Nearing end of treatment....feeling anxious

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I was daignosed with stage 3 crc after surgery and pathology in May, 2015.   Had 6 rounds of folfox, 5 weeks of xeloda and radiation, and now have one month left of 6 more rounds of chemo.   I thought when getting this close to the end of treatment I would be happy.  Maybe when you are fighting cancer in treatment there is hope.  When treatment stops, you are just left wondering...did it work?  So as good as I coped with this while in treatment, I feel like I am more scared than ever.  Any words of advice or wisdom?

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  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
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    Mary!

    I was just thinking about you yesterday. How wild!

    I am glad to hear that you have almost made your way through treatment. What a ride, eh! 

    So advice. Oh, I'm full of it (or full of something. HA!) Of course, what works for me, may not work for you, so all I can do is share, but please know I am not saying 'do this, it will work'. 

    I learned a while ago that stressing, worrying, dwelling upon ones problems (no matter big or small) doesn't change the outcome one bit, but it does take up energy, life energy and it also takes up precious time; time we may or may not have to lose. So, like I did during chemo, if I feel the need to worry or stress then I allow myslef a 10 minute slot. Moan, gripe, ask 'why me?' complain, think 'what if I die?' cry. Whatever takes my fancy. And then get over it and move on being the happy with the world person that I am. 

    I've found as the months go by, that my moochy moments are few and far between. A nice spot to be at. Now, that doesn't mean I don't worry in my head, I do. Its always there, the what if? but I refuse to let it control my thoughts or spoil my time on earth. I guess I've found a place for it, where it can live and breath but at my whim. 

    For me, healing music (as in crystal bowls, Theta, Chakra) works wonders. I listen to it every day, especially as I drift off to sleep. Its not everybodys cup of tea, but like I said, works wonders for me. Meditation, which I don't do often enough (but is on my New Years Resolution list) helped me during chemo, and I know I should be doing it on a daily basis. And I also look around for those in a worse situation than myself, and their are many; and do what I can to help them.  I can tell you, and hour on YouTube watching videos of sweet young Cancer patients struggling and dying, really puts me in my place. 

    So, dear forum buddy. Find something that works for you. Life is sweet, but like a good cake, you need to make it so. Its normal to worry once treatment is over, so this is the absolutly perfect time to come up with a life goal to keep it in check. 

    And you say your more scared than ever. Well, fear can be a great motivator. Again, don't let it control you, you control fear, by making it work for you. Let your fear motivate you to live a good, clean, healthy life of bringing yourself and others joy. 

    Its good to see you post back here. And I wish you nothing but the best as your complete your treatment and move forward into the NED stage. 

    Happy Christmas and a VERY VERY Happy 2016.

    Sue - Trubrit  Smiley flag43.gif

     

     

  • Mary1864
    Mary1864 Member Posts: 39
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    Trubrit said:

    Mary!

    I was just thinking about you yesterday. How wild!

    I am glad to hear that you have almost made your way through treatment. What a ride, eh! 

    So advice. Oh, I'm full of it (or full of something. HA!) Of course, what works for me, may not work for you, so all I can do is share, but please know I am not saying 'do this, it will work'. 

    I learned a while ago that stressing, worrying, dwelling upon ones problems (no matter big or small) doesn't change the outcome one bit, but it does take up energy, life energy and it also takes up precious time; time we may or may not have to lose. So, like I did during chemo, if I feel the need to worry or stress then I allow myslef a 10 minute slot. Moan, gripe, ask 'why me?' complain, think 'what if I die?' cry. Whatever takes my fancy. And then get over it and move on being the happy with the world person that I am. 

    I've found as the months go by, that my moochy moments are few and far between. A nice spot to be at. Now, that doesn't mean I don't worry in my head, I do. Its always there, the what if? but I refuse to let it control my thoughts or spoil my time on earth. I guess I've found a place for it, where it can live and breath but at my whim. 

    For me, healing music (as in crystal bowls, Theta, Chakra) works wonders. I listen to it every day, especially as I drift off to sleep. Its not everybodys cup of tea, but like I said, works wonders for me. Meditation, which I don't do often enough (but is on my New Years Resolution list) helped me during chemo, and I know I should be doing it on a daily basis. And I also look around for those in a worse situation than myself, and their are many; and do what I can to help them.  I can tell you, and hour on YouTube watching videos of sweet young Cancer patients struggling and dying, really puts me in my place. 

