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LIVING IN FEAR

denises
Posts: 8
Joined: Jun 2002

I am in remission of lung cancer.I had chemo and radiation and finished my treatments Dec.2001.i'm 41 years old.I'm living in fear that it will come back all the time.No matter how I try to change my thoughts the fear is there all the time.I was positive going through my treatments but after they told me that I was in remission,then the fear set in.
Anyone who is having these feelings please share with me how you are coping.
Thanks
Denise

melzmom
Posts: 47
Joined: Apr 2002

Denise: I had non-hodgkin's lymphoma. I finished my treatments in March of this year. I too had chemo and radiation. From the moment I was diagnosed I was 100% positive that I wold go into recovery. After the treatments ended I was an emotional basket case. I couldn't sleep or eat all I could think about was cancer and what we had been through. I think while we are going through treatments we had a cheer leading section, our dr's and nurses. Then, we are forced to go back into the world. The phone has stopped ringing, people are no longer offering to help, we don't have a daily reminder from a medical professional how well we are doing, and people think that now we are in recovery that we are okay. No one can understand unless they have been there. We have to figure out how to start living again. We have changed but we don't know how we've changed. Our lives will never be the same. Where we go from here? There is no easy answer. The emotional stuff is just as hard as the chemo and radition. How do we go from being a cancer patient to being a cancer survivor? It is hard but don't beat yourself up and try not to worry to much. I am coping much better then I was even a couple weeks ago. I am back at work (part time) and try to keep myself busy with my every day life. When I get scared of the cancer coming back, I try to focus on the love and support we had when I had cancer and all of those around me that love me. I really try to think about the positive things in my life. I am also getting professional help. I walk every day. I am still so afraid but I don't want to waste the health I have now by worring about what might come tomorrow. I had to learn with cancer to live one day at a time and I realized that I need to carry on that lesson into my recovery. Hang in there. It does get better, I promise. My e-mail address is Melzmommy@yahoo.com. Write me if you want to. Hugs from someone who knows exactly how you feel, Lia

crtsang
Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2000

I can second what Lia (melzmom) has already said. Many of us feel abandoned after treatment, and it just doesn't help that other people often just want to put it out of their minds. (You're ok, so it's over, right? Uhhh...)
When I finished treatment, I was working at home, and that didn't help. It does help to have people around and something else you must do--like a job, real or volunteer. Also, it helped me to find a Gilda's Club, where there were other people with the same kind of experience. You might see if you can find a group like that in your area--either a Gilda's Club or a survivors' group through ACS or the hospital.Also, like Lia, I've been getting professional help. Finally, there's a book a friend of mine recommended. I haven't had a chance to really look at it, but she says it's very helpful. It's called Dancing in Limbo. Sorry I can't remember the author's name, but it's about adjusting to life after treatment.
All the best to you, and hugs too.
Carol

jo anne
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2000

Dear Denise,
I am 61 and have been in remission from Lung cancer since November of 1999. I believe the fear is with us always. It is
how we cope with the fear of returning cancer that makes the difference for some. The fear just before my 3 month tests and after waiting for results apparently makes me a bit grouchy and well you as a survivor know what I mean. There are too many people who think once you are in remission..well it is all over now and we can get on with our lives as before. I know how you feel and I have found that always being aware of that feeling can be the start of beating that feeling. I don't want people to stop wanting to be around me because I am grouchy or depressed..I try to keep in mind if I would want to be around me when those feelings of fear manifest themselves. Fear can be such a destructive force. I pray alot too.
Hope you will be feeling better about it all but know there are those who REALLY do understand. Warm regards, Jo Anne

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