Positive attitude

Saw the surgeon for my follow up this morning. He was pleased with the op and my progress but said that, unless I can develop a positive attitude instead of worrying about everything, all his work will be wasted. I have always been a worrier and this is so much worse than anything that has gone before. Trying blanking it out now while waiting for the counselling appointment.

25 Replies

  • The answer to all sorts of problems is easy isn't it?

    Anorexics just need to eat. Alcoholics just need to refuse drink etc etc

    But it's just so hard to do when you have the problem.

    What I've realised is that we all have the power within us to change things and we just need to find it and believe in it.

    Good luck. Just keep trying and don't beat yourself up if you take a step back . Just keep trying. You can do it xxxxxx

  • It is very difficult to change ones personality. I think I understand how you feel because I also suffer similarly. However the hospital that I attend has a psychological service that helps cancer patients to deal with the situation we are in and I found it very helpful. I wonder if there is similar help where you are? Also have you spoken to your GP who should be able to prescribe some medication to help.

    The only other thing that I can say is try and distract yourself when you get into these worrying spells,speak to a friend, go out for a walk or to the shops. This is not at all easy but I found it helped a little. All the best, I shall be thinking of you. X

  • Have counselling booked on Wednesday. Trying to blank it out has had some success.

  • Big ((hugs)) hunny - easy for him to say, not quite so easy for you to do. And you are certainly not alone being a worry wart. I hope the counselling helps you perhaps at least learn to manage the feelings of worry. Distraction is definitely key as is perspective...but at times, even the most hardy will still crumble. Look after yourself sweetie - great news you're on the right track post-op!

    Jemima xx

  • Hi Neona

    So sorry that you are going through this.

    I would like to see the formal trial evidence that patients not having a positive attitude, whatever that is, truly " wastes doctors work". How does he define a " positive attitude" exactly and what precise aspect of his amazing work will be wasted? Will your uterus grow back if you are not happy enough? Will another cervix appear if you don't laugh a set number of times every day ?

    I'm sure that non judgemental counseling from a true professional who is an expert in these matters , speaks to you appropriately and is focused on your wants and needs will help , as it has many many other patients.

    Take care xxx

  • I took it that he thought I wouldn't survive long with negative feelings but I may have taken this too literally.

  • Hi there, please don't take his words to heart. I cry openly every time I see the cancer doctors to good or bad news. I am a complete reck, I am not brave, I am not positive but I am still here. I am fighting I am sure you are but if you do worry nothing will change that. I have put things in place to help me like; go for a walk daily, mediate, eat well & see my family as often as possible. I did join a group of people dealing with cancer at my local hospice but it just made me more sad but it might help you. Good luck Cindyxx

  • Hi Neona

    So pleased your appointment was good news apart from your stupid surgeons advice. OK for him to talk he's not the one who's had the big op.

    You've been through a life changing op and it is bound to make you worry, but in time it will all fall into place when you start to feel stronger.

    I have been in your place and after I lost my wonderful job and all my lovely friends that worked there too I couldn't see any future to look forward too, but after counselling at the MacMillan centre, it helped me to look forward and not worry about what might have been. So Neona when your appointment comes through you must make sure you keep it as it will help you so much.


  • Gah! Just beggars belief what some people will say...

    I've never bought the 'you have to stay positive ' mantra. I think that with such a high recurrence rate we have the right to be treated like adults and to choose our own route through the inevitable worry. Even if we become 10 year survivors..we won't know this until we have worried for nine years 364 days...

    Having said that.. there are times when it all gets too much and we need help....

    I don't really think it makes a difference to the outcome though..cancer is cancer and it's a bugger whether or not you worry about it.

    Lots of love... Lyndallx

  • Well said Lyndy! 👏👏👌!!!

    ❤️ love Jackie xx

  • I wonder whether what he was trying to say was what a doctor said to someone on here after her treatment......"Get out there and live your life" or something similar.

    Of course if you've always been a worrier, that will include worrying, but not only that....

    She found that advice helpful and I have belatedly come round to doing more of that and less spending time on "what if"s.

    But you're right, worrier or not, this IS really so much worse than anything before, perhaps apart from bereavement, that you need to find your own way of living with it, as we all do.

