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    How have people handled the transition of post treatment? I am 5 months out and still struggle even with the good report I had the other day with my oncologist.

    Asked by Joy on Saturday, April 7, 2012

    How have people handled the transition of post treatment? I am 5 months out and still struggle even with the good report I had the other day with my oncologist.

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    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      We all handle this differently, I was happy to get my last treatment, and get on with the healing. Now when I go back to the dr. for checkups, once every 4 months now, I am nervous before I go and until I get the report. Once I was having panic attacks of sorts because I was convinced I had a recurrence. Now, for the most part I am an extremely positive person, and just expect that It's ok, and I am done with this. The only advice I can give you is try to keep a positive attitude, I know it's hard, but if your mind can convince you that everything is ok, it will be much easier. Best of luck to you in your healing.

      almost 5 years ago
    • civilwarlady's Avatar
      civilwarlady

      I think every survivor deals with the post treatment phase differently depending on their circumstances. For me it has been times of anxiety (especially when it is close to scan time) alternating with times of rejoicing in the small victories that each day brings. (Your 5 months out, time to celebrate!) I am now 3 years out from chemo and radiation but still deal with the fact that the tumor is still there and I have residual deficits from the treatments. I became involved with Gilda's Club near where I live so I can meet other survivors to draw strength and experience from them. Sometimes for me laughter works and other times tears. I named my tumor bad boy and each night I tell it to leave me alone. I have found that the further out I have gotten, the easier it is to "put the patient hat on" when its time for the scan and doctor visit and then "take the patient hat off" when I get home. I wish you all the best. Know that you are not alone on this journey.

      almost 5 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      I think one thing I miss is all the nice stuff people did for me - like fresh baked bread every week.... And I miss the nurses at chemo - several of them were just so sweet. On the other hand, if I never see that infusion floor again, that'd be awesome, right? Anyway, my friends are still my friends and stuff... but a bunch of them just did totally super nice things for me and my family during chemo and right after surgery. Now - it's like almost normal... but always there's this undercurrent of nothing will ever be normal again.

      Part of me is like - cancer is such old news... Moving on!

      And part of me is like - how do I face this uncertainty?
      I mean, there are so many people that do the aggressive treatment... only to face cancer again... while others do not. My chances of recurrence are low... but not zero. It keeps me up at night sometimes.

      And yet another part of me is like - I was supposed to finish this all transformed into a better person, right? Yet, I'm still just me.. .. Just Lee after cancer treatment.

      SO, I am working towards a strong body again... paying close attention to the ones that I love... mostly working hard at work... and riding the *insert swear here* out of my bikes! Onwards and upwards... with an eye on what I think is truly important...

      almost 5 years ago
    • kenkersch's Avatar
      kenkersch

      In what ways are yo struggling? I have been clear for 11 years now and there is always going to be some anxiety...as I like to say, the only way I will know I beat cancer is to die of something else so that is a bit of a catch 22. In my early post months I focused on doing something with friends and family...a trip, etc. that allowed me to shift attention and energy to something rewarding. What are

      almost 5 years ago
    • rbd100's Avatar
      rbd100

      I ended treatment in October and still have anxiety attacks at every doctor appointment. In fact, I almost threw up in the waiting room while I was waiting to get my mammo done last month! I hear that it gets better but I think that there will always be a little anxiety. I just remind myself how lucky I am and that there are those that were not as lucky as I.

      almost 5 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      Joy - is there something non-work related that you LOVE to do but haven't done in a long time? Maybe a sport or craft or art or music or even just hanging with friends over bevies and so on.... If the answer to that is yes, what if you "replace" the time you spent "working" to kick cancer's you know what with something related to that thing you love to do that is not work. Is that making any sense? I guess I'm trying to say, what if you take back that time for yourself - on your terms....

      Work is awesome... especially when you have a job that makes a difference... and that you feel passion for. But you also don't want to burn yourself out either... right?

      When I read your last post, that's the first thing that popped into my mind. "replacing" cancer time with YOU time.....

      almost 5 years ago
    • mysecondchance's Avatar
      mysecondchance

      I am an 18-month ovarian cancer survivor. Much to my amazement, I am handling it well. I am usually a worrywart. I want to waste as little time as possible on the disease. I have an 80% chance of recurrance but if I let that control my life I will never be happy. What if I am one of the lucky ones and live to 100? It would be a shame to have wasted all those precious years worrying about somthing that never happened. But if it does come back I want to make sure I have thoroughly enjoyed the time I had.

      Don't get me wrong, I am not a pollyanna. I have my moments. Usually in the middle of the night when I can't fall back to sleep. The mind goes to a place I try not to think about.

      I also have a few days of worry every three months when I wait for the results of my CA 125 bloodtest. So far so good and that is all anyone of us can hope for.

      almost 5 years ago
    • cranburymom's Avatar
      cranburymom

      So glad that you decided to post this.
      Now I know I am not only one thinking about this.
      I understand that one should NOT mask feeling like this. So it is important to voice it out and let others know what you are going though.

      I realized that my life is shorten and a little more uphill than before. So I decided to be fit and have fun. I signed up for a bike race for the first time, and purchased a sporty hybrid. Yes I got in some trouble with my husband (getting two-seater before him), but hey, I deserve it. I worked through my chemo and got a bonus. I will have fun, and deal with my fear and feelings as it comes up.

