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never ending fear

Posts: 16
Joined: Feb 2004

My fear is so deep I can hardly breathe. It doesn't even register as the emotion of fear it is so deep. Will it stop? I feel as if I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I did my surgery and have gone on with my life; I work and I play but I always feel as if something is "not quite right." I got tremendous praise for my bravery and I have tremendous support from my family and many friends. I just feel so alone all the time. As if I am in my own little world. A surreal world that threw cancer my way, so I immediately did what I was told to do, and just like that it's over. Just that fast, it seems. I imagine that is what is bothering me to some extent. What happened??? Did I really have cancer and, more importantly, is it really gone? The solitude is what bothers me; after 6 months people are done talking about it. You seem fine, so, in their minds, it's all over. I guess I might be the same way if I weren't the one who had cancer! I guess we can never again let our guard down, eh? I have seen my Mom survive 3 seperate cancers; she is my hero. She is 80; I am 48. I just wondered if anyone else felt even remotely the same way that I do. Thanks for listening.

Posts: 7
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Vix,
I know exactly how you are feeling. I had uterine cancer in Aug. 2000, I was 47 years old. I had the surgery also. They took everything. I also felt that the other shoe was going to fall. Some of my friends abandoned me after that. I finally did something this year that has put my mind at ease. I had what is called a AMAS Test(Anti Malignin Antibody Serum). It checks for cancer cell activity in your body. It's a simple blood test. It can detect cancer activity 1 to 18 months before any tumors show up. I finally went to a non conventional doctor. The traditional doctors seem to have never heard of the AMAS Test. My results came back about one month ago and everything is normal. I have really done alot of reading since my cancer and have learned alot about what is out there. Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in the way you feel because it did too. By having the Amas Test, I has made a big difference in the way I feel, I do not worry about the other shoe falling off. I hope this helps.

Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2003

Who was your surgeon? I'm up for a hysterectomy May 5, by Dr. Edgardo Yordan, of Rush Presbyterian. Did he do yours?

Posts: 42
Joined: Jan 2004

Vix, have you talked with your oncologist about how you feel? Or your internist or gynecologist, whoever is the most likely to really listen to you? It's absolutely natural for you to feel alone and afraid, but it's also possible that one or another of your docs could help you.

Last fall, between my hysterectomy and my radiation therapy, I became horribly depressed and fearful. I cried over absolutely everything, sad, happy, or indifferent. It was extreme.

A nurse in my oncologist's office said that I shouldn't have to suffer like that and that she'd see what she could come up with for me. She called back with the phone number of a mental health clinic with a good reputation; I called there and they saw me the same day, before I could chicken out.

Now I'm on an antidepressant that works for me, at a dose that works, and I'm scheduled to see the doctor who prescribes them only every couple of months - this is not psychoanalysis we're talking about here. I also see a psychologist, but also every couple of months, and we're running out of things to talk about. The two of them compare notes in between visits.

Certainly antidepressants aren't for everybody, but a number of people on these discussion boards seem to have needed them for a time - cancer is depressing! Or some people do well with anxiety meds - cancer can make a person plenty anxious!

Your local ACS office might be able to put you in touch with a support group, too. You need someone to talk with; we all do. Your family and friends may hope to take your mind off your illness, and they probably don't want to think about it, either, since they love you. You need someone else. (I've had the opposite problem; people ask me earnestly, "How are you?" in that tone that says they pity me big-time. Usually just when I was feeling good and forgetting I'd ever been sick.)

Please write again and tell us how you're doing. We all need to take care of each other.

Good health,

Posts: 648
Joined: Mar 2003

Vix, The advice that's already been given is solid. I had uterine and ovarian cancer when I had surgery in 2002 (49 yrs. old), and now I guess I'm wondering how things are going to go for me in the future. I realize now that I might not live to be an old lady like my mom and mother-in-law, but then again, I have a pretty darn good chance to. So I plan for the future, but sometimes feel like I'm teteering on the brink. I notice that usually starts happening when I've got a 3 month check up coming soon, so I think I start worrying about an elevated CA-125 level and possible lumps - so far everythings been great.

I had some depression and some menopausal symptoms, so my family practice doctor prescribed an antidepressant for me, and things seem better for me now.