    So, dear forum buddy. Find something that works for you. Life is sweet, but like a good cake, you need to make it so. Its normal to worry once treatment is over, so this is the absolutly perfect time to come up with a life goal to keep it in check. 

    And you say your more scared than ever. Well, fear can be a great motivator. Again, don't let it control you, you control fear, by making it work for you. Let your fear motivate you to live a good, clean, healthy life of bringing yourself and others joy. 

    Its good to see you post back here. And I wish you nothing but the best as your complete your treatment and move forward into the NED stage. 

    Happy Christmas and a VERY VERY Happy 2016.

    Sue - Trubrit  Smiley flag43.gif

     

     

    Thank you Sue!

    Your advice is always wise!  I am almost confused at my emotions...maybe it is the holidays combined with finishing up treatment...and awful thoughts going thru my head like this may be my last Christmas.  But you are right...it is getting me nowhere except sad and isolated.   And as much as family cares and listens...they do not totally understand.   So I need to push thru this and make some plans.   Little ones at first...because long term plans are overwhelming to consider.  Thank you for being kind to me, I am wiping tears away typing this.  I will replay your advice over and over til it sinks in my thick skull!  Happy Christmas to you!  

    Mary

     

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
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    Mary1864 said:

    Thank you Sue!

    Your advice is always wise!  I am almost confused at my emotions...maybe it is the holidays combined with finishing up treatment...and awful thoughts going thru my head like this may be my last Christmas.  But you are right...it is getting me nowhere except sad and isolated.   And as much as family cares and listens...they do not totally understand.   So I need to push thru this and make some plans.   Little ones at first...because long term plans are overwhelming to consider.  Thank you for being kind to me, I am wiping tears away typing this.  I will replay your advice over and over til it sinks in my thick skull!  Happy Christmas to you!  

    Mary

     

    Oh, Mary

    you do NOT have a thick skull. Your emotions at this time are normal. You are normal. Its almost like mourning. You are mourning the loss of your former life, the one where you were blissfully unaware of your mortality. Now, every day with Cancer is a reminder that your time is short; even if you live to be 100, you'll still think your time is short. 

    So, you be good to yourself. Flow with your emotions, but keep your chin above the water. You're still fresh to this, and soon, you will be the one giving sound advice, because you have found your way though. The way that is personal and works for you. 

    So let me reiterate YOU DO NOT NOT NOT have a thick skill.

    I'm sure others will be along to post their ideas. The things that work for them. I see the forum is a little slow at the moment, with folks doing their holiday thing. So, stick around. 

    Cyber hugs!

    Sue - Trubrit   -  image

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member
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    There are no 'normal'

    There are no 'normal' feelings during this and nobody can predict what they will feel at any given time. I never would have thought I would feel the way I have during treatment and cancer and the following stuff. One thing that took me off guard a couple of months ago was when I was told that I had spots on my lungs and that the cancer could have spread. I found myself not only crying and being scared but I kept telling my husband that I was sorry. Sorry for something I couldn't help. Odd. He was so good about it and kept telling me not to be sorry and that it wasn't my fault. But I had guilt because I've caused so much turmoil with all of this and I felt like I'd let everyone down again. Like I was too wimpy to fight it off or something like that. My feelings were totally irrational and made no sense but there it was.

    I remember last year wondering when I'd ever stop thinking about the cancer all the time and worrying all the time. I was diagnosed on December 31, 2013 and for the past few months I've finally stopped dwelling on it. I just feel like me again, not me with cancer. I had my blood done the other day and I think a little bit about what my CEA level will be but it's been 1 since July and I'm hoping that's still the case. But I no longer sweat about it.

    I guess it just takes time to accept that you might have beaten the beast. The first time your CEA is low after finishing treatment you'll be thrilled and gradually you'll be able to live your life without the fear hanging over your head.

    Best of luck!

    Jan  

  • Mary1864
    Mary1864 Member Posts: 39
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    Trubrit said:

    Oh, Mary

    you do NOT have a thick skull. Your emotions at this time are normal. You are normal. Its almost like mourning. You are mourning the loss of your former life, the one where you were blissfully unaware of your mortality. Now, every day with Cancer is a reminder that your time is short; even if you live to be 100, you'll still think your time is short. 

