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stress and anxiety

brn2ride's picture
brn2ride
Posts: 32
Joined: Dec 2007

I have always been a bit high strung but the anxiety is kind of hard to deal with at this point. It is hard to sleep or think about anything else. Every little ache or twinge I am thinking oh oh what is that for.
It seems as if I am very lucky being at a stage 1 compared to many people who learn they have had cancer. I have decided to go the route of monitoring and diet and exercise, hopefully when they removed my polyps all of the cancer tissue was removed. I hope if the time comes that I need to have surgery that I find the courage so many of you have displayed.
in the meantime I need to learn to relax a little.
best wishes to all

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi,
I know what you mean, but the great thing about people is that we cannot sustain terror or high anxiety for very long--the body just doesn't permit it. So after a while you will find that you won't assume everything is cancer; you will be able to gain some perspective about any symptoms you may get. However, a little paranoia is good. I was only Stage II, but I was dx'd with endometrial cancer 4 months after I ceased chemo. It was another primary, but it was caused by my bad mutant gene which also caused the colon cancer. So relax and enjoy your life, but be on the lookout for really abnormal things.
Have a great holiday!
Kirsten

chynabear's picture
chynabear
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi,

You might be surprised to learn that many cancer survivors feel the same way as you. I know I did/do.

I was dx'd in 10/04 with Stage III. To this day, if I have an ache or pain or something going on I immediately think that the cancer has returned. I have so far worried about brain, breast, ovarian or uterus, and knee cancer all because of "weird" pains or events.

What I discovered is that I have canceritis. It means that I am more aware of my body now and aware that it "could" be cancer, so I get it checked out ASAP just to give myself peace of mind. Plus, if "IT" does return, I plan to fight it as early and as hard as possible.

I have also learned that prayer helps. Every time I feel overwhelmed with anxiety or emotion, I start repeating over and over that I can't carry it alone and in my mind I hand my burden over to God. Chanting this, if you will, has gotten my through many anxiety attacks and tough emotional times. Even if you don't believe in God, you can still use imaging to lessen your anxiety, which is very similar.

It does get easier to relax as time goes by. For me, the hardest time came after I had finished chemo and was trying to begin putting my life back together again. I realized that while I was going through surgery and chemo I was in fight mode. Once that was done, I felt vulnerable to attack again. I found out that you can fight cancer on many different levels. Mainly, preventative. You are on the right track.

Sorry for the long novel.

Patricia

PS Just because your cancer was Stage I doesn't make you any less of a survivor or your fears any less rationalized.

shmurciakova's picture
shmurciakova
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

I am also high strung by nature and I have to say, all this cancer stuff really hasn't helped! I asked my oncologist just Friday if I was the only hypochondriac she treats! She told me I am not a hypochondriac, it is normal. However, you have an excellent prognosis. Just go with it. Your odds are in your favor as you know. Like the others said, if you have a persistent problem that lasts more than two weeks, does not come and go etc. then go to the doctor. Otherwise try to forget about it - just do your followups and go on down the road. They say time helps, but for me it (the anxiety) just comes in waves. Sometimes I go a few weeks without worrying, then I'll worry about something for a while. However, I was Stage IV and had to have 3 surgeries, etc.
Just take your health seriously from now on, watch your diet, exercise, no sugar to speak of, live enzymes, etc. Know you are doing everything you can, but try not to obsess about it. You have to LIVE after all.
Best of luck!,
Susan

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