Does the fear ever go away?

Texylin Member Posts: 43
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I was on here before, under llempert. I was diagnosed Dec. 2003. DCIS, had mastectomy and tram-flap reconstruction. All on left breast. Had more calcifications on right breast and had surgical biopsy in October. Negative, thank God. Just had another biopsy on uterus last week, because of thickening of the walls of the uteras. Sp. is wrong on that. Can't think. I've been on tomoxifen for 2 AND 1/2 years. And prozac. Sometimes I wonder if I am going nuts. Doctor raised mgs on prozac to 40 mgs which also causes sweating a lot worse than before and since I live in El Paso, Tx it's a lot worse than other places. I know how lucky I am, that I disn't have chemo and I don't know how most of you seem to keep it all together. By the way, I'm 57 years old. My sister, who is 68 was diagnosed with colon cancer last year and had chemo for six months. Thank God, she has done really well so far. My husband, had prostate cancer 6 yrs. ago, but we caught it real early and after 39 radiation treatments has been .01 on PSA ever since. They've done a bone scan and x-rays on my lower back because of the pain, said it's digenerative arthritus, but I'm wondering if it's the tomoxifen. You know, I've never really put this down on "paper" before. I don't really think I've accepted the fact that I had breast cancer. Except for the pain from the tram-flap. My tummy seems to have a little man inside that likes to pull at my muscles. I've been unconfortable ever since I had it. It's like I was never sick until I was dxed. Now, I never seem to feel good anymore. I question anything and everything that goes on in my body. I never seem to be at peace anymore. Most of you out there seem to be so much stronger than I am, I wish I could be more like you. I know it's helped me a lot to be here and get so much information from you, you've all been such a help to so many people. I guess I've gone on enough for one night. Thank you for letting me vent a little. I probably need a lot more. God Bless you all.


  • roxanne53
    roxanne53 Member Posts: 154
    It lightens up. I don't think the fear goes away as if it never happened. I have been a survivor since March, 2000 with the first diagnosis of DCIS. Had a left side mascetomy. My second diagnosis came in March, 2003 within 24 hours of the first dx. 2nd diagnosis Stage 3A. Had mascetomy, chemo, radiation, and now arimidex.
    My usual aches and pains are from the arthritis or the side effects of medications, too.

    I also tend to get anxious about any ache or pain that seem to come along. Until I can define what it is comeing from.

    Cancer experiences do change lives from within and outwardly; our path is different now.
    I know that I don't always feel as healthy as I had been before the cancers. This is a frustration but tends to get better over time. As the energy, stamina increase.

    Venting is very good for the soul.
    Then we take another step forward.

    We are all strong, SO ARE YOU; and we hold each other up. Especially when times get a bit more worrisome.

    Take care and GBY
  • Sharon345
    Sharon345 Member Posts: 26
    I too was diagnosed in Dec 2003 with Stage 1, had a lumpectomy. One year later I had a suspicious lump and had it removed. It turned out to be just an enlarged lymph node but I'm glad I got it out. Six months later I had to have a hysterectomy. The sonogram couldn't tell exactly what it was, I could have had more tests done first but it was decided that it would still end with an hysterectomy so a oncologost gyn performed it. It wasn't cancer - just everything else! Now that it's been 2 years I realize that I don't see shadows behind every pain now. You know it's a big deal that our cancer hasn't come back by now. It is still very important to check on every unusual pain though. If it does come back we want to catch it early.
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    Hi Linda:

    I don't think that strength is a question of degree really. You said that some of us seem so much stronger than yourself. I would beg to differ and ask how you arrived at that conclusion?

    There had to have been a lot of stress in your family, with your husbands illness, your own and then your sisters. That's not the kind of thing we can expect to throw off and carry on as if nothing happened. It hurts. Physically and emotionally. No question about it. Yet you are here and still fighting. That's valuable not to mention the strength it reflects!

    It's important not to avoid the reality of it all and pretend it never happened. Accepting that it did is very important. If we deny our experience, then all the impact of it will eat us up from the inside out. Stress takes a serious toll on us and we need to work through it and set ourselves a plan for recovery. Be patient with, be kind to and love ourselves, while we're getting there.

    Peace is hard won and worth fighting to maintain.
    Sometimes that means that we must take time for ourselves. We only have so much energy and if 15 other things are usurping it, we can't focus well and manage our recoveries in the best way. It's something we each must work out for ourselves.

    I'd suggest some counseling to help you toward more comfortably finding your feet and when you feel ready, then perhaps you'll feel comfortable without the Prozac. It's a process and it takes its own time.

    I can only tell you that the fear, for me, has
    dimished greatly. I consider my bc experience just another small part of who I am and what I'm about. I have learned much from it. I have moved forward and am once again at peace in my life. For me there was no magic bullet or quick remedy. It took time, energy, commitment to myself and the determination to carry it all out. There were times when I may have appreared selfish to my family/friends but they respected my path and the things I needed to work on which required great focus and effort. Thus they didn't mind when they got abbreviated versions of "me", here and there. :) At times, particularly early on, I needed more time to myself. To think, to cry, to organize my thoughts into something resembling a plan for feeling whole again. I made written lists to myself too, of things I wanted to accomplish in that week or that month.

    The time goes by and before long, I was seeing and feeling the progress I'd made. The bad days became fewer and farther between. If I can get there, so can you.

    Believe in yourself. Don't ignore it all. WORK toward peace and you'll find that it's right there, waiting for you. Just pick a piece from what may seem to be that plate of spaghetti and start to unravel it all, one strand at at time.

    For what it's worth, that's my thoughts and I so hope that even one little piece of it may be helpful to you in some way.

    Keep us posted and don't stay away so long in the future!

    Love, light and laughter,
  • jhw
    jhw Member Posts: 1
    I'd say that in a sense, no, the fear never goes away. I came to see it (I had breast cancer + bilateral mastectomy + chemo + radiation in 2002), ALL of us are going to die, only we cancer survivors have been brought more face-to-face with that fact. And--again, speaking about myself and my experience--having cancer made me realize that life is all the sweeter because we realize it's finite. I try to be much more mindful, much more of the time, to notice and appreciate all the gifts that lie all around us that we so often overlook--maybe just how the wind is moving the branches of the trees, or the beautiful color of a car, or something totally "obvious" like that. I've said that the longer I'm out of cancer, the more I go back to feeling like I'm "just a normal person" again--yet I want to retain that appreciation of every moment like a cancer survivor.

    If you have access to counseling, I agree with another poster who suggested that that can help. I couldn't have made it through without my therapist's empathy, caring ear, and support.

    Finally, if as you say you've been on tamoxifen for 2 1/2 years, you might want to ask your doctor if you should switch to arimidex. It's been found to increase survival rates even higher than tamoxifen alone if taken after 2 - 2 1/2 yrs of tamoxifen.

    Cancer IS scary, so don't beat yourself up if you're scared. We've been there too--and we all go back there from time to time. Try to savor the moments, hours, & days when you can "smell the roses"!
    Love & strength,
  • SweetSue
    SweetSue Member Posts: 217
    I keep busy, pray, and count my blessings.
  • AuthorUnknown
    AuthorUnknown Member Posts: 1,537 Member
    SweetSue said:

    I keep busy, pray, and count my blessings.

    This is the first time on, but here goes. I finished all treatments on April 1, 2005. Isn't that ironic that I finished on april fools day. I have been so caught up in the treatments that I didn't have a chance to think ahead, until now. I'm scared and I felt safe with the treatments like they were proteting me and now I am on my own.