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DOES ANYONE ELSE THINK LIKE ME

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4606
Joined: Feb 2004

Well, this has been milling around in my head for a bit now so I have decided to post it and get a feel for what my fellow survivors are feeling. I have had breast cancer three times, the second one came six months after i had finished my treatments for the first and it had mast. so I was a stage 4. I did a bunch of chemo and a bunch of rads an was cancer free for 9 more years. I got breast cancer on the other side in 2007 did 4 rounds of chemo and have been okay since. My problem is that I find myself thinking negatively. I really am a pretty positive person with a strong faith, but the negative thoughts just won't stop. Let me explain what i mean. My husband will say we have plans to travel when he retires in three years, secretly in my mind i say "if i am still alive". Now where is this coming from, i do it all the time lately. HELP!!!! I need to stop this. Does anyone else do this? Just looking to see if others are having similar thoughts. Hugs to all and thanks for all the support you give!

RE

Eil4186's picture
Eil4186
Posts: 967
Joined: Dec 2007

Hi Re, You are not alone in your thoughts. I had similar thoughts after my diagnosis. We were planning to remodel our kitchen when I was diagnosed, and after that happened I had no interest anymore. I thought, why bother spending the money if I won't be around in 5 years? I thought that way for quite a while, but then about a year went by and I was pretty much back to thinking more positively about the future. We even remodeled the kitchen...It has been a little more than 2 years since my diagnosis now. Then a few weeks ago, I had a cancer scare and it turned out to be a false alarm, but I am right back to square one again; I have anxiety about dying and am depressed. I can't seem to shake this feeling of doom and gloom. It can be very distressing. I wake up in the morning with a nervous feeling in my stomach--sort of like butterflies. I wish I could give you some advice to help turn your thinking around, but unfortunately I'm in the same frame of mind. I was just hoping that knowing that there are others out here feeling the same, would help you not to feel alone. Keep us posted and you are in my prayers. I pray that we will find peace of mind and spirit soon. Eileen

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4606
Joined: Feb 2004

Hello Eileen,

First let me say how glad I am your scare was just a scare and that you have not had a recurrance and thank you for your kind words. It does help to know I am not alone with these doomish thoughts, however that does not mean I want others to feel this way too. I hope you start to feel better soon and those butterflies quiet down. Thanks again Eil for your support!

RE

zahalene's picture
zahalene
Posts: 650
Joined: Nov 2005

Actually, I think these 'why bother' kind of thoughts emerge in most of us whether we have had cancer or some other potentially life-altering situation or not after a certain age. I was 38 when first diagnosed and thought this way a lot during my 3 cancer diagnoses over a span of 10 years. But, hey, I made it to 60 and am still truckin' so I have pretty much let those thoughts go and just decided that if I only live one day in the house I am about to remodel, what the heck? I am worth one day...or a ga-zillion days. Whatever happens, or doesn't.
There are a lot of adjustments to be made as we grow older, physical and otherwise. I think something like cancer just exaserbates (essarbates? aserbates? exasperates..lol) the issue. You know what I mean...sheesh.

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4606
Joined: Feb 2004

Zah you are spot on! I am worth it weather it is one day or 30 years worth of days. All of these responses have helped me to see that I need to look more toward the positive and less towards the neg. I guess what with losing my sister and my sister in law and fighting cancer myself all last year that I have unintentionally taken a few steps backwards. Thanks for the bit of wisdom! Keep on "truckin"!

RE

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

I am afraid many of the cancer survivors had the same thought at one time or another. Cancer is scary and all the feelings we get of fear, depression, thinking we cannot go thru treatment, etc. are very normal. The trick is not to stay there but to get out of it and enjoy life, even if your pre-cancer life has changed. Faith in a supreme being, whichever God you believe in, helps. A good sense of humor helps too. Laugh often even if you have to fake the first few laughs. There are many old funny movies that you can rent and enjoy.

