If not cancer free,am I in remission?

outdoorgirl
outdoorgirl Member Posts: 1,565
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I have a question. Not like I think about it 24/7 cause I really don't,but my chemo nurse told me that I could never call myself cancer free when I asked her about it. I understand that,there are no guarantees and there's always a chance of reccurance. When people ask me how I'm doing and what my prognosis is,is it safe to say that I'm in remission? Or is that just for people who have or have had cancer that has spread, or blood-bourne like Leukemia? Just curious.My cancer fortunately didn't spread to my lymph nodes,and so far untl I find something or my next mammogram in August,my x-rays are clear.
I don't mean to sound morbid,or like a hypochondriac,it's just that different people give you different answers,and I just wanted to get your opinions! Thanks

Comments

  • EveningStar2
    EveningStar2 Member Posts: 491 Member
    opinion
    FWIW I disagree with your chemo nurse. I figure that when I am done with treatment (8 more radiation treatments!) I will consider myself a cancer free survivor until someone does a test that shows otherwise. If I get on that *other* merry-go-round I'm not sure that I can handle it mentally.

    But that's me.

    Maureen
  • zahalene
    zahalene Member Posts: 670
    Sorry...
    if I seem to strike a sour note, but I believe that 'cancer free' is rarely an absolute in any given person. That is to say, anyone at any time may or may not have cancerous cells present in the body whether or not tests reveal them. Not suggesting that everyone is walking around with cancer, just stating a possibility.
    Remission refers to halting the progress of known cancer in the body. It is present but rendered inactive by treatments.
    Having said all this, I will now say that I am a 3X cancer survivor who considers herself 'cancer free'. That is because as of this day I have no evidence that there is any cancer (active or otherwise) in my body, so I am 'free' of the effects of cancer. (Not of the aftereffects, mind you, but that's another story).
    It is largely a matter of semantics and attitude. If you are having a 'cancer free' day, then God bless you and may you enjoy a gazzilion more. :)
  • outdoorgirl
    outdoorgirl Member Posts: 1,565
    zahalene said:

    Sorry...
    if I seem to strike a sour note, but I believe that 'cancer free' is rarely an absolute in any given person. That is to say, anyone at any time may or may not have cancerous cells present in the body whether or not tests reveal them. Not suggesting that everyone is walking around with cancer, just stating a possibility.
    Remission refers to halting the progress of known cancer in the body. It is present but rendered inactive by treatments.
    Having said all this, I will now say that I am a 3X cancer survivor who considers herself 'cancer free'. That is because as of this day I have no evidence that there is any cancer (active or otherwise) in my body, so I am 'free' of the effects of cancer. (Not of the aftereffects, mind you, but that's another story).
    It is largely a matter of semantics and attitude. If you are having a 'cancer free' day, then God bless you and may you enjoy a gazzilion more. :)

    Thanks for your opinions you guys!
    Thanks for your opinions you guys! I really appreciate them.
    It's always nice to talk with people who understand!
  • Kristin N
    Kristin N Member Posts: 1,968 Member
    If you really want to
    If you really want to know..ask your Doctor, your oncologist, not the nurse. Good luck!
  • crazylady55
    crazylady55 Member Posts: 92
    Kristin N said:

    If you really want to
    If you really want to know..ask your Doctor, your oncologist, not the nurse. Good luck!

    I agree with Maureen
    I think that once all these surgeries and treatments are over I will consider myself "cancer free". Maybe it is for my own mental health but unless they find something else I will be "cancer free" in about 3 more months.
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
    Cancer free
    Sure, one cannot ever be 100% certain that one is cancer free. And that includes anyone on the street that has never been diagnosed. But, in my opinion, there is no reason that you cannot consider yourself "cancer free" with reasonable certainty if there is evidence that you no longer have a visible tumor. I considered myself to be cancer free after my surgery. I hope to continue with that until I am told otherwise.

