• Do you worry about a recurrence or are you able to go through life without having it on your mind?

    Asked by GregP_WN on Wednesday, March 4, 2015

    Do you worry about a recurrence or are you able to go through life without having it on your mind?

    How do you stay positive that you are/will be done with cancer and you are moving on?

    84 Answers from the Community

    84 answers
    • banditwalker's Avatar
      banditwalker

      I think most of us always have it in the back of our minds especially when we are not feeling well.
      I have had a sore hip for a week now and will be seeing my onc tomorrow. I am sure he will ease my anxiety and hopefully I am worrying about nothing. But, even when I feel good I hear stories of others that were not so lucky and it raises my concerns. Usually I have a great attitude until it is written in stone that something is wrong. Having a positive attitude equals low stress therefore a better immune system for me.

      almost 5 years ago
    • created's Avatar
      created

      Greg, I don't know if I will ever trust my body again. It has betrayed me three times in four years..endometrial, melanoma and breast. That being said, having gotten to the other side with each of these 'betrayals' and having you guys for constant companions, has kept Hope alive. If IT visits again..and it very well might, with God's help and support from friends like you, I'll win again. Thank you for being here!

      almost 5 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      Maybe once I hit the magical 5 yr mark I'll feel more confident that I am done. (Half way there...half way there...it's like a mantra).

      almost 5 years ago
    • myronbob's Avatar
      myronbob

      for some reason maybe most difficult to overcome fear of recurrence . stage 4 colon, 2 successful CAT SCANS [most recent JAN.14TH ] after 2 resections ,chemo's 12 sessions split in two parts . next scan may 15th will try and enjoy but I think always in back of mind . bob

      almost 5 years ago
    • rwhdesmoines' Avatar
      rwhdesmoines

      Right now with my cancer I will always be on chemotherapy. I am doing well and considered stable. Even so I work on enjoying life in the moment and doing my best to not worry about what has not yet happened in terms of cancer progression. It always lifts my spirits when I am able to do something for someone else (even if its just a little thing)

      almost 5 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      My cancer hasn't, and barring a real miracle won't, gone away. Nevertheless, the worry of spreading is always with me on some level. However, i am not a worrier so i continue on with life. Hours pass and i forget i have cancer. Then, it pops back into my head... i try to pop it back out as quickly as possible. My favorite saying is "i have cancer, cancer doesn't have me" and i try to live that. I do not want it controlling me Or my life any more than necessary (i have biweekly treatments and CT scans every 6 weeks so it isn't like you could forget it!).

      almost 5 years ago
    • Phoenix76's Avatar
      Phoenix76

      It's only been a few months since I ended treatment, but I also had genetic testing done - there's been so much cancer in extended family - and everything came up negative - no Lynch syndrome, no genetic markers. That was a huge relief. It's not really on my mind at this point. My main focus is to now get to a healthy weight range (my BMI is in the obesity range); I'm aiming for a healthy change in my lifestyle. Anything that I can do to "better my odds", I'm going to do. I value time so much more, and I'm trying to make the most of that. There are no guarantees in life, and I figure the best way to face the future, whatever it may hold, is to (as Helen Keller said) "look the world straight in the eye."

      almost 5 years ago
    • DeniseD's Avatar
      DeniseD

      No I don't worry. When I think about the time wasted worrying about all the things that didn't happen verses the number of things that actually happened, the odds are in my favor. On the outside chance that I have a reoccurrance, I will be in a better frame of mind to face it and fight. Worry doesn't change the chances, it only robs you of the joys of today, makes you physically ill and takes your strength. I have been through enough so I deserve to appreciate all the happiness I I can grasp. Make the most of each day is my goal.

      almost 5 years ago
    • jenleahlynn's Avatar
      jenleahlynn

      It varies, when it's time for a checkup the fear ramps up, the 'scanxiety' but I need those answers and good communication with my doctors when concerns come up to reassure me I'm okay. The longer I was in remission the easier it got and the scans weren't any scarier than getting my teeth cleaned. Now that I've had a metastasis, we're starting over, but I'm also more focused on my family and what they need today, instead of looking ahead 5 years. I'm here now and I don't want them to loose my to the fear.

      almost 5 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar
      cam32505

      I get nervous right before checkups, but try to live my new normal life in between.

