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STILL SCARED AFTER SIX MONTHS

mary20
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2002

I received my diagnosis last Nov. Stage 1 breast cancer; the tumor was about 1 centimeter in size. I had a lumpecteomy; was scheduled for 9 chemo treatments; once every three weeks (made it through four and became allergic to the chemo). I had to quit chemo; but the chemo I was on did not make me sick at all. Now I am having radiation treatments. During this time I left my fiance and moved out on my own. I am scared stiff of a recurrence and can't seem to get past this fear. No matter what I read; it seems like it returns in 3-4 years. ANy suggestions in how to get over this fear and get living? Thank you.

ludasue
Posts: 98
Joined: Apr 2002

TIME!!! Time will help ease the fears and anxiety. It's all still fresh on your mind. Eventually, without even realizing it, you will have a day that you don't think about the cancer. Then you'll go in for the dreaded check-up ... get all nervous ... get a good report ... and it's back to not thinking about it. For what it's worth, your feelings are perfectly normal. You will meet many women on this site that have made way beyond 3 or 4 or 5 years. I personally am a 4 1/2 year survivor to date!!! You will get there!!! Just stay strong and think positive!!! hugs, angie

p.s. - If you don't mind me asking, why didn't the docs change your chemo drug to find something you were not allergic to so you could continue? I have a friend allergic to taxol, so they loaded her up with benadryl before, during, and after her treatments to avoid a reaction.

smfreia's picture
smfreia
Posts: 22
Joined: Apr 2002

Time does help, but you never fully get over the fear. I am a 6 year survivor of ovarian cancer, and I am still fearful of every ache and pain. However, you can't dwell on it or you will become obsessed with it. Live your life to the fullest, appreciate every day, and try, try not to let the thought of cancer take over your life.

mary20
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2002

Thank you so much for your reply. My oncologist said of the three chemo drugs I was on two of them could cause this reaction. He decreased the drug he thought would cause this reaction after third treat-
ment and my reaction was worse. The other drug (Can't remember the name) was the drug which was the most effective and didn't want to decrease it. He also told me many oncologists would not even have put me on chemo due to the size and type of cancer and assured me the four treatments would be more than sufficient. One drug he mentioned (he could put me on) would be "overkill" for me and I would definitely lose my hair and can cause cardiac problems. So with his advise, I stopped chemo. Thank you again.

jmears
Posts: 270
Joined: Jul 2001

For stage one you had very aggressive treatment even with just 4 chemo treatments. As Angie said it takes time ...
Be really patient with yourself. Good Luck Jamie

maryzombori
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2002

I had a similar diagnosis two years ago. I can recommend one thing: get on with living. Keep busy, start a class, read good books, talk long walks, get a pet. You are not alone, and there are so many other risks in life, that this one might be the least of your worries! My BC came back within two years, but I can honestly say I rarely thought about it. I had so much living to do and still do, that my days were filled with to-do lists. Enjoy life. I can also recommend reading any books by Dr. Andrew Weil (www.drweil.com), and take care of YOU! Happy living,

marytres's picture
marytres
Posts: 145
Joined: May 2002

Hi, you never get over the fear. It'll live with you but you have to know how to live with it. One is that this site helps alot to talk with other women and the other is just LIVE! You're living with cancer and not dying from it. Hang in there and you'll beat this like all of us. God Bless. Hugs, Marie

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

I am sorry Mary that you left your fiance evenn though the courage it took to do so was incredible,I am just sorry it came at this time.
I think all one has to do is read some of the personal profiles to see that you are misinformed when you say it comes back in 3 or 4 years. There are many of us who have had worse staged cancer than your own who continue to do very well many years later. Like you I think we all have fome fears but have learned to live life without the fears constantly haunting us. Some of us just come to terms with the fears and do it in spite of them.
I was 36 with stage 3 with lymph node involvement and I still survive 4 years with no other cancer rearing its ugly head. There are so many cases out there to show you that the chances aren't that high. The only thing one can do now is give themselves their best fighting chance and start doing things for ourselves to help us live quality fill lives.
Take care of yourself,
Tara24242

mary20
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2002

Thank you so much for your response. I need to learn about survivors like yourself. I just found this chat room (if that is what it is called) and am anxious to read other women's stories. Thank you again. and you take care, too.

