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Need reassurance - again!

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi All,

Just need a little reassurance again. Quick history: Dx w/ colon cancer (Stage I) 08/2006, surgery & chemo followed; done in 02/2007. Dx with endometrial cancer Stage IA) 06/2007, surgery 07/18; am at home recuperating now.

Anyway, in 3 days I have my 1-year colonoscopy and my denial system is cracking. I have to admit I'm terrified that something will be found again. I am really SICK of cancer dominating my life--I want my old life back! I want my neuropathy to go away so I can play the piano properly again. I want to wear cute shoes again. I want to go to the bathroom and not worry about every little difference. I think right now I am torn between fear and rage. I know I should be counting my blessings (early detection, great support system, understanding workplace), but sometimes I just have to have a pity party. Is this normal?

jams67's picture
jams67
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

What's normal? Good question.
Some have called it a grieving process we go through for the life we had. Others call it post tramatic stress syndrone or (PTSS). Whatever its called, its very normal for our group. Time helps and so does some form of stress therapy.
After 2 years, I am still very relieved after my CT scans and feel that way until I schedule the next one.
Jo Ann

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Sorry, but this is all completely normal.

You will never be like you were before again, period. Pity parties are all part of the journey that we all embark on and are perfectly acceptable. BUT, you have to understand YOU are now different and always will be. I am here to tell you that is perfectly okay, it's all part of the "journey".

I don't think it is part of your denial system that is cracking, I think it is reality and what that may bring.

My gut is, you will be fine and hopefully will reinforce that for years to come on this site!!!!!

Keep fighting and please keep us posted.

Lisa P.

KierstenRx's picture
KierstenRx
Posts: 249
Joined: Nov 2006

Kirsten,
I understand your stress. I am coming up on my one year anniversary and I am scared to death. I have my pet scan scheduled for September 12th. I am worried they will find something. I even put it off a week because I didn't want those thoughts dominating my trip I am taking to celebrate my 33rd birthday. I have also received a certified letter from my GI doctor because I have not set up a colonoscopy. I know I need to have it done, but again I am nervous. I have spent the last third of 2006 going through chemo and radiation and all of 2007 going through surgery, chemo, foot fracture, small bowel obstruction surgery. I have had enough also. I just want to have energy and feel good again.

Kiersten

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Hi Kirsten...
Coming to the end of a spring/summer which has been dominated by cancer and chemo I can relate to what you are saying. "I'm SICK and TIRED of being SICK and TIRED!! (Add your own expletives!) And that pretty well names the side-effects for me SICK (nausea and diarrhea), and TIRED (fatigued and weary).
You speak of fear and rage... I think it is normal and natural to feel this way. You've been hit twice and are still in recovery mode. I've heard of the post-treatment period described as the "emotional aftermath". I personally think it is good and healthy to "lament" when fear and anger surface in our emotional make-up. Sometimes we need to name this stuff so that we can let it go.
There's a great biblical passage that goes something like this... "Be angry, but do not let the sun go down on your anger." I think there is great wisdom in the notion that we can be angry (naturally) but we shouldn't live there too long. Otherwise it can become bitterness and resentment which can become pretty deep-seated and long standing.
You're moving through this stuff Kirsten. Your colon cancer was taken care of. Your colonoscopy is going to be clear. The endometrial cancer is gone. Your life's horizon is going to open up more and more. It's going to be Okay!!
Peace and blessings...
Rob; in Vancouver
"Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hatred, hatred leads to suffering!" Yoda

Moesimo's picture
Moesimo
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

We have all had pity parties. I remember not wanting to talk to anyone because I felt like all I did was cry and complain. What you are feeling is normal. I remeber thinking I was never going to feel not sick again. It took me way too long to get feeling back to normal. I had been a nurse for 25 years and had no idea what patients went through untill I got cancer.

It now has been 4 years since my diagnosis. I feel great, and trust me I never thought i would say this. Has it been easy, hell no. But I am here to talk about it. I had 11 hospitalizations and 3 surgeries with the last one being a permanent colostomy. I survived when I never thought I would.

You will get through this. I still get scared around testing time which is every 6 mos.

Remember what you feel is normal, you will get through this.

Maureen

goldfinch's picture
goldfinch
Posts: 737
Joined: Oct 2003

No words of wisdom from here, but keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Please keep us updated.
Mary

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Thank you Everyone for responding.

I'm glad that I don't have to be strong always, and that this fear/rage combo is normal. I don't like being angry--it drains me. I remember once in chemo a new patient came in and she was so angry it came off her in waves. I advised her to acknowledge her anger and move on, be kind to herself, and look forward to meeting NED. I don't understand why I can't take my own advice.

Kiersten, I have followed your posts, and I don't know how you made it through everything. I'm constantly amazed at the strength and courage you show.

Rob, I go to your website every day. I have been comforted and enlightened by many things you publish.

Lisa, you said it in a nutshell. I know my life will never be the same, but I'm really resenting it right now. I'm sure I will get around to accepting it at some point; I hope it's soon, because I don't like feeling this way.

Jo Ann, Maureen and Mary, you are so kind to send comfort my way. It seems I'm always seeking comfort and reassurance on this site. I'm glad it's here.

Hugs to all,
Kirsten

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