• 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.

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac (Best Answer!)

      What if you got run over by a bus tomorrow? Do you live in fear of that? Did you live in fear of cancer before you were diagnosed with cancer? We are all going to die of something someday. There are gazillions of what ifs in life. Why let what ifs rule your life? Focus on the what is rather than the what if..

      over 5 years ago
    • derbygirl's Avatar

      I know how you feel. I just was told that I am 5 years ovarian cancer free and part of me still finds it hard to accept. But I've come to realize that I can't let fear rule my life. If you do that, you'll miss out on living. Celebrate your remission and know that your doctors will continue to monitor your health. You have a lot of life to live so get up and live it! Focus on everything good that life has to offer and enjoy!

      over 5 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      sgmom, There is nothing normal about any cancer. Your journey being short and "easy" is proibably more common than you realize. The people that answer and post the miost here on what next tend to be those that hasve had the longer nad harder journies. We tend to have more experie nce and get somnething out of helping others. The large majority of the people regestered on this site have had a single incidence of cancer that has been cured and does not return. So you are really more normal that you realize. It is common to have these feelings after treatment and part iof it may be caused by the treatment as chemo tends to affect seretonin levels in the brain which csan cause depression and anxiety. You may want to talk to your Drs about this and see if some meds might help you. I personally have had depression as a result of the treatment but meds have helped me. Good Luck and try and put the worries behind you and get on with a normal life without cancer.

      over 5 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      While it might be easy for me as a nurse to tell you that conventional wisdom is to put aside those fears and grab every moment of joy without apprehension, knowing you are a cervical cancer patient makes it a bit harder. That, and of course the fact that my perspective comes from the foot of the bed,and not in it. However, in a way I can relate. I am a Skinny Pop addict. I love the snack but once I start eating it I can't stop and, I justify it because it is low in calories, but I am on weight watchers. I don't count calories so I am just trying to justify my actions. In a way so are you. You want to be in that "ever ready state" which is a hard habit to overcome. Over time, you will come to be more at ease as the length of time increases. It is only something you can change with time. Although my analogy is in no way comparable to yours, I do understand holding onto a train of thought that holds some measure of comfort for me even though I recognize that it might not be the best thing for me. Like everything else in our lives, reality has a way of unfolding before us in its own good time, and I have no doubt that at some point you will find a way to resume a life of sheer abandon regardless of what unknown variable lies in the road ahead. Go easy on yourself, you are no different than many here. In good time life will come calling for you again with an adventure that far outweighs the caution. Best of luck to you, Carm RN.

      over 5 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      When I first heard the words "Cancer Free" -- I was almost hesitant to believe it. I think I was afraid that it was good news that would not last. My goal was to be on guard but not to be paranoid. However, when I would get a sore in my mouth, a bump elsewhere or an ache, my thoughts would immediately be "cancer". I was letting fear interfere with the quality of my life. As time has passed, I have gotten so much better. I hardly ever think about the cancer returning -- and when I do, I remind myself that fear and worry does not do a single thing to help the situation -- so I let go and do my best to enjoy life and cherish each moment that the Good Lord has given me with my family and friends. I wish you the best.

      over 5 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      You still need time to process the "Shock" you have been through.. Go easy on yourself..the fear does pass. Try some mindful meditation, keeping a journal, mediation for healing and do the things that you have been "Waiting to do" . In other words try and turn this experience into a "wake up call" to start living a life with the purpose and intention that you have always wanted your life to be. It takes time but a little step each day starts to add up to real changes. I think right now your still needing the time to process. Go easy..this too shall pass.

      over 5 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      It's natural to feel this way, but you need to find ways to calm that voice in your head. I know that is easier said then done. but as nancjac said we can get hit by a bus tomorrow, etc. Do you worry every time you cross the street? Good luck, just take it one day at a time.

      over 5 years ago
    • sgmom's Avatar

      Thank you for all the responses and the different ways to approach these feelings. I WILL get over this hump, hopefully sooner than later.

      over 5 years ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar

      I lived in fear for awhile after I entered remission, I would be on pins and needles after I had a scan while waiting for the results, ans Gosh forbid they had to rescan for some reason. I finally decided I couldn't live like that anymore, and decided to deal with bad news IF and when it came. I go to my appointments and have faith that if the cancer comes back, I will be diagnosed early so I can deal with it.

      over 5 years ago
    • Reeree's Avatar

      I know first hand how you feel I was diagnosed in 2008 with breast cancer. While I'm still on remission there is a part of me that worries about reoccurance possibilities. It's easy for people to say don't worry, but its a different scenario when you have the constant threat to deal with. I feel that it's ok to be mindful bit don't let your fear consume you. Live your life ,control what you can(risk factors), and leave for God to handle.

      over 5 years ago
    • msbuller's Avatar

      I understand how you feel. Watching and waiting, whether as a strategy before first treatment or as a state of being after treatment is full of anxiety. I just completed six months of chemo and am now watching and waiting for my follicular lymphoma to return -- and with that particular cancer, it will return but we hope not for many, many years. But it's anxious.
      The best advice I heard from my therapist is that you have to allow yourself some anxiety, it'd be superhuman NOT to be anxious. But it's challenging to not let anxiety be the constant state. Everyone is different but for me, it took me time to process the "I'm out of treatment" reality and over time, the anxiety fades ever so much into the background. In the meantime, I write for therapy and to process what I hear and how I feel, and try to stay in the present and not worry as much about a future I can't control. That, and I do try to eat more plant-based foods and remove all the processed foods from my diet. Does it help? I don't know but it makes me feel like I'm doing something.

      over 5 years ago

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