• In remission, but still living in fear

    Asked by sgmom on Sunday, February 24, 2013

    In remission, but still living in fear

    ...and I don't want to live in fear! I got word this week from my gyn onc that I'm in remission. While I'm beyond ecstatic, there's still a big part of me that is living in fear and with paranoia. What if it comes back? Did they miss something? What if the doc who did the pathology report was having a bad day? All these what-ifs in my head are consuming me and I just want to be able to move on. I think the fact that my journey was so short and "easy", for lack of a better word, compared to that of others has me doubting everything.

    Any feedback is appreciated.

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • Nomadicme's Avatar
      Nomadicme (Best Answer!)

      Try to put it behind you as worry won't help (easier said that done, right?). Looks like you're doing something called ruminating, and a field of psychology called CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) has a way of dealing with this through their ABC(DE) model.

      Im not a psychologist, nor do i have a great grasp of the therapy, so of i get this wrong forgive me, just trying to help the bet way i can.

      The way the above works, is that you're making your thoughts your reality, and that's making you miserable. Change your thoughts, change your reality. The A is the action, you got cancer. The C is the consequence, you're experiencing anxiety. The ABC model states that is NOT the cancer that is causing this anxiety, but the beliefs (the B part) you have about the cancer. So change the belief and change he outcome,

      over 7 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      Part 2.. Don't know what happened there.

      Change your belief and you will be anxiety free. One belief you can change is that your Drs were competent and got everything.

      Meditation can also help a lot. It will calm your mind, stop the negative thoughts.

      A great help is he cancer community, do join a support group. You're not alone in these thoughts and feelings. Talking about this and other things with others that have experienced similar things will help you feel better.

      over 7 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar

      Letting the fear consume you isn't healthy. It will get in the way of your recovery. It could distract you so much you forget to look both ways before crossing the street and get you hit by a bus.

      over 7 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear sgmom,

      Congratulations on being in remission!! Mazel Tov!! That's great news. You must be thrilled and you should celebrate with your friends and your family! I think the fear you're experiencing is normal. I think whenever a cancer patient is told that they are in remission or cancer free they start to worry. Why shouldn't they? Cancer came out of the blue for all of us (whether there was a genetic predisposition or not) so in some sense why should we believe (because we can't see the cancer ourselves or didn't necessarily feel bad when it was discovered) that it's truly gone? I understand how you feel. I'm a BC patient who was diagnosed in August. I had early Stage (I). In Dec I had a mastectomy and they also did an oncotype (genetic) test that predicts far into the future my risks of a reoccurrence which is quite low. I do not need chemotherapy (YAY!) I'm quite relieve as I'm also a Lupus patient and immunocompromised from that (I have a hematologist following me for that...;))

      I had no cancer in my lymph nodes at the time of my mastectomy so I'm Cancer free (it's been 2 1/2 months). The only thing I need is adjuvant endocrine (hormonal) therapy, i.e., Tamoxifen to block Estrogen and that's it. Do I worry about it coming back? Sure, occasionally, but not every moment. I have other things to consider-I'm engaged and this XXX cancer delayed my Wedding, my daughter, a Paramedic is now in Nursing School pursuing her RN/BSN and considering pre-med.

      I recently contacted CancerCare. They have Oncological Social Workers who provide counseling to Cancer patients and their caretakers (they do it in person or by phone). I want to see them for myself and my fiance because breast cancer, well...In your case, if you find yourself worrying yourself too much, it would be really helpful to chat with someone who understands the Cancer issues from the inside out. Be easy on yourself. It's normal to worry it's going to come back. Not to be a downer, someday it might-everyone dies eventually, but I hope as we Jews say that you will live till 120!!...;) Celebrate your Remission and make a party!!

      over 7 years ago
    • fiddler's Avatar

      Panic attacks live in the "what ifs", in the future unknowns; it where FEAR lives. Bring yourself back into the present. Look at your feet. Describe to yourself what you are feeling (could take up to an hour). Walk on them - what are you feeling now? Ah, mindfulness meditation, of course! You're probably pretty savvy, so go to your Kindle and buy a book called Mindfulness: An Eight Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World. You'll be out of the "what ifs" in no time.

      Besides. So what if it does come back? You fix it. Not your favorite way to spend half a year, but you'll do it and it's gone. We have to understand that nothing was missed by anyone. They are experts in their fields; took out body stuff, slapped it under the microscope and saw that they got all the margins. If something crops up elsewhere, it crops up and we deal with it.

      I know for fact you'll drive yourself into a very sorry mental state if you stay with the "what ifs". When they come up, look at your feet again and go through the drill.

      over 7 years ago

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