After all you've been thru, didn't you notice that you were stronger than you probably though you were? Try to find a positive side in most situations... or some humor. You do not know what is going to happen in three years, do not assume you might be dead.

Many oncology depts. in hospitals have social workers on call, experienced in treating cancer patients because we all get scared, depressed, etc.

Sometimes we have fears, depression, etc. and even though we do not want them, it is not as simple as saying, I am going to move on. Those are the times when we should seek help.

Check this short movie about cancer survivors: www.thesurvivormovie.com

Check this website for cancer survivors, they have a weekly newsletter, free, and it has good ideas/advise because the authors are cancer survivors. They even have a meditation room: www.TheCancerCrusade.com

If you decide to get some help, check these places:
Cancer Care, a non-profit org., offers free support and counseling for cancer patients by oncology social workers. They have face-to-face counseling and counceling on the phone. Support groups on the phone are available too and are moderated by an oncology social worker. Call 800-813-HOPE or check their website www.cancercare.org

Gilda's Club - www.gildasclub.org - they offer free social and emotional support.

Live Strong - www.livestrong.org - offers one-on-one support.

If you decide to have therapy, if you do not like the therapist, look for another one. Don't give up. Life is too short not to enjoy it. The reason I recommend therapy is because it really helped me a lot.

Hugs and prayers,
Tere

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4606
Joined: Feb 2004

Tere thank you for all the great suggestions. I am a member of Livestrong and I will check out the others you mentioned. I am not totally depressed, you are right life is way to short for that. I just get these negative thoughts popping in my head where they do not belong. I just wish I could stop it! You gave me many good suggestions and I will check a few of them out. Many hugs to you.

RE

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Since my experience with cancer, the phrase "peace of mind" has become a foreign concept. I can't even imagine what that must feel like? And, just when I thought that diagnosis and treatment for cancer was the worst thing that could happen in my life, I discovered the body of my brother at the end of the electric cord he used to take his own life. Believe me, I would have endured the whole cancer experience again, if it would have prevented my brother's suicide. Yet, the therapist from whom I eventually sought counseling following this trauma, said "You have not finished emotionally healing from your cancer (12 years ago), how could you be expected to deal with this?" In truth, I am in a perpetual state of emotional limbo. I could not really "be there" fully for my parents in their later years, because I have no more emotional energy to invest. I won't even get into my divorce or subsequent relationships, most of which did not end well.

Negative feelings? I know exactly where you are coming from!

Love and Courage!

Rick

bayberry
Posts: 8
Joined: Jun 2008

Hi Rick, I can't imagine how your brothers death has affected you. I can only tell you that I am very depressed also. Sometimes I wish that I could grow huge wings & fly away, then I think what kind of birs would I be that wouldn't get shot at by hunters & I realize that there's no perfect way to be. Our journey here on earth is fragile. We must make the best of it however we can. I know all the sayings like needing some bad to compare & appreciate the good. They all make sense to me & help sometimes. At other times my feelings are almost overwhelming. I used to be very adventureous & enjoyed a good challenge. Cancer has taken away a lot of this & I hate that. I read a lotr & it helps. Reading is a good way to escape reality without being harmful. Good luck to you & know that you are not alone. Bayberry

murielh's picture
murielh
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2005

I struggle with such thoughts often. I've been doing the whole... spiritual reading thing? "A New Earth" and such. Sometimes it helps (usually when I've got the book in my hands), other times it feels futile.

I am free and clear of cancer and have been for over three years, but my mind isn't free, I suppose. I've gotten into arguments about it with my husband because it doesn't feel as if he understands my thoughts. Everything feels like a rush in my life, I feel as if I don't have enough time any more. I want to do this and that, try that and this, all right now / as soon as possible / etc. Obviously, that's not unusual for someone in their 20's, but I'm not just in my 20's - I'm married, without our own home, in a struggling home office, and hoping cancer doesn't return.

It feels lonely sometimes. I feel like planning isn't an option because I may not be here, so I should do what I can as soon as I can. If this at all makes sense...

