• What Feels Scariest?

    Asked by legaljen1969 on Thursday, May 6, 2021

    What Feels Scariest?

    Scans? Oncologist follow-ups? Other medical doctor follow-ups? Right now, it all feels so nerve-wracking to me. I just want to go back to blissful ignorance when I could convince myself I was just being a hypochondriac and worrying about things that I felt or thought.

    Around the time of 9/11 (THE 9/11), my husband was across the country attending recruiting school. I was preparing to pack up our house to move (potentially). I had a friend staying with me since she needed a place to stay for a bit while she moved out of her home as she was going through a divorce. Her husband kept threatening her and that brought lots of stress. I got really forgetful and would just spin out and my brain would paralyze. I just couldn't figure what to do next. I went to my doctor in tears, completely convinced I was getting Alzheimers (or other dementia) at the age of 31. It was the first time anyone had ever suggested I had a panic disorder or anxiety.

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      That was my scariest moment, thinking I was losing my mind. I have that experience more often now than ever before. I bet I cycle through it monthly, if not weekly and sometimes daily. My lists are the only things that ground me at times. I have to write down EVERYTHING. Of course, it doesn't help that my first experiences with panic and anxiety were now almost 20 years ago, so maybe some of it IS age.

      Still, I miss the days when being convinced I was losing my mind at 31 was actually irrational. Now i worry that things are age related, cancer related. I notice everything. Every bump. Every place that used to feel smooth that now doesn't feel "as smooth." I notice more aches and pains and just "stuff." Stuff I used to be able to push aside.

      I hate feeling so scared and apprehensive and anxious. I feel like I lack faith. I feel like I let my friends and family down when I start spinning out, and then I spin out even more.

      So what is the thing that makes you go to the verge of spinning out? And how do YOU ground yourself and bring things back into perspective?

      about 1 month ago
    • jvbaseballmom2's Avatar
      jvbaseballmom2

      I can relate to so much of what you shared. I have dealt with panic attacks intermittently for the past 40 years. I’ve tried therapy, meditation, relaxation techniques - most of which have not been that helpful. I have learned to recognize the signs of a panic attack, so I can tell myself that it’s “only a panic attack” and not a heart attack etc.

      I was diagnosed with breast cancer 16 years ago. Unfortunately I’m a worrier, and can also relate to your fears that every ache and pain I experience is a reoccurrence of cancer. The thing that can put me over the edge though is waiting for test/scan results. I immediately jump to the worst possible conclusion. I wish I could learn to stop worrying since I know I have no control over the outcome, and worrying only makes things worse. However, that’s easier said than done. I do try to walk 2 miles a day, while listening to music, which they say helps relieve stress, but mainly it keeps my mind off of things.

      I hope you gain some relief in knowing you’re not alone in your feelings.

      Stay Strong!!

      about 1 month ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      Oh, how I know that feeling too. When I first came out of active treatment, I just about panicked with every ache and pain, every time I heard a nurse say, "The doctor wants ... [more blood, more tests, etc.]" It was worse at first, but it does ease up. I'm not sure we'll ever have our pre-cancer "innosence" back again, but we do learn how to carry on in the post-cancer part of our journeys. HUGS and God bless.

      about 1 month ago
    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      I think anxiety, especially when it is close to test times, is just part of our landscape now. Most of the time I can put it in the background. I am a Christian woman and I depend on my faith to comfort and reassure me. There are a lot of scriptures about avoiding worry, and my favorite is; "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?' (Matthew 6:27)." that one usually brings me back into the moment and I come to terms with "...it is what it is."

      That said...you may know I recently experienced a scare about a questionable lump in my right breast. I prepared myself with hope (the doctor, herself, said it was probably nothing) and alll my scripture clues. I thought I was strong. And then I arrived at the hospital, they told me the procedures would last two hours, and all my fears and insecurities came rushing back with a vengeance! I could say I will remember this so as to not allow myself to be scared in the future...but I know I will. Our spirits might be strong as all get-out, but human flesh is vulnerable and we can't help but be scared sometimes.

