Meet others in this age-range who share similar life issues.
Posted on: May 7, 2012 06:05AM
I'm so new in my diagnosis, but I have this nagging question. Do those of you who are already in the midst of treatment and done with treatment still fear that the cancer will return in one form or another? I'm 46 with a 6 and 4 year old and am so worried I won't be around to see these 2 little guys grow up.
This past Saturday I had some minor oral surgery and the surgeon asked for the future will I be looking to do an implant to replace the tooth he had to extract. I didn't say it to him, but immediately my thought was "well, if I'm still around".
Well, ever since then, this fear has been forefront and I just can't keep it at bay. I know it's silly for me when I haven't even had my BMX yet (May 29th) or started chemo, etc... Maybe it's PMS. I hope so. I have been doing really well these last few weeks, and I'd hate to begin freaking out now.
Posts 1 - 30 (37 total)
May 7, 2012 08:30AM Denise-G wrote:
Thanks for asking this question. I am just finishing chemo after 5 months and the fear seems to be setting in, like what is going to happen now...
J9W thanks for saying it does diminish! I appreciate that so much!
May 7, 2012 08:35AM SelenaWolf wrote:The fear never goes away. You just learn to place it in perspective a little better as time goes on. And, with time, it doesn't scream at you quite so loudly. But ... it's always in the back of your mind in some form. The trick is learning to live with it without having it take over your life.
May 7, 2012 08:35AM Wren44 wrote:
The fear doesn't go away completely, but it won't be at the front of your mind as time goes on. Try saying 'I'm doing everything I can do be healthy' whenever you feel fear. That puts you back in the present. Once treatment is underway you''ll feel much better. Hugs.
May 7, 2012 12:32PM Paula1231 wrote:
I don't think the fear ever goes away, but soon the good stuff that happens in your life will be more on your mind than the bad stuff. All at once a whole day will go by, and you won't have thought of the cancer at all. These are truly the good times.
May 7, 2012 01:23PM NativeMainer wrote:
The fear doesn't go away completely, but it does get better. It took me almost 3 years to begin daring to think more than a few months ahead. I still get nervous planning things a year or more ahead, but I have been and have done some of those things, and find it's getting easier. It does take time, though.
May 23, 2012 09:05AM candie1971 wrote:
The fear doesn't go away but I think of it less. For the first few years, it pryed on my brain. Now it doesnt. Will be 6 years for me this coming Saturday,May 26th. It does get better and easier and I know that I must live life and not bow to this beast. I try to do all I can to live life, to love life and to experience things. I remember how scared I was 6 years ago. I am thankful for everyday that I have, for every event I go to, for every friend and aquantaince I meet.
One of the best part of joining this club I din't want to join...the beautiful people hear at bco. I couldn't have done it without the gals here!!
May 23, 2012 09:26AM BikerLee wrote:
i really like how selenawolf put it: with time, it doesn't scream at you quite so loudly. But ... it's always in the back of your mind in some form. The trick is learning to live with it without having it take over your life.
this is what i'm working on - trying to take back my life... overcome the mental cancer, so to speak. it has made it difficult for me to focus and keep a healthy perspective with regards to many many things.
the uncertainty just sucks - there's no way to know whether i'll be in the 5% or the 95%... i wanna wanna wanna be in the 95%, but cancer does not care. what will happen will happen, and i have very little control over that.
so... i'm taking the steps i can take to maximize my chances of being recurrence-free... keeping my diet and exercise strong... etc....
you are definitely in the tough part - the waiting for treatment / surgery part. when i was at this stage, i barely slept and was wondering if i'd see my child make middle school (he's in 4th grade now). once treatment begins, i think some of the fear will stop screaming so loudly... you'll feel like you are DOING something...
post-treatment, i find the fear is a little louder, but, at the same time, i feel stronger hope that i can be in the 95%. my treatment turned out to be effective, with a complete pathological response (surgery after chemo). so, this result, in combination with diet and exercise, helps me feel hope....
i don't know where you are located, but here in minnesota, we have this great organization for families dealing with a cancer diagnosis. we went to a six week series, which was held on monday nights. the evenings started with dinner and then activities for kids and adults... it was absolutely a great thing for our family. it helped our child actually talk a little about cancer and how he felt about it etc... and he now has friends who "get it"...
the organization is http://www.mnangel.org/
this is not a religeous organization, although some people involved are deeply religeous...
i don't know if something like this is available in your neck of the woods, but if it is, it would be worth checking out.
hugs.... i wish you a peaceful next few days. less than a week before your surgery? hoping for a smooth and quick recovery for you....
