• How do you move on with your life after reoccurence?

    Asked by macfightsback on Thursday, July 19, 2018

    How do you move on with your life after reoccurence?

    We all want to be cancer free, to be as healthy as possible with a good quality of life not just physically but emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Any ideas how to accomplish that? I know it is the ultimate question. I will be finishing chemo soon for a reoccurence and am trying to sort all this out. I have worked at maintaining a positive attitude and I decreased working to part time from full time last year after retiring. I was very happy with that until January. Currently not working because I cannot work while getting chemo due to all the side effects. ( I work as a RN in ICU.). I plan to take off until January 2019 and return to work part time then. Thanks in advance.

    14 Answers from the Community

    14 answers
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      i think your screen name might be part of the answer, "mac-fights-back!" Just like you didn't let cancer win after your initial diagnosis and treatment, you won't let it win after the recurrence. Fighting it has been a curve or a bump in the road, but it didn't lead to a dead-end. There's traveling still left to do on life's highway!

      Enjoy your time off work and use it to recuperate. Exercise, eat right, rest, do activities you enjoy. Take a nap. Enjoy the sunrise and/or sunset. Go on a picnic. Learn a new skill. Read a book. Live your life to the fullest extent possible.

      And, when you feel better and are able, go back to work, refreshed and renewed and ready to be the caregiver that I think all RNs are.

      Hugs. I'm sorry that you're going through a recurrence.

      8 months ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      First, thank you for your chosen career. We currently have my mother in law in ICU at Vanderbilt for the fourth day right now. I couldn't do your job! Thank you for what you do!

      As for life after a recurrence, I've had 3. Each time I went about it as if cancer was just in my way, slowing be down from getting back to doing what I had to do. Of course, I was much younger for my first two 28 and 29. After my last dx, at age 48, it was harder to get back to where I was. In fact, I will never get back there. But, I don't care. I have a good life, despite the constant choking, losing my breath, dry mouth from no saliva glands, lost all my teeth and have dentures to deal with, can't eat what I want, had a mini-stroke from my interior carotid artery getting fried from the radiation, ....should I go on? So, despite all of that, I would call our life "good". My Wife and I two dogs and two cats have a peaceful place on the creek in rural TN. Some would call it paradise.

      I can't do a lot of things I used to. Physically I'm not as strong, and can't do some of the things in my job. I own a landscape company and do extremely physical work. Even with my shortcomings, I tell the 20 to 30 something-year-olds that we hire that I am 58, had 3 cancer diagnoses, one stroke, almost died 3 times, but all I ask them to do is keep up with me. Most of them can't.

      We have several blog posts on our blog page about finding your "new normal". We have a few guest posts there too about that topic. You might drop over there and read some of those, they could have some helpful information.

      8 months ago
    • JaneA's Avatar

      I haven't had a recurrence; Stage IV rectal cancer was was original diagnosis. It takes a few months to recover from the aggressive treatment that Stage IV usually requires. I suggest asking for a referral for physical therapy to help you restore your balance and begin rebuilding your muscle strength and flexibility. I'm sure working in ICU requires strength and flexibility.

      You might also find that taking up yoga will help you find peace within your heart and soul.

      And do things that you've always put off doing. I'm going on a Old House Expedition on Saturday. Something that I've always wanted to do but never did. Whether it's taking up photography or learning to paint, celebrate your inner child (who is still there and who wants to play). Best wishes.

      8 months ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer (Best Answer!)

      The only gift I learned from cancer is to live right here right now. Yesterday is over and later on may not come so stay right here. Nobody really has anything but the present but they still have that illusion that the do. SO we who learn this can do amazing things Right Here Right Now. Don't wait for dreams to come true as the dream is your Right Here Right Now Reality. Don't have recriminations about anything you did five minutes as Now is yours. Also start learning all there is about your cancer so you can help others. And learn about subjects you always wanted to learn about. Today is the first day of the rest of your life SO LIVE IT.....Not saying it's easy but it is our reality and we have a lot o company.