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4606
Joined: Feb 2004

Hello Muriel,

I do understand, those thoughts are there for me too. I push them away because i want to stay as positive as possible. Don't feel too lonely, this site is full of folks who understand. I often go into the chat room because it is a community of caring,funny and understanding people. Thank you for your post, you sound like a gal who is strong and will overcome the trials cancer hands out to us. Sending cyber hugs your way.

RE

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

I've been there too. I did the spiritual thing until I found something I was comfortable with and now that faith helps me stay calm, not worry about the little stuff.

Cancer is such a scary thing. After diagnosis and treatment, follow-ups that say you are doing well, no sign of cancer, we are still afraid it will come back. We think we may not have long to live, etc. What is the point in planning for anything in the future if we may not be here? All are very normal feelings. At one time I actually thought there was no point in buying anything, not even clothes since I might not be around to wear them. I also thought it would be nice to make things easier for my family... giving away my stuff so they wouldn't have to do it after I died. Now it sounds ridiculous and funny to me. Luckily for me, my therapist helped me get a better sense of reality.

I was diagnosed in 1987 and I am still around, relaxed and enjoying life even though there is no cure for my type of cancer. I have mets in most of my bones but I am still able to work and to have fun. I am not supposed to run or jog but that is fine with me since I didn't like it anyway. Nobody has said anything about not dancing so I dance and dance and fully enjoy it because I always liked dancing. I dance with my husband, my kids, the cats, the dog or alone. I dance when I am cooking and sometimes when I am vacuuming the house. And I dance or at least sway with the music at the supermarkets and stores that have music and I enjoy it even though my dancing in public drives my sister crazy... he, he, he.

The thing is that nobody knows what the future will bring. So why worry now about something that may not happen for a long time? Ladies, give yourselves permission to enjoy life, enjoy all the little things that are around and we usually do not pay attention to like beautiful sunsets, etc. Get help like therapy if you think you need it. I am glad I went to therapy because it gave me back my life.

Try to stop worrying about things that have not happened yet. Live one day at a time and try to enjoy it. Don't allow little things to upset you. Laugh often, even if you havae to fake it at beginning. Humor and exercise are great for depression. Get help if you need it.

To all of you, a big hug,
Tere

zahalene's picture
zahalene
Posts: 650
Joined: Nov 2005

You said it all so beautifully.
I was first diagnosed in 1986.
Two more times since then.
Turned 60 this summer and....eh...
not as young as I used to be, but that's ok because I am worrying less and enjoying it more. :)
Even the worrying that does sneak in now and then is no way as angst-ridden as it once was.
CSN has helped a lot with that. The message board people and chatters are the BEST anywhere in the world.
We all need to find what works for us. And something will work if we give all our best options a shot.
That is why life is still good.

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

I am so happy for you, Zahalene! You are right, we need to find what works for each one of us that allow us to enjoy life. Life is too short to spend it feeling bad. Sometimes we are limited in what we can do but we can always find something that will bring us joy. I dance even though I have problems with my pelvis. It doesn't matter how you do it, the important thing is to have fun and enjoy yourself.

Hugs,
Tere

slickwilly's picture
slickwilly
Posts: 339
Joined: Feb 2007

Slickwilly is saying HI and I agree with what your saying. Your letter just made me quite happy during a painful day. Weather changes really hurt me. 5 years ago I had cancer. I struggled like everyone else with the depression, anxiety and chemo brain. I went back to work for 2 years and my neck fell apart. 25 shots of radiation to the head proubly didn't help that situation. And I really wondered why God allowed me to live and then put me in pain all the time. But I have learned to live with pain and manage it the best I can. I never miss a chance to help a person with cancer living in my area. And the pain reminds me of what they are going through so maby there was a purpose after all. Its very hard as it reminds me of my own struggle. But its also a way to give back and its hard to beat the feeling of helping someone out. I didn't quit life, I adjusted it. I can't do 1/4 of the things I did before cancer. But an awesome day of camping or sailing makes up for lots of bad days. I can't plan events as I can't count on when a bad pain day will hit. So I keep my plans flexable and I make sure everyone understands that. And when no one is around I crank up some Doobie Brothers and sing as loud as I can. HOLY did I just age myself. For me a real bad day or attitude can be fixed by holding a baby or playing with a young child. It might sound funny coming from a man but I just love kids and when my home is empty its just not a home. So like TereB says "dance". And sing if you won't offend the neighbors ha ha. Have a great day tomorrow. Slickwilly