    So, you be good to yourself. Flow with your emotions, but keep your chin above the water. You're still fresh to this, and soon, you will be the one giving sound advice, because you have found your way though. The way that is personal and works for you. 

    So let me reiterate YOU DO NOT NOT NOT have a thick skill.

    I'm sure others will be along to post their ideas. The things that work for them. I see the forum is a little slow at the moment, with folks doing their holiday thing. So, stick around. 

    Cyber hugs!

    Sue - Trubrit   -  image

    I love this!

    I am going to cut and paste what you said and keep reading it!  I found when going thru treatment that I got myself into a good place, but it didnt come easy.  So I am in a new place now and starting over, and your words hit home to me!   Thank you....I love what you said!

  • Mary1864
    Mary1864 Member Posts: 39
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    JanJan63 said:

    There are no 'normal'

    There are no 'normal' feelings during this and nobody can predict what they will feel at any given time. I never would have thought I would feel the way I have during treatment and cancer and the following stuff. One thing that took me off guard a couple of months ago was when I was told that I had spots on my lungs and that the cancer could have spread. I found myself not only crying and being scared but I kept telling my husband that I was sorry. Sorry for something I couldn't help. Odd. He was so good about it and kept telling me not to be sorry and that it wasn't my fault. But I had guilt because I've caused so much turmoil with all of this and I felt like I'd let everyone down again. Like I was too wimpy to fight it off or something like that. My feelings were totally irrational and made no sense but there it was.

    I remember last year wondering when I'd ever stop thinking about the cancer all the time and worrying all the time. I was diagnosed on December 31, 2013 and for the past few months I've finally stopped dwelling on it. I just feel like me again, not me with cancer. I had my blood done the other day and I think a little bit about what my CEA level will be but it's been 1 since July and I'm hoping that's still the case. But I no longer sweat about it.

    I guess it just takes time to accept that you might have beaten the beast. The first time your CEA is low after finishing treatment you'll be thrilled and gradually you'll be able to live your life without the fear hanging over your head.

    Best of luck!

    Jan  

    Me too....

    This whole year I have felt like I have made my whole family sad.  I have tried so hard to keep our life as normal as possible to make everyone worry less.  When I read your post, it was like reading my emotions!  My husband is very positive and supportive on the outside, but I know he is sad and worried on the inside.  It is a diagnosis that effects the whole family.  I have been on the other side with my sister and breast cancer at 38 (cancer free today, thank you God) and honestly thought it was harder emotionally.  I worried sick about her.  

    But my mind goes to this thought that stage 3 can jump so easily to 4.   Why am I doing this to myself?  But it is not a switch I can turn off.  If I say this to my husband it will just upset him.  So then you feel isolated and keep your horrible fears to yourself!  Omg, I feel like a mess!  A mess, but a work in progress...trying to get to right place with this all.

    Thank you...for sharing.  I know that this is a place where I can share my fears and feel understood.

    Mary

  • danker
    danker Member Posts: 1,276 Member
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    Mary1864 said:

    Me too....

    This whole year I have felt like I have made my whole family sad.  I have tried so hard to keep our life as normal as possible to make everyone worry less.  When I read your post, it was like reading my emotions!  My husband is very positive and supportive on the outside, but I know he is sad and worried on the inside.  It is a diagnosis that effects the whole family.  I have been on the other side with my sister and breast cancer at 38 (cancer free today, thank you God) and honestly thought it was harder emotionally.  I worried sick about her.  

    But my mind goes to this thought that stage 3 can jump so easily to 4.   Why am I doing this to myself?  But it is not a switch I can turn off.  If I say this to my husband it will just upset him.  So then you feel isolated and keep your horrible fears to yourself!  Omg, I feel like a mess!  A mess, but a work in progress...trying to get to right place with this all.

    Thank you...for sharing.  I know that this is a place where I can share my fears and feel understood.

