Article Talk: Failing To Cope With Cancer Survivorship

Started by Janet, September 17, 2016
3 replies for this topic
Janet

Member
558 Posts
Posted on
September 17, 2016
Original Post

Well said! You describe it so well. Those moments, hours, or days just seem to come from nowhere, but even though it comes it also GOES. It has been 14 1/2 years since my initial diagnosis of Breast Cancer, surgery & treatment. It reappeared 12 years agomn and now has been active for the last 6 years. You know you describe the same thing that I have experience througha ll of this. Most days I am just getting on with daily needs.My Palliative Care Doctor loves to ask me if I am still cutting the grass. You know when I do that I get so focused on the grass and the yard that I have absolutely no thought about the cancer. (I did have to trade in my Eager one engine for an Electric, but I have grown to like the electric!) TO me it is so important to have other Survivors I share with out loud. It can lessen any of the hard moments. The fact for me has always been once you have cancer, you know it is a possibility for more. I just returned from another trip to Medjugorje, BiH, where I spent the fist 9 years of my cancer if doing Humanitarian Social Work. Since I return to the USA and found my cancer was back and had been growing, I have been able to return each year, visiting, helping where I can. I ma long past when I "should have died" but here I still am! SO whether the cancer is in remission or active again, those MOMENTES or Days still come. One of the best gifts of the cancer has been getting to know so many other who are or have delt with the reality of cancer. Today I have a choice. I can be Happy, Joyous, and Free, or restless, irritable, or discontent. Amazing, this new life of Cancer. Thanks again for describing it so well, janet
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MJ

Member
0 Replies
Posted on
September 17, 2016
You are certainly not alone. I second guess everything. From my diagnosis (5 years next month) I have worried about whether I made the right decision of lumpectomy vs mastectomy, and should I have had chemo. My oncologist said she did not recommend it even though my Oncotype was in between the 2 levels. I still wonder if I made a mistake and should I have had it. (She actually did not offer it as a choice it was her recommendation that I not have it) I never had a blood test afterward, I never had another MRI even though my cancer never showed up on the mammogram- at least 5-6 radiologists looked at the films. Finally after 4 years I changed oncologists and he did blood work- everything looks good. But still, as you said, I know so many women have a recurrence and a dear friend who was 20 years younger than I was had a recurrence with metastases and died within 6 months, leaving behind 3 sons who were still in school. I think the scariest part of all is that there is no cure for metastatic cancer. I never knew that. that adds a whole new dimension to my concern. So I sit trying to be so grateful and thankful that I am alive and "cured" but not always at peace even though I firmly believe God was instrumental in the process of finding the cancer and in my treatment. I still worry about the effects of all that radiation, and the joint and bone pains I have from the Aromatase inhibitor. I also ask, why me- why did I survive when I know 2 younger women who did not- and I feel guilty that I did not go thru the horrible experience of chemo and hair loss and sickness. I do not deserve to survive when they didn't. They were better people, they were more loving, they were more faithful, and on and on. Hang in there and know that it helps people like me to not feel so alone when we read articles like yours. Thank you - God bless you
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Marnee

Member
0 Replies
Posted on
September 19, 2016
Wow this article hit it right on. You are not alone. I am a two time cancer survivor once at age 23 with kidney cancer then breast cancer at age 40, I am now almost 47. I have moments that the fear overcomes me so terribly it's crippling. I think the most difficult part is that most of my friends and family can't understand what I am going through so I keep it to myself a lot. I think it's very difficult to find a support group that focuses on survivorship and what that entails. Thank you for these amazing articles, I love them.
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Emmie

Member
0 Replies
Posted on
November 20, 2016
Your article is spot on. Diagnosed anal cancer August 2013 - stage 3. Had 32 sessions of IMRT, 5FU and Mitomycin. I have been NED since. Apparently. This is the first time I have seen anyone else who feels the way I do. Yes I should be grateful, however I am quite aware of the possibility of recurrence. Even more so, my regular test results seem to alarm me more than they do my onco team. I had absolutely no symptoms or warning signs of original diagnosis. Major hemmorage while shopping and that was it. Due to the radiation I have an "H" insufficiency fracture of si joint which showed mixed lytic and sclerotic lesions in July. I was hospitalised in September for heart issues and they did another scan which show - and I quote, "Subcentimeter lymph nodes along internal jugular chains. Subcentrimeter nodes in supraclavicular regions. Low density nodule on left lobe of thyroid. Redundant colon at hepatic flexure." Do I just accept a wait and see at my next scan ? I have been to see a second oncologist and she said things look good ? So am I oversensitive ? Are these findings to small to be suspicious ? I am constantly anxious, and for some reason feel that we are missing something. It is almost as if I know there is a flare up somewhere ? I have incredible joint pain, abdominal bloating, nausea and tired a lot. Some days are good and some not. Between the depression and anxiety and not knowing I often feel like I am not being heard. Or is it just my imagination ? Thank you for this article. It does give me some perspective. I sure would appreciate any advice on my September scan results.
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