emotions surfaced that I wasn’t expecting.

Like fear that my cancer would come back. Frustration with planning my life around a possible relapse. Sadness that my husband and I may not be able to have a family. Jealousy that other people were free of the anxiety I felt about my health. My daily life was back to normal, but my emotional state was clearly not.

Getting a Handle on My Feelings

I could usually identify my feelings, like fear or frustration, but there were also times when I had emotional outbursts for no apparent reason. Getting the giggles at inappropriate moments, crying at TV commercials, and irrationally nit-picking my poor husband were daily occurrences.

It wasn’t until I saw a flyer for a cancer support group addressing the contradictory emotions of cancer survivors that I realized this was a thing and it was normal.

Now Wiser – and Calmer

A year later, I’ve finally figured out that cancer has just widened the spectrum of my emotions. My highs are higher, and my lows are lower. Every feeling I have in between is allowed.

I’ve slowly figured out how to pull myself back to the center of the spectrum when I need to. This includes being honest with the people around me, practicing yoga and having as much fun as possible. Plus sharing, as many others have done, on a CaringBridge website.

When all else fails and I just need to pick and emotion, I choose gratitude.

What’s Your Story?

Have you had a life changing experience like Lyndsay’s? We’d love to hear about what you went through, and how you handled the feelings that came with it. Please share with us.

Comments (3)

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Peg and Joe Oreskovich Jun 09, 2013 4:12am
We think of you/Andrew every day.The day isn't complete for us until we read what your day has been like. We pray for you and your family as you all go through this difficult time. Keep believing for your recovery. When your day has been terribly long and difficult, know that God is right by your side. When you can't walk hand in hand with our LORD know that is when God will carry you. We pray that God has assigned your guardian angel to watch over you. Love and support always, Joe and Peg Oreskovich.
Karen and Mel May 19, 2013 2:44pm
Hi Lyndsay, I loved reading you blog and so glad you are doing well. We continue to pray for you and think of you often. Have a great summer and think positive. Love, Mel and Karen
carrie graybill May 11, 2013 1:11pm
This meant alot to me . . . there used to be a mini rollercoaster at an amusement park near me and it was called The Wild Cat . . . that's been my ride lately!