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Living with the fear of its return

lissam
Posts: 4
Joined: May 2001

Hi
I am almost a 3 year survivor. One would think that as each year passes that I would think less and less about recurrance. But it seems like every little thing makes me worry about it coming back. Is there any magic that makes you quit driving yourself crazy worrying? I am a very positive person and yet my fear overcomes logic, common sense and seems to be taking over my life. Any one have any suggestions for getting past this stage?

cat1switzerland
Posts: 119
Joined: May 2001

Hi,

What's wrong with you, are you human or something similarly disgusting ? Yuk !!! I am just kidding, of course, because I had the same fears just a few months ago... I am a 2 year cancer survivor, and also a very positive person. And yet at times I'm scared... Not just for me, but for my daughter who is 8 years old, and too young to lose her mommy. OK, this having been said, how can we get rid of fear ? I am reading right now a wonderful book by a sociologist, Jacques Salome, its title is : "Contes a guerir, contes a grandir". In English that would be "Tales to heal, tales to grow". He believes tales speak to our unconscious mind, and as such can help us overcome problems. In this book, there is a beautiful tale about a Fear Magician. In that country, everybody was scared. Fears poisoned their lives. So they would travel a long way to see the Fear Magician. They would go alone, and when they returned they kept quiet, wouldn't talk about what had happened. One day, this little boy broke the secret. He said : "The magician told me to look for the desire hidden beneath my fear, and to accept that desire." A man decided to test the magician with the scariest fear of all. "I am afraid of dying", he told the magician, "that's a fear you can't solve, can you ?" The magician asked him : "What is the desire hidden under this fear ?" The man answered : " I would like to live every moment of my life in the most intense and happy manner, without wasting anything." "So, this is your most formidable desire", whispered the magician. "Listen to me : take good care of this desire, it is a unique and precious desire. To live every moment in the most lively, intense, joyous manner is a very beautiful desire. If you respect this desire, if you give it a real room inside of you, you will not be afraid of dying anymore."

The author added : There is a desire under every fear, and we must discover that desire, and respect it . But we must also accept that not all desires can be fulfilled. Some desires must remain just desires, while others will be fulfilled. We won't know which ones get fulfilled until we uncover those desires... That is the secret of life : unpredictable, and at the same time so open and generous.
My daughter loved this story, but I think I liked it even more...

OK, that's the end of story time for tonight, honey, you've got to go to bed now. Sleep tight, and don't bite the bed bugs...

With a big hug from Switzerland, which is almost on the other side of the world, where we always walk on our heads (or is it just me...?)
Cathy

bdean
Posts: 262
Joined: Feb 2001

Hi! Cathy is a hard act to follow--her story being so true. I look at it this way, am I afraid of wrecking my car every time I leave home? Do I hide inside my home in fear of being mugged if I go shopping? Do I fear falling down in the tub or the stairs and breaking my neck? My chances of dying from an accident are as great as dying from recurrence!! Just keep reminding yourself of all the amazing news coming out of research now aimed directly at metastasized cancers. So, if it should come back, and pray to God it never will--then there will be all kinds of new ammunition to fight it with. God's will must be done--not ours--and that is very scary if you should forget to call upon him when fear threatens. Just rejoice in this day--if you waste today by worrying about tomorrow then you have accomplished nothing to give you joy. Count your blessings when dark thoughts come: you know those precious, priceless things in your life that money cannot buy or cancer cannot take away--think about it. Write them down as you think of each one; you should be amazed at how long your list will become. Always start with love and go from there. May God give you the strength you need to continue--remember the book of Psalms what David said-'yea tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for God is with me.'
Here's a hug from Georgia,
Brenda

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

I am like Cathy of Switzerland, I read to try and find way to cope with all I feel. I have been reading self help books long before cancer. I have read many times we have to face our fears and do it anyways. In our case we must face our fears and live inspite of them. For me, I soon learned what I have control over and what I do not. Much like finding myself with cancer there truly isn't anything I can do about a reoccurrance and I choose to go beyond it all.
Be Good To Yourself,
24242Tara

slowtexan
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2000

I just reached the 2 year surivor status in April, so you are already ahead of me. Congratulations!!!!! and I really mean it. Some days I think about recurrence a lot, some days hardly at all. But, and it's been said before, life goes on. I don't mean to sound flippant, I understand what you are saying. But, I've tried to use that as my motto for the last three years and make every day the best it can be and when tomorrow is today, I do the same thing again.

Soooo, what are those little things that are driving you crazy and bringing on the worrying. Try to identify them or the reason for them and get rid of them. If you can't get rid of them totally, maybe talk to a friend, spouse or e-mail me. Don't try to keeps these things to yourself and don't feel like no one wants to listen. I, for one, think you have plenty of reason to spout off if it makes you feel better. I have been surprised by my family and friends telling me that I should have told them sooner what was on my mind and bothering me. It really will make you feel better.

Didn't mean to ramble on but sometimes you just have to let it go. Hope this have been some help and I didn't ruffle any feathers.

Sandi

lissam
Posts: 4
Joined: May 2001

Thank you so much for your reply. I guess I have buried a lot of my own feelings about all of this for a very long time. Any time anyone would ask me how I was...I would just say I am great and usually meant it. It was like I didn't allow myself to dwell in any of it. I sailed through chemo, reconstruction and all of that only missing one week of work and having about six surgeries. It seems like all the fear and worry have surfaced. I am sure they were all there all the time, I just didn't allow myself to think about it. Now I find myself panicking over every little ailment. I do appreciate every single moment of my life..it just wears on me sometimes because I feel like no one else really understands and doesn't take things as seriously as I do. It absolutely changes your life forever. There have been many positives from this experience and I just try and concentrate on those things. My best friend has also come down with breast cancer so I am doing what I can to help her and that in turn helps me. Sometimes though, you just don't feel like being "miss positive" about things. I appreciate being able to let off some steam about this.

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

I'm 6yrs cancer free & I still have that fear, it gets better but you never forget about it , like someone once told me its like you keep it in your pocket its there butyou don't think about it all the time & always think positive .I'm getting betternow but when i go for my yearly mammogram i hold my breath until my doctor comes in & says its o;k no cancer than i let out my breath & say praise the Lord & go on until the next year but don't dwell on it because i did & I almost went crazy get a hobby write a journal about your cancer me 7 my husband both would write in our compostion book about the fear & finally i accepted that i was going to be o;k & the Lord took it from me .Just give it to Jesus & he will take it from you o:k Jesus loves you

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