May 24, 2012 10:00AM dja625 wrote:
That black cloud of being unsure is always hovering over my head but the way I deal with it and keep it at bay is to tell myself that anything can happen to anyone at anytime. I stay pro-active by continuing to go to my scheduled doctors appointments, exercising, eating healthy and living my life. Things that used to annoy me don't anymore. I want to enjoy everyday. I have two grown children, however my son has Autism and I need and want to be here for him. I want to see my daughter get her Masters and become a Grandma. I want to enjoy my husband, family and friends. I am more appreciative of eat day. Think about how blessed you are to have your two children and do what you have to do to be as healthy as you can be.
Hang in there, I'm 2 years cancer free!
Jun 10, 2012 04:27PM grandma123 wrote:
I am new to this forum. I am 10 years out from my diagnosis of stage 1 breast cancer. It was small - 9mm with no lymph node involvement. I had a lumpectomy and radiation followed by tamoxifen and femara (for the last 9 years). I get a yearly mammogram and so far, so good. I thought I was done having to deal with this.
Until Wednesday. I had my yearly checkup with my oncologist and told him about some symptoms I have been having the last couple of months - numbness and tingling in hands and feet ( I have been to several doctors about this - all their tests were normal). So, now I am getting a bone scan tomorrow to see if I have bone mets. My doctor doesn't believe that I do but he wants to be sure. He thinks it's due to all my back and neck problems (buldging disks, etc..). He wants me to see a neurosurgeon.
Even if the test is negative, the emotional upheaval this has caused my life is nothing short of catastrophic. He had to prescribe zofran for my nausea and I take xanax daily. My adult children have had to come over to be with me with my daughter staying 3 of the last 4 nights.
So, no, the fear never goes away for me. And now because of this I will never think I am done with this and go back to that place that I was before. My fear will be with me daily. It doesn't help that I am alone, having lost my husband to metastatic cancer 6 years ago at too young of an age for both of us.
I hate what this disease had done to me physically, emotionally, mentally.
I want my life back.
Jun 10, 2012 05:08PM Scottiee1 wrote:
I am a 65 year old who has just finished radiation and three months into Femara. I was so strong and focused going through tests, biopsy, surgery and radiation. It seemed that I had a goal and got through it all very well. Now it seems that the fear has set it and I'm always looking over my shoulder. I am taking advice from many of you wonderful people
in that my new goal is to do everything I can to stay healthy.....diet and exercise plus I am seeing a psychiatrist this month who, I hope, will give me coping skills to achieve my new goals and deal with my new life. My prayers and thoughts are with you all.
Jun 10, 2012 05:17PM dogsandjogs wrote:
I think it was easier years ago. I had a mastectomy in 1982 and no follow-up other than a yearly blood test was done. So after a few months I never thought about the cancer. The only time was when I was being examined for something else and the doc would say 'Oh, you have had cancer? Then we better run this test, etc etc." It got really annoying.
Then 28 years passed and I got a new primary in the other breast. I'm not as nervous this time, but because of all the follow-up that is done now I think about cancer much more often. But I try to keep as active as possible - and not focus so much on myself. The good part is, since it has been a year nobody is asking me how I feel; not even my family - I like that!
Jun 11, 2012 01:36PM Scottiee1 wrote:
I agree with what you say.....all these follow-ups etc like being under the microscope,
Keep reminding us. I wish you good luck and my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Jun 12, 2012 07:57AM dogsandjogs wrote:
Thanks Scottiee, same to you!
Jun 12, 2012 08:16AM RoulaG wrote:
Hello ladies - I am in the middle of my txs and I am having a difficult day. I am 6 days out of my 3rd TCH and feel very down and weak. I am so afraid of this disease. It has taken me through an emotional ride - ups and downs like nothing I have ever experienced before. I worry all the time - how do you ladies find a way to move beyond the fear?
Jun 12, 2012 08:26AM Shayne wrote:
Im still in it. I love when people who are 5 years out post here. It gives me hope to know life goes on for survivors. I dont want to live in fear. I feel everything Im doing is a bit overtreatment, and I guess thats what helps me sleep at night. I read everything i can get my hands on - and also working with naturopath to change my diet, add more exercise and meditate to still my mind. Embracing life - I guess thats what gets me through this time - and Im hoping through the rest of my life as well......
Jun 12, 2012 08:48AM dogsandjogs wrote:
You need to stay active. Stay off the internet. You need to try to keep your mind of the cancer. Try some volunteer work.I worked at an animal shelter for 10 years and it kept my mind and body so busy and tired that I never thought of the cancer.
I was working full-time when I got my first cancer; that kept me busy. I also had a son still at home and my pets. I ran with my dogs every morning. I went to bed exhausted. No time to worry about my health. If you can't run, walk. I find that being outside is a very healing experience. So is working in the yard.
Hope this helps!
Jun 12, 2012 10:43AM wrsmith2x wrote:
My fear has never gone away but it did diminish.....until I got IT again. Now I am back at Step 1. And this time the fear is worse. I try to focus on "At this moment in time, as far as I know, I am cancer free". Because really this moment is all we have. Nobody guaranteed us any more moments and they can be taken away quickly.