vjc5199
Posts: 104
Joined: Apr 2002

i was dx in Dec. 2001 (on my b-day!!!) 2 mo. after my son was born. i had an aunt that died of bc so the only thing i could think about was that i just got this beautiful baby boy, that my hubby and i prayed so long for, and i was NOT going to give up without a fight. he needed me and i was determined to be here for him. i have had 4 AC treatments, a lumpectomy, a PET scan that revealed 2 more places (on my stomach and spine), a CT scan & MRI on those 2 sites, 2 more AC treatments, another CT scan that showed the place in my stomach was gone. i have stopped chemo but started Arimidex which shuts down the hormone system and starves what cancer is left. i still have radiation to go and i still have the spot on my spine. i said all that to say this...i have alot to think about but if i do that then i wouldn't be able to live. which i what i fully intend to do! God has blessed me with the way things have turned out and i know He will continue to do so. my chemo never made me sick, tired or unable to care for my son. Mary, you can't dwell on the "what ifs" and what statistics show or studies say. you have to think about the "right nows" and right now you have to FIGHT!! we are all here for you. talk to us. we will help you if we can or just listen if we can't. you are NOT alone. God bless. Vicki

karbear
Posts: 166
Joined: Aug 2001

Mary, trust me you're not alone!! its been one year since my dx and I'm still scared. I had my first mammo and think I aged 10 years worrying ! Every ache and pain scares me,thinking it has come back..I have had many sleepless nights worrying about it, lately I've had alot of joint pain, not sure why but I will be seeing my oncologist next week to let him know. Its awful,I don't think we will ever not worry,I am hoping with time it eases up ...I don't want this to consume my life being scared. Its very haardddddddddddddd though. Some days I can just sit and cry still...Its very tough !! We will all be here for each other..God Bless and Hang tough!! Karin

shirlann
Posts: 235
Joined: Oct 2001

Hi, honey, if you continue to worry ask your doc to let you try some anti-depressants for a year or two, until you get your feet under you. They were a life-saver for me. They are not addictive but take 3 to 6 weeks to work. All of us are scared of a recurrence or worse, metastases, but that just goes with the territory. My Mom's best friend had a double mastectomy for breast cancer in both breasts 46 years ago! She is 94 and also, she had that awful Cobalt, they don't use anymore. I think of her often, we all felt so sorry for her, sure she would die, and she has out-lived my mother by 7 years and still counting! Also, another gal I met on another site has made 10 or 11 appointments for her follow-up mammo and has made it to the parking lot 4 times, and that is the closest she has come. We laugh together. It is the same for all of us. You are in a huge sorority of sisters and we love you and are with you in spirit every inch of the way! Hang in there, Shirlann

nasa2537
Posts: 317
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi Mary...it does always seem to be in the back of your mind, doesn't it? I also had stage 1, tumor was 1.1cm. I was not offered chemo, because my onc said if it wouldn't make at least a 3% difference in the chance of survival, they don't recommend it. For me, it was a little over 1%, so I didn't do it. I had 33 rad tx, finished in mid-November, and am doing fine. If this recurrence thing is really eating at you, please talk to your Dr., as there are meds they can use to calm the anxiety a bit. I would also recommend a local support group...helped me immensely. I take an occassional ativan if I get really anxious, but that isn't often any more. I do still think "cancer" every time I get a new ache or pain, but have decided this thing is NOT going to rule my life. I pray a lot too, but not sure if you are a religious person. It helps me a lot to put it all in God's hands. The support gropups are great if you can search around and find one that has more positive people in it. This is not to say the ones with the negative people are not worthwhile...they need help, too. We had a combination in ours, and ya know, it really empowered me to share my story with women just starting out in this journey. While I didn't go through a lot of what others have, I still survived it none-the-less, and still have a story, as do you. Sharing it just really seems to help. Then you get others who are sharing, and you meet 80 year old women who are like 18 year survivors, and tell yourself that will be you some day! There is no one answer for everyone. You have to do what works, but starting with talking to the Dr. may help a lot. I wish you all the best, and feel free to e-mail me any time. I won't be online a lot til after the 4th because we sell fireworks, but I will answer you. Take care, and keep your chin up. Hugs, Cyndi MillionAirs2@aol.com

mary20
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2002

Cyndi - Thank you for your incredibly warm response. I almost cried when I read it. Actually, I am doing better about being scared of a recurrence. I am trying to have this attitude daily, "If it happens, then I will deal w/it." I have 7 more radiation treatments to go; then finished. I have some radiation burns which are bothersome; but this has been the hardest part. I will try to find a support group. I live ina rural area of upstate NY and it is about one hr. away to the nearest one but I will keep looking. I am so glad you are doing fine. When were you diagnosed w/cancer?
Maybe we can keep in touch. I woud like that.
Mary

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