Overcoming Fear of reoccurrence

Hello to All-

I hope everyone had a lovely Holiday! I just came back from my ONC appointment for a recheck. He said everything looks and felt fine. He said he wants to see me in 3 months. Also blood work every month. I was happy that nothing is rearing its ugly head but at the same time its only been 2 1/2 months since I finished chemo. I know the statistics. I really started to feel very alone and nervous. My ONC said try to not think about cancer but I said its very hard to do. I really started to cry when I got home. I feel like a ship lost at sea. I know I should feel grateful which I do but that ominous feeling is hanging right over my head. I don't discuss with family as I want to be as upbeat as possible and not be the anchor dragging everyone down. As a mother I don't want them all to worry.

Do any of you feel as I do? How are you coping? How do you get on with life and not feel everything has changed and you are in uncharted territory, always on watch for a possible reoccurance.

Blessings to all for a happy and healthy New Year1

XXxx Carol

9 Replies

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  • Hi Carol,

    Try not to be hard on yourself. It is extremely difficult. I know that because I finished chemo in June and have wrestled with every minor ache and pain, imagining the worst and usually in the dead of night..

    You are in unchartered territory but not alone. This site is a great forum for information, wise and friendly advice along with plenty of support. My offering would be to include every available resource in your arsenal to beat back the dread that will, given an inch, drag you down. I still take Diazapam as and when I need it. I see a counsellor who has helped me a great deal. (ask your GP or Macmillan nurse to refer you). He said to me to think of myself as a gazelle whose friend, another gazelle has been consumed by a hungry lion (cancer). That lion might not ever return to the same spot. yet it is natural to think that he will. Perhaps though he might be taking a long nap. The longer the better..

    Being outdoors helps me as do my cats and Dolly my little dog. Draw on anything that gives you a sense of pleasure and everything to go on for.

    All the best

    Debs xx

  • Hi Debs, that sounds like something I can imagine. A hungry lion that May never go back to the same place & have a long nap it could even have been killed so it will never come back. You clearly have a excellent counsellor. Any one I talk to tells me we are all going to die one day & I can be hit by a bus tomorrow. Yes that's true but it doesn't take that horrible feeling away. Take care Cindyxx

  • Yes he has been a tower of strength. xx

  • Beautifully said!

    I am starting to have anxiety again myself for my 2 year anniversary of being diagnosed. I try to say the mantra, " be a warrior, not a worrier".

    I feel so amazing and finally am able to dance again which makes me so happy. I don't want to ever go back to that dark.

    Love your words, thanks

    Emilee

  • Hi Carol,

    We all feel the way you do,how do we cope? we just immerse ourselves in life the best we can,since what has it all been for?

    My biggest comfort is my 3 year old grandson,he loves me unconditionally,he makes me laugh and pulls me through.I haven't seen him since last Wednesday,but will see him tomorow and I am so looking forward to it.

    I try and keep busy,today I hadn't thought of cancer once until an advert came on the tv.I do up houses,go on,holiday,look after my grandson,garden,housework,anything I can to stop the thoughts.

    You will find a "new normal" just try not to beat yourself up,take any help that is given and if you need to go to councelling or a support group,or speak to us,we are always here ready to give advice.

    You may feel like a ship lost at sea,but,we are all on that same boat, you are not alone,

    Lots of love

    Carole xxx

  • Hi Caf, whether you just have one treatment or two, there is always a fear of recurrence but we cannot live our lives waiting for it, it may never happen. I think find a counsellor and a support centre. We all feel at sea when finished treatment because we no longer have the security blanket of the hospital. Ring your unit and see if there are counsellors you can talk to. It is far better speaking to a stranger than family because they are non judgemental and dont have expectations that you are going to be able to do a marathon now your treatment is finished. I did go to a cancer support group and found it extremely helpful although it was hard to do because I am mostly a private person.

  • Hi Carol

    You've already been given some sound advice on coping with reoccurrence fears (& I'd certainly second the advice of seeking some form of counselling....it can't hurt right?) but you are certainly NOT alone in feeling the way you do.

    I was fortunate to not have to have chemo for my little ovarian 'ninja' but my fear of reoccurrence is still strong, especially with recent aches and pains (which subsequently turned out to be a new 'something' on my remaining ovary...desperately trying not to panic about that & trusting my Onc that so far on scans it doesn't look 'ninja''!!) so soon after my last op this year.

    I'm not entirely sure the fear of reoccurrence will ever leave any of us...but we will all find ways to cope and to try at least, to not allow it to overtake our lives...the lives we have been so generously given despite our respective fights and medical battles. It's almost bittersweet isn't it...we're probably more grateful for life than most but equally overly aware of our own mortality too!

    I wish you some peace over the coming weeks/months/years. I guess I can only liken it to how one might deal with bereavement...it doesn't necessarily go away with time...but you learn to live with it & adapt. Some days will be good...some days will be bad.

    ((Hugs))

    Jemima xx

  • Hi Carol

    9 years down the line and every time I cough, get a twinge or an ache that's it I think its back. I think we all feel like that to be honest. I get on with life by going back to work and at least that takes my mind of things. I do hope you can learn to take your mind of of worrying, perhaps counselling might help, might teach you a 'coping' mechanism. All the best for the new year.

    Kathy xxx

  • Hi Carol

    Yes I definitely feel like you and I'm a year and a half down the line since my diagnosis. Every twinge scares me and don't get me started on CA125 tests and scans. Your analogy of a ship lost at sea is such a good one.

    Things that have helped me are my friends, my dogs, yoga, (really good on a spiritual as well as physical level) and an app on my phone called Headspace which gives guided meditations. They have a new one especially for cancer and I've found it really helpful, anything from 10 to 20 minutes a day. It makes you more relaxed and peaceful and teaches you some coping strategies. I also find looking after my diet helps, it gives me a feeling of control which makes me feel better somehow. Please try not to feel alone, many of us are going through this with you. I just wish we could all meet up one day!

    Remember that a thought is not a fact. Love Sophia xx

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