Im really struggling with MY fears to the point where I really believe I'm letting my husband down very badly. I'm hoping that some of you out there can help me be more positive and less scared and pessimistic.
Alan had his op last July. His 9 weeks of after surgery chemotherapy finished in December. We've seen the professor in December and March and all is considered to be well. A friend told me to think of it this way: the cancer was completely removed last July. The affected oesophagus was thrown in a bucket. Now that it's all over you don't carry that bucket around with you.
I understand and appreciate that way of thinking but I find it really hard to stay on that positive mind track. I'm so scared that it will come back or return somewhere else as a secondary cancer. I find it hard to think about the future, or plan for the future any further than about a month away. I have this stupid idea that being too positive will jinx things.
I feel that Alan is coping with this better than I am. He's commented on the fact that I seem distant. That makes me feel terrible as he's been through more than enough.
But changing my mindset seems easier said than done.
I think I was a bit thrown when we saw the professor for the checkup in a December, just after the post surgery chemotherapy ended. The professor had always been bluntly honest about the odds right from the outset: 1 in 3 chance. So in December, having been told that the cancerous oesophagus had been completely removed and that the accompanying removed lymph glands had shown no sign of cancer as a result of the pre surgery 9 weeks of chemo, we expected the professor to say that the odds had improved. His reply was that the odds don't change until 2 years, and then 5 years, after the operation.
That certainly threw me. Or maybe I've misunderstood?
I'm not keen on the idea of going to talk to Macmillan nurses or anything and I particularly don't want to have to tell Alan about the difficulties I'm experiencing when he is doing his very best to get on with life in as positive a way as possible. Through going to see a nurse or counsellor I think I'm frightened of having to explore my fear more than I'm already doing. And right now the fear is kept in check most of the time as long as I don't dwell on the subject.
Alan did have a T3N2 with no metastisation. The professor has said that the cancer was removed when the oesophagus was removed. He also said that the lymph nodes that had been affected had been totally removed and showed no cancer when examined after the op.
Alan returned to work 2 months ago and is working half days until he feels he can cope with full days. The professor is pleased with his weight (61kg) as it seems to have stabilised. The professor thinks it unlikely that Alan will put on any more weight but assured us that 61kg is good. He doesn't manage 6 small meals a day but he does always have a sort of half portion breakfast, lunch and dinner and he usually manages to squeeze in some cheese and red wine before he goes to bed.
The other positive is that Alan's brother(25 years older) had the same cancer 15 years ago and it's never returned. We don't know how far advanced the cancer was and his brother can't tell us as he now has fairly advanced Parkinson's.
I'd appreciate any positive feedback!