CSN Login
Members Online: 3

After Cancer

beachbather
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi,
This is my first time to do anything like this. I have recently been completely cleared of cancer (2 months) and am kinda at a loss of how to feel about it all. Surprise, it is hard not to have cancer now (weird huh)...I have spent the past year and a half dealing with colorectal cancer, stage 3, and really didnt get it that I had cancer when i had it...my regular life just stopped, boom, and I was all about getting through all the treatments, et all.
I've found it hard to find anyone who is a survivor. It is harder than I would have thought and I have been more emotional since treatment. I was so positive during my treatment but things have changed, I have changed...for the better but I would so love to chat with someone, in a positive way, about what we go through after cancer and just knowing someone else feels the same way I do. I have bumped into a few people who felt just like I do... but it was fleeting. This is the only place I have found that even deals with post cancer things. Is there anyone out there in the same space? Would love to chat!
:) Thanks
Erin

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1280
Joined: Nov 2001

I was stage 3c. I was treated back in 1998. I have been ca free ever since. I doubt if I will ever be free of cancer though. It has become my catch cry,surviving survival is not easy.Physically ca and the treatment has left my life a wreck. I suffer a range of auto -immune diseases that make life difficult, Emotionally,it destroyed my marriage and left me alone. Mentally I doubt if I have ever been stronger. There isn't much that life can toss up that I can't deal with.I sleep and I work and when I am not doing that I'm getting ready to sleep or work. I don't worry about the future ,it's going to happen anyway. My advice for you is to try to avoid becoming like me.Hugs and lots of luck Ron.

cinreag
Posts: 154
Joined: Oct 2012

Hello Beachbather, I am also new to this site. Not new to life after cancer, however. I had a small intestine resection in 2010. Started chemo in July of 2010 stopped it in August 2010. I have had good days and bad. Some days I feel so good it almost scares me. Lately (last two months) I have been sick more than I havent. Ive always been lonely but now it bothers me so bad. I think Im depressed. This is why I joined this site, hopefully it will give me some people to talk to who may understand what Im going through. I have a husband who believes that cancer shouldnt be cured because it is natures way of making sure the human race doesnt over populate. Believe it or not. I hope you continue to be Cancer free and I hope you find the answers you are seeking.

John23
Posts: 1832
Joined: Jan 2007

Re:
"I have a husband who believes that cancer shouldnt be cured
because it is natures way of making sure the human race doesnt
over populate."

And you remain married!

It's heart warming.

My best hopes are for -you-!

John

cinreag
Posts: 154
Joined: Oct 2012

I just found out about a week ago that my husband feels this way. It was a shock to say the least. Ive wondered about his unconcern about my health and when he made this statement everything became clear. Im sorry if the statement offended. I do not agree with it at all.

jen2012
Posts: 1195
Joined: Aug 2012

Cinreag, sorry your husband feels that way. What a ridiculous and insensitive thing to say. Please talk to your doctor about your feelings. They should be able to help you.

danker
Posts: 735
Joined: Apr 2012

I had colorectal cancer-mainly in my rectum. Had chemo and radiation prior to resection.Onc wanted me to get more chemo, surgeon said it wasn';t necessary.Colonoscopy one year later was NED. It's now over two years since resection and still NED. We are all different, but just an example of no need for additional Chemo. GOOD LUCK!!!

danker
Posts: 735
Joined: Apr 2012

I had colorectal cancer-mainly in my rectum. Had chemo and radiation prior to resection.Onc wanted me to get more chemo, surgeon said it wasn';t necessary.Colonoscopy one year later was NED. It's now over two years since resection and still NED. We are all different, but just an example of no need for additional Chemo. GOOD LUCK!!!

cinreag
Posts: 154
Joined: Oct 2012

I need to clear this up. I commented that my husband believes cancer shouldnt be cured. What My husband actually believes is the government doesnt want cancer cured. My hysband and I talked about this today. He says he does believe cancer should and could be cured. At least we actually talked about this. He does however still say that deseases are natures way of controlling the population. My sister and I think he is gwtting human beings and the wild animal population mixed up into one category. Hope I didnt just confuse everyone with my attempt to explain the previous misprint on my comment. Thanks so much. Im new to this and I definately do not want to start off on the wrong foot. Be well my brothers and sisters whom I share this journey through cancer with.