Posts: 24
Joined: Mar 2003

Vix,please know that you are not alone! The one thing that has helped me the most is something I learned a long time ago from my best friend, who lost her 14 yr. battle with cancer last May. She lived every day of her life to the fullest, and lived one day at a time. Don't dwell on the future, just live each day one day at a time and be grateful for that day. I was dx with stage 1b, grade 2 uterine cancer in 2002 at age 49. I also suffer from anxiety, and take an antidepressant that really helps me. I have also done counseling, and that helped me too. The best thing you can do for yourself is to try and live each day as it comes, and you will be surprised that, as you get further away from your diagnosis, you begin to relax a little more and begin to focus on the rest of your life. Take good care of yourself, get your regular check-ups (yes, they are always stressful!) and don't be too hard on yourself. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. I have found so much support on this site alone, and you can too, vix. We are here for each other!

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

I was wondering how you are doing now. I to had just had a hysterctomy with stage one and I am scared to death. I am scared about my future. The Dr. thinks she got it all but I have to go back every 3 months for a year. I need to see an oncologist for some saftely mesures. I probably will have to take radiation for prevention. My doctor is checking on this. I am scared over my future. I know I should take one day at a time but I don't feel safe anymore. I want to see my grankids grow up.

If you can offer any support, please email me at dnixon@rose.net

Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2002

oh my god did you read my mind?? my name is ronnie and i am a 4yr uterine stage 3 survivor...the bottom fell out for me 8mo after diagnosis and all my treatments were done. life went back to normal for all around me and i couldn't get pass what happened to me. it was a delayed reaction, someone described similar to after someones death....you are right sometimes those closest to you do not want to talk about it..too painful, but you need too....i will tell you it is something you will never forget, but as time passes it's not so all consuming, it is a part of me but does not solely define me. i now focus on the good things it brought to me. i will never forget but am stronger for it. you are not alone and just you sharing makes me feel better too...thanks and good health.

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2004

Dear Vix, Now that I near my 5th anniv. date in Aug. of being "cancer-free," I'm can tell you that the fear hangs in there with me the way the surgical scars, adhesions, lymphedema, fatigue, etc., etc. do. It does fade the way scars do, but can it flash back at me like the days surrounding my diagnosis do. Some days I can keep moving forward, other days it isnt so easy. I sometimes think it's not such a bad thing to have the fear because it reminds me to be strong, vigilant, and mindful of each day...but I also survive the days that it reminds me of how sick I really was. Allow yourself to ge used to it. (I'm 45, still teaching, still surviving adenosquamous carcinoma of cervix, with uterine involvement with positive lymph nodes. I tempt fate by still smoking.) Best luck, don't give up.

Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2005

Please don't tempt fate by continuing to smoke. I was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer- uterine leiomyosarcoma. Funny, I had committed myself to quit smoking a month before receiving my diagnosis! I used the new "Commit" lozenges, 4 mg. I smoked 30 years, 1 pack/day and absolutely LOVED smoking and everything about it. It is a month and a half now, not one cigarette. And the surprising thing about it is....the only time I have an urge now after such a short time, is after a meal. I use the gum now, since I am over the worst of the addiction. Try as many products till you find one that will work or help you. You have to also have a desire, but I can testify that these products do make it easier and take off the "edge". I can't tell you what it is like to fill up my lungs completely with air and not cough. It has been only 1 and 1/2 months! Imagine what I can do after a year! Please try...you owe it to yourself, friends, and family.....

Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2004

Vix - I know just how you feel. After my diagnosis in January and then 6 chemos, I thought all was going well and I wasn't afraid at all. Then last week I lost the use of my left hand and got all confused. It seems the cancer spread to my brain. I am okay now (on steroids and radiation), but for the first time since this started I am scared to death. I am more afraid for my family than for me. My son is 23 and blind and counts on me for a lot of things. My dad is 81 and is afraid to see me more than 2 feet from his side. I always figured I would be there to care for them for a long, long time. Now what if I am not? I can't express those fears to them because I don't want to scare them more than they already are. Don't get me wrong, I don't plan to go anywhere for a long time. I already told my doctor that I am holding him to his promise to be aggressive and do all that he can to get my into remission. I will go anywhere and do any therapy to keep this thing in control and keep alive with a reasonable quality of life.

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