Freaking out because even though 7 years cancer free, I keep thinking I have cancer hiding somewhere

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Hi.  My name is lori.  I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer stage 3 in 2006.  I had chemo, bilateral mastecomy, and reconstructive surgery.  I was told that I was cancer free in Jan. 2007 but since I had cancer at age 36 with no family history and since it was such an aggressive cancer that I could expect to get it back again.  My doctor had given me cat scans of chest and abdomin every year until my 5th year.  After that he said that the testing was doing more harm than good since it has high radiation. After that I had one every 2 years.  I just had one last year and he said everything looked good.  I  have never felt well since the chemo (body pain, aches, scar tissue pain, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, etc).  I have had several people that I know who had made their 5 or more year mark find out recently that the cancer was back and had spread all over their body by the time the doctors caught it.  They have since passed away.  I am freaking out!!!! I feel like there is cancer some where in me and it just hasn't been found.  I have tried counseling etc, but no one can convince me otherwise.  I have been having pains in my lungs/chest area for some time now and when I tell the dr, he just says that since I am so far out, getting cancer back is unlikely so he won't do any testing.

I don't know if I should have a second opinion and also demand the testing just for my own piece of mind.  I am walking around feeling like I am going to die.  I cry, and am just miserable.  Has anyone experienced anything like this?  What would you do?  Someone please help.  I can't take this anymore.

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  • New Flower
    New Flower Member Posts: 4,294
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    Yes you should have a second opinion

    Hi 

    welcome

    please seek a second opinion since you have concerns and do not feel well enough 

    you will have no problems with 1 scan a year . Your doctor should not dismiss your concerns even you are 7 years ssurvivor

    pain needs to check out making sure you are healthy

    You could have other conditions which should be treated 

    good luck and let us know 

     

  • CypressCynthia
    CypressCynthia Member Posts: 4,014 Member
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    Lori, it is good to be

    Lori, it is good to be vigilant, because breast cancer can come back-even after many years.  However, it sound as if you are getting overwhelmed since your diagnosis? 

    I certainly was and talked with my oncologist about it.  Most oncologists are very aware that a cancer diagnosis increases your risk of anxiety and depression and will prescribe something for it.  Do not take anything though without clearing it with your oncologist, because some drugs can make treatments less effective.

    Some links:

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/life-after-treatment/page6

    http://www.genderbias.net/docs/resources/guideline/Major%20depression%20after%20breast%20cancer%20a%20review%20of.pdf

  • RozHopkins
    RozHopkins Member Posts: 578 Member
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    I agree with other ladies

    I agree with other ladies comments.  I would insist on all safe testing as frequently as are able to be done without further health risks to keep your mind at ease.  We are never cancer clear, just in remission but hopefully there will be no return.  You are right to be vigilant but a gentle antidepressant will do you no harm even long term.  Try Yoga if you can, it is very good for the aches and pains and clearing the mind.  

     

    I also have have aches and pains, fatigue and worry constantly but more for my family than myself.  Also had bilateral and came off all meds after three years recently as tired of looking and feeling like a ninety year old pregnant lady.  I feel much better now and have lost enough weight to feel good and can breath easier, literally.  I just needed some quality of life back.  Now have a gynecologist who is brilliant checking out side effects from Tamoxifen which had affected uterus lining and keeping an eye on Ovarian cyst.  This is very common.  Between him, and a full bone scan last year which was clear I just keep an open mind on any thing else and try to keep calm.  See if you have any arthritis, I think chemo etc worsens it.  But at least you will know. Oh that shoulder pain is the old arthritis not cancer.  Arthritis in the neck, shoulders and spine is also common which I have.  So when a different type of pain happens then you can check it out.  Fibromyalgia is another thing to check out when pain in certain places arise, check it out on line.  Tick things like this off your list and ignor those doctors sighs, if they had had cancer or their daughter they would be the first to have all these things done.

     

    Good luck.  Change any medical advisor who does not understand your needs.