islandwife
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2008

why do the ones with the cancer turn on the non cancer spouse? what can i do th deflect or redirect his anger at me & his changing into being a loner, like i don't exsit? what happens??

slickwilly's picture
slickwilly
Posts: 339
Joined: Feb 2007

Islandwife. There can be a million answers to that question. Everyone here will tell you no two people act the same when it comes to cancer. We each have our own breaking points. Without knowing how far your husband is into treatments, the type of cancer and the predicted outcome its hard to answer this. But I will give you some ideas to think about. I don't know of many cancers that don't have pain related to them. Constant pain causes frustration to build and it can come out in terrible ways. If your the nearest target then anything can set off a verbal assault. A man feeling like he is no longer contributing to the household and is only a drag on the family will sometimes isolate himself and give up. Some pain medications have real bad side effects. You need to ask yourself if he started a new medication before he changed his behavior. Three days into Neurontin I became a total idiot. My wife called my doctor and we changed medications. I think I would start by talking to his Oncologist about the changes going on. And I am sure he would have information on counseling if that is appropriate. But the bottom line is he should not be isolating himself or taking his anger out on anyone. I think each individual learns coping skills to deal with cancer, side effects and the long lasting emotional problems. It sounds like he needs some help to work on those skills. And I am so sorry you are being treated this way. Slickwilly

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

Cancer is a difficult disease to handle. Many feelings pop up such as anger, fear, depression, etc. I agree with what Slickwilly said. We are all different and we react in different ways. Many oncology depts. have social workers experienced in helping cancer patients on call. Check with the oncologist, maybe you can find some help there. I know it is a difficult situation for you.

God Bless,
Tere

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

island,

When I had cancer, I acted like I was the only one fighting this battle and suffering its consequences, and lashed out at anyone, especially my wife, for presuming to share in my "victimhood". I was angry, bitter, and manipulative, taking it out on my 'path of least resistance' who happened to be my wife, most of the time. Sure, now, I feel bad about it all, but my wife divorced me, and my parents and brother are all deceased. Well-meaning friends have attempted to "fix me up", but I always declined graciously with "I wouldn't wish me on anyone!"

Love and Courage!