      Another thing I hope to do...do one fearful or crazy thing every month (or every so often). If this is not for you, do something really funky or out of character.
      My daily life is much more fun than before. I may not live for a long time, but I can stay younger longer.

      Hope this helps....

      almost 5 years ago
    • MarnieC's Avatar
      MarnieC

      I'm an 8-year survivor of breast cancer and I remember at the beginning wondering to myself (after the all-clear from my doctor) "What will I do when this comes back?" I realized I was going to have to get my mind really strong. Louise Hay (she wrote "You Can Heal Your Life") states "You are only ever dealing with a thought, and a thought can be changed." So I agree with cranburymom, deal with your fear and feelings as they come up. Every time you start to worry or feel that fear, tell your fears to shut up and sit down! Visualize your fears becoming as small as a pin head and release them to the Universe. And just live your life. I find that simple joys are the best - the unfolding of green leaves in the spring, freshly baked cookies, things like that. Start collecting joys and know that when the fears come back, you have a remedy for them. Good luck on your healing journey!

      almost 5 years ago
    • WVgirl2424's Avatar
      WVgirl2424

      I am post 10.months stem cell transplant for leukemia, I am 45 and an RN. What we are discussing is survivors guilt. I have it bad, you cannot believe your still alive and just waiting for the cancer to come back. The next day I do a lot better. My doctor tells me that when I think like that to busy myself with crafts or even cleaning. I can not do a lot yet, it will take a total of 2 years for me to heal and be able to work again. I also cannot go out in public much because I do not have my immunizations yet, I have to have them just like a baby would. I have discovered who my friends are and there are fewer than I thought. Even my family isn't as I thought it was, I cannot go visit them but they can visit me if not I'll, they do not visit. I have 5 siblings, 2 visit regularly the rest I do not hear from. So yes, depression becomes a factor. I just do not know what to do. I cannot go out like every one else and the house can only be so clean. I am also very scared the. Anger will come back, the doctor says he doesn't think it will, hat I am 100% my brothers cells. I now have his blood type and his allergies, that is the funny part! My advice, if you can..... Go do and live! Live it up! Enjoy life!

      almost 5 years ago
    • Chris' Avatar
      Chris

      I dont realize I have cancer until the night before a treatment or a doctors appointment and tests and then it can hit me......

      This is just a journey - like turning the page in a book to a new chapter.

      I found that if I could talk about how I feel to someone, sometimes cry or journal it eases my anxiety. My scars are battle scars where I won the battle. It reminds me every day that I am alive :)

      Dont let the cancer control you.....

      almost 5 years ago
    • lauratemkin's Avatar
      lauratemkin

      I am one year away from diagnosis of stage IIIC breast cancer, almost done with the last of my herceptin treatments, and fearful every day that I will have a recurrence. I call my cancer the little black cloud that follows me around. I'm not sure if time will make this anxiety better, or if as time goes on I'll think that a recurrence is more likely. I do work hard everyday to be grateful for the wonderful things in my life, including my amazing doctors. I also find that immersing myself in almost anything (art, nature walks, writing, even house cleaning) completely (mindfulness) changes my focus so I'm not thinking about the cancer. You can read my blog at: www.laurascancerjournal.tumblr.com/archive

      almost 5 years ago
    • Joy's Avatar
      Joy

      I agree that doing mindless things like cleaning helps keep your mind off of things that creep in from time to time. I want to travel and have just started saving for that. The job I am is so dysfunctional that I feel myself being affected by that. The school I work in is filled with students who have been thrown out of the public schools. It is not only them that is hard to deal with but the staff that back stab and point fingers. It is even too exhausting to talk about. I enjoy watching movies, reading, exercising, and going places I have never been to. Quiet is very important to me when I can have it because of the constant noise I have at the behavior school I work at. Take care everybody.
      Joy

      almost 5 years ago
    • MarnieC's Avatar
      MarnieC

      Joy, I am an 8-year breast cancer survivor and I write a daily blog about that journey in an effort to help others through it. I wrote a post that might possibly help you. Check it out here: http://marnieclark.com/10-anxiety-busters-for-breast-cancer-patients/
      Wishing you joy and healing in your journey. xoxox

      almost 5 years ago
    • akristine's Avatar
      akristine

      I'm 95 days past radiation with a clean CT scan and ultrasound, and my CA-125 is 7. The liposarcoma recurrence is almost 100% and the survival rate is 51% after five years. I'm going with being in the 51% and continuing my life interrupted with pesky tests every three months. Meanwhile, I go to support groups, the gym for yoga class and warm water exercise, museums, science academies, the zoo, sea chantey singing, the opera and other events I enjoy as my strength permits. The osteoarthritis is more of a problem than the cancer but I'm handling it the best way I can. Fear will not make me a prisoner of my own doubts.

      over 4 years ago
    • harriet's Avatar
      harriet

      In the beginning, especially when chemo stopped, I was panic stricken. I was stage 4 and felt that if it came back I was doomed, I am now 3 years out from chemo and doing Herceptin and Aromasin. I am at the point where I feel somewhat confident that I will be ok. I do still panic some when the dr walks in until I get the results of my scans. They know those are the very first words I want to hear before "how are you?" or anything else. Time does heal.

      over 4 years ago

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