CSN Login
Members Online: 3

Anxiety

lisa09
Posts: 32
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi,

I am new to this discussion. I am a forty-five year old woman and I was diagnosed with Stage 3 anal cancer on May 14th of last year. I went through the chemo/radiation, which was successful. No surgery required. My scans so far have been good - I'm scheduled for another CAT scan in July. I should be happy and thankful for this outcome, but I am feeling more and more anxious that I will have a recurrence. Is anyone else dealing with this?

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2820
Joined: Jan 2010

I can answer your question in one word--YES! I am 21 months out of treatment and just had a PET scan on May 20th. There are some questionable findings in my upper vaginal area now, so I am in high anxiety mode now. I'm not sure the anxiety ever goes away, but please don't feel like you are alone.

lemonade
Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2010

8 months out of treatment. I am anxious also. Probably everybody is to some degree. We're all in the same boat. It usually takes me over an hour to go to sleep unless I take my anxiety meds.

lizdeli's picture
lizdeli
Posts: 520
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Lisa,
First of all congratulatins on almost ne year of post treatment and being cancer free.You are not alone...anxiety lingers. I am 9 months post treatment. I've had really good follow up exams and my radiologist even went as far to say that he doesn't think it's coming back since I had a remarkable response treatment. But I still have moment of high anxiety and they come out of nowhere. If it gets really bad I'll take 1/2 of an Ativan, but only if it's bad. It's a constant battle between good thoughts and worrisome thoughts. We have to let the good thoughts triumph. One thing that helps me to see how many anal cancer survivors there are, that encourages me.

Stay strong. You're on the road to year 2 of being NED!

Liz

z's picture
z
Posts: 1250
Joined: May 2009

Hi Lisa,

Welcome to the board, and great to hear your ned more than one year out. I get anxious also, but I try to remember what one poster said, she said remember that since we are being examined all the time, that any reoccurance would be caught early and can be treated promptly. Of course none of us wants a recurrance, but the fact that were always tested, will help us know exactly whats going on in our bodies. I can only do whats best for my body and if that fails, then I know theres another way to treat my illness. I wish you well. Lori

lisa09
Posts: 32
Joined: Jun 2010

Liz (and all others that responded),

Thanks, it does helps to get support from others that have been through this. I take Ativan also, but try to limit it to nighttime when anxiety is highest. All the success stories encourages me also.

Lisa

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

Someone said to me.....the worrying is the WORST part of all this! It is so hard once physically they tell us we're fine, to MENTALLY feel like we are! After having a reoccurence
after bascially being told it would be extremely rare for that to happen....I'm 100 times more anxious. I too, had to take Lorazapam, which I think is a generic form of Ativan. And, I too, only take it at night. It seemed like I would do fine during the day, but as soon as my head hit the pillow, or I got up in the middle of the night and tried to go back to sleep....that's when my mind started racing. I was worried about taking something every night, even though my oncologist said the small amount I was taking would be fine.....I went another avenue, with massage and acupuncture. Finding a way to relax helps greatly. for me the shiatsu massage/acup has helped immensely. all of a sudden, I have NO trouble falling asleep. And mentally, I feel better. Have you tried any type of relaxation therapies?
I think with time, and clear scans, the worrying fades to some degree....
My onc suggested talking to a therapist....which I have never done....I kind of think we are all therapists for each other!!!!

lisa09
Posts: 32
Joined: Jun 2010

I do see a therapist and it helps to some extent, but you're right, I think talking to people that have been through the same experience is very helpful. I also run everyday and do stretching exercises which I find relieves my stress and also helps with the hip pain and tightness that I've had since treatment ended last year.

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

Oh my gosh.....my hips were killing me!!!! Another reason I couldn't sleep! Acupuncture actually helped with that too. I had 1/2 of my liver removed recently....and a part of my lung before that....it's been hard for me to work out much. I do a little stretching and weights in the morning, but not enough to help probably. I know eventually my stamina will be back though! I firmly beieve in exercise....so GOOD FOR YOU!!!!
I wondered what a therapist could do.....I mean I have really weighed it out thinking what can someone tell me that would actually help, that I haven't thought of myself, but can't get myself to do LOL! Does that make sense??? I still have been tossing it back and forth....but I think since it really isn't helping you that much, I'll lean towards doing the other things that I think are good for me.
Happy to be there if you ever just want to vent! I'm on Facebook more than here, since I can access it from my Iphone. If you want to chat "offline" let me know:)!

lisa09
Posts: 32
Joined: Jun 2010

You have been through so much and have such a positive outlook - it really is inspiring! Is your prognosis good? I guess because I'm approaching my one year anniversary, I find myself thinking about last year's horrible summer and my treatment quite a bit - did that happen to you? I'm also concerned about the recent reports concerning CAT scans and too much radiation. My doctor is adamant that I have one in July (I have had MRIs and 2 colonoscopies since my treatment ended).

My kids (ages 14 & 16) are on Facebook constantly, but I haven't gotten on yet! I probably should - I feel out of touch sometimes because I know that's how many of my friends are communicating. I'm so happy to talk to you and all the others!

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

I did the EXACT same thing Lisa. It was almost like remembering pregnancy related nausea at times. Smells/places, etc., just reminded me so much of how I felt the previous summer. My treatment was during the summer months as well. Sometimes something would just HIT me.....really weird.
I know....I feel like I'm being scanned to death. It's such a catch 22.....because of the scans, my cancers have been found early...but are the scans causing more cancer???
I know have to have them every 3 months with my recent issues!! I have my first one since my liver resection next Monday. I think based on the outcome of that, will better determine what my prognosis is. Last time I saw my surgeon, he said..."There is a very strong likelihood that this will come back, so I want you to live your life with that in mind"....COMFORTING!!! LOL!! But it's true....I'm living my life like it's short and hoping and praying it's LONG!! I feel great right now, so concentrating on that. That's what we have to do. Go with how you feel, and enjoy that we are here, and stronger for what we've been through, and connected to people in a way only we can truly appreciate!!!!

I was a late Facebooker too :)....and still have many family members....2 daughters included and friends who have still not joined the band wagon !!!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2820
Joined: Jan 2010

I just wanted to wish you the very best with your scan coming up on Monday, in case I forget to tell you. I will be hoping and praying for good results for you.

My med onc is a strong believer in PET scans and I just had my 7th. one in less than 2 years, with another one to be done in a couple of months. It's a worry, but like you say, if you don't have them, then how do you know what's going on? I also get to have an MRI next Tuesday--I think I must own a couple of those machines by now!

You will be in my thoughts and prayers!

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

THANK YOU!!! And you in mine!
Let us know about yours as well.

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

THANK YOU!!! And you in mine!
Let us know about yours as well.

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

Ok DOUBLE THAT LOL!! Can't find the delete button for one!!!!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2820
Joined: Jan 2010

I'll take double the prayers! Thanks! Please keep us posted on your results and again, I wish you all the very best.

pjjenkins's picture
pjjenkins
Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2009

Watch some good movies - listen to great music and keep the anxiety down! P

amn
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2010

You are such an inspiration to me. I had stage III rectal cancer, diagnosed 11-08. In 09, the marathon was on with radiation, chemo, surgery - and depression. We are each others therapists because if you have not experienced this, you would never know what it feels like, NEVER! I wish
you the best.

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