Still fearful...

n2gr8books Member Posts: 8
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Saw my oncologist this past Wed (4/16) and had a good report. I was diagnosed in Jan '97. Had lumpectomy, 6 positive nodes, 12 chemo treatments and 33 radiation. It's been 6 years now and I still live with the fear of recurrence. Know 5 yrs. doesn't really mean much when dealing with breast cancer. (My mother had breast cancers 11 years apart.) I had lots of treatment...did all that was possible. I wonder if the fear will ever go away. Know I should be elated with the good report from my doctor and I do feel relieved. But sometimes I feel like I'm on death row and get reprieves every 6 months. Does anyone else feel this way? Deborah


  • jeancmici
    jeancmici Member Posts: 665 Member
    Suppose you do get cancer in the future as your mother did. Are you going to waste all the healthy years worrying and fretting about an unknown. Enjoy the moment - it's all we can be sure of. Be happy you have been ok this long - have a Happy Easter!

  • Jeannine
    Jeannine Member Posts: 3
    I think we all feel the way you do to some degree. I finished my treatment in July of 2002 and every time I get a new ache or pain I worry like crazy. But I think Jeancmici is right--we can't afford to live in fear for the rest of our lives. NO ONE has any guarantees! No one knows what tomorrow will bring. Enjoy every day that God gives us, make the most of it and be thankful for all the wonderful people that cross our paths. Try to bring joy to as many people as you can. I am sure you are an inspiration to many! Keep the faith!
  • Jeannine
    Jeannine Member Posts: 3
    Hello everyone!
    Just want to say hello to everyone. This is new to me. I had a lumpectomy in Jan. 2002, 6 mos. chemo and 6 wks. radiation. I had nine positive nodes. I finished treatment in July of 2002. In December, tests revealed an 8 1/2 cm. complex cyst on my ovary. 50/50 chance of malignancy. I had a complete hysterectomy and thank God--no cancer. I am trying to get back to "normal". I always appreciated my life--God, family, friends, etc. But must say, there is a new feeling of "thank you God" for every day. I have not joined any support groups to date because my family and friends have been great. Now that I am going for check-ups every four months, I feel the need to reach out and "talk" to others. It's great to see all the support and positive thinking out there! (especially faith in God!) I am sure I will be talking to many of you in the future. Keep smiling and keep the faith! Jeannine
  • bunnie
    bunnie Member Posts: 233
    Hi yes iam sure we all feel that way i havent even gotten done with chemo yet had mastecomy in Jan and i already fear that it is going to come iam sure when i go in for my 6 month i will be real scared.I guess we just need to learn how too let it not run our lives though.I know that is going to be hard though.Glad too hear that everything came out good for you and i wish you the best of luck in the coming years.Bunnie
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    Hi n2gr8books:

    I'm assuming that you may enjoy reading just a little??? I enjoy reading as well and as you know, there are many great self-help books out there.

    Getting control of our fear is WORK. Just as we battle cancer, we must battle for peace of mind, post treatment. We use every weapon at our disposal to fight our cancer, so why do anything less in fighting fear, post treatment?

    Good friends, good books, good counselors, good support groups...whatever helps, is essential in
    our emotional recovery. So, go for it. Be bold and throw a little something new into the mix and see if it helps. You never know until you try.

    Yoga and meditation were wonderful for me. Helps to oxygenate the body and invigorate the spirit. It sets a great tone for my day. I do a full Yoga workout 3 times/week and a mini workout 2 days/week. I do some other good things too, which keep me feeling my best. Depending upon what you're physically able to do (talk to your doctors about it), there's also Reikki (sp), Pilates, light or strenuous workouts, gardening, reading (of course!), flying lessons...stone massages and all manner of little personal name it and you can benefit from it , if it appeals to you. Life is out there, waiting to be embraced (and even kissed by us) each and every day. How we choose to embrace it is the question to which we must find our answer.

    I consider myself as cancer free now as I was before my diagnosis. Since I didn't spend time in fear about getting bc, before I had it, I don't want to spend time in fear about it now either. Try to look at it as something you HAD. Not something you're afraid of all the time. Those dark thoughts fully deserve a swift kick in the rear when they creep in. Continue to have your regularly scheduled check ups and mammos, do your self exams, pay attention to a healthy diet and through taking excellent care of yourself, you can allow your doctors, science and medicine to worry about the rest of it. In the here and now, find ways of turning that "fear" energy into positive "energy" and put those mammogram days where they belong in your life...just something you'd be doing anyway as part of your regular health screeings. Just like your PAP and/or eye exams and regular physical examinations.

    Please keep us posted on how you're getting along. Am sending a warm hug and best wishes your way!

    Love, light and laughter,
  • Dama
    Dama Member Posts: 1
    I know exactly how you feel, I have been cancer free for 3 years and that fear is still there. To overcome my fear, I use faith, positive thinking, and grab life by the horns...and live, love and laught as much as possible. A perfectly healthy woman that never had breast cancer also faces death at any given day/ car, by airplane, by a freak accident, by some bad person.So we are all here for a short time on this planet anyway...short meaning till the age of 80, as compared to the age of this planet.Be happy....God Bless You
  • DeeNY711
    DeeNY711 Member Posts: 476 Member
    After a needle localized biopsy was negative in 1999, I had follow-ups meticulously every six months for four years. My suggestion to you is this: the appt/reprieve cycle is normal. However, if you have a reason for concern due to a change in symmetry, appearance or sensation, aggressively seek out a second and even a third opinion. For 18 months, the radiologist and gynecologist both told me every six months that an area of my concern did not even appear on the mammogram films, so we would monitor it. Last time (Jan), I pursued an ultrasound, which showed no discreet image. I had a breast surgeon do a core needle biopsy, and pathology reported lobular carcinoma of R breast. I elected to have all breast tissue removed, and on post-op examination, pathology found it peppered through the left breast also. Never showed on mammograms, never showed on ultrasound.
  • isaiah4031
    isaiah4031 Member Posts: 240
    One of the neatest things anyone ever told me was that God knew exactly how many days we have on this earth and not even cancer can change that number. We just have a different perspective on life having been diagnosed with cancer. It makes us a little more aware of our own mortality and helps us prioritize those things that are important in our lives. Live each day to the fullest. Enjoy what life has to offer you and love those close to you always. Rejoice in the good reports! Be wise when you're suspicious of any health changes. But don't put the cart before the proverbial horse. No sense loosing sleep over something you have no control over right now. You're just wiser now and know what to look for in your health care. Give yourself a pardon from death row! Sending you lots of survivor hugs!
    Love, Jayne
  • minnie112256
    minnie112256 Member Posts: 49
    I just got over my treatments a month ago and I am fearful. I feel like you can not let it run your life. If it comes back there is nothing you can do about it. If you are doing what the doctor says you just have to enjoy life and take it one day at a time :)