      almost 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I won't say that I worry, but I am sitting in a room blocks from Vanderbilt waiting for tomorrows scope on my throat. I am not ashamed to say I am mighty nervous. I have had a "tickling", or sometimes a slight burn, or just an "ouch" for a few weeks. I am hoping it's just because I swallowed some chips a couple weeks ago and maybe they cut my scar tissue. But who knows? So after 9AM tomorrow I'll either still be clean and free, or back into it, and starting on #4. It's at least a lot to think about. But still, here we go! Let's do this and get on with it.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Greg, I'm sorry you're going through this. I noticed you'd posted something a week or so ago, asking if anyone had had a feeling you were having. Sending you my best wishes that you'll get good news tomorrow morning. I hope your doc can reassure you tomorrow after your scope (but I know that techs probably do that, and they aren't allowed to tell us anything). Big hug from this Brooklyn worrier!

      almost 5 years ago
    • Jalemans' Avatar
      Jalemans

      Yes, Greg, you are in my thoughts as well. Hope it is all good news.

      I don't know how long before I stop worrying. I am thinking that if I can just feel normal for a few months I will be able to push it from the front of my mind. I've never had so many things go wrong one after another - yikes! My pcp had ordered a couple tests, one to see if my enzyme was back to normal (& I got a letter from them saying it is), the other to test gallbladder function. She called me today & asked me to return her call & they were closed by the time I got home. All I can think is "what now?". If it were normal they would have just sent me a letter, or had the admin call at the most, so something must have shown up. I just had a contrast CT & they said everything was clear & there are no stones so could there be a tumor that CT missed? Blah, blah, blah...

      almost 5 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      I do not worry as much about reoccurrences as I worried about the first occurrence. I literally wasted 60 years worrying about cancer. Of course I was devastated when I had a reoccurrence and another cancer. But I have moved on to worrying full time about super volcanoes instead of splitting my time between super volcanoes and cancer.

      almost 5 years ago
    • rwhdesmoines' Avatar
      rwhdesmoines

      Greg,
      You are in my thoughts/prayers for tomorrow. I hope that your news is good.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar
      Ejourneys

      Greg, I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that you get good news tomorrow!

      I know that I am not immune from either recurrence or metastasis, but I also know that I have done everything I could, based on the current knowledge out there, to give myself the best possible odds. My attitude is: If it happens, I'll deal with it -- which was pretty much my attitude as I waited for the results of my biopsy prior to my dx last year.

      So on the one hand I move on, but on the other hand that knowledge remains in the background and will likely remain there even after the magical (and arbitrary) five-year mark. "The natural history of ER–positive breast cancer is very long. In women treated with tamoxifen, over half of all recurrences occur 6 to 15 years after diagnosis." (Source: http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/25/19/2639.full) Granted, I'm on anastrazole, and some studies have given AIs a slight advantage over tamoxifen, but the way I see it I'm a c.r.a.p shoot away from cancer returning. I acknowledge that reality and get back to my day.

      almost 5 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      @GregP_WN - i didn't realize you were facing this. Praying that it is nothing!! Please let us know as soon as you can. I said i am not a worrier ... and i am not when it concerns me, but now i am worrying about you!

      almost 5 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      @Jalemans ... now i am adding you to my worry list! Please let us know what they say when you talk to them tomorrow. Big hugs and praying for you!

      almost 5 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      @Greg Saying prayers for good tests.

      almost 5 years ago
    • DeniseD's Avatar
      DeniseD

      Praying for good news Grey!

      almost 5 years ago
    • Noureen's Avatar
      Noureen

      I am not a worry wort so I try not to think about it. I have moved on with my life and am enjoying everything life has to offer.
      Greg, praying you get good news tomorrow!

      almost 5 years ago
    • JeanB's Avatar
      JeanB

      I don't think I worry about a recurrence as much as I worried about getting cancer the first time. I was always worried I would get cancer for years. And of course I've known people who have had cancer and seen what a debilitating disease it is. Now I know that cancer isn't a death sentence.

      Greg, praying for you. And stay away from those chips. They're bad for you, lol.

      almost 5 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      Best wishes for a good outcome, Greg.

      I do not worry.

      As always, I take care of myself as best as I know how and can manage and check myself out as I've been with my body for some time now and do know it best. If I believe something is askew, I endeavor to get a second opinion.

      Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing to cut up the scar tissue a little. I have a radiation scar and little clue how to heal it but it may be possible that your scar tissue could be reduced. In any case, I think you are smart to get scanned and be subjected to being undetected. :)

      Hope is more productive than worry. People tell me to keep my expectations low so as to avoid disappointment .. I do like Jackie Chan says "Hope for the best and prepare for the worst." except I don't like to tempt the Fates so I try to not, do not endeavor to imagine anything unwanted. The losses are incalculable.

      Do you know about visualization, Greg? When I really want something, I imagine it happening in great detail. When I was in sales, I'd imagine a [client's] hand picking up a pen and signing [a contract]. When I was done with cancer I visualized the end of the Dragnet series with Jack Webb.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf0IyUe8rpA

      It showed hands pounding in a metal seal or stamp with a sledgehammer. ended the show. When the docs were done with me, I envisioned such a to do and a seal at the back end of my story because I was Finis with cancer just like the TV episode was over. Mine was a round etched silver seal, however, it is very effective. :-)

      almost 5 years ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      I don't think that I actually worry, but at times it crosses my mind. I try to deal with it and let it go. I give every ache and pain (I had plenty before being diagnosed) 2 weeks to get better. If it doesn't, it is time to call one of my many doctors. Greg, I am sorry to hear that you have to go through more testing. I am praying for good results. Take care.

      almost 5 years ago
    • MLT's Avatar
      MLT

      Greg,
      Praying for good results for you today. Hopefully, it is just a scratch.
      Yes, I do worry about recurrence, but not obsessed about it. Since I had reconstruction, the surgeon said we need to keep an eye on tissue around the flaps. Also, very aware of any new bone pain. Usually it's arthritis.
      God bless.

      almost 5 years ago
    • msesq's Avatar
      msesq

      Fingers crossed for you Greg.
      Yes recurrence is on my mind, up to date statistics aren't readily available for HERS2 recurrence since Herceptin is relatively new. Adding to my anxiety is my husband's recent diagnosis with prostate cancer. I am beginning to think there is something toxic in my house. We are changing our diet and exercise routines to be as healthy as possible and hoping for the best with the aid of meditation.

      almost 5 years ago
    • greytmomm's Avatar
      greytmomm

      Praying for you Greg. Hopefully it's some kind of side effect from you treatments.
      No I never thought the Hodgkins would come back. I was 20 years old and I told the doc that the Hodgkins would not win but the treatment might! 10 years out a whole bunch of lymph glands grew so big they crushed the biliary duct and it appeared that I had jaundice. It took exploratory surgery to find out what happened. They insist that it was a recurrence but all tests were negative.
      The side effects are the gift that keeps on giving.
      Hang tough Greg, the angels are with you.

      almost 5 years ago
    • suz55's Avatar
      suz55

      You are in my thoughts and prayers, Greg.
      The fear of recurrence is like a shadow over my shoulder sometimes, especially when something seems odd or new with my body. Most of the time I carry on just fine, and am enjoying life every day. But...that worry is there! Spoke to my oncologist about it at last month's checkup, and he took extra time to help me with it. Good luck today!

      almost 5 years ago
    • VickieK811's Avatar
      VickieK811

      I worry every day, all the time. Sometimes I feel it completely consumes me. Maybe because although radiation and surgery are over, I continue to have problems from the end result. Now that I am taking hormone blocker and getting side effects from it daily, it keeps my mind worrying..."will I ever feel good again?!" I worry daily also because during radiation I mentioned a new concern, referred to see the rad oncologist, but saw NP who stated its nothing to worry about and they'll add that scan on to my July scans...what? So, I have a concern that can lead down the same path I've been on and I am not taken seriously enough to warrant follow up sooner than July. I am contacting my surgical onc and medical onc since they are both still on my care and discussing it with them. I have signed up for both group and individual counseling, but still feel no matter what, my worries will be life long...and that worries me.