Rick

hopeful36
Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2008

Hi, I am new to this site this, this is my second post since joining in feb 08. I normally just read. When reading your post am quite sad to say that I can relate, but comforted also that I'm not the only one. My husband who just turned 37yrs old was diagnoised with a Gliomas brain stem tumor that is inoperable, although it was found in 2001 and he went through radiation and was fine for 7yrs after they said he would live for only 2, We figured we beat the odds and he was going to be fine. Well in Feb of 06 we started planning our wedding for Oct 07, everything was going great we had just had our yearly visit at Duke Brain Tumor Center in July 07 and they said he was looking great and the MRI's were good. Then Aug 23 exactly 1 month from our doctor visit, things about my husband started to change, his speech, vision,hearing & walking etc... I immediately called the doctors and they ordered another MRI and thats when we learned that the tumor started to grow. My husband started chemo Sept 17,07 and his physical abilities became worse, we had our wedding party as well as us seated during our ceremony(it was the cutest thing)so no one would wonder why we were just seated. He wasn't ready for anyone to know including our son who is now 14y. My husband now has to walk with a walker, his vision and hearing is poor and he has developed blood clots in his legs and lungs although with all of this I am still thankful. I understand about being tired, too much of others depending on you to be strong. There are times I just want to scream and I literally leave out of my house and go in my car and SCREAM to the top of my lungs and just cry my heart out, then I wipe my tears put a little makeup on and go back in so that he can see me be strong for him and my son. Last week was the first time I sat down with my son and explained to him what was really wrong with his dad. It has been a big relief now that he knows,he was only told that his dad has seizures and thats what the meds are for, after telling him and he did online research he said he now understands why his dad is the way he is, oppose to being afraid he is now more aware of his dad habits, he's more attentive and very helpful and that has been a big help. He now assist with making sure his dad has is proper med in the medicine box, he is learning how to give his dad his injections although he does not like that part. As much as I love my family, I have come to terms that in order for me to help them I must help myself. I take one day out of the week just for me, I ask someone (family) in advance to sit with them while I have my day out (what's funny is that some people felt that I was being selfish for needing time for me)I also felt that at one point, but then realized that while he is going through it all physically and emotionally, I am emotionally drained and need time to regroup. I also make sure my son has his time, and then we do family time altogether. It's hard but we try to get out and enjoy life more than ever. This is a life changing situation that has no guide on how to cope, we know that some day it's our time to go, but when you have to live out and watch some go through pain of dying is emotionally hard and one just don't know what to do.I will admit that there were times I wish we never got married or the thought of leaving, but I made a vow to love him for better or worst and I intend to live by our vows so now instead of dreaming of growing old together we just dream for the next second in our lives.
Thank you for sharing......this is the first time that I have expressed my feelings to anyone.

zahalene's picture
zahalene
Posts: 650
Joined: Nov 2005

You sound like a very strong, emotionally healthy person to me. I know you probably do not feel that way to yourself much of the time, but you are too close to the situation to be evaluating yourself right now. That is why it is important for you to do what feels right to you and not be swayed by those who think you are being selfish when you take some 'me time' (wait until they find themselves in a similar situation and see...).
I also think you and your husband were wise to let your son know exactly what is going on. Often our children imagine the worst when they do not have the facts. And even blame themselves for what they had no part in (which is really tragic). And allowing him to take part in the process is huge. There is nothing worse than feeling helpless and 'out of the loop' at any age.
I hope you will post regularly and let us know how things are going and just get things off your chest. You won't find a more understanding group anywhere.

jerseygirlinfla
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2008

Dear Hopeful,
My heart goes out to you and I will keep you in my prayers.
People who think you are selfish for needing "Me" time are ignorant and don't have
a clue about what you are going through so fie on them! You have to take care of yourself
in order to care for your husband and son. The best analogy is the oxygen on an airplane.
We are told to use it on ourselves first and then our children or anyone who needs help.
Make sure you eat right, try to excersize (I ballooned up to 180 on a 5'2" frame when my husband was at his worst.) Keep your annual checkups and your son's too. Music always helped me. And girl, cry when you need to. You don't have to be a hero all the time. Ask for help. Sometimes our friends feel helpless and it helps them to have something to do for you! If your husband can tolerate it, have movie night with 1 or 2 close friends. Your insurance probably covers counseling. Don't rule it out. You can tell a counselor all those scary, things you only think of late at night. They can also give you coping skills, stress management and if you're like me, ways to deal with panic attacks.
I wish you the best.
Love yourself. You deserve it.
Jersey Girl in Fla.

hopeful36
Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2008

Thank You all so much for your comments and advice, it has truly been uplifting. Jerseygirl, I think Rick's right you missed your calling :)

Thanks Again,
Hopeful

jerseygirlinfla
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2008

Rick,
Hang it there. Things will get better.
And THANK YOU. Why? For your honesty. I'm the proverbial wife who took
the manipulation, verbal and emotional abuse/abandonment.
I'm still deciding on letting the relationship breathe, temporary seperation, legal seperation. Even though I know what happened to my marriage
is mostly the fault of CANCER and no one's fault I still have
enormous guilt even though my husband is doing extremely well.
Even on the flip side, it hurts like hell.
IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT! HOW CAN ANYONE BE EQUIPTED TO KNOW HOW TO
DEAL WITH THIS KIND OF TRAUMA? STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP MY FRIEND.
I forgave my husband. Forgive yourself. Life is too short to live
any other way. Let go and learn to love yourself. It takes a lot of courage
to admit how you behaved. That in and of itself is admirable and loveable.
Best.
Jerseygirlinfla

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

jersey,

Thank you very much for your vote of confidence! I do tend to self-flagellate about a great deal that my present life consists of. In fact, a psychiatrist pretty much said what you said (Maybe you missed your calling?)! Maybe someday it will sink in.

