Help, I've become a hypochondriac!

monicaw Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Two months have passed since my final surgery, eight rounds of chemo and radiation. I feel as though I have stepped into the abyss and left behind that woman who dressed up for chemo and smiled through radiation. I am fearful of any bodily symptom that might arise and have given away so many moments, as of late, to fear. I so appreciate all the brave women before me who assure me that as time passes I will be able to put my canceritis to rest . . . I was just hoping see if anyone had any sage wisdom to help me not walk in fear. Somedays I feel as though I am monitoring every breath thinking the worst of thoughts. Any suggestions or thoughts would be greatly appreciated by this shrinking violet.


  • jamjar62
    jamjar62 Member Posts: 135
    monicaw...first of all take a deep breath and say "what i'm feeling is completely normal". For the past year, your life has been all about you say, dressing up for chemo and smiling through radiation. When you're going through treatment, you're taking a proactive stand, doing something. Once treatment is done the fear begins to creep in that there is nothing to keep the cancer at bay.

    I have been done with chemo for a little over a year. I can PROMISE you that it does get easier and you don't question every little pain or ache.

    If you, like I did, are getting tired of giving away life's wonderful to fear, then get a little angry. I decided that I had lived 40 years as a woman WITHOUT cancer and less than a year as a woman with cancer. And I wasn't going to allow one year to color my judgement for the rest of my life. We are far far more than a diagnosis. We are woman who have been through a life changing experience and what was before is no more. I had to learn to let go of what I THOUGHT my future was going to look like and learn to embrace this new future. It's so hard but the only other choice is to as you say, give away moments. I refuse to give one more thing to cancer.

    Having said all of this, I still have moments of fear. But they are just that....moments and then I go on.

    I had an abnormal bone scan and had to follow up with a CT scan. Just today the nurse called me and told me it was TMJ and nothing more. I never thought I would cry tears of joy to have TMJ but I did.

    Pretty soon you will notice that a day has gone by and you forgot you had cancer. Then maybe 2 or 3 days and then maybe a week. Just like grief, it lessens with time but just like grief, you can be right back in the middle of it if you let your thoughts run. I always say my mind is a dangerous place and I should not be allowed to go there alone.

    You have left behind the woman who smiled through treatment but you have NOT stepped into the abyss. You have stepped into your NEW future, cancer-free and raring to go.

  • sassysally
    sassysally Member Posts: 150
    Monicaw, it is totally normal for you to feel this way. I am a three time bc survivor, and believe you me there are times you can drive yourself insane!! A headache is a tumor, the pain in your side, the ache in your knee. All you can do is live day to day, keep a positive attitude and if things are overly concerning, go to the doctor to quell your fears. It does pass in time, but will always be in the back of your mind. I am into this incredible journey fourteen years now.... I refuse to look back, only forward. Take everyday and experience as it comes. Worry only makes you gray. Congratulations on coming through the otherside of chemotherapy and radiation. We all walk a mile in each others moccasions. Hang in there it does get easier. Best wishes to you.
  • monicaw
    monicaw Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the helping hand and words of support. I was strengthened to think that I haven't given my other 38 years on this planet as much weight as I have given the last one. Great perspective. Sally, I am in awe of your accomplishments. There is a warrior in your spirit. Karen, I admire your strength and your resolve. I shall walk away from here a better woman with your help. Leaps of faith can garner such great rewards. Thanks for encouraging me to relax and go forward.
  • mssue
    mssue Member Posts: 242
    Saged wisdom you say?---I have to say that I really admire the spirit and courage of all of you to speak your mind and share your beautiful words of wisdom.Stay strong ,keep the faith and live each day to it's fullest.
  • DeeNY711
    DeeNY711 Member Posts: 476 Member
    The message you posted is vastly reassuring to all of us who agonize the exact same way.

    Today during a routine oncology follow-up visit, I spoke with a cherished nurse practitioner and said to her that one day, I will get tired of holding my breath and just breathe normally again. She replied Yes! You will! I didn't ask when. It is not going to be today. Maybe it will be next week, or next month, or next year.

    Shortly after my surgery, a college professor mentioned that her mother had a mastectomy on her 65th birthday, and that her mom is now 85 and going strong. Today, I was thinking about maybe asking the college professor to ask her mom at what point did she stop holding her breath, but I thought maybe it would be unfair to the woman if she had finally established a nice sense of equilibrium.

    Each of us can be brave for a moment to help someone else along, but everyone shares the same ground you are on. Be patient with yourself. Maybe we'll stop worrying next week, or next month.
  • SweetSue
    SweetSue Member Posts: 217
    We all are fearful at times. I try to live in the NOW and have fun. I joined a great club where I forget I even had cancer....we act like kids.
    An aunt had bc over 30 years ago, and her 3 friends who fretted over her illness have died. She's still here to tell the story.