• Overcoming Fear

    Asked by mtnraindancer on Thursday, February 7, 2019

    Overcoming Fear

    I will have a colon resection and a liver resection at the same time on February 19th. Some days, I think "I've got this". Other days, I'm terrified. I know what will be, will be but I can't keep the "what ifs" at bay. I realize this is my chance at "cure" and I have no choice but to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Anyone else wrestle with the "fear roller coaster"? Hugs, M

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • JaneA's Avatar

      I truly understand. I had APR surgery for my rectal cancer - removal of my sigmoid colon, rectum and anus, and they sewed your butt back together. The surgery leaves your with a permanent colostomy. I wondered how anyone could survive a surgery that complex.

      I had never had major surgery. I was afraid of the pain. I was afraid of them getting me up out of bed that first time. I was afraid that I would have terrible complications. I was afraid.

      But, it was my opportunity to be cured. Many Stage IV colorectal cancer patients don't quality for curative surgery. So I just told my self that others had done it, that I had a skilled surgeon who really cared about me, and that I was in a good hospital. I shed a few tears two days before, and I began to mentally embrace my potential cure.

      My surgery was done robotically. I decided to wrap my head around the technology. I didn't take any sedative before going back. So I got to see the OR, the robot, the console where my surgeon was sitting waiting for me.

      And I woke up and I had an uneventful recovery. We can drive ourselves crazy with what ifs that never happen.

      I am mentoring a woman right now who had her colon and liver resection done at the same time. She did just fine. She has one more mop up chemo to go, and she'll be done with a year of treatment. You can do this. I will be praying for you.

      3 months ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      This brings to mind a quote that floats around a lot. The little girl says, "Oh, but what if I fall"? Then her Mother says "Oh, but what if you fly"? My version of this is that I try not to worry about things that are not in front of me right now, I say "don't worry until you have something to worry about". We have several articles on the blog page about keeping fear at bay and keeping positive in the face of things like this.

      3 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      I guess everyone does to one extent or the other. In some ways, it is simply fear of the unknown. A lot of times ... I'll even go so far as to say most times ... what we conjure up in our minds is far worse than reality is.

      Fortunately, I was not born a worrier. My mom was. She makes something up to worry about if there's nothing real there to worry about. I have so many things on my plate at any given moment that I don't have much time to worry. (What I have on my plate are not all that important ... just things I want to do and accomplish each day.)

      I guess my question to you would be, "What good is your worrying doing? Is it changing the outcome of your surgery at all?"

      This may seem silly to many here, but I have lately been studying essential oils (started, stopped and started again). On top of my journey with stage IV lung cancer, I recently lost my son very unexpectedly. I guess worry is different than depression, but I have found that simply diffusing some citrus oils (orange, lemon, a touch of lavender, and maybe a drop of peppermint) can really affect my mood in a positive way.

      Good luck! If this disease does anything for us, it shows us how strong we are and what we can do if we must. Here's hoping for and celebrating NED for you!

      3 months ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      I was freaked out about everything after my diagnosis -- stage IV endometrial cancer. Drove around the campus of a hospice. Wondered if I should renew magazine subscriptions. And I live alone -- at the time, it was just me and 2 cats. I didn't think I could do it, but I did. My cancer was found during a hernia repair, so in July 2012 I had a hernia repair; in Aug I had a total hysterectomy and in Sept I started chemo. I tried to keep my sense of humor and just put one foot in front of the other. Good luck!

      3 months ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      Absolutely. Of course I was terrified. I had panic attacks almost daily leading up to my surgery. I may have been in the grocery store and saw someone I just wasn't ready to talk to so I'd quickly go into a different aisle to hide. Or if out shopping and thinking, I shouldn't buy anything that's a seasons-end bargain because who knows if I'll be alive to wear it next year. Or of course, seeing all the college material coming in the mail for my oldest and breaking down in tears thinking I might never know where my kids would go to college.

      But my mantra was, ya gotta do whatcha gotta do. I convinced my kids that this one-step-at-a-time journey was just a short-term sacrifice for a long-term gain. And we kept focusing on this the entire year.

      I'm now eight years out from that nightmare and about to celebrate another birthday...on February 19th. So on my birthday, while being grateful to be celebrating another, I'll be thinking of you and saying a prayer that you too will have many birthdays to celebrate in the future.

      3 months ago
    • po18guy's Avatar

      What do you believe? Do you have a philosophy, world view, family or cultural tradition, belief system or religion? Now is the time to dig in. Reflect on the power of love. Have faith in modern medicine, if nothing else. You need a rock to cling to when the storm hits.

      3 months ago
    • lo15's Avatar

      wishing you the best

      3 months ago
    • Bug's Avatar

      Oh, goodness, yes! All the time! You can do this, mtnraindancer. You really can. And we're looking forward to hearing from you afterwards. I'm sending a big, warm hug.

      I really like the falling/flying quote, Greg. I first read it on WhatNext and refer to it often.

      3 months ago
    • Jayne's Avatar

      I was very nervous leading up to my surgery for sure - the fear of the unknown. I ended up asking for meds to help calm me down, I think it was Xanax but it's been so long now. What can I say...I'm a wimp! But I still think it was the best thing for me - don't be afraid to ask for something if you need it!

      3 months ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      It seems that I always have fear even to the point of panic attacks (I still have panic attacks from pre-cancer trauma). But my fears are more phobias than real fears. But cancer fear didn't raise its ugly head until after I had had clean scans for 4 years. I had a surgery site hernia my colon had pushed through the surgery site and was pushing against my lungs. My oncologist made an appointment with a lung specialist which I canceled because of a pending snowstorm. My oncologist called my PCP and both called me on a conference call and said that they had rescheduled the appointment and I was not to cancel period. The lung Dr. reviewed the CT-scan as said I had a hernia and scheduled me with a surgeon ASAP. Later that afternoon my PCP called to make sure I made the appointment. OK I should have been getting serious by now but that is not my style I did go to my appointment. The surgeon said he had reviewed my CT-scans and said he had scheduled surgery in 10 days. I thought hernia repair was no big deal just a little out-patient procedure. So I asked him can we put this off until next month. Well that changed this kindly reassuring Dr. into a Dr. Doom. He showed me the CT-scan pointed out my colon and my lung. He said my lung could collapse and my colon could twist and burst. He told me to move about as little as possible and he scheduled me for an EKG and X-rays. That put me into full panic mode. Now I am not one to take medication for anything but what is necessary to extend my life. But these panic attacks were like the symptoms of a collapsed lung or a twisted colon so I had to see my PCP. She was very helpful and showed me several anti-anxiety medications and we chose a very mild and old medication. It looks like your fear may be short term so I do suggest that you talk to your PCP about a short term medication for anxiety
      Will remember you in my prayers on the 19th

      3 months ago
    • Bug's Avatar

      Jayne, you aren't a wimp! : ) It's okay to ask for help.

      3 months ago

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