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Fears

jane38
Posts: 137
Joined: Aug 2000

Hello ladies. I need your help and your input. I am a 9-month survivor of stage 3-A infiltrating breast cancer with positive lymph nodes. I have never fully regained my strength and stamina and would like to know if others are having the same problem. Also, I am always with the fear that my cancer will return. Do any of you have these fears and if so, how do you handle it? I even have dreams about it. Somedays I feel like I am losing my mind. I know my life will never be as it was before cancer. I'm not expecting anything grandiose. I just want to know if these feelings are part of the course of living beyond cancer. Jane

murphy
Posts: 45
Joined: Sep 2000

Dear Jane, I read your post and just wanted to say, we are about the same, I also had Infiltrating ductal carcinoma, but no nodes involved. I had a modified radical mastectomy followed by 6 months of chemo thearpy and I am 9 months out of my chemo. I go back to my Oncologist every 3 months, so I have been there twice and am due the end of Nov. and yes I do still have fears about my cancer returning and they are always stronger when I am close for a dr. visit. I don't think it is uncommon or un-natural to have these fears. The best way I have found to deal with it is to put my whole trust in God, and have faith that whatever does happen He will be there to help me through no matter what. It also helps to talk to people like yourself so that we know we are not alone. I have close family and friends but none who have experienced cancer and although they listen to me they do not fully understand what I really feel. I can not take your fears away but I can say I know how you feel and I am glad to talk with you. Have you discussed this with your Oncologist, maybe he/she can help you to feel less fearfull. I am always encouraged by the number of women who have fought the battle of breast cancer and have won and I try not to dwell on any negative aspects, I stay aware of them but choose to be positive. As far as my strength and energy, I think overall I do OK, I try to be as active as possible, somedays I really have to push myself to get going but find the more active I make myself be the better I feel, mentally as much as physically. Have you been getting good reports from your check-ups? I don't know if I have said anything to help you but I hope so. Just remember you are not alone. Take care and God Bless. Murphy

jane38
Posts: 137
Joined: Aug 2000

Thanks Murphy. Yes, you did help. I go back in December for my one year checkup. All my reports to date have been good. I'm just still feeling the fatigue, never did get over it. But, I also have a low thyroid which we have been trying to normalize over the past 3-4 months. I learned today the TSH is still low so have to increase my thyroid hormone once again. Very frustrating. I'm sure it will all pass. you guys help me so much, much more than any words can describe. Again, thanks. Jane

sueholm's picture
sueholm
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2000

Jane, I have just been diagnosed with lobular infiltrating carcinoma with positive nodes and vascular invasion. I found this all out yesterday, and it was like i had been flattened by a steamroller. I got on the net and did further research and discovered that i am in the high risk category, that i have a failry high chance of recurrence, and am in for some veryheavy chemo. Of course I am fearful, but i think the maxims of living that i was forced to adopt when i sobered up and went into AA are going to be my best help. God grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, the courage to change the things i can, and the wisdom to know the difference. though i am not a bleliever in a god, i know that i only have control over myself, not other people, not the cancer, so i will have to concentrate on taking care of myself and not even bother to dwell on the possibilities, because dwelling on them is not going to make one jot of difference. Every bit of enery i put into worrying is going to draw from the energy i need to recover and keep strong. i'm not going to waste time thinking of the what ifs, i'm going to take one day at a time, i'm going to treat myself as royally as i can afford, and i am going to let my friends and family spoil me. i'm going to work as much as i can to keep my mind off things. now, this all sounds very positive, and realistically, i know i am going to have bad days, and not feel quite so strong as i do today, but i'm going to discipline myself, i hope, to keep reminding myself that worry is counterproductive. i don't know if this is any help to you, but i would sure like some help through my upcoming bout with chemo, so if you feel like writing back i would be delighted to hear from you. oh, i am 55 and live in canada

jane38
Posts: 137
Joined: Aug 2000

I would love to keep talking to you, especially as you go through your chemo. No matter how much your family and friends love you, they cannot possibly understand how you are going to be feeling. Only someone who has been there. I know women and men who have gone through chemo without a problem in the world. I, on the other hand, had horrible nausea and fatigue. I hope you have no problems at all and just breeze through it. I, too, am in a high risk category. Stage 3-A. Statistically I have a 75% chance of survival for five years and after that it goes down drastically each year. But I don't dwell on that. I mainly, when I am not whining, am concentrating on letting the people I care about know just how much I do care about them. As I have stated previously, I am a volunteer with the American Cancer Society and find that work more rewarding and fulfilling than anything I have ever done. If I can save just one woman or man from having to go through this nightmare of surgery, chemo and radiation, then all that I have gone through will have been worth it. Thanks for your comments. They have been most helpful. I wish you well in the days to come. Please keep in touch and let me know what is going on with you. If you like, you can e-mail at this site, or talk through the group, or you can e-mail through AOL. My address is EJaneR38@AOL.com. Looking forward to a continued friendship. Jane

sueholm's picture
sueholm
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2000

aaah, you too have all the statistics worked out. i have, too. thought i was being morbid for a while, but realized i am just one of these people who just has to know the size of the monster. once i do, i well get him in my sights, and i will have no mercy! i feel much better fighting what i know, than the unknown. keep in touch, ok?

nancys
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2000

Hello Jane, I just read your post about living with fear. And I reread your email to me that I saved from September 8th. You told me that ATTITUDE is everything and I agree, but we still are human and it is very human to fear the unknown. No matter how well informed we try to make ourselves, our future's are still unknown. I think we will always live with this fear, but as each year passes, I think it will not be the last thing we think about everynight as we fall asleep. Each night, when I pray, I thank GOD for this day he has given to me, and I ask that he stand beside our research doctors trying to find a cure for all of our chronic diseases. Jane, call those Knights out again, with their silver trimmed saddles to continue doing your battle. They can just fight for practice, since they already conquered the enemy and made you healthy again. Stay strong. Your Friend, Nancy

jane38
Posts: 137
Joined: Aug 2000

Nancy, you are absolutely brilliant. You know, it seems that as soon as I expressed my fears, they went away. It's really neat how this group helps each other. We know we can say anything, it is not too bizarre, and it is not unique. We all share the same stories, maybe just with a little different twist. Anyway, once I finish my reconstruction, the nipple/areolar complexes and a revision of my left TRAM flap reconstruction, it will be easier. I will feel whole again, not missing some parts. Thanks for your input. You are a sweetheart, and one of God's angels here on earth.

tcbangels's picture
tcbangels
Posts: 115
Joined: Jun 2001

Hello Jane:
don't feel like you are alone because you are not,I tell you this much ,when I got it the first thing I thought was I'm going to die because we lost so many in our family with cancer so when you hear that big C word you panic.I'm a 6yr survivor, I have family tell me that I just dwell on me getting cancer again .At first i did as time goes by you get better I know I still get scared when its time for a check up but after that i go home & start living again & don't think about it coming back .I will say this it stays in the back of your mind but you have family that loves you & just say I can accomplish anything through my Lord Jesus Christ he is my strength & he will take that worry & scary feelings from you. Its just a natural thing of the woman in us that losing that breasty is hard but you will pick up & than help somebody else thats been through this.I never had a support group my family was mine & this is my first time to start talking to people that went through what I went through,because I never had a computer & this is making me feel so good. My prayers are with you just keep that positive attitude & get a composition book & write everything you can think up than look at that composition book & say I don't need you no more because I accomplish my fears & thanks for that you will see yourself getting better
love cheryl

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