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Anxiety 3 years post Ca

childofthestars's picture
childofthestars
Posts: 246
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi Everyone

it has been a while since I have posted a 'forum topic' and I have mainly been a lurker for the past year or so but I feel that I need a sounding board so to speak.  Basically I am now 3 years post dx for Stage 2C ovca, debulking, dense does taxol/carbo last chemo Dec 2010.  I have been doing really well and to look at me you would never know what I have been through.  However, the last few months I have started getting anxious - about what I really don't know as all is good in my life - but I have a constant feeling of anxiety and worry about everything and feel quite emotional, especially over events that I have no control over and it seems to be getting worse :(( I just don't understand what's going on as I have a great life and so much to look forward to.  Has anyone else experienced these feelings so long after treatment ended?????

Michelle xxx

kikz's picture
kikz
Posts: 1269
Joined: Jun 2010

I am still in the middle of treatment yet think about the possibility of another recurrence.  My numbers are great and I am waiting for the onc to let me know how many more infusions I will have, but I sometimes find myself thinking what is the point?  Even when I go back into remission (I may already have) I am going to be worried forever. 

The difference is that I am not overwhelmed by these thoughts.  They are there but most of the time I can push them to the back burner.  No one can tell us how to feel and I hate when someone tries to minimize my feelilngs, saying, don't worry or it will be alright.  Come on, they have no idea what we go through.  For heavens sake, let me express my feelings.  That is why this board is vital.

So what I am trying to say is you have a right to your feelings but if they are getting in the way of living your life, you may want to speak to someone.  It is hard to live with this disease.  Like I said, even when we are in remission we aren't at ease.  It is the fear of the unknown.

I am glad you came to let us know how you are feeling.  I hope you get the peace you are looking for.

 

Karen

childofthestars's picture
childofthestars
Posts: 246
Joined: Jan 2011

thank you so much for your reply.  I guess I am finding it a bit overwhelming at the moment & I don't really want to burden those around me with these feelings as I think it will upset them. You are right I probably need to speak to someone 'outside' my life who is impartial but sympathetic/empathetic to how I feel right now.  

I really do wish you & everyone on this board all the very best - we need it at times & this board is a great place to air feelings & fears.

take care & much love.

michelle xxx 

scatsm's picture
scatsm
Posts: 236
Joined: Apr 2013

Michelle,

I am only 16 months out from treatment for stage 3c but I get anxious every three months when I have my CA125 test. It hasn't gotten less intense yet, but it doesn't last as long. I am 2 weeks away from bloodwork and I can feel the change...I am worrying about the future and sad about my kids losing their mother.....teary at movies and when I'm by myself. I found it helpful to see a psychologist asociated with my cancer center whose services are free to anyone receiving treatment at the center. Maybe there is a similar program where you went? At the moment, I find these feelings manageable but I'll go back if I start to feel overwhelmed.

Hope you will start to feel better soon!

Susan

childofthestars's picture
childofthestars
Posts: 246
Joined: Jan 2011

Thank you for yor thoughts.  I have check ups every 4 months but have opted not to have any blood work done unless there is a 'reason' and this seems to work for me. I do understand the sadness of leaving our children without a mother & this makes me feel so very sad although there is absolutely no reason that I should feel more worried than any other time since my diagnosis - its just where my brain is at the moment - grrrrrrrrrr! I will definitely seek some counsel I think :)) 

i am so pleased that u remain NED :))) take care & let us know how all goes with your next checkup in a couple of weeks.

Michelle xxx 

Alexandra's picture
Alexandra
Posts: 1206
Joined: Jul 2012

Michelle, it’s a wonderful picture. You look great; you know what they say “looking great is 80% of feeling great”. Maybe 90%, I don’t remember.

I can understand how you feel. I am 14 months since OVCA 3C diagnosis and 7 months since finishing first line of chemo. NED with blood tests every 3 months, next one in 10 days, on July 17th

I have almost convinced myself and everyone around me that I am immune to depression and anxiety; that I don’t need psychological help or medications; that I laugh in the face of cancer and death. Yah, right... For the last couple of months I have been in a very dark, hopeless and lonely place and I’m not sure how to get back. It has nothing to do with checkups. I won't go too deep into it for the fear of nice men in white coats dragging me away. 

If you’re not against professional help, by all means take it. And try to stay busy; you can’t think bad thoughts if you’re busy thinking good ones.

 

lovesanimals's picture
lovesanimals
Posts: 1236
Joined: Sep 2011

I'm so sorry you are suffering.  For as long as I can remember, I've had debilitating anxiety, panic attacks and mild depression, which greatly interfered with the quality of my life.  I finally got help (meaning a really good antidepressant -Paxil in my case) aboout six years ago, three years before my cancer diagnosis.  I wish I could also find a good therapist but haven't been able to find one through my insurance.  Luckily the medicine alone has helped me 100% and I feel so much better now.  If you are open to medication and if your anxieties and worries are significantly interfering with the quality of your life, then you may want to talk to your doctor about medication (anti-depressant).

Whatever you decide, I hope you feel better soon.  We're here for you!

Big hugs,

Kelly

 

childofthestars's picture
childofthestars
Posts: 246
Joined: Jan 2011

Thank you to all you lovely ladies for your kind words.

