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Does anyone understand? I feel so alone at times...

emamei's picture
emamei
Posts: 144
Joined: Feb 2011

I celebrated several health milestones this year; September 17th marked three years from my Triple Negative Breast Cancer Diagnosis; March 31st marked two years from my last chemotherapy treatment, June 1st marked two years from the last of three breast cancer surgeries and August 15th marked two years from my last radiation treatment.  I have continued to remain cancer-free, although live with the constant reminders of this season of my life with chronic Lymphadema and painful neuropathy of my left arm and hand, as well as having three recurrences of Lymphadema related Sweet’s Syndrome.   I continue to be very closely monitored and tested ever three and six months by her GP and Oncologist.

I have a loving husband, Scott and three beautiful daughters.

 

 

 

Scott’s uncle, (mother’s side), died mid-May from a long, drawn-out battle with Stage 4 Cancer of Unknown Primary which infiltrated his entire lymphatic system.  One of Scott’s mother’s 1st cousin died 3 weeks later after a horrible battle with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer that was discovered quite by happenstance – she died within 6 weeks of diagnosis.  Scott’s older brother, Bruce, died September 5th after an amazingly courageous 16 year battle that included known and experimental treatments and three bone marrow transplants.  Then on December 22nd a very dear and special friend of ours passed away after her 18 month battle with Stage 4 Lung Cancer that quickly metastasized into her bones and lymphatic system (Lymphangitic metastatic disease).

 

If that wasn’t enough, Scott’s aunt Betty was diagnosed with cancer in her lady parts and underwent surgery (a full hysterectomy) in the fall.  Two other very close family friends are presently battling through cancer recurrences, one who is going through chemo and radiation simultaneously and the other who is having major surgery on January 21st and the odds are not in her favour.

 

I personally feel like I continually live under a dark malignancy of Cancer reminders, haunted and stalked by it.  I have persistent fear and anxiety and recently my psychiatrist added 10mg of Nortriptyline to the 200mg of Sertraline that I already take because I don’t sleep and when I do sleep, it’s not restful and is plagued with nightmares and PTSD related flash-backs.

I have suffered from Major Depression for years, but it has been much worse over the last three years.

Will there ever be a time that I can live free from fear?

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

I am 17 year survivor of Stage 3 Breast Cancer wth 11 out of 21 pos nodes and riddled with the lasting side affects that all my treatments left me with.  YES it does get better though the losses are many and often GREAT around us.  I guess talking about it and facing our fears is the best we can do because Cancer isn't going anywhere.  I believe that my being a realist keeps me from hoping and wishing and praying for things to be different instead I realize I am at greater risk for BC as well as other cancers and there is truly a flow to life and there is no stopping it.

I have learned to calm the fear by doing things I was told I would never be able to do and that seems to renew the Gratitude I have needed to move forward in this life of mine.  I just have never stopped finding things that help me cope in this new life of mine.

Some of us are just that sensative to whatever the treatment was and even finding a natural product can sometimes help as does the mounds of medication out there.  A good Pain Specialist was my ticket to getting the help I finally needed instead of focusing on some anxiety issues that GP's think we all have as Survivors.  It is possible to have a life so much better and truly I am in better shape than I ever was as the smoking athlete I always was. 

I just face my fears and do it anyways and there is a book about that called Facing your Fears and Doing it Anyways.  I believe it took me years to get like this and it will take many more to exist like this simple not easy...

Happy New Year

Tara

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4015
Joined: Oct 2009

It does get better.  I first had ER+ breast cancer in 1987 (Stage 3).  The first 5 years were so filled with anxiety and depression-especially whenever I had any test.  But I began to find a calm-in part with a good psychiatrist and a little lexapro and, in part, because, no matter what, I try and make myself walk outside a little twice a day.  When I have been too sick to get outside, I turn into a very gloomy Eeyore.  But a few minutes watching the birds or piddling in my garden have really helped me.

I have been Stage 4 for 8 years, but all things considered, I am doing amazingly well.  My advice is to find a few hobbies or loves (at least 3) and try and embrace the life you have left-how ever short or long.

Sending gentle hugs and earnest hopes for a happier new year.

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5490
Joined: Oct 2010

Sorry to hear of all your loses and worries...I am sending good thoughts an pixie dust your way.

 

Denise

Sun Whitey
Posts: 36
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi there,

Although I am still in treatment (radiation therapy), I am already nervous about what fears you are facing now.  That being said, perhaps what I'm doing now might help you...though I'm surrounded by so much love from family and friends, the longing to be with others who walk this journey with me has been strong.  I want and need to talk to other women who are going through, or have gone through breast cancer treatment.  Thus, I found a number of free retreats offered to survivors.  I have just booked my first one in Park City, Utah for the end of April...I only had to pay for my airfaire to get there, everything else is free.

http://www.imagerebornfoundation.org/

There are other retreats I applied for as well, and I'm hoping I'm accepted to all of them.  I got the information from this link:

http://breastcancerfreebies.com/retreats/

I live alone, and feeling alone is something I understand all too well.  So, I'm taking the risk of going to be with others who can help me through this emotionally.  I am so sorry to hear about all your family is going through....and how you feel there is such a dark cloud hovering around you...I don't know that we will ever live free from fear.  If you've never had cancer you won't understand that.  I do, and so do these other beautiful women here on the pink bus.  You are NOT alone my friend.

I am praying for you, and I know some sunshine is coming your way.

Think about a retreat...being with these other women may boost your spirit a bit.  I'm nervous about it, but I know it's going to open my heart.  

All my hugs and warm fuzzies to you!

 

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