My Ovacome

Curious

Hi ladies,

This is just a general query. Not even that really. I am wondering why we change after hearing we have cancer?

The day before I went to A&E in pain I went for a fifteen mile walk. I was a bit tired but I expected this after a long walk. The following day in pain (which was completely unrelated to my cancer) I went to A&E and three days later I was told I had a tumour and oc. What's odd is that I didn't go on any long walks or do much else either for ages. The only difference really was that I'd been told a few words, my body was the same for a while and nothing else had changed. It must be physiological.

Why do you think this is? Obviously, I had my op and chemo but my whole outlook seemed to change. I'm back on track now though.

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Hi lovely,

When told those words I'm sorry you have cancer everyone's systems are in shock the patients the most wether you realise it or not your subconscious mode kicks in and your body starts thinking differently to your mind it goes into survival mode that being making someone more tired than usual the reason for this is to protect your mind and body from further harm whilst you process the news your world as you know it will change forever eventually you will have a 'new' normal and get through the next stage of what comes next.

Xxx

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If only everyone were told in such a way, I wasn't and I got very defensive and angry, maybe it's that anger that got me to where I am today, who knows.....

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Thanks mum,

I guess you're right. I remember telling everyone I was okay all the way through my treatment and I believed I was okay. It wasn't until I really was okay that I realised I wasn't okay when I said I was. If you know what I mean.

Our minds are really powerful but we don't always realised it.

Thanks for your reply. It helped a lot. xx

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Hi Zenjal,

I had to laugh at ths 'cos Iam the same!....Now on maintenance treatment am beginning to acknowledge skeletal discomfort, however. Perhaps at a deep level we are scared people will write us off! xxx

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You're certainly right there Chris. I had a sudden avalanche of visitors and I swore it was because they thought they wouldn't see me again. Funny enough, four years later, I haven't seen most of them again. xx

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I've made sure I've seen most again...driving on roads theywouldn't!!! With kids in tow...! However, think I just might have been a bit guilty myself in the past.....C xx

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This is a really interesting subject. There's so much going on that, I believe, relates to our own experience/narratives.

My struggle seemed focussed on 'I can't trust my body to be well' and the difficulty of separation of mind (self) and body (other). I don't think that will ever go away. But everyday life goes on. My daughter was quite shocked when I said recently how much having cancer had affected me. Either it doesn't show, or more likely, she prefers not to see it!

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Hi Muriel,

I think you're right. I hide how I really feel so everyone thinks all is okay. On the whole it is and I don't want to keep talking about it but I can't seem to help myself.

I remember my daughter asking me to go out with her when I was having my chemo. She'd completely forgotten I even had cancer. Perhaps that is a good thing. Sometimes I even have to question myself about whether I really have had it or not. Strange. Sometimes it's like a dream or should I say nightmare.

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Hi Zenaj, I hope things are as good as can be. A very interesting question. I think it's blissful ignorance. The idea that what you don't know can't hurt you.

A week before our diagnosis my wife was dancing until 3am in the morning, she felt tired and was a bit bloated but that was just an precursor to menopause. Or so we thought.

Being told you have cancer is a devastating blow. Most of us plan, and to some extent, live for the future. When you are told that you have cancer, irrespective of the prognosis, that future, all your plans and dreams, seemingly melt away.

You become a difference person as you have to reevaluate your life and recognise your own mortality. Ovarian cancer is a particularly nasty condition, difficult to spot early and consequently difficult to treat. You need to to change to become a stronger person to fight this disease, and you become more appreciative of the good things you have and your loved ones. In some ways the time I had with my wife after her diagnosis were our closest times, and in many way happy, although always foreshadowed by a future where uncertainty was the best we could hope for.

Best wishes, I hope your treatment continues to give good results.

Paul

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Thank you Paul.

I think this sums it up perfectly. I feel a bit like Jeykl and Hyde. Some days everything is hunky dory and I plan the future, on other days everything goes to pot. This is probably how our lives would have been anyway but now I put everything down to cancer.

Where I was a perfect, healthy specimen as soon as I was diagnosed I seem to have everything wrong with me. As I always say 'you never know what you're going to wake up with'. Sometimes when you wake up in the morning it sad to know that's the best you're going to feel all day.

I'm very lucky. As far as I know I'm as healthy as I can be and there are people a lot worse off than I am. I carry on as if nothing has happened and will do so until someone tells me I can't.

Thanks for your time Paul

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There is a phenomenon known as Nocebo, when a patient anticipates the negative effects of a treatment or illness, either causing them or making them worse than they otherwise would have been. The nocebo effect is really interesting to look into, it,s incredible just how powerful our minds are. There was a trial for a new hepatitis drug done in Italy recently where half of the male participants were told that the medication could cause erectile dysfunction and guess what happened? Over half reported this happening to them even though they had been in the control group and receiving a Placebo. Our beliefs, expectations and anticipations all influence the outcomes people have. Sorry Zena, I,m rubbish at explaining things but it is a fascinating point you,ve raised. Yuch, I hope it is more pleasant where you are!. Take care sweet, xxx

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Hi badger,

I know exactly what you mean. I have participated in a few trials over the years although I don't know the outcome of any of them.

