Saturday, October 25, 2008

PTSD?


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?!!

As a "Breast Cancer Survivor", I have actually heard people refer to me as brave or courageous, inspirational even! Most days I don't feel that way at all, and some days I'm just lost. Too often it seems any little thing can erode my confidence. For instance, this morning I walked past the bathroom closet, the door ajar. From the corner of my eye I saw a box of hygienic face masks. Instantly, the horror of chemotherapy treatment came upon me. I remembered white blood counts so low I could not risk going into a crowded grocery store or waiting in a line at the Post Office, forget about a friendly hug from a friend, neighbor, or worse, any small children! On certain days, I couldn't even work alone in my garden without a mask to protect me from airborne spores and germy dirt! And perhaps the worse place I had to be on a daily basis for a few months while on chemo was a crowded blood lab waiting room where everyone in there was sick with something! That box of earlobe masks sitting there on the shelf in my bathroom closet just totally decomposed me. I did this digital portrait as a way to help me process the intense feelings of raw fear I was experiencing. And how fortunate a friend showed up just as I was finishing up to pull me out of the past and back to the present! Thinking about it now, several hours later, I suppose since it's true I never showed or even felt any fear while going through chemotherapy, it must have been there on some level because it's showing up now, triggered by a stupid box of masks on a shelf.

4 comments:

shicat said...

Hi, I just read about your ptsd. No doubt you would feel this way. Such a roller coaster of,as you say, raw emotions. Let alone all of medical issues you endured. My dearest friend is in a similar situation. She has Ovarian Cancer. I just posted a tribute to her and have decided to sell cards to as a O.C. fundraiser. You will probably be processing all of the emotions for months,if not years. My mom was a breast cancer survivor,as is another friend. Thanks for sharing you ptsd,symptoms I will share this with my friend ,when the time comes that she is in sweet remission.

shicat said...

OMG I just looked at your paintings. They are beautiful. My cards will not be as professional as yours. I suppose it's just a gesture. Anyway, your paintings are beuutiful.

Maine Artist said...

Thank you for your comments, and I am so sorry to hear about your friend's diagnosis. I LOVE your watercolor portrait think it will make a great Card For A Cure.

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