      Greg, good luck with your scans. I hope for only good results!

      almost 5 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      I worry some about a recurrence, as b.c. can reoccur even after many, many years. What I worry about even more is a new and worse kind of cancer developing. I've always been a worrier. I do my best to "just say no" to my fear and see my doctor if need be. Greg, keeping fingers crossed for you.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Danfan714's Avatar
      Danfan714

      I have an inoperable tumor lurking. I don't worry about a recurrence because I have it with me every day. It's been 2 years since its grown or moved. I stay grateful. Maybe it will just disappear.

      almost 5 years ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      I'm in so much pain from moderate to severe(mostly severe and so many other symtoms going on 365 days a year that I don't think of cancer too much.I don't know what's going on with my body and the doctors don't seem to be concerned.I guess it depends on your insurance.I've complained for too many years over and over again about the same symtoms I 'm beyond tired of even seeing doctors anymore. :(

      almost 5 years ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar
      HeidiJo

      I was worried at first about recurrance, but then I realized it was a waste of my time and energy to worry about it. If/when it comes back, I will deal with it then. I spend my time being grateful for each day I do have. I stop and smell the roses a lot.

      almost 5 years ago
    • myronbob's Avatar
      myronbob

      hi ,greg saw new post .sending out positive vibes .bob

      almost 5 years ago
    • Dianem's Avatar
      Dianem

      Given what we have all gone through (and I'm sure many of us were blindsided when we were first diagnosed) it would be unrealistic not to worry. But one of my favorite mantras is that worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles but only today of its strength. Like livewithcsncer I go for biweekly treatments and 8 week cat scans so it is never far from my mind. What I do try to do is live ever day to its fullest and be grateful that I'm being treated in the best place possible with phenomenal support....Greg, I will keep you in my prayers...keep strong and God bless

      almost 5 years ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      Greg, also sending you wishes or good test results. With my type and stage of Cancer it would be foolhardy, my opinion, not to be concerned with recurrence. Like others have said, the worry does not prevent me from living life, if anything it has made me more proactive with my health and made me enjoy life more.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Lynnie's Avatar
      Lynnie

      I haven't even had surgery yet, and worry that would come back. I feel like I will be waiting for the other shoe to drop. My friend told me that having cancer is like a race where you have to jump hurdles and you must look at one hurdle at a time. So I guess after whatever happens, after surgery. That the thoughts of it recurring is a hurdle for down the road.

      almost 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Well, I can put my worry warts away for another year! The scope was a good one, the pain/tingling I have had in my throat was apparently from whatever I ate a couple weeks ago that most likely scratched the scar tissue inside my throat. So, lesson learned, no more hard chips! Thanks for the thoughts and good words! We appreciate it!

      almost 5 years ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      Greg, that is wonderful news. Celebrate!!!

      almost 5 years ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      It is always on the back on my mind. It used to be more upfront and I would worry constantly about cancer coming back, but as I grow more into survivor mode from the patient mode, I don't worry quite as much as when I was going through the surgeries, chemo and radiation. If it comes back, I will fight again, just as hard. I want to be there for my grandchildren!

      almost 5 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Greg!!!! I'm SO happy for you and your family! Big virtual hug! Carol

      almost 5 years ago
    • Richardc's Avatar
      Richardc

      Greg.thats great news.
      As for worrying all the time, except for unusual aches or pains, I find that the further I get out from treatment , the less I worry about the what if. Try to focus on today and plan for tomorrow.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar
      Ejourneys

      YAY, Greg! *Happy dance* and hugs!

      almost 5 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar
      Nonnie917

      I do live with the fear of it coming back even though my onco said there was a very slim chance because it was localized, stage 0 with Atypical Hyperplasia. So yeah, it is always in the back of my mind that it might come back somewhere else. Colon cancer also runs in our family and it scares me. My great grandfather had it, my grandfather had growths removed from his colon that turned out to be negative and so did my dad and his sister, my Aunt. So yes, it scares me a lot that it could happen to me. I am 3 years out from my BL mastectomy. Two more to go to hit the 5 year mark.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Rolltidelynne's Avatar
      Rolltidelynne

      It's not constantly on my mind, but yes it is so worry. However, my attitude is - if it returns in full swing I will fight it again!! This time I have knowledge and history to rely on:)) I KNOWi can get back to remission. It will be hard and it will take time. Time I should be enjoying , but I will do whatever I have to do to stick around!!! I'm not ready and I do t think God is ready for me either:)) I hope I'm correct:)) lol

      almost 5 years ago
    • MLT's Avatar
      MLT

      Yahoo! So happy for you, Greg! You're going to have to chew those chips until they are mush.

      almost 5 years ago
    • VickieK811's Avatar
      VickieK811

      Great news, Greg! Here's to careful chewing and swallowing.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar
      Nonnie917

      Great news Greg. So happy for you. Stay away from them chips! :)

      almost 5 years ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      Yes, I do worry about recurrence. I don't worry every second of every day but it's always in the back of my mind. As far as staying positive, well, I'm not sure I am positive but I just tell myself that if it does come back I'll do the best I can to beat it.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Lisamarie65's Avatar
      Lisamarie65