I've been told a few times that it's my attitude that's helping with my remission. It's been four years with stage 3C. I'm on a trial so maybe this will come out as true.

I intend to live a lot longer and have said it will take more than this to get rid of me.

Wishing you all the best and thanks for your time.

Zena x

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Of course we think differently now! My hubby and I saved for years so we could do a trip of a lifetime to celebrate our 50/60 birthdays. Then cancer hit. The trip was cancelled and we spent over a year in and out of hospital. Now I'm waiting on my 6 month CT scan and we decided to spend that money on a comfy boat to float around the lake at our cottage this summer. Just before signing the contract, I turned to my hubby and said, "If I die, you'll be able to pay this boat off without me, so you'll be ok." His eyes filled looking into mine and he replied, "Yes, it will be ok, but that's because we will grow old using it together. " Of course we think different now!

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Hi Marzipan,

I don't know what to say. My eyes are too full of water. xx

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Hi Marzipan,

I too am in the process of buying a river boat with hubby, we may not always want to fly abroad,he has Parkinson's and I think it's something we can do together and with the family.

Are you in America ?

Carole xx

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Our cottage is in Quebec, Canada. It's sooooo beautiful and peaceful up there. So natural. We love being on the lake during the weekdays when it's quiet and the loons swim alongside our boat, and we can see turtles and fish. If we get lucky we see an eagle. Hawks are regular visitors and so are hummingbirds and yellow and purple finches. It's my happy place.

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Hi Marzipan,

This sounds idyllic. I'll get my ticket and be over. I've only been to Quebec once but I loved it.

Best wishes,

Zena x

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Sounds amazing!our riverboat will be on the river medway,we can go out to sea if we want to,or around to the Thames and do the canals of Britain,but I am just happy to do the medway as it is very pretty and I will love taking the family out.

It's all good for the soul,love

Carole xx

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Sounds wonderful Carole. You must be really looking forward to it especially if you can take advantage of the good weather we have at the moment.

Best wishes, Zena xx

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Hi Zenaj,

I think it changes our lives and thought processes because it's the words no one wants to hear.

I was told on a living well course we all have in varying degrees of post traumatic stress syndrome and it can show it's self in varying ways.

I recently went to the dentist because my teeth keep losing fillings and I was told I am a major teeth grinder! One of the symptoms of PST syndrome,let's face it, none of us will ever be the same,why would we be after all we have been through?

All we can to is live life to the full, the best we can and similar to Marzipan,we are in the process of buying a river boat😀 Water is theraputic,

Lots of love,

Carole xx

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Hi Carole,

Thanks for your reply. I think you're right. I am a very strong person on the whole. I didn't cry or break down when I was told and treated it as any other illness. Take the treatment and get better. I convinced myself I was fine but I obviously wasn't as fine as I thought. I think a lot of it is show for our friends and family.

This river boat thing is catching on, isn't it? My next door neighbour built a yacht in his back garden. The slapping of the ropes on the mast used to drive me mad during the night when it was quiet. I was glad when it was finished and transported to the river.

I wouldn't go that far myself but I am going on my first cruise later in the year. I'll consider myself to be a sailor.

Best wishes,

Zena x

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I have found this CURIOUS thread very interesting. I did change and am changed forever. I have never moaned and wailed about my diagnosis but I did stop doing many things, this was initially because of severe fatigue and even after I finally had a blood transfusion that helped with the fatigue, I did not WANT to go back to doing all that I'd done before.

I did begin to think that I was subconsciously deciding that I was too ill to go back to doing the things I'd done before but I had an epiphany one day - I realised that some of those things I'd been doing I'd done out of habit and I didn't really like them. After chemo/surgery/more chemo/maintenance on Avastin, I could start again - I could reinvent myself!

I really can't do the one thing I would still like to do - a lot of physical work in my garden. Instead I pay for someone else to do it on my instructions (from the PIP benefit I've been awarded), it's not ideal but it has allowed me to take up sketching and painting, which is giving me great joy. I feel I have an excellent excuse to sit and paint/draw when before it felt like an indulgence. I love it!

There are things that I will not do again, things that seemed like a good idea when I started them and then I felt too guilty to abandon, even though I got no joy from them.

My hubby and I have not bought a boat - but we did buy a motorhome and had a European tour planned which my diagnosis interrupted. The 'new normal' means we still can't do that but from our home on the Essex/Suffolk boarder (U.K) we can take many shorter trips up the coast, which is beautiful and rewarding.

I still sometimes wonder if my mind is ruling my body, and maybe I'm becoming too used to 'being ill' and enjoy the sympathy too much, but being aware of this as a danger is helping to counter it.

I, for one, am beginning to enjoy my 'new normal' - now I must take a break from writing and work out what I'm going to paint next!

Iris xx

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Iris, this is fantastic. I agree with everything you've said.

I also am not intending to do things that bore me and that I don't want to do.

I sometimes wish I could have more blood transfusions when I feel a bit weak.

Getting older brings on so many aches and pains which I put down to chemo or cancer and they are all probably quite normal. I have got side effects from the chemo but they're nothing I can't cope with.

We'll survive this and later (being morbid) we'll get something else wrong with us. That's life. I intend to live mine to the full and I can see that you will too.

Best wishes,

Zena x

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