CSN Login
Members Online: 3

ANXIOUS AND WAITING

corey50
Posts: 73
Joined: Feb 2009

hi everybody,
i have my 6 mos. ct scan (chest and abdomen) coming up next week. this will be my first since my surgery in dec. 08. i am so nervous about it. i can't stop thinking about it.
i found out i had rcc after something was seen on my left kidney during a routine ultrasound. i was then sent for a ct scan, another ct scan and finally surgery and a radical nephrectomy.
besides the usual reason for being scared i also have some important family milestones coming up and i don't know how to plan for them. son graduating, daughters birthday, son going off to college. i feel like if i make plans something is going to show up on the scan and i'll be right back to square one. i feel really good so there's no reason to worry.
does anybody else go thru this? how do you handle it? am i the only one who feels like my future is shaky. by the way i was stage 1. tumor contained in kidney, all margins clean, no other involvement.
thank you so much for your replies.
good health to us all.

dawnmomofthree
Posts: 39
Joined: Mar 2009

Hey what you are feeling is totally normal. Hang in there and be positive. I'm sure others will post and have great ideas on how to handle the stress of scans, etc. Personally I do not have kidney cancer, but I do manage and take care of my fil's kidney cancer. He is a stage IV papillary patient. I get so nervous for his scans that I can't even imagine if it was me involved. With respect to your upcoming milestones I would not put off anything. Live your life to the fullest that you can. None of us has any idea how long we will be here. ;)

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Dawn

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 400
Joined: Feb 2009

What you are going through is part of the process. But you are a Survivor, not someone who has cancer. Make your plans, help your son get off to college, use any excuse to celebrate-especially a birthday. They caught your's very early and your prognosis is excellent.

I guess I can speak as a voice of experience since I've had 15 CT's since 2006, so if they are going to have you drink barium sulfate for contrast, here are some pointers. Wear a panty liner because sometimes the "urge" hits so fast that the colon leaks. Pre-treat with A&D ointment because that stuff burns and take the tube into the bathroom with you; and carry a package of cleansing wipes when you go to the bathroom. Commercial grade TP can make your butt raw.

I spent the weekend with my daughter and her boys. We went to one's little league BB game, took my daughter to lunch to celebrate her 43rd, went to see "Up", had lunch and shopped at a Farmers' Market, played board games, hugged and visited. I'm living with the knowledge that I had cancer and it could come back. But until the get any other news, I'm not going to stop living.

Here's a joke. When I paid for the tickets for "Up", which is in 3-D, I made the comment that I don't think I'd seen a 3-D since I was a kid. The ticket seller-gray haired guy said, "It's changed a lot since then." The nine year old grand asked what he meant.

Yeah, I get stressed starting about a week before the test, and until I get the results; and go thru the routine every 2-3 months. But at least there is a fairly good, non-invasive way of tracking this little bug. So, go enjoy the next family event in your life...and let us know how your test results turn out.

Love ya- Donna_lee

corey50
Posts: 73
Joined: Feb 2009

HI,
THANK YOU FOR YOUR REPLY TO MY POST.
I LOVED HEARING ABOUT YOUR WEEKEND WITH YOUR FAMILY. I THINK I'VE WRITTEN BEFORE THAT YOU'RE INSPIRATION TO US ALL.
THANKS FOR THE ADVICE ABOUT THE CONTRAST. WHEN I HAD MY SCANS BACK IN NOV. I DIDN'T HAVE TO DRINK THE CONTRAST BUT I THINK THIS TIME I DO. AND YEARS AGO I HAD A CT SCAN AND DRANK THE CONTRAST AND REMEMBER JUST MAKING IT TO THE BATHROOM IN THE HOSPITAL AFTER IT WAS DONE. OF COURSE THEY DON'T TELL YOU THESE THINGS AND YOU'RE LEFT WONDERING WHAT IS THIS WHITE STUFF COMING OUT OF MY BOTTOM. HAHA.
I'M ACTUALLY REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THE SUMMER. I JUST HATE HAVING THESE TESTS HANGING OVER MY HEAD. MY SCAN IS ON THE 10TH BUT DON'T SEE THE DR. UNTIL THE 25TH BUT I AM GOING TO CHECK WITH HIS OFFICE AND HOPEFULLY I CAN GET THE RESULTS EARLY OVER THE PHONE. AND HOPEFULLY IT WILL BE GOOD NEWS. I SHOULD SAY THAT THIS IS NOT MY FIRST CANCER. I HAD A LUMPECTOMY FOR STAGE 1 BREAST CANCER IN JUNE 2005. HAD CHEMO AND RADIATION. HAVE BEEN HAVING MAMMOS EVERY 6 MOS. SINCE. I ALWAYS CELEBRATE ON THE ANNIV. OF MY SURGERY AS ANOTHER YEAR CANCER FREE SO GOD WILLING I WILL BE ABLE TO DOUBLY CELEBRATE THIS YEAR. BECAUSE MY CT SCAN IS A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE DATE. I JUST FEEL LIKE I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT BEING 4 YRS NED WITH BREAST AND NOW TO HAVE TO START ALL OVER AGAIN WITH THE RCC, WORRYING ABOUT EVERY LITTLE ACHE AND PAIN. I THINK I WOULD BE A LITTLE BETTER WITH THE ANXIETY IF THE TIMING WASN'T SO BAD. MY SON IS GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL THE WEEK AFTER THE SCAN AND I JUST KEEP THINKING GOD FORBID THEY FIND SOMETHING. I WISHED WHEN I MADE THIS APPT. BACK IN DEC. I KNEW WHAT THE DATE MEANT AND MADE IT EARLIER, I WOULDN'T WANT TO PUT IT OFF EVEN FOR A FEW WEEKS. BUT I'M TRYING TO TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME AND JUST LEAVE IT UP TO THE GOOD LORD TO SEE ME THRU THIS.
I THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT AND SHARING YOUR JOURNEY
I WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW THE TESTS CAME OUT. SAY A PRAYER FOR ME.
I WILL KEEP YOU IN MY PRAYERS
COREY

corey50
Posts: 73
Joined: Feb 2009

DAWNMOMOFTHREE
THANKS FOR THE THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS.
I WILL TRY TO STAY POSITIVE.
YOU'RE A GOOD PERSON FOR ALL YOU DO FOR YOUR FIL.

