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Topic: Worry over little things

Forum: Caring for Someone with Breast cancer —

A place to share your struggles and concerns about supporting and caring for a person you love diagnosed with breast cancer with others who understand.

Posted on: Dec 1, 2021 02:20AM

Pamela2835 wrote:

Hello!

I haven’t been on this site in just over 6 months. I received wonderful support while waiting for my mothers biopsy and ultimately, IDC diagnosis.

My mother is doing very well. She is stage 1, grade 1 - hormone receptor positive, HER2- with a low oncotype. She completed 5 weeks (once a week) of radiation and is now on hormone therapy with no side effects (mom is 80 years old).

Mom woke up this morning with a back ache. I just checked in and it’s not even hurting anymore - she was resting with a heating pad. She has a history (long before diagnosis) of arthritis and sciatica.

Guess where my mind immediately went when she told me her back hurt? Instantly I worry about the cancer and could it have spread.

Something I never shared the first time I posted was I lost a sister in law to MBC almost ten years ago. Diagnosed stage 4, mets to the spine. Naturally, that’s in my head a little bit.

We also know to watch of course for new pain, worsening symptoms etc.

In saying that all of that, can I own that I’m being an over reactive, worrisome dummy? I sure can. :)

I guess my question is, is that kind ofautomatic fear normal, especially since we are still fairly early on in this journey? I was just kind of surprised how much if threw me off for a little bit there.

On the last appointment with the radiation oncologist he had a gentle conversation with us about cancer survivorship for, most importantly her, and also for the family and how it is a hard thing. I can’t help but think this worry is exactly what he was talking about.

That’s it - thanks so very much!


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Dec 1, 2021 09:24AM - edited Dec 1, 2021 09:25AM by Moderators

Hi Pamela2835, It's very normal to go the place of worry, especially when you've had that experience in your family before.

If it continues to persist, it's probably good to get things checked out for peace of mind, if nothing else.

We're here for you.

Also, please consider joining our virtual caregiver meetup in 35 minutes (4pmET)

Register here: Zoom meetup for caregivers

Warmly,

The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Dec 1, 2021 09:50AM Dres123 wrote:

I go through the same thing with my wife. It’s hard. But every new ache or pain triggers a worry for me.

Here’s what I’ve been trying to do. I allow myself to feel that worry when it comes instead of trying to push it away. I feed it every now and then. And after I’m done feeding it, I try to move on.

I think it’s unrealistic for anyone to just pretend like things are back to normal. They are not. You’ll always have that fear in the back of your mind. I have a four year old daughter and with every joy of watching her get older, there’s a melancholy thought of what happens if things come back. It sucks.

But then I also think, what happens if I go to the grocery store tomorrow and some unspeakable event happens there. What happens if in my worry, seemingly healthy family and friends get afflicted with something.

What happens if we take that worry, acknowledge it’s existence, and give thanks to it for allowing us to be present and thankful for every day we have together. I do miss the days where I could think about our retirement and growing old together without worrying if cancer will steal that from us. But when we go for walks together, and when I hold her hand, I feel her touch more closely. I hear her laugh more vividly, I engage my daughter more thoughtfully.

If things come back, we’ll deal with it. But if things hopefully dont, what a gift this worry has been, a forcing function for me to wake up every day and thank my lucky stars that I’ve had the life I have with the people I love. Many people go through life realizing all of that when it’s too late,’or never at all.



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Dec 1, 2021 01:18PM AliceBastable wrote:

Pamela2835, With your mother's cancer type, stage, and grade, it would be almost a freak accident if it DID come back or metastisized. I've had endometrial, breast, and kidney cancer, all stage one, and none of them have reappeared. I hurt everywhere, every day, but it's just my crappy old body getting even older! I've had regular scans because of my frequent cancer miles program, and except for missing body parts, nothing worrisome has shown up. Please don't let your anxiety for your mother rob you of normal enjoyable times together.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Boring. Hope it stays that way. Dx 5/2018, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/28/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Dec 2, 2021 01:02PM Pamela2835 wrote:

Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply - it is so appreciated.

Mods - thank you and thank you for letting me know about the zoom meetup.

Dres - I'm so sorry you and your family are also going through this too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts - I think you are very wise. I agree with what you said about things not being back to normal. While some days may feel that way, things like the fear over a simple ache prove they are not. It's one of the parts that I hate, how something I wouldn't have batted an eye at several months ago now it causes fear. I am going to try to follow your advice and I so, so agree about being grateful for what you have!

Alice - to you also I'm sorry for what you've been through. Some of your comments, about the crappy old body and cancer miles program made me smile (but that doesn't change that I'm sorry for the reason why) - thank you for that and I very much love hearing about positive outcomes. I know you are right about my mother's odds, it's even something the doctors have told us. I know it can never be zero, but it looks very positive.

In the beginning, at her diagnosis, I do have to admit to having a terrible time with the anxiety in the first days, but on a whole it's not taking over. We've still done fun things (and continue to plan). I actually tried to make it a point to do that after her treatments - even something as simple as going to breakfast after her radiation so the day wasn't just that appointment.

I just don't know that there is a way to keep that fear totally away now, but as you both said with your wonderful advice, I won't let it take over. It's also awfully nice to know you're not alone - many, many thanks for that!

Pam

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Dec 2, 2021 04:25PM AliceBastable wrote:

Pamela2835, Think of it this way: there's cancer, Cancer, CANCER, and CANCER!!!.

Your mother has cancer, not Cancer, CANCER, or CANCER!!

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Boring. Hope it stays that way. Dx 5/2018, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/28/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes

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