      I wonder the same thing I have my first lung and pelvic cats and have to every 3 months for the nect 5 years my anxiety gets the best of me

      almost 5 years ago
    • TracyLynne's Avatar
      TracyLynne

      Since I am just newly in remission, I panic at every pain and waiting for results from my CT scans is excruciating! With that said, I still manage to live life to the fullest! I travel and I'm now looking to go back to work... I just had another 3 month CT 2 days ago, but I have to wait until the 12th for the results... So far, every scan and all my bloodwork has been clean... You would think I might be able to relax a little, but it has now been 4 1/2 months since my last round of chemo and I worry a LOT about a recurrence... does anyone have any good meditation strategies to help relax?

      almost 5 years ago
    • MichaelS's Avatar
      MichaelS

      I think it will always be there from now on. Not necessarily ruining anything, but keeping awareness at a slightly heightened level.

      almost 5 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      TracyLynne the Mayo Clinic has a brief but practical article on scans http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/expert-blog/cancer-and-scans/BGP-20056419/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=living-with-cancer&pubDate=01/09/2014&xid=nl_MayoClinicLivingwithCancer_20140109
      I hope this helps. If it doesn't go to the Nova website and watch all their old programs on Super volcanoes guaranteed to freak you out so you will even forget your appointment. :)

      almost 5 years ago
    • TracyLynne's Avatar
      TracyLynne

      Thank you BoiseB!

      almost 5 years ago
    • MelanomaMama's Avatar
      MelanomaMama

      I have been at stage IV melanoma since 2008 (seven miraculous years still breathing in and out) with so many recurrences that my dread is no longer, "will it recur?" It has and it does. My dread is, "which one will take me out?" I might be in the midst of the final clobbering, with three new brain tumors since November. The first, found in November was gamma knifed and is shrinking, but leaving life threatening necrotic tissue swelling my brain - brain swelling and tumor fevers reduced by steroids. Then, since December another two found in MRI brain scan. Have started on a supposedly year long (should I live so long) course of the newly approved (Sept. 2014) immunotherapy infusions of Keytruda, also called anti-PD-1. Infusions every three weeks in chemo room. Side effects can be skin rash, digestive upset, diarrhea joint aches, and even some dangerous ones. Keytruda has shown statistically good results for melanoma that has spread throughout the system, but the jury is out as to whether it crosses the blood/brain barrier, and since I am not being offered radtiation nor surgery for these nasties in my noggin, I must pin hopes on this treatment.
      Constance Emerson Crooker
      www.melanomamama.com

      almost 5 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Melanomamama, I'm sending you best wishes. Hugs, Carol

      almost 5 years ago
    • Rolltidelynne's Avatar
      Rolltidelynne

      Melanomamamma I am sending prayers too!! Hugs!!!!

      almost 5 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      Yes melanomamamma I too have been keeping you in my prayers.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar
      Ejourneys

      (((Hugs))) and good vibes, Melanomamama!

      almost 5 years ago
    • VickieK811's Avatar
      VickieK811

      Prayers and hugs to you, Melanomamama!

      almost 5 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      You are so very blessed to be able to say "We appreciate it." Greg.

      Sickness and grief has likely caused as many families to tear apart as they have been caused to come together like you and your wife.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Dianem's Avatar
      Dianem

      Melanoma mamma, have hope for your new immunotherapy. I am being treated with it in a clinical trial for lung cancer ( based in the fine results they are having with melanoma) and I'm doing well. The side effects are minimal. Keep strong and God bless.

      almost 5 years ago
    • denise735's Avatar
      denise735

      I also worry, they did a ct scan on my pelvic area, they found a 1 cm lesion on my right kidney, don't know what it is, Dr told me not to worry, they said it was nothing, that is what the Dr, said when I had a endomentrium biopsy done, and it was cancer a year ago, have to get another ct done in May when it go back for another check up.

      over 4 years ago
    • RubyFaye's Avatar
      RubyFaye

      I will always be more aware and proactive with changes in my body now. I have Stage 4 NSCLC metastized to brain. Given 1-2 years and I am at 2 1/2 years now. I am stable but terminal so I don't worry, just watchful. I have to choose not to worry all the time because I don't want to miss out on what "quality of life" I have each day.