    You'll get there! x

  • i saw a thing on face book at the end of last year. It said to start with an empty jar and each day to write something good that had happened that day and pop the note in the jar. Then at the end of the year to reflect on all the good things that had happened. Maybe I'd look at the end of the month too to remind myself .

    Just things like watching the birds on a bird feeder can lift my mood. Try to find something you have to concentrate on to stop your thoughts going round in circles.

    Best wishes


  • This is an interesting post: firstly you say you've always been a worrier and that's not something you'll be able to change quickly. It might help you if when you realise that you are worrying to have a catch phrase or an action you do such as rubbing your hand (!) to try and stop thinking along the lines you are......it's all too easy to find oneself in a dark dark place having run through in your mind a lot if 'what if X happened, then after that what if y happened" etc etc. When in reality neither have happened and may not ever happen.

    I'm one of these infuriating positive people, every time I went for a scan I was convinced my mass had gone and I was wasting people's time!!

    I didn't get upset before diagnosis for about 98% of the time as I thought it was crazy to be upset about something that I may not have!! Yes there was about a 2% wobble but I had that on my own!

    I found that my positive attitude helps those around me too, it doesnt change what has happened or what MAY happen however it does help me and my family to cope.

    I won't lie, I find it incredibly stressful and draining mentally to be in the company of great worriers who can not see anything good and worry about something that hasn't and nay never happened.

    No one can make you be positive and I can only hope that you are pleased about your Op and your surgeons words when he said he's PLEASED with your progress.

    Stress can have an effect on our health - we frown, we tighten muscles, we clench our teeth etc etc.

    Take care and I hope you find the counselling helpful

    Clare xx

  • It certainly makes so much sense to be positive. The surgeon is great and has done an amazing job. If it wasn't for the iliostomy, which is causing me a lot of pain, I would be feeling fairly normal I think.

  • Yes, pain does put a different slant onto things - makes things more difficult at times. I'm sure you will share everything with your counsellor and I hope you do find the session useful.


  • Well in a sense your consultant is correct but he should really direct you to Macmillan Centre near you. You do need to speak with some one about your fears. It is certainly not easy to stop a lifetime habit of worrying. I have done a Mindfulness course and found it helpful. My thoughts are now words and not facts and believe it or not thinking this way has helped me a lot. When you start to think of the what ifs itself, stop and change to something nice like a place you enjoyed visiting etc

  • I have some counselling booked for next Wednesday-meanwhile I'm trying to blank it all out when the bad thoughts start.

  • Hi Neona, I had counselling after I'd completed my first line chemo. You may find yourself crying a lot, I did but don't let your emotional state put you off going back for further sessions. My chemo buddy did and she could just not come to terms with her diagnosis. It brought her down, she had 2 very young girls and she just couldn't move on, she worried constantly. Natural enough to worry but even when she'd had a ghghood outcome from chemo and surgery, her mood didn't lift due to the worries and fear. Pamela died in Sep 15. I do believe she wasted that year with her partner and children after she'd completed her treatment when she should have been living and making the most of every day. Good luck. Ann x

  • How heartbreaking with 2 young children. I can so understand her fear and worry . And so sad that she couldn't make the most of the time she had. I never thought that I would ever need counselling but this is something different and too much to deal with alone.

  • Definitely and there's no shame in asking for help. Life is for living, tomorrow is promised to no one, we could be hit by a car and ban, we're gone! Make the most of your life. Live in the moment. Ann xx

  • The first step is realise you need help and then go and try and find some. I did this and it did help me come to terms with a lot of stuff. I started Mindfulness over a year ago and found it helpful. It stops me from worrying too much and getting wound up over silly stuff

  • Hi. I am glad you have got a counselling session booked. I hope that helps. It seems that the surgeon is being a bit too negative and adding to your anxiety. Now you are worried about being worried. I find that sometimes all I can do is distract myself with books, TV or going for coffee with friends x

  • yes I have been trying to distract myself everytime the panic starts.

  • I just read a great book called Peace In The Face Of Cancer by Lynn Eib who is a cancer survivor and shares lots of stories of hope from other cancer survivors. It is Christian based and has helped me tremendously. The stories are from people who beat all the statistics they were given because they changed their attitude and refused to believe the numbers. I got the Kindle version.

  • Thank you-very interesting.

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