DanielleCorbett
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2009

I'm glad to see others are as nervous as I am. My CT scan is in July. I also had a cancerous mass on my kidney, had part of my kidney removed and said they got it all. I am only 25 years old. BUT about a month ago, I've been experiencing anxiety and panic attacks at night. I've never had them before so I really don't know what to do. I have seriously thought that I was dying of a heart attack. I have seen my doctor for this, had an acho of my heart done and am fine. But, it still haunts me daily. You will ge through this and so will I. Anyone else who has advice for anxiety/panic attacks...I welcome any information. Good luck with your check up and good health vibes are coming your way!

Needafriend1
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2009

My surgery was 2 months ago tommorow. I had my left kidney and ureter and part of my bladder removed.I am 49 years old and female.One of the many tumors was 9 centimeters. The doctor told me it was from smoking.I am still trying to grasp the word cancer it is all like it has been a dream and not real.Yes I have so much anxiety, I keep thinking its going to come back. My doctor told me even though I quit smoking I am still at high risk and it could come back in the bladder.I am so emotional and cry one moment and am ok the next.Can anybody help with any suggestions.

corey50
Posts: 73
Joined: Feb 2009

your dx is so new its only natural that you'd still be emotional. you may still be in some pain and that doesn't help with how we feel emotionally.
maybe your dr. was trying to scare you into quitting smoking by telling you you were at high risk but i would tell him he doesn't have to scare you like that. and make you worry until there's something to worry about.
i'm sure what your feeling will pass but sometimes we have to just let ourselves feel our emotions. like cry if you feel like it. get it out of your system.
please read my post to danielle about relaxation techniques and talking to someone, these are things that have helped me thru two cancer dx.
take care and sending good thoughts your way.

aliquippajoe
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2009

dear need a friend, I understand your fears as I had my left kidney removed 2+ years ago for a 8cm tumor. Quite large as yours was. First of all, as a smoker myself, your doctor saying smoking is the reason is completely off-base. the truth is they are not sure what is causing the rise in kidney cancers in relation to smokers. they have risk factors and naturally smoking is one of them. so is exposure to chemicals, asbestos, obesity etc. my doctor never hinted that smoking was the cause. Quit beating yourself up over that. Also it's normal to a degree to worry about recurrence, but don't let it stop you from enjoying the time you have left. none of us knows that, sick or not. by far the biggest cause of death is living. LOL God bless you.

corey50
Posts: 73
Joined: Feb 2009

hi danielle,
i am truly sorry that someone so young as yourself has to be going thru this. i hope you have some family support or good friends that you can talk to.
for me besides my family, friends and i also have a therapist, but mostly i rely on God. He's always there no matter what. Praying for strength and peace has helped alot.
i also had breast cancer 4 years ago, so on one hand this is not new to me and i've gained some wisdom on the other hand its even scarier because its my second cancer. both were stage 1.
i had been bothered by anxiety and panic before my first cancer dx so again i had some coping skills under my belt. although sometimes i stil want to crawl up in a ball when the fear creeps in. the kind that races your heart and churns your stomach and makes your head spin. thats when i take deep breaths, try to stay calm and pray. sometimes i try to distract myself with chores like cooking or laundry, but i usually just go lie down with a relaxation tape ( i have slews of these) and headphones and try to meditate. i try to tell myself that inside i'm calm and well. getting outside now that the weather is getting nicer also helps.
what you may be going thru is kinda what happened to me after my breast dx. i was 47 and i also went thru menopause after the chemo, so i started having hot flashes and anxiety and like panic attacks. not big ones just getting like i had to get out of a store. i was just not feeling right so i contacted the hospital where i had my surgery and got in contact with an oncology social worker, this a therapist who deals with cancer patients.
when i started to tell her how i felt she said i had post traumatic stress syndrome. that what had happened to me was a trauma and my body had to process it. physically and emotionally. even though it sounds like you haven't had any treatment (with kidney cancer there usually isn't) you'v still had a shock. i'm sure your panic attacks will pass in time but if you'd like i would highly recommend trying to find a counselor to talk to. contact your local hospital oncology unit or the local american cancer society to help for a referral. mine actually works in an oncologists office (not my dr.)
i'm glad you've gone to your dr. and gotten your heart checked out even though at your age it's highly unlikely that you'd have anything wrong, it helps to ease your mind that you're not dying when you have those attacks. maybe your dr. could give you some advice on relaxation techniques.
i used to get those kinds of attacks too and the best thing to do is to try to learn some relaxation techniques. whether its meditation, yoga or deep breathing. even doing something repetitive like knitting can help calm you down. keep a journal and write down whats bothering you sometimes we just have to release it from our body.
try to watch a funny movie at night and fall asleep thinking happy thoughts. i know its hard sometimes but if you practice these things over time they will help.
at the very worst when you start to have an attack just tell yourself that you're not dying and it will pass.
i have to tell you i still get nervous alot especially now when i'm waiting for results, but i try to tell myself that we only have this one day now and i can spend it worrying or i can spend it living. worrying is not going to change the outcome good or bad.
i hope you feel better soon and i am sending good thoughts your way.
thank you for the same

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network