I hope your husband knows what a treasure he has?

Love and Courage!

Rick

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2043
Joined: Oct 2008

I wish I lived next door to you BOTH! You have made more sense to me than all the doctors friends and errant husbands I know...........thank u. Rick she is right, stop beating yourself up and try to enjoy life.

tkrumroy's picture
tkrumroy
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2010

Islandwife,

I read your post and it truly struck home. I just got done posting my own problems about why I have become so negative...so angry...I dont understand it. And, the one person that stuck with me through the entire cancer treatment in the hospital was my wife. She slept on the most uncomfortable chair right next to my bed for 2 months straight. She added an extra 45 minute drive to her commute to work every day for me.

She was my everything, she gave me the strength i needed to get past the pain and anxiety.

Yet here I am, taking my anger out on her a year later. She tells me that I have become worrisome, constantly requiring her to reassure me that she loves me. I find myself becoming clingy as if I dont deserve her or something. And in the meantime, all i'm doing is creating un-needed tension and conflict.

Even as I'm writing this it brings tears to my eyes because I know she doesnt deserve it. Yet, for some reason it appears as if I am taking it out on her. Perhaps it is because I have pushed everyone else in my life away. I dont like accepting "help" from others, so the only way to refuse it is to create this divide between me and the "others who havent had cancer".

I think the problem is that I tried to make the cancer "my thing" so that my loved ones dont have to deal with it. but in doing so, im removing myself from the people i love, my wife first and foremost. I hope i can get my mind back to normal, but it has been difficult on my own. I am currently looking into support groups and a counselor.

please know that your husband loves you, but is reacting to something he cant understand.

much love, taylor

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

if you know your wife loves you so much that it feels "safe" to be negative and sad with her.

tkrumroy's picture
tkrumroy
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2010

I do love her that much. I just hate bringing this darkness into her life. I used to be her shining light, now i feel as if I'm the curtain covering a window from the bright outside.

fayed
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2010

i know how you feel, i and to be married next july to my handsome prince and i feel like i am adding way to much to his plate when we meet i was just getting over breast cancer and was in a house fire , then 3 month after we started dating i got a call from doc telling me that they think cancer is back in other breast sure enough i was to under go serg last thursday and doc cancelled serg that a.m told me faye you have a bigger problem i asked what , they told me they found a tumor behind my kidneys it is now sunday and i go back to doctor in after noon i am scared and my hubby to be is at sea he feels lost and thinks he is not doing his job , i tell him nothing he can do but on other hand i want to walk out on him cause it is too much i feel for him , i feel lost confused , lonely and in alot of pain

Ashspain
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2010

Oh god, what a huge relief to find this site. I just finished chemo in May and I am panicked and terrified and sick to the core that it might come back, I have a 21 month old bay girl and every time I look at her I pray I will get to see her grow. I am so overjoyed to read about people who were diagosed in the eighties and are doing well. If I live that long I will get to see my little girl grow into a young woman, I will get to be there by her side. You are giving me such hope, such relief from the horrific nightmare of panic and fear which has hit me over the past few weeks, all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you...

frisco_seabiscuit
Posts: 10
Joined: Sep 2008

Basically every time I stop to think, I wonder if my dad will live until the next time I can buy a plane ticket to see him. I'm terrified I will get a phone call saying "quick, hop on a plane, dad is so weak he might not make it". Perhaps it's unhealthy, but I try NOT to think about his cancer when I can. Sometimes I will go a whole day not thinking about it because I simply shut off. Honestly I think there are times in your life when it's ok to give yourself a break, and live a little without feelings. It's exhausting realizing that you (or a loved one) could die any day. It's ok to feel the weight of cancer on your shoulders, but if you don't have to think about planning your funeral - DON'T!

