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cancer may be back, don't think i can go through it all again.

Countrygal-23's picture
Countrygal-23
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2010

had surgery for lung cancer in feb 2008, all seemed ok, then it hit me. when first diagnosed it all happened so fast i never had time to really react until it was over, then about 4 months of being home and trying to get back to life everything started to change. i was depressed, constantly in fear of it coming back, crying jags for no reason, i was an emotional and physical wreck. my primary found thyroid was very low and put me on synthroid,my head doc, said i was doing well considering all the trauma,and said i probably had ptsd, which i thought only veterans had. i was afraid to make any plans for the future, and could not watch horror movies anymore,(my husband does not understand how bad it is)and still watches them. it has been almost 3 yrs now and i still rarely have enough energy to function normally, now my doc is alarmed at my weight loss and pain and has ordered more test. my normal weight at 5ft2in was between 100 and 105 before 1st cancer,i am down to 91 now and still losing. i do not think i can handle it again if the cancer has returned, before i was extremely active, loved working outside and staying busy, can not do so many things i used to do now, i don't feel life would be worth living if i lost anymore of my life, i have tried talking out my feelings with my husband, and he is a good man but cannot seem to handle even talking about (fear i guess) but i feel absolutely alone with this, can anyone give me some hope?

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Although I don't know you, it sounds like you're a fighter! It's got to be hard going through this, but think positive, maybe it's not the cancer back again. Has he done any tests, like a scan or anything??? Your husband is probably scared knowing you might have to fight this damn disease again, so be patient with him. Life is worth living and you can't give up. I don't know what else to say except be strong and keep fighting!! Keep posting so I know how you're doing. You have the support of everyone on this site!! "Carole"

zinniemay's picture
zinniemay
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar 2009

My husband had cancer it came back and we are in the fight again. Some how we manage everyday. It is not easy , some days we are both so down and scared but we go on.
Each day is what we make of it. It is ours to share. That said I know how scared you are and I know your husband is also scared. But you will find yourself alone the way and pick up and do what you have to.
Do you have someone that you can talk to? Besides your husband?
My husband is tired and he does not do as much as he did. But he still trys.
God I wish this came with a manual so I would know the words to say to help you and anyone else reading this. I don't have the answers .I have questions to. I need to know that as hard as it is you will fight it again if you have to. I need to know that You will because it will give me more hope that my husband will fight . I need to know that your life means more than just give up. I need to know because I love my husband and Don't want him to give up. I know it is not easy I see it in his eyes. But his love for me and my love for him makes it worth it just to try.
Please Don't give up. I promise it is worth the fight. You are not alone . No he may not want to talk about it for fear he will cry or show you how scared he is of lossing you. Or that you will let go.
I want to make you feel better and know just because I don't know you does not mean I don't care. I do care .

Jennie

Countrygal-23's picture
Countrygal-23
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2010

It is good to talk with others outside family as I don't really have anyone else,and Thank You for sharing. I am so glad to have found this site, and will try to keep up my strength. At least I am now able to talk with others who can understand.

luz del lago's picture
luz del lago
Posts: 452
Joined: Jul 2010

Dear Country Gal,
Your post really hit home. My dear husband was the same way when first diagnosed, this last April. They told us he has extensive sclc, with mets to his liver. The treatments began fast and furious and it was a whirlwind of emotions, but not really for him. He had no symptoms and rarely was ill before, so I really think he felt he would do the chemo and get better. After his 6th chemo we were told that there had not been anymore reduction in the lung and liver. The good news was that overall, the cancer had shrunk by 75%. His CT scan showed some activity in his bones. A bone scan confirmed that he now has mets in his bones. His Oncologist wants to begin Zomeda as soon as he is done with whole brain radiation ( no mets in his brain, just being done prophylactively ).
Since these results, he has been depressed. It seems that this time it really sunk in. And having the radiation has added to his fatigue. He really hasn't yet felt that he has gotten ahead of the cancer. He has never been one to totally open with his emotions, and now it seems even worse. The thing that really makes me sad and worry is that, up to now he had been extremely positive. Always saying that he will beat this, and make the Docs look bad with their statistics. I know he is scared. I know it is so hard to not think about the future treatments and how they will make him feel, and the time they steal away from us. Time we so need and want, to feel even a little normal. At the beginning, he had no hesitation speaking about future plans and events. At this time, I notice he hesitates or words things a little different. He does take Celexa and sees a therapist, we both do. Up to now, he really has not shared with me or her of any feelings of fear, anger or sadness. He has said that if he cried, it would feel to him as if he has given up. I am being loving, caring and patient. I want so much the man I married to come back. But I've been told that a person may never be the same as before after a diagnosis of cancer. This has been very difficult for me to accept.
The reason I felt moved to write to you is this, even if you have changed, even if you are scared and confused, don't stop wanting to live. You have already won this battle once before, there is a reason why you are here. Look inside yourself and think how can this fear be transformed into energy. Into love for yourself.
You have come to the right place for kindness, concern and support. The wonderful and insightful folks here have helped me through very difficult days. I know my journey will always bring me back here. What I have shared with you, I have said to my hubby. I wish for him to live, firstly, for himself. For his dreams, for projects he wanted to do, for places he's wanted to go to for the first time, and places he wishes to revisit. Then I want him to live for me, for our children and grandaughter, for family and friends.
Take care of yourself,
Lucy

