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Apr 4, 2017 12:02PM
Apr 4, 2017 08:57PM
Me, too. Constant Fear. In my head, I have even said the same words that you wrote here, that the fear is "ruining my life." I had decided to say those exact words to my therapist when I next saw her, and then she was diagnosed with lymphoma and is currently in chemo. Can we say cancer sucks?
Anyway, some thoughts that I hope could be helpful (not all but maybe some): 1) obsessions (if they reach that level) do need a higher level of SSRI than typical anxiety and/or depression. 2) My therapist teaches mindfulness-based acceptance. If you can accept that the cancer is going to come back (which it actually might NOT, but that's not the point), then you don't have to struggle with the anxiety of it. The point, as one of the posters above says, is that the uncertainty is so hard and can, itself, be debilitating. So my therapist says acceptance works for some people. The other part of this is, as another poster says above, to identify what you want to do or would do if it had already come back. Then, you're doing exactly what you want. The problem is, as Paul Kalinithi writes in When Breath Becomes Air, most of us don't just figure that out and move forward. We're constantly having to figure it out. The struggle is very, very difficult. 3) Both my radiation oncologist and my surgeon "prescribed" "more projects" to deal with my anxiety as treatment ended for me in December. They suggested I take on new projects at work, volunteer more--essentially, distract myself. I would put this third piece of advice with the second one and suggest that you (and I) take on things that are meaningful *to us* as well as distracting.
I posted this over my desk to remind myself. Maybe it will resonate with you, too:
"Attempting to position yourself outside the circle [of life] isn't going to save you from anything. It isn't going to keep you from your grief or protect those you love when you're gone. It isn't going to extend your life or shorten it. You're here. So be here. You're okay with us for now." ---Cheryl Strayed.
Most of all, know that you are not alone.
PS Just so you know: I'm terrible about taking my own advice. The reason I'm reading this board is because I am freaking out all the time about mets.
2/1/2016, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
3/1/2016 AC + T (Taxol)
8/16/2016 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Prophylactic ovary removal
9/11/2016 Lymph node removal: Left
10/13/2016 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
1/2/2017 Aromasin (exemestane)