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Topic: Paralyzed with fear

Forum: Stage III Breast Cancer — You are not alone. Meet others who have Stage III breast cancer.

Posted on: Nov 4, 2019 07:53AM

vmb wrote:

Hi everyone,

I've spent the past few days paralyzed with fear that I'm not sure how or if I can overcome. I started treatment and will be heading into my second round of AC this week. I'm not even near the end of active treatment -- still have Radiation, Xeloda, Hormone Therapy and anything else they will throw at me that will help my chances. Yet, I'm still absolutely terrified that no matter what I do, it will not work.

I'm on the verge of tears all day long. If I sit with this fear long enough, I will start to cry. It's not supposed to be like this. I'm 35 and want children. I want to be around for my husband and can't imagine him being alone without me.

How do I cope with this fear? I still have so long to fight. Looking up 5 year, 10 year stats and then finding other stage 3ers who have advanced has put me in a constant state of fear.

How can I stay positive and push these fears away? Are the odds in my favor that I will survive this than not? I'm going to start seeing a therapist this week and I strongly believe in God and hope soon I will find an answer.

Any advice or help is appreciated. thank you x

Dx 8/7/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/18/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 10/24/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy
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Nov 4, 2019 11:38AM lkc wrote:

Hi Dearest,

Your fears are pretty much normal in the early days of a BC dx and tx. We all go through it. The reality is more and more women are doing great after a Stage III dx, thanks due tosignificant medical advancements. Try taking one day at a time. Little by little you will feel better and more in control. Time passes quickly and you will get through it all.

However, if you are riddled wih fear and anxiety and this is impacting your daily life, including sleep. Please speak to your doctor for some Rx. Some yeras ago it was repored that well over 60% of women needed some RX after a BC dx.

I am out 14.5 years of a stage IIIC dx with 12 positive nodes and loads of other nasty prognosticators I am well and living a fantasic life. there are many of "us" 3 stagers out there doing the same, livin life!

You will Too.

Hugs to you

Linda K dx'd May 05 Stage IIIC erpr-, her pos, 12 pos nodes
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Nov 4, 2019 11:43AM vmb wrote:

Thank you for giving me hope! What type of treatment did you get, if I may ask? Cheers to many more years for you!

Dx 8/7/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/18/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 10/24/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy
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Nov 4, 2019 12:00PM - edited Nov 4, 2019 12:01PM by Sara536

This Post was deleted by Sara536.
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Nov 4, 2019 12:01PM Spookiesmom wrote:

We do have that same fear. And there will be a boat load of tests. And days you want off the merry-go-round

All you have to do is show up. One day at a time, one minute at a time. It’s not easy, but doable.

My first go round 8 years ago, we threw the kitchen and the sink at it. Poison, slash, burn. The second time, I’m on meds that weren’t available back then. And doing quite well on them. A lot of we stage 4s are.

Do your treatments, ask for whatever help you need. From family or drs. Put yourself first, it really is all about you now.

Reoccurrence 3-19. Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3
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Nov 4, 2019 01:42PM lkc wrote:


VMB,

I did exactly the same, mastectomy, AC , T, radiation

I also needed Herceptin as I was HER2 pos.

Linda K dx'd May 05 Stage IIIC erpr-, her pos, 12 pos nodes
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Nov 5, 2019 11:09AM - edited Nov 9, 2019 11:14AM by sugarplum

vmb: I felt it all...everything you described. Still remember it like it was yesterday - but it was 13 years ago! I can say that Lorazepam was a HUGE help to me during that time (and still is today, due to my anxiety disorder). I also made up a mantra for myself "I will stay well" which I would repeat over & over during my daily walks, etc. For me, the fear of recurrence has never really gone away but I've been distracted by other things (hip replacements, heart disease, etc) that happened as a result of heredity, chemo, and just growing older.

You absolutely need to stay in the minute and only bite off one day at a time - that's all you can chew!

Hugs, Julie

Keep calm and carry on.... Dx 4/28/2006, IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 10/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 6/6/2006 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/5/2006 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/30/2006 Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 12/17/2006 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 1/10/2007 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 8, 2019 05:01AM SSInUK wrote:

I remember it too so so vividly. It does change. It will. For comfort go to the survivor threads on these boards. It’s the best possible antidote to statistics - real stories of ordinary survivors. It helped me too to become a good friend of a lady with stage 4 de novo. 6 years out she is in remission on only tamoxifen. You realise other people have even worse stats - and yet they are living life well too. So many things that feel like the worst possible situation (a bad 3c DX, I’m in that club) - are in the end doable. Just show up is great advice. We’re here for you and before you know it you will be here for someone else, the other side of this trauma, helping the next one alone. Cancer sucks. Cancer patients rock. Hugs.

Dx 11/2014, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 3/30/2016, IDC, Left, Stage IIIC, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Radiation Therapy External: Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Nov 8, 2019 12:52PM muska wrote:

Everything said above is true but you do need a pill to help you get through this tough period of active treatment. There's nothing wrong with taking an anti-anxiety medication that will also help you sleep well during the night. I was prescribed Lorazepam without even asking and it helped a lot. One pill at night. Like my surgeon said, a pill at night is better than no sleep, right?