      8 months ago
    • merpreb's Avatar

      I think that by just trying to do what comes as a "usual job" at the usual times, eating the usual foods and taking one step at a time

      8 months ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar

      One of the best things you can do for yourself as a cancer survivor is getting in touch with other survivors. I was diagnosed with stage IIIC ovarian cancer five years ago and have been a member of the WhatNext Community since then. I have received so much support and information and advice from fellow survivors over the years. All of the answers to your question here are spot on and I have taken them all to heart. Additionally, I have met and friended numerous ovarian cancer survivors , all of them strong and determined ladies who, despite this disease ,are living their lives. I would like to refer you to my friend kalindria’s blog, she is currently in treatment with a recurrence. I recently got back from attending the OCRFA’s ( Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance ) conference in Washington . The strength and positivity there was overwhelming , it was my first conference but will not be my last. Next year the conference will be in Seattle. Advancements in treatments for our type of cancer are very encouraging. Take things “ one day at a time” , do not think of yourself as a victim, live your life. YOU ARE A SURVIVOR!

      8 months ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar

      Your cancer treatments are only temporary. How would you NOT "move on with your life after treatment"? What else can you do?

      8 months ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      When I had a reoccurance for my cancer I found this article very interesting and helpful
      Be sure to click on the references in this article and check them out they are also very helpful.
      My main problem with dealing with the cancer return was guilt; I felt that I had let my Dr.s down. This was the only the reoccurance was different than the firsd diagnosis. I also was diagnosed with a new agressive cancer. The Dr. told me that there was a 99% chance one or the other would be back in 18 months That was on April 1st 2013.
      One piece of advice I have for you is to drop the positive stuff. If you are a naturally positive person and I believe you are positivity will come back. It is definatly OK to take a trip to the Dark Side. A Pity Party is good for the soul. I fought cancer with a lot of negative energy. This is manafest in my very twisted sence of humor. You should "enjoy" the six months of recuperation as much as you can. You are now allowed to take naps or watch cat videos or find a new hobby.

      8 months ago
    • Carool's Avatar

      I have little to add to all the caring and helpful comments except to urge you to try to laugh as much as possible. I don't for one minute believe that laughter cures anything, but it sure feels good. Funny movies, books, TED talks, joking with loved ones, etc., really relieve stress. I'm also not at all saying "be positive." Sadness, crying, anger - the gamut of negative feelings and expressions are necessary to acknowledge when one feels them. I don't at present have any cancer (from what I know), but the world seems especially threatening to me, so I resort to everything I listed. Kitten videos! A must. If you don't like felines, well, get to like them! I wish you everything good.

      8 months ago
    • macfightsback's Avatar

      Thanks everyone for your inspirational responses. By the way I love kitty videos and my cat companion Tiger is one of the joys in my life. I recently am working on expressing some negative feelings that I have not expressed since I was diagnosed 3 years ago. Cancer support groups are hard to find in eastern NC but I am part of a meditation cancer group which helps. I will hold all of your ideas in my heart!

      8 months ago
    • Carool's Avatar

      macfightsback, yes, cats (and dogs, and birds, and others) are amazing! I speak not from experience - can't have any cats or dogs - but from observation (videos) and friends' cats. Love those purrs!

      8 months ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      Mac you can express your negative feelings here on WhatNext we all love to join a rant.

      8 months ago
    • smlroger's Avatar

      I am kind of in the same boat as Mac, 3 different cancers in 3 straight years, all taken care of and now the last one, throat, is back in my bones after being clear for 3.5 years. Having a problem coming to terms with it. Started chemo already and may start radiation as well. Trying for comfort care as time goes on. Was more disappointed than XXX unlike last time, which I think made me fight harder and refuse to let the Big C take over my life. Trying to do the same now, but I realize I have a lot of stuff to take care of and more worry about my wife and friends. My to do list is going to out live me. Sounds like I am going to the pity side. I change day to day. But I am a realist so I am prepared for both the good, the bad and the ugly.

      8 months ago
    • kalindria's Avatar

      I've had two recurrences. Work is no longer an option for me for various reasons, only one of which is my disease. As a stage IV patient with multiple recurrences, my oncologist has pretty much told me I"ll be on chemo in one form or another for the rest of my life. Honestly, I'm OK with that because it means I HAVE a life.

      As far as dealing with it, I try to stay busy doing crafts (check out the photos of my yo-yo quilt on the Pinboard), playing with my dog, working (albeit slowly) on my various novels... This isn't what I had planned but I suspect few people have the life the planned out for themselves.

      8 months ago

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