Countrygal-23's picture
Countrygal-23
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2010

Thank You So Much Lucy For Your kind Words, Some days are better then others and I don't mean to be a downer to others suffering the same, I am just so afraid, not only for my self, but also as to how my family will react. Always being the caretaker,now the tables have turned, that is the hardest part to handle. Living out in the country also makes it difficult to have friends, that's why I have turned to the computer. This evil body invader has devastated me mind, body and soul yet still somewhere deep inside of me I still want to live. if only to help others in the same situation. If you have time and are able,Please keep in touch with me, it is hard for to keep a signal out here in the boondocks and I am sometimes slow to respond, but it is so good to talk with someone outside of my family. Thank You again, and I will pray for you and your husband to keep up your strength too. Sincerely Cheryl (Countrygal-23)

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I think you are pretty normal if having cancer caused you stress! It is really Really REALLY common for cancer survivors to have feelings of panic, flashbacks, nightmares,depression,sleep problems--all the problems that go with post traumatic stress syndrome. Unfortunately, many doctors (being medical personel)often miss the fact that to patients cancer often seems like more than just a few cells gone wacky. Since we don't see it as something like diabetes or the flu, getting diagnosed and then getting treated is a lot more like being involved in a home assault or unasked for surprise attack. We end up with the same symptoms as soldiers who were attacked. Like the soldiers, we come back to family members who are totally unprepared for the emotional stuff we have to deal with.

Fortunately there are decent treatments for post traumatic stress syndrome. If you were going to see specialist about it, they would evaluate you for the need for meds to blunt some of the worst symptoms. Also they would get you in a group where you could talk about what happened over and over. It's not that you've gone crazy or mentally ill! You see, our brains have several parts. One part of the brain is fairly primitive but protects us from really dangerous stuff. If we encounter something bad, that event imprints on that part of the brain. Anything that triggers that memory (smells, pictures, locations, sounds) sends us into a panic mode. It is a survival mechanism built into our brain. Maybe it would be useful for preventing us from walking into a lion's path a second time, but it isn't so useful in the medical setting, especially when it prevents us from getting the treatment we may need. Some folks are basketcases when it is time to go for a periodic check even when they are sure everything is okay. Perhaps I should say "most folks" or maybe that it happens to me too! It's the same stuff. Just a brain mechanism that is getting in the way of life when it is supposed to be "helping". The cool thing is the rest of your brain isn't so quick to panic. The more you review what happened, the more the memory moves into the thinking part of your brain. Eventually you have control of the memory and it doesn't cause you to have the same uncontrolled reaction. That's why counselors have folks that have been through really bad events talk or draw what happened to them over and over and over. That's why discussion groups like this can really help. Journaling helps some folks. They like to write and then read what they have written. Others are into art and like to paint or draw their thoughts and memories. Sharing with other survivors is best because family members are often burned out and really don't have the same view of things as the survivors. I work as a counselor and I am also a cancer survivor (both breast and lung cancer). The stress is real and it can be treated.

Cancer can be treated too. Even if it comes back. Even if you get another kind! I have both breast cancer (2002) and lung cancer (2006) so I know what I'm talking about.[And in 2004 they thought I had ovarian cancer so I also had surgery for that....] As one survivor put it, you don't want to waste all the time and energy you put into treating it the first time around by giving up the second time(or third time...) around. She was also a multi-cancer survivor. That too is more common than you want to know. But our doctors know what to watch for and are keeping a close eye on things. That is comforting to me, because I know that catching things early gives us more options. The guy on the street who is not going to the doctor is probably more at risk for major cancer problems. He just doesn't know it. yet.

catcon49's picture
catcon49
Posts: 389
Joined: Aug 2008

I was dx summer of 2008 also. I know what you are going through. I have trouble talking to people about the cancer. Kind of if I talk to much I'm obcessed. If I don't people just must figure I don't want to talk about it. I'm guessing you were an early stage cancer? Which is good. When I get really scare I come on the web site and look at all the post so I can be reminded of all the survivors out there. I don't know what the future holds for any of us, but I know that everyday brings the chance that somewhere someone will find a cure for this awful thing. God Bless I hope all your test come back good. keep in touch

luz del lago's picture
luz del lago
Posts: 452
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi Cheryl. What a coincidence! Or is it? Lol! I, too, live out in the country. I am blessed to have a very dear friend that lives right down the road, but poor dear, she also is having her own experience with her hubby. He was recently diagnosed with diabetes and they are in their 70's. She is also a colon cancer survivor ( about 7 yrs now! ). She happens to be my dearest friend's mom, but for reasons that God only knows, she has become my friend, her daughter, has moved out of state, and I guess we have just "clung" to each other. She is over 20 yrs my senior, but alot of days she can run circles around me!
I will look forward to sharing with you, and reading your posts. And never worry about expressing what you are feeling or going through, as you can see by visiting the other posts, we all have good days and not so good days. That's what I've come to feel about this "haven". I can express, no judgement, just prayer, good wishes, wisdom and encouragement. It is my safe place. I pray that you, too, can feel it is your safe place.
Take good care. My prayers will always be with you.

Lucy

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