      over 4 years ago
    • crabman's Avatar
      crabman

      i am stage 4 terminal for me it was not if it came back it was wend i got 6 monthes in remission then if was back i am use to bad news i just be as happy as i can on the good daysand deal with it the best i can on bad days do not care about next week or next year just today maybe tomm.

      over 4 years ago
    • TracyLynne's Avatar
      TracyLynne

      I'm now worried about a recurrence more than ever... The radiologist saw a shadow on my liver in my last CT scan but wasn't sure what it is, so I had an ultrasound this morning and get the results April 2nd... :(

      over 4 years ago
    • msesq's Avatar
      msesq

      I had a bone scan this morning to see if my breast cancer spread (X-ray showed lytic lesion on my knee) or if it's arthritis. I'm not even done with my Herceptin. I didn't think I'd have this level of anxiety but know know what the term scanxiety means.

      over 4 years ago
    • melanomamama's Avatar
      melanomamama

      What fresh XXX is this? After recent hospitilization for edema plus skin infection of the legs and ankles, my MRI brain scan showed "plumping" of my two recently discovered melanoma tumors in my brain. My oncologist declared me unable to live alone and put me in the category of assisted living. Since I do in fact live alone, this cause a scramble, and now I have home health care arriving mornings and staying with me all day, so I no longer have the choice to ignore my recurrence.
      But I am proud to announce the upcoming release of a book I co-authored. On April 30, on the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon to the communist North Vietnamese, you may order either an ebook or a print-on-demand book: Doc Jackson's Letters Home: A Combat Medic's 1968 Letters from Vietnam. We transcribed verbatim the numerous letters this winner of the coveted Combat Medics Award (for providing medical services while under enemy fire) wrote to his mother and grandmother from jungle warfare. It also includes his present day recollections as told to me in his first person voice and includes my collaborator comments to give context, plus some heart wrenching photos including one present day photo of this grizzled vet in his wheelchair with his therapy dog on his lap. Doc Jackson has the progressive disease of Parkinson's due to exposure to the toxic defoliant Agent Orange which the US used extensively to defoliate the jungle and to poison the rice harvests so that farmers would have to move to the cities and not feed and harbor the North Vietnamese fighters.

      over 4 years ago
    • Rolltidelynne's Avatar
      Rolltidelynne

      Melanoma mama, you have such a great spirit:)) I'm so excited about your book!!! I know at some point I will prob have to go to assisted living and I don't know how iWILL feel... I have no true concept of. What to expect in the future as far as being incapacitated in any way. Sometimes I think ignorance is bliss lol. It cuts down on "MY" anxiety!! Lol. I will be thinking of you and as always looking forward to your input on our convos:))
      Msesq, I will be praying it's nothing too:) anxiety is crappy! I didn't think I needed antidepressants when they put me on them... Lol... But now I'm grateful! I can't imagine how my brain would race without them!?!? Thinking of you, too...
      Tracylynne, I know April 2nd seems so far but really it's not ! If they find anything really to be concerned with I'm sure they would bring you in sooner:) so hang in there! I have an appt that day too so I will remember n watch for your update!!! Thinking of you:)
      Rubyfaye and crab man, I have similar thoughts about living today and possibly tomorrow and enjoy my time!!! They didn't tell me my stage... My radiologist said "why should we??? After your treatments and SCT everything changes!! " It kind of made sense to me and I went with his advice:)) I know that seems very naive on my part but I'm terminal too...does it really matter? Lol right now I'm "healthy" and happy. I am able to do most things and I live by myself. I'm going to keep my independence and positivity as long as I can :)) lol So rest assured I will be enjoying my days, family, and friends every day just like y'all! I do try to be the best I can be ... But I've always felt like that:)
      Denise, I left you for last cuz I want to be careful not to say the wrong thing... I'm a HUGE advocate of staying w your drs if you are happy w them and feel like y'all are a "team"! I've been very lucky w my drs up to this point! I can't imagine switching. I drive 3 hours to see THEM! But if you had misgivings and a wrong diagnosis before and you are uneasy with their response and advice about your new situation... You "MIGHT" consider getting a second opinion. I say this with trepidation cuz I know this might ruffle your drs feathers and/or change your existing relationship. Think this through very carefully and perhaps see if others on here feel it "might " be adventageous of you to seek 2nd opinion. However his advice may be RIGHT ON! And there is NOTHING to worry about. I'm not a dr and I don't know as much as some on here do, but. I just want to help any way I can. It's scary out there dealing w this stuff and we need to lean on each other cuz a lot of people on here have GREAT WISDOM and knowledge now do to being thrust into this journey we are on:)) keep us posted:)) I hope I didn't say anything to upset you;((