Dx at 54 Dx 5/9/2013, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 7/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 6/13/2013, LCIS, Both breasts Surgery 6/13/2013 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/25/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/20/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 3/12/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 3/23/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes, Bone
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Nov 9, 2019 11:58PM Missmom79 wrote:

I’m sorry I am going through the same thing. I have had three horrible days of crying, hopelessness. The fear of the unknown. I have three kids. I don’t have much support. I have my SO and we are not married but have the three kids together and have been together 20 years. I just don’t know what I’d do if i life my kids. I’m also thinking the worst what if this doesn’t work. If you belive in god then give it to him. Hand it to him. That’s what I’m trying to do. It so hard. I just want things back to normal. I totally get where your coming from. Even though there are so many of us going through this it still seems like such a lonely isolated disease.

Dx 8/15/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, Stage 0, Grade 3
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Nov 9, 2019 11:58PM Missmom79 wrote:

I am stage 3b IBC. I dunno if my stats show but I tried to change them.

Dx 8/15/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, Stage 0, Grade 3
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Nov 11, 2019 05:07PM - edited Nov 12, 2019 05:06AM by kimber3006

I'm rarely ever on these boards anymore, but I stopped in tonight to post on the 10 year survivor thread and just happened to see your post. The tears started rolling when I read it, as I remember all of those feelings, the fear and uncertainty. Just take it one day at a time, and accept whatever help gets you through. So many women are living happy, long lives after treatment. There is no reason you can't be one of them! One of my favorite quotes when I was going through treatment was "When Fear knocks, let Faith answer the door". Hugs to you!

Dx 11/9/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 5/32 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Nov 11, 2019 05:35PM IAmACat wrote:

You are me, down to the life details. I am surprised by how similar our circumstances are. I will specify which ones when I get out of my depressed stupor. Hear from me soon.

Life is a comedian and I am the bad joke. I was diagnosed at 35, when my husband and I were preparing to have our first child. I found a tiny bump sticking out of my breast, and...surprise! Dx 3/2019, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 15/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 4/17/2019 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 6/11/2019 Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy 6/12/2019 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 6/12/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 6/12/2019 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 11/12/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Nov 13, 2019 07:40AM vmb wrote:

Thank you all so much for your kindness. Yesterday, I cried when I woke up, as I walked to work and tried to hide my tears as I got to the office. This just seems so unfair. I walk around, looking at women's breasts, wondering if they know how lucky they are that they aren't in this situation. I am grieving the loss of my careless, former self and the life my husband and I once shared. I am not sure how to get that back, especially when the fear of dying looms over my head every single day.

I tried to make an appointment with a therapist, but they cancelled on me twice (bad omen?). I am trying so hard to be OK for everyone as I don't want them to know I'm struggling, and haven't shared my diagnosis with my extended relatives and don't think I'm going to... the thought of people constantly asking me how I am feeling makes me want to cringe.

On a side note: according to the new staging guidelines, should I feel happy that I was downgraded to a pathological stage IB? I'm looking for some permission to feel optimistic I guess...

xx

Dx 8/7/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/18/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 10/24/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy
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Nov 17, 2019 01:16AM - edited Nov 17, 2019 01:19AM by SSInUK

I remember those feelings - I was mum to a four year old at DX and I grieved so much the loss of the precious innocent time in the nursery world and the future I thought we had. I did get to see a therapist who said a tough but true thing that ultimately helped. She said - that carefree future with your kid you had in your head was always imaginary. And the dark future you're now fearing is imaginary too. None of us have any real predictable true future. Carefree is hard to get back for sure when you realise that - but I promise you will get to a now that can have surprisingly intense joy, precisely because you've been through this. I have been jealous too of people who didn't have to face this stuff - but in the end we all do, and the only positive of shitty cancer is the insight can bring you to an incredible sense of gratitude and joy for the moment. And btw that will fade too and a new normal will come with happy times and even carefree. Good luck on your journey my dear - and yes the 1B tells you - this is wholly survivable. I am still 3C under the new staging and I'm still here - the 4 yr old just turned 10

Dx 11/2014, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 3/30/2016, IDC, Left, Stage IIIC, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Radiation Therapy External: Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Nov 17, 2019 06:06AM vmb wrote:

thank you so so much. I know it’s learning how to live a brand new life all over again, but sometimes I just feel so confused on how to navigate this new one. The one with cancer, hospital visits, daily pills, constant fear...

I’m so happy that you children get to grow up with such a strong mom. Thank you for sharing your experience wit those new to this. I hope to pay it forward soon, too. x

Dx 8/7/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/18/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 10/24/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy
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Nov 17, 2019 10:51AM SSInUK wrote:

You will, you will. I wasn’t strong - it was all hellish and horrible. But you just have to keep turning up - what choice is there? - and then finally it’s done. You can do this.You’ll get there too. X

Dx 11/2014, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 3/30/2016, IDC, Left, Stage IIIC, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Radiation Therapy External: Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)

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