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Scared of the future

mcdnfrth
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2007

I have spent the last 2 years fighting to survive stage 3 colon cancer and after lots of chemo and 1 recurrance I have had clear scans for about 9 months. But I am so scared to even think about the future and what that might be. My wife and I are seperating partly because I can't even discuss the future and what I may want to do. Every time I think about the future I wonder if I'll even have a future and I don't know what to do. I realize that my fears are just holding me back from enjoying the life that I have been lucky enough to still have. If anyone has any advice on how I could face these fears and start moving on I would greatly appreciate it.

jams67's picture
jams67
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

We can all relate to your fear of "what if..".
I still hesitate to do things like elective surgery or preventive meds for whatever. This is what is termed post tramatic stress. You really need to get some stress management. Check with your medical doc. It sure helped me to do a biofeedback stress management class. You can find more info on it http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/biofeedback/SA00083. It will be worth the your time to investigate it. It may make a big difference in the way you feel about your future. Mine has certainly improved!
Hope this helps.
Jo Ann

alta29's picture
alta29
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

we all get to feel that way...but we have to stay positive. This may sound funny, but I didn't even want to "waste" money on new underwear...You have to try to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Read positive things...I posted a few days ago some REALLY nice stories about stage IV survivors...some of them have been in remission for 13 years...try to read it..every time I get down I read them...It took me a while to believe that I DO have a chance..that things are not the way they use to be..Cancer is now a cronic disease, not a death sentence...pray...meditate, visualize and diet should make it I am having surgery in a month...the way I see it ?? they are going to take those bas..... out of my body, and they are never coming back
God bless

jams67's picture
jams67
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

You made me laugh. Hope you bought sexy underwear anticipating something fun in your future.
Jo Ann

alta29's picture
alta29
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

No Kidding !!!! You can ask my mom...everytime we go shopping...she tells me...please no more underwear !!!!!

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi,
I can sympathise with you on both counts ,first the battle against st 3 cancer. I was dx in 98 with st3 into 6 lymph glands. Since then I have had all manner of illness most of which was chemo related but in every case the first thing they suspected was ca. It has all been too much for my marriage and I am now on my own again. I had some pretty dark thoughts on the future and was very close to ensuring I didn't have one but to survive cancer means that you are a REAL survivor. It is not just something you can throw away. Life ain't easy but it has a habit of sorting itself out. Mine is starting to,so stay well ,give yourself some time,be kind to yourself and start looking for the things you enjoy even the smallest things can help you through,good luck. Ron.

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

I can certainly understand your fear, but there are no guarantees in life whether you have been dx with cancer or not. Nobody knows what the future will bring to any one of us. Worrying really doesn't accomplish anything but it will prevent you from enjoying the "present" you were given. Focus on what's positive in your life. Remember the "serenity prayer" . If you need to , talk to a clergy member, a close friend, a counselor about your fears. Post here often. It's a great source of support. Do whatever it takes, but don't let cancer rob you of your spirit and never give up hope. God Bless

changing
Posts: 135
Joined: Oct 2006

Hi, sorry for your heartache:( I too know it's hard to think beyond these trying times. However, there is one statement I do hold on to...as much as I can and hope you'll consider holding on to it as well. "I plan as if there's no prayer and I pray as if there is no plan" We can't stagnat where we are...for own sakes as well as our families..we must move forward in anticipation of a good life....my kids and wife are watching me....looking to see how I handle the struggles in life...the way I react during these times ..is a gift I give to them..something they can hold on to and say "dad made it through and so can I". As for my wife, she too is struggling and sometimes we tend to pull away from those we love...to protect ourselves and them from any further pain. YET...that's not the answer! I pray you and your wife will get into a support group or visit with your minister...and pour out your hurts so that together you can begin to REALLY "heal" . Don't allow this beast to ruin your life! I'll be praying for you my friend and I'm here whenevere you need to talk.

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I can certainly relate -- to what you and others describe. I've heard this situation referred to as "the sword of Damoclese" - it is always hanging over us. I've struggled with this dilemna myself. If I buy new clothes, will I get my "money's worth" ?!. But I do believe it's important to live our lives as tho we could live forever -- or be hit by a bus tomorrow. I have changed. I say "yes" to every opportunity I get to spend quality time with my family (immediate and extended) and try to see good friends. I was diagnosed with Stage III cancer Dec 2002, and have had two recurrences since then. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that plans can be cancelled! Each time, I've had to make major reshufflings in my life -- and my husband has had to as well. But you know -- that's fine. Everyone understands, copes, and is very supportive. I think MAKING plans, with the possibility of later having to cancel them, is the best way -- at least for me. These days I accept all social invitations -- if I have to cancel (I'm on chemo right now) that's fine -- I have a pretty good excuse.

Also, I agree with others that it can be very useful to speak with a therapist/counsellor/minister, if you have not already done so. I saw a therapist. She described me as having post-traumatic stress. It was very helpful for me to talk with her.

