Being diagnosed with cancer severely tests and challenges your body, mind, emotions and spirit – your very perception of who you are.

With Pancreatic cancer, there is an urgency. From point of diagnosis, you are jet propelled into a whole new world – a world that is foreign in every way. You have entered the medical system. You are a patient or the family of a patient. For the next months or years, this will be your primary identity.

Who you were prior to diagnosis will be on hold…..and may never be the same.

In this new world, you will have to quickly learn a new language – medical terms, types of diagnostic tests, characteristics of your cancer, blood work, the significance of test results.

You will meet a host of new people – your treatment team: surgeons, oncologists, specialists, Nurse Practitioners, nurses, technicians, schedulers.

You will be in big, cold buildings with a series of rooms: waiting rooms, doctors’ offices, clinics, long corridors, elevators, crowded parking lots, rooms filled with strange machines, streams of other patients and family members.

You will have to make treatment decisions at the most fragile, frightened time of your life.

In this new world, your body and your cancer will be the focus.

Your mind, your emotions and spirit are often overlooked.

A lot of what you experience during this period of time will be frightening. And yet, you have to march forward: tests, surgery, hospitalization, chemotherapy, radiation, other types of treatment, blood work, side effects, doctor follow-up visits, referrals to other specialists, surveillance scans and more blood tests.

By and large it is a lonely experience that is filled with a series of little and big traumas that accumulate over the course of your treatment. When you are finally discharged from active treatment, you carry the trauma with you.

Then the challenge begins, to see who you are NOW.

And how can you release the trauma?

#judithannedesjardins #pancreaticcancerthriver #holisticpsychotherapistandauthor #CancerisaLifeThreateningTraumaticEvent