Not New to Cancer, but this time it's me - when do you quit thinking about it?

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slynch
slynch Member Posts: 82
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I lost my father to stomach cancer. My mother had ovarian cancer and survived. She was 72 when diagnosed and is now 84. She is a walking miracle and I am convinced it was her faith in God that got her through. Well, I helped take care of both of them but now it's me.

I was diagnosed with DCIS breast cancer on March 11th, 2010 (my birthday). It has been a whirlwind every since. Doctors, plastic surgeons, genetics testing, etc. I have been so overwhelmed. My decision is bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. My surgery is scheduled on April 15th, 2010. I already had 2 biopsies on the right breast and one on the left. This was my 3rd on the right so I choose mastectomy. Because of my mother's ovarian cancer they say my risk is much higher for breast cancer on the other side so I have chosen to do both. I have done really good so far. My husband says I am so busy trying to be strong in front of everyone else that I am not dealing with it myself. I am just trying to stay busy

I have been reading some of the information on this site and it sounds like there are some great people to talk to on here. My question, when do you quit thinking about it. It is on my mind all the time, even when I am busy working or doing anything? Does that part eventually go away? Physically and emotionally I am pretty good but mentally I am absolutely exhausted.

Comments

  • jphilpo
    jphilpo Member Posts: 177
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    new
    I am so sorry you have to join this group, but you have SO many friends here! I am not quite a year after my diagnosis. I had a left breast mastectomy & will have reconstruction this summer. PLEASE know that your positive attitude will always help! I have learned that having bad days is allowed too!

    Good luck with your surgery. God Bless!
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143 Member
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    Welcome
    And I'm glad you found us. This is a question a lot of us ask: when? when will I stop thinking about it non-stop? When will my life return to some semblance of normalcy? I will be very honest with you: not for a while. Despite your experience caring for family members with cancer, it's very different when it's you and this is so new for you. It hasn't even been a month. At this stage in the process I was still in shock mode. Though cancer is never a good thing to hear, it is fortunate that your diagnosis was non-invasive. This will help you deal with the post-treatment anxiety.

    Give it time, but know that, yes, eventually it won't be with you constantly like it is now. I still think of it everyday (16 months post diagnosis), but it is in the background now unless something specific is going on to bring to the foreground. You have mental (and probably physical) exhaustion because your brain is constantly trying to assimiliate and fit this new and unwelcome information into your life and how you saw that life unfolding. No one plans for a life with cancer in it, so it can be quite an adjustment. When I was first diagnosed I doubted that I would ever again be happy. And that scared me. I was wrong. Though I have my challenges, I am still a happy person and cancer is just one thing in my life, not everything. You will regain your sense of balance. Just know that this frenzy you feel right now is normal. Try to slow down and make sure you treat yourself with the utmost care during this time. It won't always be like this.

    Hugs,

    Mimi
  • cindycflynn
    cindycflynn Member Posts: 1,132 Member
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    Welcome
    So glad you found us, but so sorry for the reason you had to.

    There is so much to absorb, especially at first, that almost all of us feel overwhelmed, so you are not alone it what you're feeling. It sounds like things have been moving along for you pretty quickly, and you've already made some important decisions.

    I found myself obsessing quite a bit at first, and still think about it every day (I'm getting radiation currently, after surgery and chemo), but don't think about it as constantly as I used to, and am much more at peace. This website has helped me beyond words to get to that place.

    I want to wish you the best with your upcoming surgery and encourage you to come back as often as you like.

    Take care,
    Cindy
  • Youcandothis
    Youcandothis Member Posts: 79
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    mimivac said:

    Welcome
    And I'm glad you found us. This is a question a lot of us ask: when? when will I stop thinking about it non-stop? When will my life return to some semblance of normalcy? I will be very honest with you: not for a while. Despite your experience caring for family members with cancer, it's very different when it's you and this is so new for you. It hasn't even been a month. At this stage in the process I was still in shock mode. Though cancer is never a good thing to hear, it is fortunate that your diagnosis was non-invasive. This will help you deal with the post-treatment anxiety.

    Give it time, but know that, yes, eventually it won't be with you constantly like it is now. I still think of it everyday (16 months post diagnosis), but it is in the background now unless something specific is going on to bring to the foreground. You have mental (and probably physical) exhaustion because your brain is constantly trying to assimiliate and fit this new and unwelcome information into your life and how you saw that life unfolding. No one plans for a life with cancer in it, so it can be quite an adjustment. When I was first diagnosed I doubted that I would ever again be happy. And that scared me. I was wrong. Though I have my challenges, I am still a happy person and cancer is just one thing in my life, not everything. You will regain your sense of balance. Just know that this frenzy you feel right now is normal. Try to slow down and make sure you treat yourself with the utmost care during this time. It won't always be like this.

    Hugs,

    Mimi

    We're all human
    and react accordingly. You will have constant reminders of your condition for quite awhile! Meds, treatments, blood work, your own physical condition...how could you not think of it?! It's over a year for me, and always there in the background, though I have worked hard and think I have recovered well. The trick is to manage your care and your life so you are positive you are doing good things for your complete recovery. Then your thoughts can include that certainty and won't be so scary. It takes time and practice--but the time will pass anyway so why not use it to practice? Take it one step at a time, know your options, participate in your treatment, and stay positive
    btw, I too have seen several family members through months of aggressive treatments. It absolutely is different when it's you! Good luck.
  • ms_independent
    ms_independent Member Posts: 214
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    it gets better
    I have essentially the same story as you concerning your breast cancer. DCIS on the right, lousy family history, had bilateral mastectomy with phase one of reconstruction (tissue expanders placed)December 15th, 2009. At first I couldn't think of anything else, it totally consumed me. I was useless at anything else. I think part of that was due to the endless Dr. appointments. I had my implants placed 2 1/2 weeks ago. I can honestly tell you that I can go hours without thinking about it. I am fortunate that I don't need chemo or radiation so the cancer stuff isn't in my face all the time.

    Your job is your recovery, nothing else is that important right now. If you are having trouble resting or sleeping or having anxiety problems PLEASE ask your surgeon (or other MD involved in your care) for something to help you. You are in the middle of a huge stressor and there is nothing wrong with taking something to help you. I found it easier to cope (with cancer and life in general) and take care of me when I was somewhat rested.

    Hugs, El
  • ms.sunshine
    ms.sunshine Member Posts: 707 Member
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    It does get better, but
    It does get better, but right now everything is moving so fast for you. The best to you on the 15th. When you can let us know how you are doing after surgery.