      over 4 years ago
    • Wega's Avatar
      Wega

      Lol so related with my question that I just posted lol. Since surgery and trreatment, doctor has never told me "there is no sign of cancer in your body", cuz there are always some freaking antibodies, now a positive Tg and all he says is "you are doing great but there's nothing to do at the moment, we'll wait 6 more months and check your levels again" And he always said I should just go back to my old life and move on but how?! when at the back of my head I'm waiting for those 6 months to see and always with the fear that they say "oh cancer is back". It's been 1 year and half and I do wonder if one day the idea of getting cancer again will fade from the back of my mind...

      over 4 years ago
    • Rolltidelynne's Avatar
      Rolltidelynne

      Wega, unfortunately there is no going back to our old lives:( BUT our new ones can be just as positive probably more so cuz we know what we love, want, and need now:))!! I had to wait 3 months one time to see if my MM was back:( ...And YES it was on my mind 90% of the time!!! I had kept this news from my children cuz they lived so far away and I only told a couple of friends. I HAD to have someone to talk to and at least KNOW I was waiting!! I don't think our drs , even w the best of intentions, knows the stress and anxiety that hives us!! In my case I was fine:)) hallelujah!! I will keep a very positive thought for you!! I (we) are always available for you to lean on , vent, scream, whatever you need!!! :)))

      over 4 years ago
    • genny's Avatar
      genny

      I know a recurrence could happen, but I try to focus on and think about health and wellness!

      over 4 years ago
    • TracyLynne's Avatar
      TracyLynne

      My oncologist couldn't wait until April 2nd and called me yesterday... absolutely clean! Not a spot anywhere... it truly was just a shadow on the scan! I started to cry because I've been so scared! I guess with the luck I've had all of my life (mostly bad), I figured that beating Pancreatic cancer was too good to be true... Does this mean my luck is finally changing?? lol

      over 4 years ago
    • Rolltidelynne's Avatar
      Rolltidelynne

      Tracylynne , YES your luck is changing:)))) I'm so so happy!!!

      over 4 years ago
    • msesq's Avatar
      msesq

      I got my bone scan results today, its NOT cancer, some sort of inflammation in my knees. I have never been so relieved in my whole life and am doing a happy dance!

      over 4 years ago
    • TracyLynne's Avatar
      TracyLynne

      Yay for msesq!!!!!! <3

      over 4 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Yay for TracyLynne and msesq! Great news!

      over 4 years ago
    • Rolltidelynne's Avatar
      Rolltidelynne

      Msesq can I join in the happy dance?!?! Lol so very happy for you!!!! Praise God for helping the two of you and getting good news!!!!

      over 4 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar
      Ejourneys

      Terrific news, TracyLynne and msesq!

      over 4 years ago
    • Lorahlie's Avatar
      Lorahlie

      I try not to think about it. I rely on my dog's reactions. Before I was diagnosed and treated she constantly licked my left ear. She does not now anymore since I have been disease free. I'm serious....as long as she isn't licky I shall not worry!

      over 4 years ago
    • TracyLynne's Avatar
      TracyLynne

      I don't worry anymore because the worst has happened... recurrence in my liver and its terminal... I'm still enjoying life though! :) Taking chemo and using some alternative therapies... we'll see how it is in 3 months... Take care everyone! <3

      over 4 years ago
    • raysmith45's Avatar
      raysmith45

      I learned from my Dad that worry is not good, so, no I do not worry, I do what I can to handle the situation and then move on and put my trust in God.

      almost 3 years ago
    • Boris12's Avatar
      Boris12

      I think it is always in the back of my mind. I will never be cancer free and worry about it spreading more.

      almost 3 years ago
    • RubyFaye's Avatar
      RubyFaye

      Greg, I will be praying for you. Every time I get a new or odd feeling, I immediately think 'cancer'? I have never been in remission yet, (and doctors say I never will) but I think even if I was, my first thoughts if something was not right, would be "is it cancer?" I think even people who have beat their cancer, think about it when they start feeling bad. I don't think cancer patients ever get totally away from it..

      almost 3 years ago

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