Alexandra; I have a picture of me when I was about the same age as you and it's almost identical LOL!  And as with you people around me always say that I have been amazing, i've handled it all so well, i'm all ok now, just get on with your life - ahhh little do they know although I wouldn't wish it on anyone.  In fact a standing joke with my friends is that i'm greedy 'cos i've had cancer twice!!! I do feel that i need to spend some time in a white cell tho!!!

i am already sooooo busy and i've been on good 'ol Prozac for nearly 20 years - maybe need an upgrade :)

i've also made an appointment to see a counsillor who specialises in cancer issues - so being proactive.

i'm off on a 2 week trip to Israel next week, I know you've been there Alexandra - I haven't been there for nearly 24 years and am really looking forward to it. I feel in a much better place today (well for the last 30 mins anyway who knows what the next hour or so will bring!)

Sending all of you bright blessings.

michelle xxx

 

Alexandra's picture
Alexandra
Posts: 1206
Joined: Jul 2012

I went back to Israel in February for the first time after 18 years and it was absolutely awesome.

childofthestars's picture
childofthestars
Posts: 246
Joined: Jan 2011

I am just toooooo excited :)

xxx

 

scatsm's picture
scatsm
Posts: 236
Joined: Apr 2013

 

A great trip to Israel and Egypt in 2010. This is me and my daughter in pre-cancer days and when one could still go to Egypt!

Have a great time!!

Pamela B's picture
Pamela B
Posts: 108
Joined: Jan 2013

Michelle, I am just weeks into remission and already feeling myself getting stressed and anxious.  I  tell myself it was a singular bump in the road and all will be well from now on.  But when I am by myself, in that dark corner of my mind the worry starts. Then I hear about the 5 and even 10 year survivors and I think there is no reason I won't be one of them.  My doctor says there is a 50/50 chance or recurrence.  Not bad odds. I think worry and anxiety for us is normal under the circumstances.  I agree with the others, keeping busy with good things is very helpful. Hope you are feeling better in the very near future!

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

I have to chime in here as I can relate to everyone whom worries about cancer and life.  Who ever said this would be an easy journey.  One thinks right after treatments LIFE WILL BE BACK TO NORMAL,but that just doesn't happen.  I started a cancer therapy group for ladies only, right before start of treatments in '09.  One important thing our therapist told the group, life is never the same after treatments as to why we all have stress and anxiety.  Mentioned the importance of therapy after treatments, so we can learn to accept life in today's world and  move forward.  If we continue to drag our stress, that'll affect our health.  

 

Definitely recommend some type of therapy,where one can unload their thoughts and realize we're not all that bad.  We just have to learn to accept our new path in life.  Once we can do that, the stressers do go away, but understand it's always a work in progress.

 

Keep busy is one of the best solutions....

 

Hugs

Jan

childofthestars's picture
childofthestars
Posts: 246
Joined: Jan 2011

Many thanks for your input, I am actually quite looking forward to having some therapy now Smile

Michelle xxx

jbeans888's picture
jbeans888
Posts: 313
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Michelle, 

  I just wanted to let you know I am 2 yrs in remission and instill get a lot of anxiety.  I have been going to a therapist for a year and a half now.  It definitely helps because I can talk about my feelings to someone that isn't a family or friend and she helps me figure things out without the added stress of putting your feelings on your loved ones.  I really thought that the longer in remission my anxiety, especially during test time would get easier.  I was wrong I think it's actually worse because we know what it's like if the tests come back positive for a recurrence.  And then all our post healing mentally and physically goes back to ground zero. I still haven't mastered dealing with it, but I try my best.  That's all you do. 

123Miley's picture
123Miley
Posts: 94
Joined: Jan 2013

I am a six year survivor. I have gone through so many ups and downs!  One minute I am like "Flip it!  I am getting on with my life!"  the next I am "Oh crap what am I going to do if this comes back?"  So many thoughts of what if and what I should or shouldn't do went - still - go through my mind! 

When I finished my initial treatment (11 months of carbo/taxol) I felt a little lost and remember the conversation with my doctor when we extended my checkups beyond 1 month.  I asked if we could go as long as 3 months.  He said "Yes we can.  But can YOU?"  He so hit the nail on the head!  I needed to be weaned!  We eventually got to 3 months but to this day I continue to have the ups an downs.  Unfortunately that is part of it.  I say this because I think there is a lot of adjustment going from constant care and treatment to sort of being turned lose if you will.  

I was diagnosed at stage 3C 6 years ago and am still here alive and kicking!  I would be remiss if I did not mention that I am not currently in remission.  I am on treatment for my second reoccurence.  But the point is I am still here and living a pretty great life!!!

 There is life after and WITH cancer! 

I will also mention something I don't think anyone else has (although I have not read all the posts).  I have taken Lexipro on a couple of different ocassions. Originally my doctor prescribed it to help with sleep, hot flashes and bad night sweats after surgery and it worked wonders.  But I am pretty sure it helped more than the menoupasal symptoms!   I was on it for nearly a year and then stopped taking it.  The bad menaupose symptoms had subsided (thank God!  LOL!)and I was in a good place emotionally and did fine.  So late last year when I realized I was in another spell of really bad anxiety (facing another reoccurence) - to the point it was effecting my daily behavior - I asked for Lexipro from my doctor.  Once again it helped.

I am not suggesting you just go take drugs - that won't just "fix" everything. But the 10mg of daily Lexipro really helped take the edge off of me with very few - none really - side effects.  

I did not join this forum until recently but found it really helps and a support group could help as well. Check with your oncologists office for connections to any that are near you). One on one counseling sure can't hurt either.  I worked with a counselor to help with the transition from having cancer to  - well what ever you call it - when you are done with treatment and in "remission".  

We don't have control over what happens to us but we do have contol over how we deal with it.  To quote a line from a favorite movie of mine: 

"You got two choices.  You can get busy livin' or get busy diein'."  

Know that some days that will be a lot easier than others.  Stay strong and and get busy livin'!

 

 

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