Tuesday, 4 September 2012

{ Young Survivors NZ }

The moment where you look at yourself in the mirror and smile because you actually recognize the person staring back at you.

Yeah. That has been happening a lot lately.

My body feels good.

Weight and hair is returning to the places it went missing from and it feels fantastic.
Granted my showers are longer and shaving is a hassle - I am not complaining!

The effects from chemo are disappearing fast and I have to say that I am enjoying looking in mirror again.

The only things that remain that remind me of my last few months, are a couple of burn scars and they are things that I will probably always have. Its good to have a wee reminder catch your eye every so often.

Reminding you of what has passed and how far you have come.

I am happy to report that my period has also returned. Within a couple of months of finishing treatment is pretty awesome - especially when my Doctor said that it can take up to a year sometimes for it to come back. I am taking this as a massive good sign. Potentially might not need our frozen babies.....Quite weird to think about really. I almost feel guilty for the little guys and girls. Not wanting to get to a head of myself of course!! You never know what can happen.

I was talking to my doctor about people who have IVF babies and they said that they heard of a guy that felt so bad leaving frozen embryo's and eggs behind that they had them all! In our case that it completely out of the question. That would mean the potential of 10 children...Almost a rugby team. Not happening.

It will be interesting to see how things go in that department when the time comes though.

The one thing I am struggling with is life. I have suppressed it for so long. Trying to pretend that I am not struggling.

Why? Because I feel guilty for struggling with NOT having Cancer, when there are people who would give anything to be in my shoes.

But seriously. Its flippen hard. And I finally cracked. Tears with my Mummy.

The problem I have finally figured is that mentally, I cant motivate myself to move on and while everyone tells me that its ok and to take as much time as I need - I cant help but feel stupid for feeling the way I do.

I expected to be flying after treatment. Moving forward.

The thing I have realised is I cant move forward until I accept what I have been through because I will always hit the wall at some point if I dont. I seem to be taking two steps forward and then 20 steps backwards..

I havent wanted people knowing that I am struggling because I am too proud. I know I am. I also feel the need to be brave all the time and ignore what my heart is telling me.

My reasoning for talking about it now? Because I know that every single Cancer survivor out there will go through this at some point and I want to let people know that it is normal and it is ok.

I also want to raise an important issue. Support after treatment.

When you are diagnosed, you are instantly surrounded by support. You gain an awesome doctor, kick arse nurses and you generally just float along on a cloud of support.

Once you get the all clear, there is no manual on how to cope. You have to make your way into the world where everyone moves a million miles an hour - while you are still going at a snails pace because thats the only way your mind can function.

I believe that there is a massive gap in the support offered to people after treatment.

Now dont get me wrong. I have always and will always say that the hospital staff, my Nurse, Doctor and the people at The Cancer Society do an amazing job. They are really incredible people.

I just feel there needs to be something set up for a Cancer survivor. I personally believe that it should be mandatory for Survivors to go through a few sessions with a Counselor. I know your nurses and doctors say that you can get in touch with them at any time but they have people who are sick, that need their help. I would feel like I was robbing them of time they need to be spending with Cancer Fighters.

There needs to be something completely different set up for after treatment. People who know what its like and can help you through it.

It almost needs to be offered instantly. I never thought that I would be feeling like this and asking for help can often be half the issue for people.

What you have been through is MASSIVE. You might think you are ok but it can take a while for the problems to surface.

The point of this post is that a wonderful lady has started to do something about it. A lovely lady by the name of Monica has set up a Facebook group for Young Woman Survivors. A private place where you can go to vent and get support from people who know what you are going through.

So if you are under 45, a Woman, live in New Zealand and are a Cancer Survivor - please dont hesitate to contact me so I can add you to the page. You can email me: andrea.seymour.photography@gmail.com or simply visit the page here.

For now I am just going to keep taking each day as it comes.

Except I am going to remember to take the time to remember what I am grateful for.

Also take the time to do one thing each day that I enjoy.

I have said it before but I need to remember it myself.

Its ok to not be ok.

Keep on Keeping on.


  1. Oh you are such a star Andrea. Thank you. And you are so doing the right thing. Loads of love.

  2. you just get braver and braver. dont stop. ever. huge hugs xxxx

  3. Lovely comments Andrea, it was so good to read how you really feel. I am cancer nurse and Monica's mum and am much more aware how (professionally and personally) this affects you guys. Kia kaha. Noelle x