When you do have to think about it, maybe spend more time focusing on something rewarding that you've accomplished. By simply posting that thought you've helped me and many others know there's someone else out there confronting that constant feeling.

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2043
Joined: Oct 2008

My husband keeps banging on about a vacation... sorry I just can't go there. Even when he turned up with a grotty old, non-running 1970s motor home with a leaky roof. I wonder why?

norar
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2008

hi,

first i am so glad to see so many of your feel like i do. i am a 11 year survivor of stage 3 breast cancer and also uterine cancer and dcis. It's been a long time but thoughts do creep in.
i have found this site interesting since i am not sure where I belong anymore. I think it's because of my 49th coming up. i am very lucky to still be here I have lost two relatives to cancer when I was going through treatments.

has anyone found that family seem to look at you werid when you mention anything about cancer anymore? I don't even talk about it anymore because I know people do not want to hear about. They seem to not get that it is something i have to live the rest of my life with.

I do wish all the best and will check in from time to time

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

norar,

"There but for the grace of God, go I!" Others know that, what happens to "us", can happen to them. The more we talk about "our" cancers, the more they are reminded that cancer, stroke, diabetes, etc. can happen to them, if not today, than a year from now. We provide reminders of the fact that no one is immune from life's many crises and challenges.

Love and Courage!

Rick

Dreamdove's picture
Dreamdove
Posts: 175
Joined: Sep 2008

Rick, I've seen the fear in people's eyes when they look at me, terror even. It's for them, most of the time, not me. Although I have to say that I have met very kind people who are truely concerned about me, especially members of my family. I think the unknown is scarier than what you are dealing with. The "idea" of getting cancer. You have no control. Once you have it, you think, what else can happen to me? Then you have some control because you can decide how far to go in the treatments and when enough is enough. When I was going thru chemo and wore my "cancer scarf" I always appreciated when people would ask me questions about my cancer. It's when people avoided me or avoided talking about it, that's when I knew these people were scared. Even the religious ones.

nsquirrely
Posts: 50
Joined: May 2007

RE
I certainly can relate to that feeling of negativity. There are times when I truly wonder if all I went thru is only delaying the end. It's a difficult thing to think about and putting it into words really brings out the emotions of it all. I think we need to do just that. Put it our there in order to see that it exist for us and feel the feelings. Cry and wonder what you are going to do to make it better. Then just think about all that has happened since your journey began that you would have missed if you haven't fought so hard to be here. For me there is so much,if I just take a few minutes to realize it. For example, after nearly two years of dealing with cancer in my life, I have a three month old grandson to love and watch grow every day if I want to be there. It's hard to make plans for the future knowing that you may not be around that long but did we ever really know how long we were going to be here. At any given moment life could have ended without a chance to change it. So what if anything is so different now that we have had and may have cancer agin. Please, don't think that I am in any way critizing you for feeling that way. I have days when I wonder what the purpose of my being here really is and why I bother to even get up in the morning much less do anything about the next day or week or month. Planning for the future is just something we always did without any thought to if we would be here for it. Cancer changes that. Why? I don't really know but I think that we need as human beings to live for today and plan for all our tomorrows even if we may not be here for them.
Hugs and Prayers
Shirley

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4606
Joined: Feb 2004

Shirley,

Thank you for your kind words they are much appreciated! I too have so much to be happy for, since my first battle with cancer I have been able to see both my children graduate from high school, i now have 2 grandsons i adore and I have been give 10 more years with my husband. Life truly is good!

