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Fifth Anniversary

Jim Pantelas
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm now just 6 months shy of my fifth anniversary from my initial diagnosis - 1B NSC lung that, after lobectomy surgery revealed spread to distant lymph nodes, turned overnight into 3B NSC lung. Radiation for 8 weeks and chemo for 4 months and good as gold by April, 2006. But with every anniversary there's so much underlying fear. My doc says that if I can make 5 years I've as good a chance as anyone of never having a remission. Now I'm wondering if that's 5 years from diagnosis or from end of treatment!

Okay, I'm not normally a negative person. If anything, I tend to the opposite. I didn't fight my cancer, and I didn't go to war with my faith. The day I was diagnosed my wife was 6 months pregnant with our first, and we've since given her two little sisters, so I think I'm going to be around for a while. But I do keep my life insurance paid up, and I do make sure that if anything breaks it gets fixed to last, and I do still have this amazing fear every time an anniversary approaches.

I know, I'm still here. And I know I'm so damn lucky to even be able to watch my girls grow. And I do know how frightening this all can be on the early side of this equation - and how it feels to be going through the treatments, so I feel bad even posting here, but I do need to ask - does this fear go away? It's not everyday, and, in fact, it's not all that often at all. But there are days - 2, 3 or 4 a year - when it's just so oppressive - when it feels like my luck could just run out! So, on days like today, these oh so rare days when I can't hear God laugh and I haven't the courage to buy green bananas I've just got to ask - does the fear ever go away?

medi_2's picture
Posts: 509
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Jim, I have this little card that says: 'Fear knocked on the door; Faith answered and no one was home' Corny, huh? But there is something about it. I am not overly religious; I don't go to Church (indoor ones anyhow), but the concept of Faith has always helped me at my worst times. It isn't Faith in a certain diety, it is absolute letting go. Saying 'uncle'. And sometimes the results are not what I think I want but who gets everything they want. My mom used to say 'PUSH TIME AND IT PUSHES BACK'. Throw your fear into the universe and refuse to accept it back. Remember 'We have nothing to fear but fear itself' ? Yeah I still get scared. I've been clean for over a year but that big PET scan is coming and those bad thoughts are starting to creep in. Darn, just as I was beginning to enjoy being fear free ;). I'm glad you posted this because just reading about another person going through it doubles my resolve to pitch out any fear-related thoughts and to remember that there is always someone somewhere that will help ;).
Hope this helps!

Posts: 56
Joined: Feb 2010

It is wonderful that you are doing so well, don't let fear take that part away.

catcon49's picture
Posts: 398
Joined: Aug 2008

Just a little advice. On those days when the fear is overwhelming, come to this site and talk to all the wonderfully brave and special people here. Everyone here understands what that fear
is like. Sometimes it helps to know how many people are out there going through the same thing or even worse. God bless you, your wife and those wonderful children of yours.

cobra1122's picture
Posts: 244
Joined: Jul 2009

It is always good to hear things like this from other survivors, it helps ensure that there is Hope and a future. I just want to say Thank You for sharing this with us, and never give up.
Fear as far as I feel, will always be there, but it can be put in its place by simply talking with others wheter on this site or with others. We can control fear, but to truly have no fear after going through this I dont know. But when I feel it rearing its nasty head, I seek out others to talk to and it helps me deal with it and put it in its place.

Our Prayers and Best Wishes to You, Your family and Everyone,

Dan (cobra1122) and Margi Harmon

Jim Pantelas
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2010

I just wanted to write to thank all of you for responding to my post. It seems that the world wants us to always be strong at times of trouble, and it's nice knowing there's somewhere I can just write about what I'm feeling! The post was written on a pretty bleak day - and today's not one of those, so God is laughing all the louder for me today. The sound of her laughter is glorious! And yes, for me, she's a she! So I plan to have a good weekend, and I plan to keep my head in today - and let tomorrow worry about itself, and I remain grateful for the kindness of strangers.

Thank you.


Posts: 84
Joined: Nov 2005

You've reached a significant goal 5 years, congratulations, all of us are so happy for you enjoy your weekend

Posts: 56
Joined: Feb 2010

I think we do all understand the terror that can hit at different times. It is nice to have a place to share that. Keep smiling

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