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Living in Fear

Posts: 13
Joined: Dec 2011

I finished my chemo in early May and then had a pet scan which showed a small residual mass with an SUV of 3. I was sent back to the specialist to see if he thought I needed a SCT and he told me that the metabolic activity could be caused by the chemo or scar tissue. So, he recommended that I have radiation. This was actually great news, because a CT scan done after my 5th treatment showed that my mass had only shrunk by half, so my doctor was afraid that I had stopped responding to treatment. So, now I am half way through my radiation and I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. Here's the problem, I always thought that the end of my treatment would be a happy time, but boy was I wrong. Instead I am in constant fear that my cancer will come back. I had a terrible day today and have cried most of the day. I am mostly worried that my cancer will come back and I will lose my job and wont have any health insurance. I feel so crazy, worrying about something that has not happened yet and may not even happen. Is this fear and anxiety normal or am I losing my mind? All I want is to be happy and feel normal again.

COBRA666's picture
Posts: 2413
Joined: May 2010

To make a long story real short. "What Ifs" in these situations are always geared to the negative side of everything. What you are going thru is perfectly normal.You are facing things you never had to face before. The "What Ifs" will consume you if you let them. John

jimwins's picture
Posts: 2111
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Amanda,

I agree with John and all of us here will tell you that everytime that
CT/PET Scan comes around, we all go through a lot of anxiety. I think
what you're feeling is normal, Amanda. I posted a link to a video
interview with Amy Grose regarding fear of recurrence. There's a link
on the video to a website but I haven't checked that out yet.

After cancer I think we have to deal with a "new me", a "new normal", a
"new happy". The anxiety will probably always be there - just hopefully
over time it will morph from a roaring lion to a house cat or if we're lucky,
maybe a kitten - I know I'm looking forward to a smaller litter box :).

Know you are not alone in this, Amanda. You are always welcome here.

Amy Grose - Video on Fear of Recurrence

Hugs and positive thoughts,

DX: DLBL 4/2011, Chemo completed 10/2011, currently in remission. :)

vinny59's picture
Posts: 1032
Joined: Nov 2006

Hey Amanda, I totally understand what you are going through. I always have those thoughts too. I have a uptake of 2.5 on my hip still, knowing that something is still lingering bothers the hell out of me. I really try to live in the moment, not worrying about as John said the "what ifs". I don't think we can ever be "normal" again, but we can be happy!!!! Stay positive........ Vinny

Posts: 13
Joined: Dec 2011

Thanks everyone for ensuring me that I am not totally losing my mind. I talked with the radiation nurse today about my anxiety and she told me that if I am having this much anxiety now she is worried that it may increase once my treatment is over. So, I'm going to talk with the doctor about it this week. Thanks again for listening! Amanda

po18guy's picture
Posts: 722
Joined: Nov 2011

If anxiety is ruling your life, then, by all means, bring it up with doctor. Instead of "scanxiety", why not turn it into "scanticipation' of a clean result? There is no going back at this point. First, because we cannot and secondly, because going back would mean that cancer was still in your future. Embrace your new normal. Control the anxiety and you will be free to live your life. Once it is no longer the boss, you will be able to enjoy each day for the blessing it is. All the best.

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