How Post-Treatment Cancer Follow Up Feels Like

So I completed my Stage 3 Colon Cancer treatment (surgery and chemotherapy) 5 months ago, cleared my first follow up blood test 3 months ago, cleared my first follow up colonoscopy 2 months ago and just cleared my second follow up blood test today. I’m still in remission, which is a great news. Yay!

If you are interested to learn how cancer survivors feel about going for check up post-treatment, here’s my experience. Not the same for everyone but I feel this way.

I wish I can do this follow up thing every other week instead of waiting for 3 months for blood test and 6 months for colonoscopy.

I remember being anxious after my treatment because while I have been doing blood test every 2 weeks during my 6-month chemotherapy, I haven’t do any colonoscopy until 10 months post-surgery.

There’s always this anxiety and fear of what if the treatment was not clean enough. What if the cancer came back.

I was relieved right after my promising blood test and colonoscopy. But two weeks down the road as I typed away on my work laptop from day to night, I was afraid that it may cause 1 evil cancer cell to start its colony again. Other times, I wondered if the occasional not-unhealthy-but-not-healthy snacks I munched on would be the cause of another battle. Or if my lack of consistent exercise would be the devil’s passport.

There are a lot of what ifs since I got associated with the Big-C. It’s basically fear and anxiety.

It helps not to think about the significance of the follow up so that I don’t end up staying up being anxious about the appointment.

I’m just surprised how I wish I can do the tests more frequently now. During the treatment, I was hoping that my follow up would be an infrequent one. Because to me, infrequent follow up meant that my case was trivial.

But as I am struggling to get back to work and life as a young urbanite, I wish I can be put in check every step of my way. To be able to know where exactly my limit is so that I’m not afraid to accidentally trip over. To be able to know how much more I can go so that I don’t under-utilize my potential.

That’s how I feel at this stage of my youth cancer survivorship, 5 months post-treatment. Nevertheless, I’m positive.

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