I wish you all the best. You are not alone!
Tara

des6933
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2007

me too..doctor "missed it" 4 years ago and now my husband is post -op and we are little afraid..wondering if anyone is suffering terrible night sweats..tell me what scares you..I wonder if I can find this sight again..it wasn't easy but I really need to talk.

des6933
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2007

HI
i don't have cancer but my husband does..we are a little bit afraid..that word..cancer..is tough. Hold fast.. it is never wrong to be strong and bright for you can and WILL ..light someones way. I don't know you but I am thinking of you tonight and if I can't find this great site again I will think of you often..for this is my first afraid night of my life.

Kanort's picture
Kanort
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

You have gotten some really good advice and I hope that you are feeling better today.

I love to shop the "end of season" sales. For some reason it is reassuring to me to think that I need to be around to wear or use the things I have already purchased.

Know that your fears are normal. Try and celebrate your wellness and live each day to the fullest.

Wishing you peace,

Kay

chynabear's picture
chynabear
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005

There have already been many great responses. I just wanted to add mine to the list because it hit so close to home.

When I was diagnosed, I had a one year old child. My small family was in the middle of career change, relocation, and complete chaos. We opted to have my child and I live with my in-laws for stability during my treatments. I remember when I heard the words cancer, I literaly hit the ground crying and saying I can't die, I have a baby to raise. I put my head down and fought to get through. After I finished my last chemo, I was excited to be moving back in with my husband, getting back to taking care of my baby, decorating a new house, and getting back to a "normal" life.

Wow, was I surprised. I cried every day. I cried every night when I put my daughter to bed because I always wondered if that would be the last time. I had no energy, felt terrible, gained a lot of weight and started emotionally eating. My husband has a very hard time talking to me about my cancer. At the time, the only thing he could tell me was that my attitude was not going to help keeping it away. I realized that I needed help and fast because my family that was worth me fighting to stay alive for was now worth a happy and healthy life from me.

Just finding these boards and seeing that others felt the same way helped. I realized that we all go through these bouts of fear. Just saying it out loud helped. Then, I started seeing mention of cancer books. Beating cancer with nutrition, spontanious healing, and on and on and on.

I realized that I was suffering because I felt like I was not fighting cancer anymore because chemo was done. I realized that if I started focusing on eating better, having a better attitude, and excercising, I felt like I was doing everything I could to keep the cancer at bay. I started eating many fruits and veggies and juicing (I'm out of the habit now but need to again). Instantly I had more energy. Can't be all bad, then. I purchased an eliptical a couple of months later and started working out daily. I feel better now than I did before diagnosis. I still have maybe 2 or 3 days a year that I get the what if's... but then I just put it in God's hands and confess that it is too big a burden for me to carry alone and repeat it until my fear subsides.

Counseling, work-shops, staying really busy, excercise, and just talking about it with others in the same situation (support groups) helps. The key is to finding which ones work for you. It does get easier as more time goes on.

Any single person can die at any given time for any given reason. The difference, as my oncologist told me, is that I know I can die. Realizing that maybe we are mortal is terrifying.

I pray you find your peace and learn to live each day as if it were your last (and you will!).

Patricia

Monicaemilia's picture
Monicaemilia
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi: I was dx'd when my baby was 6 weeks old with stage iv cc. All I could think about at the beginning was that I was going to die, that I was not going to see my baby grow up. I could not see the point of shopping for clothes or spending any money on myself and I started straightening everything out to ensure my family would be all right (ie paperwork). Then my brother got me into a spiritual path that has really helped me. My fear of death went away, and once that happened, I started to look at my life in a totally different way. I now make plans, maybe not long term because I'm on chemo, but certainly within a few months (and it makes me feel great). I'm actually planning a vacation with my husband and little boy in June. I can't remember the last time I had any fun and I am soooo ready for it. I think you need to do the same thing. Life should be cherished, not feared. Maybe start making small plans and work your way up. Show your wife that you are willing to give it a try. You managed to beat the beast, now it is time to celebrate. Monica

Limey's picture
Limey
Posts: 447
Joined: Mar 2004

I believe we need not think of what will happen in the future because the future is here today. My wise old mother has always told me. We cant’ predict tomorrow for it has not come yet and yesterday has already past. But today is ours all day long to spend it as we choose. It is a choice. I am in my last 3 days of taking this round of chemo (xeloda pills) and my hands and feet are creating many challenges for me. The way I see it is: this is a21 day cycle. and only 3 days are really tough. That leaves 18 days to party. Now it could be the reverse, so I count my blessings.

The power of your subconscious mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy has been a really helpful book for me to keep a positive outlook on life. We are what we think. Every day I remind my subconscious mind how I am cancer free, and not having side effects from the chemo. One day that will be true. Now it is a fact that one day cancer may rob me of my days here on earth but it can not rob me of my happiness and joy. I have to be willing to give that away. I hope that LIFE greets you first thing in the morning and you celebrate it all day long. When I was in Mexico doing alternative treatment the psychologist told me when I have negative thoughts or fears to acknowledge them by thanking them for showing up and then tell them that today I am choosing to…… insert positive thought and I choose not to fear today. It really works. Smile on brother.

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