Sunday, March 30, 2008
Last week I took a week off from chemotherapy to celebrate Easter and regain strength for the last few weeks of chemotherapy. I noticed that I've been feeling more emotional lately, about the experience of cancer, toward personal relationships, and even in response to television shows and news stories.
Other cancer survivors have warned me that the period after treatment can be harder emotionally than treatment itself. The common belief, I think, is that one has to act strong and determined to tolerate the stress of treatment. After treatment, patients let their guard down and all the repressed feelings resurface. My increased emotion could be anticipation of finishing treatment and greater openness from discussing the experiences in support groups.
But this week as another dose of chemo builds in my system I feel the emotional numbness and detachment returning. I think now that it may in fact be another aspect of chemobrain. Just as memory, concentration, and agility are gummed up by therapeutic poisons, maybe emotion is too.
I have been looking forward to regaining my full intellectual abilities after two long years of chemotherapy. It will be interesting to see how my emotional state could change with recovery too.