THank you again

Rena

nsquirrely
Posts: 50
Joined: May 2007

Rena
I'm glad you have found some comfort in the words we have written in these postings. I find that they are helping me to see my stinking thoughts as well and have renewed faith that life is as good as you make it. Let's start making it the best we can each day and plan for wonderful things in the future. I know saying it doesn't magically make all of it better. It just reminds us that even in a bad day there are good moments we might have missed.
Hugs and prayers
Shirley

Dreamdove's picture
Dreamdove
Posts: 175
Joined: Sep 2008

I have much to be grateful for, also. I have 3 children, 2 of whom have grown up, graduated from high school. The one remaining at home is a freshman in high school. When I first got cancer, she was only 12. I was very concerned what would happen to her. So I am grateful I was able to attend her 8th grade graduation and I was a very proud Mom! Things could have gone very different. Is it too much to ask that I can attend her high school gradation? I have been in remission for 18 months from ovarian cancer, "the silent killer." So far so good. It is very easy to sink into negativity, even when in remission. I always have to remind myself that I want to be very, very thankful I have made it thus far. I could have gotten cancer when my children were very young. And then things would have been alot worse.

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4606
Joined: Feb 2004

I wanted to thank you all for your heart felt comments to my post. It is true that I have so much to be happy about and that is who I am, I am not cancer. I think these thoughts are just a part of being a survivor and I will have to learn to set them aside when they sneak into my happy thoughts. Since my cancer I have had many, many good times and some very sad ones. I believe this would be true weather or not I had ever had cancer, it is just the way the merry go round of life works.

I have a wonderfully supportive family, 2 wonderful grandsons who love their grandma (ha ha I'm a grandma) great friends, a strong faith, and a super medical team that works hard to keep me here and of course all of my wonderful cyber friends from CSN.

Thank you again for your kindness, my best to each of you!

RE

supermanhadley's picture
supermanhadley
Posts: 13
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi Re-

I think I work both sides of the coin on this one. While I feel the gloom and doom, it is also the renewed hope for brighter days that keeps me hanging on. The hope that maybe I will someday be able to marry the girl of my dreams and have a family keep me fighting because I have the girl I just now need the dream:)

You should put those dreams to work because without them we are hopeless. Don't get me wrong I now your mindset and it is easy for me to want to hide under the covers someday and say **** you world. AND I hate the line "Cancer made me live life to the fullest" because goddamn it I was doing fine living life until cancer came.

You aren't alone. I tell my girlfriend all the time you will never understand what it is like to wake up and be surprised to see the sun another day. But if the sun is there Re, why not bask in it?

Adam

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Hey Re. Just got back from some time away from the site and noticed your post here and had to echo the others when they said 'you aren't alone' at all. Since my diagnosis over 20 years ago I guess that thought of 'what if' comes and goes and negativity becomes far more familiar a state now and again than it did prior to diagnosis.

Like you I am a pretty positive person but the facts are still there, cancer is a serious disease and so it makes total sense that the mind will go there now and again. Trick is to try and pull out as soon as you can when you find yourself getting into that negative slot.

It's a well known part of the process of grief and we grieve the health we lost so it will come up from time to time. You are a strong person with many coping skills I know from reading your posts over the years and I know you will fight through the negativity. Having cancer come back even once is a great struggle but you have had your share and then some so it makes sense that negativity seeps in, I think it would be weirder if it didn't. Just don't get stuck in it and if you can't get out yourself then you know when to look to professionals for help, I have had to do that now and again when things pile up, nothing wrong with that.

We have all been subjected earlier than others to the concept of our eventual demise like others with life threatening situations and with that goes negativity so please don't think it's just you cause it isn't. It's completely natural. I hope I have managed to say something to help you get over yet another rough spot in your journey.

Blessings, Bluerose

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

RE,

I inherited a gold Longines from an uncle that was in need of cleaning and adjustment right about the time I was undergoing treatment and found myself thinking, "Why bother, I may not live long enough to wear it!" I had the watch repaired, but it has since lost its crystal and sweep hand. However, it is still ticking and so am I!

Love, Courage, and Peace of Mind!

Rick

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