YoVita's picture
YoVita
Posts: 541
Joined: Mar 2010

There can be a bit of a letdown when you finish treatment. You're so focused on surviving and getting through the treatment that it kind of takes over your life. I think many of us have gone through that period just after treatment ends and you say to yourself "Now what?". Continuing life is what. Congratulations on finishing your treatment.

jen2012
Posts: 1195
Joined: Aug 2012

Erin..congrats on finishing your treatment. I wonder if it would be helpful for you to start up a support group in your area? I imagine you aren't the only one dealing with this. Or maybe volunteer at the hospital where you had treatment?
Best wishes.

jen2012
Posts: 1195
Joined: Aug 2012

Oops..double post.

darlad
Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2010

I completed chemo May of 2011. I understand how you feel. Feels like everything in life continues on as if nothing happened but I feel "What now?"

Family seems so important but I have little time off due to using vacation for appointments. I have tried to go back to my old self but find I have changed. Feel I have lost my identity and need to place a little more importance on taking care of myself. I’m just not so sure what or how to do that. My thought is to let more time goes on maybe it will be easier and everything will fall into place.

Glad you are doing well and wish you the best going forward.

jjaj133's picture
jjaj133
Posts: 857
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Erin,
It is a strange world after cancer. I am going on 20 mths. Scans still get to me and every pain scares me. I live a normal life, but get tired faster. Old age or effects of cancer, chemo or surgeries??
I kinda got used to being sick. Everyone protected me. Now in their eyes i am normal and I still feel "different'. However, with each clear scan I get mentally stronger. I fought it 3 times so, trusting it is gone is not easy.
The disease changes us. I appreciate everything more, but in some ways not as optimistic as I was. Am I hitting on the things you feel?
What I am now working on is getting back to just living my life without thinking every day "How long do I have til it comes back?" I am putting one foot in front of the other. You'll get there, we're here to help you through the bad days and the good ones.
If I can help, feel free to PM me.
Hugs,
Judy

marbleotis's picture
marbleotis
Posts: 485
Joined: Mar 2012

Erin,
I finished chemo #12 on 8/23/2012 and just had the port out this Friday and clear scans in Sept. The last year plus of my life had been cancer, cancer, cancer, scans, chemo, chemo, CEA, CEA....... My Onc told me to now live my life and maybe they really cured me, do not let cancer hold you hostage. Great advise but hard to do. I was really never sick before this so it was very difficult to be the "sick" person. I put my head down and plowed through the treatments. Now that I am at this point I feel kinda weird too. I feel cancer is like the creepy monster under the bed that might grab me. It is gone but lurking. I found survivors are out there they just move away from all this as time goes on. Probably a mental thing. I found we go through every emotion (sometimes at the same time) when we go through these treatments and we are different people on the other side. That's normal. I am figuring out now what I want my life to be now. It can be very free-ing. Feel free to post. One thing I know for sure. Going through this makes you a different person. And I mean that in a very good way:)

Joy1216's picture
Joy1216
Posts: 279
Joined: Mar 2006

Last week on Facebook I saw that the American Cancer Society has a new research study. The title of the study is "Evaluation of an online workshop for cancer survivors." The study will evaluate an online workshop called "Cancer: Thriving and Surviving." The goal is to determine whether the workshop helps cancer survivors improve their health skills and quality of life. You might want to check this out. It sounded interesting so I signed up for it.
Joy

semicolon811's picture
semicolon811
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Erin:

This is my first time doing anything like this as well. I haven't been "cleared" of cancer as I have Stage 4 Colon Cancer and my oncologist says I will "always have cancer", but there has been "No Evidence of Disease" on my 2 CT scans and PET scan since my 12/6/11 Right Liver Resection.
I know EXACTLY what you mean. This is way harder than hearing the diagnosis or going thru the treatment - chemo - surgeries, etc. When I found out I had cancer, I don't know - I just went with it - it wasn't up to me if I was going to live or die -- it was much bigger than me. I just gave it to God - never once did I say "why me" or feel depressed. I did everything they told me to do Colon Resection; Chemo; Liver Resection; Chemo -- and I did it all with a pretty good attitude. To be honest, when I got the first "clean CT Scan", I was happy, but I was depressed at the same time. My husband didn't really understand and I think he thought I was a little nuts. But, somehow it was easier for me to think I was dying and deal with that.
I just don't know how to feel right now...it's like my mind plays tricks on me -- was I really that sick? am I still sick? when is it coming back? For those months of surgery and treatment, I really didn't deal with much else. Now I'm supposed to pick myself up and be "OK" again -- it just is harder than it should be!
Then I get people telling me that I'm "such an inspiration to others and I need to share my story with other people and help them". I just don't see what they see - I didn't "do" anything. But at the same time, I would like to "give back" to others --- but where? how? They tell me to "find you passion" - what does that mean??? I feel like God saved me for a reason, but I can't figure out what that reason is.
Sorry to ramble on, but if there is anyone else out there that gets what I am saying and can give me some input, I would love to chat!! Just know that you are not alone Erin!!:)
Thank you!!!
Christine

