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How often do you think about recurrence?


Hi all,

I'm just wondering how much you think or don't think about recurrence. We are all different, and we have different chances of recurrence, but I wonder if you think about it.

I was diagnosed in February. DMX in March, currently on Tamoxifen for five years. Taking a daily pill is a great way to think about the situation. Though, as bad as it can make me feel at times, I am grateful for Tamoxifen.

Do you worry or think about recurrence, or do you not think about it at all? Some days, it's on my mind, and others, I think, I'll never have a recurrence.


  • waves2stars
    waves2stars Member Posts: 141

    I’m about three years out and I think about it every couple of days. I have another cancer that’s more likely to recurr, but I guess I accept that, while with breast cancer the if’s and when’s of recurrence seems concerning. I had a nipple sparing mx without radiation, and the pain and irritation I feel in one area where I had wound healing issues causes me to worry there’s something going on.

  • tntnsd
    tntnsd Member Posts: 125

    Diagnosed end of 2020, left mastectomy in 02/2021, starting Tamoxifen in Mar 2021.

    Yes, I still think about recurrence once in a while especially when it is getting closer to my semi-yearly mammogram/MRI/ultrasound (or OBGY exam to monitor side effect of Tamoxifen). But luckily, it is not as heavy as the fist year.

  • monarchandthemilkweed
    monarchandthemilkweed Member Posts: 166

    depends I think on life. I’m three years out but my sister died of cancer in Sept. ovarian. She was 48. We were diai6 months apart. I feel like I still live in the shadow of cancer. So much of my life is intertwined with cancer. Grieving my sister while trying to pick up the pieces of my life. When life is good, probably not as often. When life is difficult, like now- I’ve had some other health issues that I was terrified were my cancer back. So now I think of it everyday.

  • nilespark44
    nilespark44 Member Posts: 37

    @monarchandthemilkweed - I am so sorry to hear about your sister. I am giving you a virtual hug. Your reply made sense. Some days I think I have cancer beat and will never face it again. Other days, it's on my mind a lot. I am not sure there is a "normal" with cancer.

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 422

    It was seemingly a hourly thing when I was first diagnosed in 2022. I wondered if I would ever feel happy and at peace again. I will say that the smartest thing I did at that time was get a therapist who I still see intermittently today. I worked through the feelings trusting the process and at my two year anniversary date coming up Friday I can honestly say I'm pretty happy and at peace. That doesn't mean I don't think about recurrence because I am well aware it's a possibility for all hormone positive breast cancer patients up to thirty years. But it's no longer something I actively worry about. At least on most days now :)

  • orangeflower
    orangeflower Member Posts: 97

    Every day since I was diagnosed in 2020, even though my risk of recurrence is low.

  • katiec12
    katiec12 Member Posts: 6

    I had DCIS in 2014. Given that seven members of my family have had breast cancer twice, I felt fairly positive if I lived long enough I would likely get it again. I didn't expect it to come again this year, but it is what it is. I have agreed to 16 rads treatments, and have lots of sick time accrued at work, so no worries there. And I signed up for an exercise study for those going through treatment and I'm excited about that. I also agreed to hormone treatment and that has me more worried.

  • nilespark44
    nilespark44 Member Posts: 37

    katiec12, I’m sorry you're experiencing a reoccurrence. No one deserves to go through cancer, much less a reoccurrence. What hormone treatment are you starting? I too was nervous about starting hormone treatment but someone once wrote on here, we don't ever hear from the people who have little to no issues with hormone treatment. Only those who ask questions and seek help. Hopefully the treatment will go well for you.

  • bythebay
    bythebay Member Posts: 32

    I was diagnosed in 1998 at age 43. I had 3 young children and worked. I had a Lumpectomy and radiation. My Dr. felt I was so young to be put into Menopause and the other risks that would happen, so I did not take any medications. I worried about recurrence a lot and kept up with all of my appointments. I was told had I been diagnosed a few years later I would have been put on medication. Another sister had breast cancer the year before me at 50 and another sister got Pancreatic cancer in 2007 at about 70. I was tested for the known genetic risk BRCA in 2009 Negative. I retested this year with all the new known genes and negative.

    26 wonderful years later, March this year I got a recurrence and I wasn't even thinking about it anymore. My kids are now supportive adults and I will get through this detour and on with our 51 years of marriage and fun. Just do the best you can and take good care of yourselves….life goes by so fast, try to enjoy all the good days and move on from the bad days. Best to all of you 🌺

  • rockym
    rockym Member Posts: 365

    Every time I have to get a mammo (yearly) and the group I see thinks they "see" something.