      Sometimes the one thing that helps me is to simply acknowledge it as being real. You are not crazy, or overreacting, or delusional...you are scared. I can sometimes say to myself, "Yep, I am scared, but here we go."

      about 1 month ago
    • Teachertina's Avatar
      Teachertina

      I also know the feeling you described! I think we all have felt it! I am a bit OCD and being out of control of my situation is my biggest fear. I monitor every little bump or feeling that’s different than normal. I try to avoid Googling things, it makes it worse. I am currently waiting for my appointment with an oral surgeon to remove a molar that has caused a bad gum infection, taking strong antibiotics until then. I go on May 17 for that. So I am nervous that this infection could spread and nervous about having stitches and nervous about the pain afterwards, but I keep telling myself, at least it’s not cancer! Scanxiety is worse than this as far as waiting goes! Having cancer 3 times has taught me to put everything into perspective more, but we all see some things the same way. Others don’t understand how much things can effect us that wouldn’t be a big deal for them. We have to hang together folks. Glad y’all are here!

      about 1 month ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Everything everyone said resonates with me. I had bad health anxiety even as a kid (the term “health anxiety” hadn’t been invented then), and my cancer diagnosis didn’t help. I’m often worried about some bodily problem that I know is most likely nothing, but there’s always the possibility that it’s SOMETHING BAD. So far, other than my breast cancer, everything has turned out to be nothing.

      I try to be stoic when in the throes of fear. I tell myself if it’s cancer I’ll deal with it. I get anxious before my annual breast tests, especially on the day of. And then the next few days, while I’m awaiting results.

      Good luck to us all.

      about 1 month ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      I was taking night classes in San Diego. One of my classmates was a middle-aged Turkish woman that was married to a retired oil field worker-he called himself an oil man. She supported both of them as a seamstress. She had to catch a bus, transfer and walk all in the dark, so I started giving her a ride home. I'd go in for a few minutes and listen to her husband talk about his adventures and importance.

      One night, I got out of the car, and he grabbed my ponytail. He placed a snub nose revolver on my skull, just behind my upper ear. I froze. He said that he was going to kill me because I was a bad influence on his wife. I asked him if it was a snub nose police special. He said- Yes. I asked him if it was a .36 or .38 caliber. He asked -WHY?- because my Dad had a .36 cal, but the ammo was more expensive, so my Dad sold it. His wife started screaming about then- and I really got scared. I told her to SHUT UP-she was making him mad-he was also drunker than a skunk. He said that he liked me, and I asked him if I could see his gun.

      Sure--so he uncocked it and handed it to me. The first thing I did was to unload it, so it wouldn't go off. we went in and had coffee-talked about guns. I'm thankful that I didn't shake, as that might have set him off again.

      All I could think of was my poor little children--kindergarten and first grade. Who would take care of them? ---My mother and mother-in-law were both troubled women--MIL was an alcoholic and my mom was nuts and mean- My husband was in Viet Nam again- he was on his 4th tour as an advisor. His first tour was with the Australian navy before the Marines landed.

      I thank god for allowing me to go home to my children, and my husband coming home to us.

      about 1 month ago
    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      Um...meyati? You win the *scariest thing* post. ;-)

      about 1 month ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Meyati, I agree with Marcie.

      Marcie, your comment made me laugh.

      But we weren’t asked for our scariest time ever, only which we find scarier: scans, oncologist follow-ups, or regular doctor visits. :)

      about 1 month ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      @meyati, you definitely win the "scariest thing ever" but you also will the "adapt and overcome" award from me. Was your husband a Marine? Well that should say is your husband a Marine because once a Marine, always a Marine. Maybe he is still your husband or maybe not. I don't know. My husband retired from the Corps in 2004.

      @Carool, Meyati's story definitely put "Scary" in perspective for me.
      I really didn't mean for my question to be limited to my three sub-questions actually. So I completely appreciate Meyati's question. I have just been trying to keep my questions more cancer related, hoping that staying on topic will get more people to participate.
      I appreciate ALL of the answers here.

      @Teachertina- take those antibiotics and take them all. I have a friend who had a rough time with a dental issue recently. She's okay now, but she had an infection and it took a bit to get it resolved.

      about 1 month ago
    • Teachertina's Avatar
      Teachertina

      I will take them all! Tomorrow is the last day for them. They told me if I needed more to let them know. I’ll give it a day or two and see.

      about 1 month ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Legaljean- my husband was a Boatswain's Mate- sailor- Cajun Gulf Coast. He had a wonderful sense of the seas, rivers and bayous. You've seen those landing craft that carry the Marines to the landing zone on a beach? When he was still a 3rd class BM, they sent him to a training school, beginner's class intro. The 1st day, everyone but my husband broached-sideways, flipped upside down. My husband landed and he started rescue before the trainers went into action. They had him land again. The next day he was an unofficial instructor. He spent most of the summer training beginners and Intermediate. Winter came and he trained advanced and SEALs. He was able to meet and network with almost all of the Boats-Coxswains-enginemen and Marine officers and Gunnies. Then he was loaned out to the Aussie Navy for special riverine ops.

      My brother was the career Marine officer. He was also very much a hero

      about 1 month ago

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