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    sgmom asked a questionCervical Cancer

    In remission, but still living in fear

    11 answers
    • HeidiJo's Avatar
      HeidiJo

      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 4 years ago
    • Reeree's Avatar
      Reeree

      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 4 years ago
    • msbuller's Avatar
      msbuller

      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 4 years ago
  • sgmom's Avatar

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    sgmom asked a questionCervical Cancer

    In remission, but still living in fear

    5 answers
    • Clyde's Avatar
      Clyde

      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 4 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar
      AlizaMLS

      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 4 years ago
    • fiddler's Avatar
      fiddler

      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 4 years ago
  • sgmom's Avatar

    sgmom wrote on carm's wall

    Hello carm! I had lymph node dissection with my radical hysterectomy on 2/11. Last night my gyn onc told me to go to the ER to check for blood clots when I reported that my inner groin had all of a sudden swelled up. Everything checked out fine with the ultrasound and the ER doc said the swelling was normal given the circumstances. Just looking for a second opinion as I was reading up on lymphedema. My post-op follow up is scheduled for Wednesday. Any feedback is appreciated!

    3 Comments
    • carm's Avatar
      carm

      Sgmom, I am so sorry to hear of the discomfort you are going through, and although your gyne/onc is right to err on the side of caution by having you go to the ER; the ER physician is correct...this is a normal occurance post hysterectomy w/lymph node dissection. The swelling and associated pain could last for awhile, so be sure to have ibuprofen in the house. I am not sure if it was you I suggested this to but, if it was not, you should check out a website called Hyster Sisters at hystersisters.com and you will see many women with a similar experience. A lot has to do with the function of the lymph nodes. I don't want to bore you, so in a nutshell, the lymph system has two parts to it; one under pressure, and one not under pressure. The under pressure part is your circulation system. Your heart pumps the blood and that is how it circulates, under the pressure of the heart muscle. The second part is not under presssure, and is like the drain in your home. Lymph nodes are a part of the system not under pressure. Like the plumbing in your home, water comes to your tap under pressure and the excess water not used goes down the drain, gets purified, and then returns to your house plumbing system. In the body, your veins and arteries will leak excess fluid out, and this fluid gets directed to the nearby nodes to purify it and then return it to the circulation system via the thoracic duct. If you remove nodes or temporarily stop their function, that fluid builds up until it gets redirected. Until it is redirected, swelling occurs as that excess fluid accumulates. Eventually the fluid will find another route to a nearby lymph but until then, this is the result of a lymph node dissection. It may take 6 months or more or it may take less; each case is different. I read from your page that your hysterectomy showed no malignancy so that is great! I don't know what your next step is as each doc has their own method. Some will treat prophylactically, and some prefer the "watchful wait" therapy and just monitor you for changes. I am always here should you have any questions. A cool compress will help with the swelling, NO HEAT, as heat draws blood flow to the site and that will increase the pain and throbbing. If you should have any more questions please do not hesitate to contact me. I hope this answer puts your mind at ease. My best to you, Carm.

      over 4 years ago
    • sgmom's Avatar
      sgmom

      Thanks, carm. The swelling isn't as magnified anymore. :) ! This info comes from my doctor friend whom I gave the ok to review my path report. "The path report from the surgery showed no residual cancer. The LEEP must have gotten it all. There were dysplastic cells which are pre cancer thus the reason you still needed hysterectomy.". Here's hoping the hyst got rid of everything!

      over 4 years ago
    • carm's Avatar
      carm

      sgmom,
      I assume your friend gave you that opinion prior to your surgery as your original post stated you had a hysterectomy. She is correct to advise the surgery. In my experience in gyne cancers, if you are going to be overly cautious with any gyne cancer, it should be with cervical cancer. As long as your doc continues to monitor you with paps, you should be okay. Dysplasia cells are the pre-cancerous and they have a way of becoming a nuisance. Some diseases that arise from viruses are tough because a virus is a living organism that knows how to survive. I don't know if your dysplasia is a product of a virus, but I am glad that you have a friend to advise you with your best interests at heart. I am so pleased that the swelling has subsided, and with all that you have endured behind you, it is time you go on and enjoy the life waiting for you. I hope and wish nothing but the best for you. Leave the worry to your doctor, the problems of this world to us old folks, and do what all those your age are meant to do; find the joy in life and paint the world with it. If you should ever need anything, I am always here, Carm.

      over 4 years ago