danker
Posts: 735
Joined: Apr 2012

Fortunately I found a support group as soon as dxed. I heard what to expect, and the fact that it can be beat. It was a rocky road.but my one year colonosco[y fpound me NED. Now 16 months later,expect to remain NED. Life just goes on. The trick is to live it a day at a time. Even in the Lord's prayer, it's give me my daily bread. Be unafraid and enjoy life as it comes!!!

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2933
Joined: Jan 2010

For most people who have never had to face a diagnosis of a potentially life threatening disease, their reason for "being" revolves around sucesses in family and finances.

It is not until we face the possibility of a "premature" end, that we begin to look harder at our ability to make more meaningful contributions.

I often think of the Jimmy Stewart movie...It's a Wonderful Life. While it is usually shown at Christmas, the basic message is so applicable to living every day. The things you do and the way you treat living beings have an impact, even if unseen by you.

There is a commercial out, I don't even remember what company it is for, which illustrates the point. One person does a kindness for another and is seen by still another. That person then has the opportunity to do a kindness for someone else and the chain goes on and on. Even the littlest things we do can influence another to be kinder and more concerned for others.

Giving kindness and concern for others is a gift which costs nothing, but can mean the world to those in need of it.

Hugs,

Marie who loves kitties

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1280
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi,
I was given a chemo drug called levamisole back in 98. It was banned in 200 for fatal side effects. I believe it has caused most of my auto -immune problems particulary with my kidneys. They leak like a sieve. I loose up to three gramms of protein a day. Max allowable is .015 grams. I have had three kidney biopsies all showing problems but none that relate to known kidney disease. My kidney doctor constantly plays the wait and see game so I am not on any medication to help. I have for some time been suffering panic attacks at night . I wake up and cannot breathe. I saw my gp about it last week ,he thought it might be minni blood clots in the lungs and sent me for heart and lung scans and chest xrays. It wasn't clots.
. My heart has enlarged and I am suffering congestive heart failure. He weighed me and put me on stronger diuretics (I already take some). If I have not lost what he considers reasonable weight/fluid by next week I may have to go into hospital. I guess my nephrologist is going to stop waiting to see. Unfortunately It will probably mean going onto cyclosporin,cyclophospormide or imuran all powerful anti-rejection immuno-suppressants and all with life threatening side effcts. One thing about life after cancer is to constantly remain vigilant for health problems. It'll be ok just does not work for survivors,Ron.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4282
Joined: Jun 2009

That's the slogan on the front page of this website...

It sounds like a lot of hooey, depending on which side of the banquet trough you find yourself grazing from. When you feel okay, things seem better...but when you're constantly living with the ramifications of the decisions made to save your life then...it's often hard sometimes to look back at what happened...and then look forward to what might still.

I think we both know that life after cancer (living with the carnage from the fight) can be equally as hard as the disease itself was. In alot of ways, it is much more difficult, because you have to live with it...in essence, you win the battle, but lose the war.

I don't think we ever truly win the battle with cancer...having to life with the reprucussions of trading "This for That" is what we spend the rest of our lifetimes fighting against.

Some of us continue to pay for a lifetime...it's the ultimate price we paid for our survival....they don't tell you about this in the fancy brochures when they say, "You can do it."

Still, if we had it to do all over again...what would be do? In the end, would it really be any different than the way it turned out?

If you live long enough, this is the crossroads that we will eventually come to...and having to live with it the rest of your life is the true definition of what a Cancer Hero really is.

To know - and have to do...that's where real strength and courage live.

"Cancer is the gift that keeps on givin' - all year - every year - for the rest of what our lives will be."

Keep saving me a spot under that tree, Ron:)

-c

Labra
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Beachbather,
I have been Cancer free for 3 years. I had Stage 3 Rectal cancer. The road is hard and long. Some one once told me that our lives will never be the same, we just have to learn to live with how it is now.
I have felt many times the way you do, but in my mind I keep telling myself be positive and happy
because I am the one who determines how I feel. I choose for the most part to be happy because I am still here! Is it easy....not at all!
I think the post cancer things that we are all going through is the hardest part for sure. I am also looking for answers. That is why I joined this site.
Keep the faith
Labra

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