Jun 12, 2012 10:58AM brooke wrote:
I must be the only one that doesn't think of cancer. I'm 3 year cancer free and when some one asks me how I feel. I always say great...then think, oh they are referring to cancer. I am not a survivor, I am a thriver! I'm back to being "me". A runner (just finished a marathon and registered for one in the Oct. a biker and avid wine drinker..only reds they are healthy for you (ha). Focus on all the things you love and let God take care of the rest. Tomorrow is promised to no one.
Jun 12, 2012 04:22PM Scottiee1 wrote:
Hi Brooke: I just finished rads to weeks ago and I feel like I'm falling apart at the moment. I think about C all the time. My radiologist has booked an appointment for me to see a shrink. I want to be like you. I pray everyday to be like you. I'm truly happy for you but oh sooooo jealous.
Jun 12, 2012 05:11PM justagirl wrote:
everyone deal with breast cancer in their own time and own way.
You are still right in the middle of active treatment, so no wonder the thought of bc fills your every thought. It is allowed.
As I say this, life can go on around us, and if you have family, your joining in is somewhat required. A useful tool I used was to set aside 15 minutes before I got out of bed to think and mourn having bc and did the same when I would go to bed at night. Then I would put 'bc' into an imaginary box and try to get on and do in my day what I could for normalcy.
Yes, there were times this failed and I would go into my bedroom, throw myself on the bed and sob, but those tears were due.
Don't be so hard on yourself. Of course you head is filled with bc thoughts. Gee, no wonder. I say embrace it to be able to move on. None of us truly know our future. It's just that us that have/ or had bc are reminded more often of how precious each day is.
Try to take some time each day to have a few minutes of happiness. If it's looking at the view, having a quiet cup of coffee, reading a book or magazine, cuddling your cat or dog. Remember all the good in your life.
Time is healing.
Jun 12, 2012 05:20PM Scottiee1 wrote:
Justagirl you JUST made me cry right now. I do that a lot but perhaps my Fermara is contributing to this. It is still all like a dream to me. I feel I will wake up and BC will be for other women to deal with....not me.....I just had a bad dream.....no it's a REAL NIGHTMARE...no joke. However, I am touched with all your kind words for me and will try to follow some of them. Take care and God bless.
Jun 12, 2012 07:06PM - edited Jun 12, 2012 07:09PM by justagirl
I didn't wish to make you cry by what I wrote. I also take Femara and have for the last 2 years. Even my husband of 29 years and my 18 year old son have noticed how this medication has made me quite sensitive or at least much more so than before I started taking it.
Remember, there is nothing to be ashamed about crying.
No, this isn't a dream - having to deal with breast cancer is an ongoing nightmare from which only you can find your way to deal with. Of what I said before, and others before me, try suggestions that appeal to you and work out your own personal way to deal with what life has dealt you.
I have lived healthy, eaten the right foods without chemicals, no alcohol, exercised, had a baby and breast fed, and always thought I when it was said statistically that 1 in 8 women get breast cancer that I wasn't that "1". Then it happened. Less than 4 months after an annual mammogram and u/s, which were fine, wham, I feel a peach pit sized lump....and my life faded before me.
Having worked many years as an Intensive Care RN, all I could think of was I didn't want my husband and son to watch me die of BC. I had seen it too many times of how torturous it was for family and close friends. I know, morbid thought.
I had to choose to be pro-active and positive - well, as much as my crying episodes and Femara allow. Mind you, I have my down days. I do try to start each morning aiming for a positive day, sometimes it goes down to some positive hours, or minutes.
Do try and find something each day that gives you pleasure.
Let your immediate family know the side effects of Femara are moodiness, sensitivity, and crying, besides the muscle aches, etc.
I do know what you are talking about when you say this is a NIGHTMARE BUT IT'S REAL. Maybe that explains why since diagnosis in March 2010 I still have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. I'm still scared but admit it.
My GP had BC 20 years ago, and I was moaning to her that I still have an acute fear of a recurrence and that my dear husband says I should be over this. GP said in her experience, and that of her other patients, is that it takes about 2 years from your last treatment or surgery for the fear to start fading into the background of your life.
So, I tell myself I'm allowed to feel what I feel and fear, and that seems to help me.
You are all in my thoughts, but especially you -Scottiee1
PS: I also found it very depressing when I was going through my 30 zaps of radiation to sit in a waiting room full of people with various kinds of cancer, and some looking so unhealthy and unhappy. It sure didn't help my depression.