    Mary

    worry

    unfortunately worry does nothing but make matters worse!  As an optomist, I always assume  all would work out. That things would get better.  And they did!!!I have now been NED for over 5 yrs.  The occasional diarrhea have learned to cope with, so all is well.  Not bad for someone who is 83!  So assume all will be well, and just take it a day at a time.  Merry Christmas

  • beaumontdave
    beaumontdave Member Posts: 1,280 Member
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    When I was younger I thought

    When I was younger I thought men all fit on a scale somewhere between Clint Eastwood charactors and Woody Allen charactors. Those who's emotions were contained, controlled and those who couldn't control their thoughts and fears at all. I always felt I leaned more to the Woody Allen side and hated knowing that about myself. Time and dealing with the hard facts of life have taught me to compartmentalize the worry, but I think we all get those 3am, wide-awake moments where all the fears flood in. Me being somewhat lazy, I pop a Xanax, more Melatonin, and turn on the Science channel until I can't hold anymore info and nod back off.  Sue's advice is much more practical and encompassing. The discipline of some form of meditation seems like the most useful road to handling creeping fear, and I may have to get off/on my butt and start practicing, but whatever helps chase the blues and fears[without creating an unhealthy addiction] should serve you well. Music, exercise, rocking chair, pets, puzzles, I've lost myself in all of them at one time or another. Food works too, and now I'm hungry, so off to lunch. Hope you find what best quiets your mind, and Merry Christmas...............................Dave

  • Mary1864
    Mary1864 Member Posts: 39
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    danker said:

    worry

    unfortunately worry does nothing but make matters worse!  As an optomist, I always assume  all would work out. That things would get better.  And they did!!!I have now been NED for over 5 yrs.  The occasional diarrhea have learned to cope with, so all is well.  Not bad for someone who is 83!  So assume all will be well, and just take it a day at a time.  Merry Christmas

    Thank you!

    Your advice reminds me of exactly what my father would have said to me!  You are truly remarkable!  Merry Christmas!

  • Mary1864
    Mary1864 Member Posts: 39
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    When I was younger I thought

    When I was younger I thought men all fit on a scale somewhere between Clint Eastwood charactors and Woody Allen charactors. Those who's emotions were contained, controlled and those who couldn't control their thoughts and fears at all. I always felt I leaned more to the Woody Allen side and hated knowing that about myself. Time and dealing with the hard facts of life have taught me to compartmentalize the worry, but I think we all get those 3am, wide-awake moments where all the fears flood in. Me being somewhat lazy, I pop a Xanax, more Melatonin, and turn on the Science channel until I can't hold anymore info and nod back off.  Sue's advice is much more practical and encompassing. The discipline of some form of meditation seems like the most useful road to handling creeping fear, and I may have to get off/on my butt and start practicing, but whatever helps chase the blues and fears[without creating an unhealthy addiction] should serve you well. Music, exercise, rocking chair, pets, puzzles, I've lost myself in all of them at one time or another. Food works too, and now I'm hungry, so off to lunch. Hope you find what best quiets your mind, and Merry Christmas...............................Dave

    Thank you Dave...

    Not letting this take over my life is the true goal!  I had a lot of emotions this Christmas...like this could be my last one...and just found myself crying spontaneously.   I am relieved in a way that it is over!  But after reading everyone posts, all very thoughtful and helpful, I am feeling better about facing the end of treatment and just moving forward.  And I think for the time being I wont make long term plans...just take it one follow up appointment at a time!  

     

    Merry Christmas To you!

    Mary

  • NewHere
    NewHere Member Posts: 1,427 Member
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    Mary1864 said:

    Thank you Dave...

    Not letting this take over my life is the true goal!  I had a lot of emotions this Christmas...like this could be my last one...and just found myself crying spontaneously.   I am relieved in a way that it is over!  But after reading everyone posts, all very thoughtful and helpful, I am feeling better about facing the end of treatment and just moving forward.  And I think for the time being I wont make long term plans...just take it one follow up appointment at a time!  

     

    Merry Christmas To you!

    Mary

    This

    I had a lot of emotions this Christmas...like this could be my last one...

    Seems pretty normal to me, more so in the context that it is so soon.  I had a birthday, niece and nephew birthdays, Thanksgiving all after things were done (I am 10 months in since diagnosis).  I think it would be difficult not to have the passing thought.  The key is try not to dwell and go into too dark a place or worry too much about it.  It is going to hit from time-to-time, but let it slide as quick as possible.  Getting down is not good (stress ain't good for anything) and attitude goes a long way.  Obviously you cannot "think good thoughts" everything away and put what needs to be done by the wayside, but the docs and nurses all have indicated that attitude helps in getting through this and good prognosis.