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Topic: My new norm and feeling scared...

Forum: "Middle Age" 40-60(ish) Years Old With Breast Cancer —

Meet others in this age-range who share similar life issues.

Posted on: Jul 17, 2012 12:11AM - edited Jul 17, 2012 12:15AM by Butterflylady2012

Butterflylady2012 wrote:

I need some help ladies...

In some of my posts I am coming across as strong and happy using smiley faces in my posts and sounding upbeat.  Some days I am and try to be this way as much as I can..  Then there are the other days well, I just feel afraid. 

After a little over 3 months since my Dx, I am dealing with recurrence fears and getting used to my "new norm".  The risk of recurrence is hanging over my head and I know to some extent it will always be there.  This scares me. I am 43 and wonder if I will have a recurrence when I am 46, 52 or sooner?  Will I be able to lead a full, active life, or hide in my fear?  Will I be able to be as strong as some of the veterans here who are several years out and going strong?  Over time I feel I will adjust and that I will probably think of it less, but right now I think of it daily.  Some days more then others, but daily.  

I chose  not to do Chemo, becaus it would only affect my situation by like 2% the doctor said.  For the most part I feel good about my decision and still do, too much harm to my body for a small reduction....I already had a right sided Mx in May, doing my Rad treatments now, hormone therapy in month or two and then preventative breast removal of left side. 

I'm even thinking of joining a support group in my area.  I love this wonderful website, but need some one one one with woman like yourselves, who understand what I am going through.

I'd like to hear from ladies who are just a few months out or who might be farther out and how you dealt with the fear of recurrence and just fear in general.  Sometimes I just don't show the amount of fear that I have.  But I know here I can say I am afraid...

Butterflylady (Sharon) 

Dx 4/12/2012, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 17, 2012 12:31AM toomuch wrote:

Sharon - You are only a few months out from diagnosis. Finding a new norm takes time. I needed Xanax and Ambien to function during the early days. As my treatment got underway, I began to feel better. Then I started to implement other things to reduce my risk of recurrance. I'm 2 years out now.  I exercise a lot more then I did before, I eat a healthier diet filled with fruits and vegetables and void of meat, and I take some supplements. I still still wonder if my BC will recur but it doesn't cause me great anxiety anymore.  I've read a lot and one thing that was said by a 19 year St 4 survivor has stuck wiith me. I'm paraphrasing here but when she began to worry, she said she asked herself, "How am I  doing today." If she was doing well, she went with it and enjoyed the day. We all know that worrying doesn't change the future, it just wastes the time that we should be out living now. I hang on to the thoughts that research in BC is furthering treatment options all the time and if one day the BC recurs, I will have more options for treatment. Baby steps...it does get easier.

"Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before" Dx 7/13/2010, ILC, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 17, 2012 09:28AM mdg wrote:

You are still in the early part of this. Three months is not that long. At that point I felt like you did. I was dx in Dec 2010 so I am further out than you are. The things I do that have helped are:

Eat healthy and exercise...This is one thing I can control that may help me avoid recurrence.

I started on effexor about 9 months after diagkosi and this has helped a lot

Focus on how far I have come and how good I feel

Do yoga...it clears my head

Reduce stress and make some life changes that help me do that (I quit my stressful job)

Take time to do the things I never had time to do.

Don't sweat the small stuff....after getting thru BC mist of the other stuff doesn't matter

Have a support from other BC gals...I have several good friends that went through this with me and talking to them helps because they "get it"

Overall these are the best things that have helped me. Hang in there time does help you move through this.

Maria Visit my BC Blog at breastcancerwontdefineme.blogs... Dx 12/13/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/23/2010 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 1/27/2011 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 3/3/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 5/19/2011 Surgery 6/22/2011 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 12/10/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Jul 17, 2012 10:13AM Traci-----TripNeg wrote:

Hi Sharon,

I am almost 5 1/2 years out, and I still think about recurrence, all the time. Not all day, every day, but often. It might be due to the fact that I have a botched reconstruction job so every single morning, I am reminded about it. Every time I shower; everytime I change clothes; every time I even get remotely close to even thinking about having sex.

Rarely, if ever, a day goes by that I don't think about BC and subsequently, a recurrence.

Having said all of that, it does get easier. I think about it, then let my mind move on. And then sometimes when my mind refuses to move on, I come to this site to chat with others that have a new normal so I know I'm not alone with my fears. Most days though, my mind does move on and I'll go about the rest of my day living life to it's fullest, as I'm sure you will too; eventually.

(((hugs)))

Traci

Trip Neg BRCA + If I never look behind me, my troubles will be few. Supertramp. Dx 2/12/2007, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 17, 2012 12:19PM Butterflylady2012 wrote:

Thanks so much for the hugs and suppport.  Yes, I am still very early in all of this and I am probably not giving myself enough understanding.  It's hard sometimes though.  I tend to be a a bit hard on myself, cancer or no cancer.  I am trying to learn to let go and "let it be" as the song says.  Some times I can, other times not so easy.  I listen to the Let it Be version by Judy Collins which helps me at times.  It's only been 3 months...not 3 years, I just have to keep saying that! 

Some of the tips and ways to help yourself, I have already been doing such as exercise (walk most days of the week) and eat more healthfully these days.  But I am still in the early stages trying to decipher what to eat and what not to eat...so at this early stage even that is stressful.  I am doing my research and muddling through.  I am also seeing a counselor who I was seeing before Dx and is helping me to vent a little, instead of keeping it all inside.

Traci, thank you for your honesty and I'm very sorry that you had a bad recontruction...that must have been very stressful.  I cant imagine.  As you said reminders everyday.  It sounds though like you have come a long way.  That you move on most of the time and function okay.  You said when your mind refuses to move on I come here...that says a lot.  It's reaching out when we need the help, which is what I am doing.  And over time it does get easier....I guess that's what I need to know, that it will get easier..

Mdg...I liked the Focus on how far I've come and how I feel.  When I look at myself compared to that first month or two, I have come a long way.  Before I was in a state of shock, completely out of it...now I am just slightly numb but doing better. And don't sweat the small stuff, that has already spoken to me loudly.  Once you have BC, the daily stuff that used to bother me just doesn't matter anymore.  

Toomuch, thank you... yes, I was put on Zoloft the first few weeks of Dx, it helped, but it was causing  me some side effects.  I have taken some Xanax recently, such as just before my first few radiation treatments last week.  And yes, BC treatment options are changing rapidly as we speak.  I hear about it all the time on the news and read about it.  More options will be there if a recurrence happened in the future.  

Keep telling myself I am in the early stages and be kind to myself, be good to myself.  I guess that's what this is saying. It will take time I know...

Hugs and thank you ladies...

Dx 4/12/2012, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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