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Handling stress from waiting for treatment decisions?

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

Diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer in late March. Had first surgeries in April and reexcisions in early May.  The surgeon said I would have lumpectomies and radiation.  After the surgeries he sent me to the oncologist.

The oncologist ordered more tests.  He is concerned about both breasts having cancer at the same time.  He is talkin possible chemo and radiation.  He also ordered genetic tests.  If that comes in with a problem I will go for double mastectomy.

My problem right this minute is the waiting.  It's like bombs hanging from the ceiling and not knowing which one will fall on my head.

How do you handle the stress of waiting?

 

 

New Flower
Posts: 3982
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi

I try keeping myself busy, disctruct with activities, do whatever I like. If it does not work for you please ask your doctor for medications. I take Ativan ocasionally and it helps.

Wishing you good results

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

Thanks.  I've tried doing different things, but I have the attention span of a Cocker Spanial puppy.  Start a lot and finish nothing.

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

Anyone else have suggestions?

New Flower
Posts: 3982
Joined: Aug 2009

Watch a movie or read or book

If you have to go through mastectomy subscription to any movie service will be helpful.

Hugs

JJDS
Posts: 259
Joined: Apr 2013

Waiting is hard.  We all know that, but, try to do anything that you love to do to try and keep your mind off of it.  I know you will still be thinking of it, but, please try to stay calm and to think positive. 

Good luck, JJ

Kvbrooks1
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2013

I can relate to what you are going through.  Although I tried many things to distract me it was very difficult to even maintain my focus. The best thing for me was to surround myself with others, at home with family or at work with staff and students.  The only way to stay engaged in distraction for me was if others would not let me have the time or energy to think about myself.  

I am and have always been a person who can handle anything but the unknown.  So sometimes as crazy as it may sound I just tried to work out scenarios for what I might do given different responses from my care providers.  Crazy I know to think about thinking more about the unknown, but if I was going to worry about it I was going to try to work out a response I could live with, it felt a bit more constructive and for a while I could relax with my decision.

The hardest thing about cancer is never knowing what turn it might take.  I have always believed in the power of positive thought, but you can't think your way through this one.  You can only choose to replace your fearful and negative thoughts with others that you can find even momentary comfort in.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Kathy

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

 i've tried movies and reading.  I even started another quilt.  Family is not available and I don't want to be a pest to my friends, since this doesn't look to be a quick cure.  I guess I am doing what I can, and it's very nice to know I'm not losing my mind.  And thanks to the people like yhose on this forum, I don't feel so alone.  Thanks.

Kvbrooks1
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2013

I know how this feels.  There were times during my treatment that I just shut down and shut myself away.  Later people would say, "you should have called" or "I would have been happy to...."  Don't wait until later in your treatment, friends don't mind.  They are confused about how to help, but I found that if you are specific they are usually able and quite ready to help.

Please feel free to reach out even in an email.  Gives you contact and sometimes that is the help that is needed.

Hang in there!

Kathy

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3101
Joined: Apr 2009

You are not losing your mind.  We're all like this.  I hate to have to wait for results and I usually end up calling the doctor's office to see if the results came in early.  Sometimes they do.

You aren't alone, you've got us!

Rague
Posts: 3303
Joined: Aug 2009

is never knowing what turn it might take."   That is true of ANY chronic/acute disease.  Do I 'like' having to have dealt with IBC - that is an emphatic NO!  However, there are many other disease that I would not have wanted to deal with more.  Cancer has never stopped me from doing what I want to do.(Age [67 next month] is slowing me down some but definately not stoppiing me - Sat we will be doing the 7k Volks March up to the arm of the carving at Crazy Horse Memorial.  I care for/ride our horses, bike, mow yards for people who need a bit of help and my new passions since DX are flyfishing/fly tying/rod building [I got into rod building through Project Healing Waters which is a fantastic program for Veterans])  I have always been a very active 'outdoor' woman and IBC has not slowed me down at all.  Sat. we will be doing the Volks March up to the arm of Crazy Horse at Crazy Horse Memorial.  There are so many other health issues that would have prevented me from doing it - but not IBC.

The hardest thing - in a way - for me is knowing what Hubby goes through.  He lost his Mother when he was 9 to Cervical Cancer.  I have always been incrediably healthy so it hit him hard - we'd been married 33+ yrs when I was DX'd.

Winyan - The Power Within

Susan

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5334
Joined: Oct 2010

I HATE H ATE  HATE TO WAIT...BUT ONE THING IN HIND SIGHT THAT HELPED ME was using a journal. I rec'd one as a gift from friend and one from Cancer center. I thought goofy, silly but now i read it every once in awhile and I now see it as helpful. A place to vent (prior to finding this site)

 

Denise

flatpikr's picture
flatpikr
Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2013

I know exactly what you mean!  After my diagnosis, I got into surgery very quickly.  It was only 2 weeks from diagnosis.  But then I had to wait 3 weeks to get an appointment with a med. oncologist.  I spent most of the time researching various treatment options for my pathology and making an educated guess as to what the MO would recommend.  It turned out that my guess was a more aggressive treatment than what she recommended.  She referred me to a radiation oncologist, who was out of town and I had to wait again to get an appointment.  While waiting, I lined up another appointment with a M.O. at a different hospital to get a second opinion about treatment.  So then when the R.O. called to make an appointment, I had to tell them I wanted to wait for the second opinion before starting with another new doctor.  In total it has been almost 6 weeks from my surgery and I'm still don't know for sure what treatment I'll end up doing.  It's enough to drive a person crazy!

I am coping with the waiting by reading a lot of books, playing music, exercising on my new elliptical machine, and reading all the cancer bulletin boards like this one.

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

I will have most of my treatment plan next Tuesday.  Then just waiting for genetic testing.

Hope you get your answes soon as well, and get through treatment with minimal side effects.

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3294
Joined: Oct 2009

Good luck next Tuesday.  Post an update for us. 

Hugs, Debby

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

What are the chances that they tell me it is all a crazy mistake and I am fine?  Oh well.  A girl has to dream.

Kristin N's picture
Kristin N
Posts: 1969
Joined: Mar 2009

I wish it was a mistake coco!  Good luck!

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

Wishing you good luck with your genetic test results and good luck with whatever treatment your onco suggests for you.

Hugs, Leeza

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

Good luck flatpikr and coco!

Hugs, Jan

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

Keep dreaming all things will be fine because dreams do come true. It happened many many times in my life.I've been close to death.I was able to pray to live.Some don't get that chance.My daughter-in-law didn't have the chance a few months ago but everyone praying for her worked.She alive but she's having some difficulties.Now it dealing with all that happened throughout her long illness and 5 week coma.But she tells us she's so Thankful. She's a testimonial.

Lynn Smith

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

I am sending more good luck and even more big hugs!

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

On Tuesday, you've got more good luck from me!

Sue :)

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

Thank everyone.

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

Good luck coco!

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