    Mimi
  • phoenixrising
    phoenixrising Member Posts: 1,508
    Sorry, as much as I'd like
    Sorry, as much as I'd like to consider myself cancer free, as long as I have to have hormonal therapy and knowing that if I quit, my chances of it coming back are pretty significant I can not say I'm cured (free). And since I'm having such a hard time with first the tamoxifen and then the arimidex soon to be on aromasin, it feels like I'm still in the battle.
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    I look at it as just a
    I look at it as just a label. It doesn't really change anything. So I think you can call it what ever you want. No one is going to correct you, or they shouldn't. When people ask me how I'm doing, I just say "Fine". They don't press further. I think most people don't really want to know. They have their own problems. My onc didn't call it anything and right after treatment a friend asked if I was in remission. I asked the onc and he said 'yes'.
  • Noel
    Noel Member Posts: 3,095 Member
    I think when you say you are
    I think when you say you are in remission, it means you still have the cancer in you, but, it is under control at the time. It sounds like you are not in remission, but, cancer free.
  • outdoorgirl
    outdoorgirl Member Posts: 1,565

    Sorry, as much as I'd like
    Sorry, as much as I'd like to consider myself cancer free, as long as I have to have hormonal therapy and knowing that if I quit, my chances of it coming back are pretty significant I can not say I'm cured (free). And since I'm having such a hard time with first the tamoxifen and then the arimidex soon to be on aromasin, it feels like I'm still in the battle.

    I feel like I just helped in depressing you.
    dear phoenixrising,
    I feel bad. I feel likewhat I wrote is making you depressed and feeling bad about your treatment. I'm sorry. I never meant for that!
    I feel sometimes that when I have semi-negative thoughts like that and I share them with other cancer survivors,it just ends up scaring them or depressing them-I've actually lost a friend because of it.
    I'm sorry for making you feel bad.
    Outdoorgirl
  • phoenixrising
    phoenixrising Member Posts: 1,508

    I feel like I just helped in depressing you.
    dear phoenixrising,
    I feel bad. I feel likewhat I wrote is making you depressed and feeling bad about your treatment. I'm sorry. I never meant for that!
    I feel sometimes that when I have semi-negative thoughts like that and I share them with other cancer survivors,it just ends up scaring them or depressing them-I've actually lost a friend because of it.
    I'm sorry for making you feel bad.
    Outdoorgirl

    Ohhh sweetie, please don't
    Ohhh sweetie, please don't feel that way. Did I sound depressed?? I always sound like that. I'm just crabby about the whole thing, there is nothing you can say that would scare or depress me, honestly!!! The topic was a good one and should be considered. This board is for all issues negative and positive. And actually I didn't find the topic depressing at all. Now I feel bad that you feel bad and oh gosh we're going to go around in circles :)
    Again please don't feel bad and please post whatever you want to share. There are enough restrictions and expectations out there that we need to be able to express all emotions here.
    So come here and let me give you a big hug!!! Feeling bad about what you post is NOT allowed. :)
    love
    jan
  • outdoorgirl
    outdoorgirl Member Posts: 1,565

    Ohhh sweetie, please don't
    Ohhh sweetie, please don't feel that way. Did I sound depressed?? I always sound like that. I'm just crabby about the whole thing, there is nothing you can say that would scare or depress me, honestly!!! The topic was a good one and should be considered. This board is for all issues negative and positive. And actually I didn't find the topic depressing at all. Now I feel bad that you feel bad and oh gosh we're going to go around in circles :)
    Again please don't feel bad and please post whatever you want to share. There are enough restrictions and expectations out there that we need to be able to express all emotions here.
    So come here and let me give you a big hug!!! Feeling bad about what you post is NOT allowed. :)
    love
    jan

    Thanks for your reply
    You are all so real here. Like a glass of cold water on a hot day!It is so nice to be able to speak my mind,and not have to worry that that person isn't going to understand,or will pity me,or will want me to "just get over it",and hopefully just sweep it under the rug and move on.
    This site is such a blessing!
    phoenixrising,how are you doing these days?How far along are you in your survivorship?Sometimes to me that sounds kind of funny. Even though cancer is a battle,I have never really thought of myself as a warrior. I just think about how much I enjoy life.
    Well,I hope you are doing alright tonight. Thanks for replying! I enjoy shooting the breeze with you emailing,and please feel free to anytime!
    Love, Patty