Jun 13, 2012 12:07PM brooke wrote:
Hi Scottiee1 Hang in there I pray that it will get better for you. Crying is okay, scream, holler and yell "why me" and then move forward for the day. Worrying only gives you gray hair, wrinkles on your face and ulcers Who needs that!!! It also won't change anything! Both my sisters have died from cancer one age 50 the other at 58, I am 61 (yikes that sounds old!) Will cancer come back, probably, it runs VERY strong in our family. . I get up early to run, see the sun rise and I'm glad I'm still here for my husband, children and grandchildren. Seek out postive thinking people, no "downers" or people that say "oh poor you". They only bring you down with them. I was dia. stage 3B and I'm still here!!!!! One of my favorite saying is "Life is not a journey to the gave with the intention of arriving safetly, in a pretty and well preserved body, But rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up totally worn out, chocolate in one hand wine in the other, proclaiming "Wow, what a ride" Hopefully that will be me to the end!!
Jun 13, 2012 12:31PM FilterLady wrote:
I guess I really do think about my breast cancer every day but I thank God that I have been dancing with NED since the end of my rads (January 19th).
I still have little meltdowns from time to time especially since my first post diagnosis mammo will be in September but while I'm melting down anyway, I cry about Momma (she died in 2006), my friends that have died from cancer (not breast cancer), and this last meltdown came because one of Momma's best friends passed away from oral cancer. I try to have my meltdown, then move on to something else, lol.
Every night when I say my nightly prayers I pray for anyone and everyone that posts on these boards as well as those that just read and don't post. The women here have been such an inspiration to me. I know there are many, many (too many) others that have a rougher journey than I have had to date.
I don't expect my cancer to come back but IF it does I'll deal with it the same way I've dealt with this. I fully intend to be here to dance at my grandchildren's weddings (ages 3,4,5, and 8).
Brooke, I agree with you as well. I want to skid in broadside with chocolate in one hand and a big shot of tequila in the other...hold the salt and lime but I will have a budweiser chaser, rofl!
Have a great day!
Jun 13, 2012 01:03PM greenfrog wrote:
Teeballmom - Those of us diagnosed when we have young children have a particular take on all of this cancer business. My son was 1 year old when I was dx-ed. I am a single mum. The cancer haunts me because if it does get me then it also gets him too. I am 4 years out now. I just keep taking the tablets and hope to **** that I am one of the lucky ones. Because my cancer was a recurrence of a "benign" lump that I'd had removed 10 years earlier I know how sneaky and unforgiving this thing can be. I can't go skipping off into the sunset and forget all about it because I did that once before and it came back and bit me on the arse! Apart from anything else I no longer have breasts and I do have lymphoedema which act as a constant reminder of "it".
If you feel like crying/screaming then do it. If seeing a shrink helps then good, do it. Whatever it takes. We all find our own way through this in our own time and in our own individual ways.
Jun 13, 2012 01:11PM Blessed58 wrote:
Good to hear Brooke. I don't think of it as often as I did a few months ago (just diagnosed in December 2011). I'm trying to do what I can in the way of diet and exercise, but my ultimate healer is God.
Jun 13, 2012 01:40PM - edited Jun 13, 2012 02:54PM by Scottiee1
Hi everybody: Thank you all for your wonderful kind words and INSPIRATION. WhenI read what some of you have gone through compared to myself, I feel ashamed and get angry with myself. I want to have your amazing attitudes and appreciate what I have
and, as my bhudist brother would say "live in the moment".....however I hate this expression....I guess I could never be bhudist. I'm going to try and put some of your
Ideas into play and when I cry (maybe will try screaming now) I won't be so hard on myself. One last thing.....last night my husband said to me "Christine, none of us knows
what's around the corner.....we should live our lives like we are going to be here when we're 100" I know he was trying to make me feel better but wouldn't it be wonderful if we could? Take care everybody.....you are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Jun 13, 2012 09:13PM justagirl wrote:
Scottie1 - Don't EVER feel ashamed or get angry at yourself for the feelings you have. Each of us are unique. You are you and I am me.
WE ALL DON'T have amazing attitudes and always are appreciative of what we have.
Don't forget what I did say about the fact you are going through active treatment right now and as I said, for me sitting in a waiting room at the oncology radiation center with 95% of the other patients looking 3/4th dead, sure did not lift my spirits. The radiation itself did not bother me yet it was a huge reminder to me that I, me, myself, was actually had breast cancer, and how did this come to be? Every day I questioned if I had a healthy breast cancer free future in front of me.
You are also a newbie to this - I was diagnosed in March 2010, and had my last surgery in October, 2011, so I'm a ways down the road from where you are standing right now.
Be kind to yourself and accept your feelings and tears. Yes, I get what you brother says, and your husband also, but Christine, remember only you walk in your shoes and neither one of them are having their life threatened as you are having yours now.
Don't try to be something you aren't or you aren't feeling.
You are entitled to every tear, every scream and every morbid thought you come up with.....oh and the nightmares too.
A big hug to you from me in Australia......