by sherlaud on Mon Jan 03, 2011 02:22 AM
It's been almost a year since I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I've had my first "checkup" and so far, so good!! Instead of being relieved and happy I am feeling somewhat abandoned, confused and extremely frightened!! Cancer seems like a cloud that hangs over my head constantly and I can't seem to "get on with my life" - feel like I am waiting for something but don't know what..... I take a lot of anti-depression and anti-anxiety medications, but still feel scared!! I cry and pace and cry somemore.... Friends and family see me as "cured" and expect me to be like I was "before". I try, but am failing miserably.....there is so much out there for you when going thru treatment, but it just all "ends" when your treatments are finished - trouble is it doesn't "end" for me!!! Does anyone worry so over supposedly being a "cancer survivor"??? I HATE that term........ I DO NOT have the feeling of relief I would have expected, I do not feel I have "survived". I truly expected to be so happy and grateful for this upcoming New Year, 2010 was horrible, but, really nothing has changed....I am still scared, still tired, still emotional, still in pain, still "needy", still reminded every day I had (have???) cancer, but now I'm "on my own" and not sure where to turn. I am rambling - sorry - no one else to listen to me anymore......too morbid.......I feel guilty even for expressing that I "feel" this way!! I SHOULD be grateful!!!!!????? What is WRONG with me?????
by elliemae1952 on Wed Jan 05, 2011 03:53 AM
Sorry you are feeling the way you are feeling. I am a breast cancer survivor dxd in 1993..that was a long time ago and I remember crying in the dark. I also used to like to go on walks in the rain....it allowed my tears to flow without being self conscious. You have been through a lot.... I remember the assault on my cancer...but I always felt as if nobody was paying attention to ME...It is a lonely journey....it gets much better....each passing period when tests come back clear....and then you learn how to exhale again....I never went to therapy...I think I would have benefited....I have never been that sort of person. I just would suck it up and paint a smile on my face. Good luck. The gratefulness that you think you should be feeling....well, it comes in little steps. I kept a diary. It helped at the time to put my thoughts down. I recently found the diary and when I started reading it....well, I just didn't "connect" anymore with that person...I guess I moved on. The cancer gets the treatment....not the person. But, I used it as an opportunity to develop a new me...I am stronger, more confident....I pray that you'll be feeling better soon....but, be patient....it comes in small bits and pieces. Good Luck.
by sherlaud on Wed Jan 05, 2011 08:42 PM
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE WISDOM OF YOUR EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe I'm being unrealistic, but I just want all this OVER!!!!!!!!!! I want to forget for a "little" while............
by ifeelurpain on Thu Feb 03, 2011 04:26 PM
i went thru the same thing. I did not expect to experience the emotional pain I went thru after my double mastectomy. I went thru all of it suffering in silence. I never expressed to anyone how I felt inside. I was screaming inside. I had just gone thru a divorce and was in a new realtionship. I was determined to look strong, but inside I could feel myself breaking down. I had no idea who to turn to. When I told my doctor, they just put me on anti depressants that seemed to make things worse. Even other cancer survivors could not relate! Some helped , but most just encouraged me the best way they knew how. Another person cannot relate to your feelings, we all deal with life our own way. The only thing that helped me was I went back to church. I asked God to help me thru this. I start to ask God to lift my spririt from this dreadful place, to heal me. Little by little I started to feel His presence, His peace, I felt renewed. I pray that you will find hope and peace and healing. Take the time to pray. I don't know if you are a spiritual person, but sometime we try everything else but that. Please try the one thing that I know works. Jesus Christ is the Great Physician and can heal all our wounds, emotional and physical. May God Bless..
by sherlaud on Fri Feb 04, 2011 02:50 PM
Thank you for replying........ As I look at the "very few" that have replied, I wonder if I AM different.......or else people either DO feel happy, grateful and like a "survivor" - OR, they won't, can't, don't admit their feelings and fears..........maybe too painful to discuss???????? I've prayed and even ask my priest to pray for me........had friends add me to prayer lines.........light candles for me.......ALL that stuff, doesn't seem to help much. Guess I need to "GET OVER IT" (and myself) and deal with it!!??........
by Pixie67 on Fri Feb 04, 2011 03:37 PM
I know exactly how you feel. I feel cancer patients are robbed of a normal life after completeing their treatment. Don't get me wrong, I thank God everyday for giving me "one more day". But after having cancer I had to worry about every pain, bump, bruise, etc. I survived cancer 2x and i am currently going through it a third time, as it came back in my bones. I was diagnosed the first time in 93, then I got it in the other breast in 08. At that time I had a mastectomy and hysterectomy and the tram reconstruction. I guess at that point I felt relief. Since the breasts were gone and the ovaries, I figured what in the world could happen next. Well in '10 my back started huring and I already knew it. I lived in denial for 3 months and decided it was time to go to the oncologist. She did the standard tests and guess what, spine, liver and ribs all have lesions on them.
Luckily for me I have a wonderful support team. Husband, kids, family and the best friends in the world. I cry alot, mostly to my friends and behind closed doors. I am scared out of my mind. I find that praying does help and I feel as if a burden has been lifted off of my shoulders. I have to understand, it is up to God. He is the only person who knows what his plan has for me.
I have been told to go to therapy. I found out that a best friend is as good as paid therapy. I go to church off and on, and I find myself crying there. I also pray. I try to be positive when I can, but realistically I can't be happy go lucky all of the time. Dr's might be able to cure some of the cancers, but Dr's can't cure what it does to the mind and sould.
I am hear to listen. I know how you feel. Just don't let it rob and consume you of everything.
by sillytrucker on Fri Feb 04, 2011 03:39 PM
by PopPop on Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:07 PM
I don't often venture out of the Head and Neck section, but came across your post today. Valid replies so far. It appears that you are one month out from your original post, hopefully, you are feeling a bit better.
I would say that, what you are feeling, we all have felt exactly the same way at one time or another. I have had to fight this twice so far. Yes, we will look over our shoulders for some time, if not , forever. How we deal with it, is each person's ability to deal with the stress of knowing we had to fight this beast to start with.
Do I have any great words of Wisdom? I am not sure, yes, I held a pity party for myself one night, it just hit me like a ton of bricks and I weep like a baby for an hour striaght. My dear wife was down stairs watching TV luckily. I gathered myself and told myself that I would deal with whatever came my way.
Our mind is a powerful tool in all this. Our mind controls how we feel, and how we feel controls how we react. I found that if I wake up and put myself in a positive mind set, my day goes well. Yes, there are days that for some reason, I wake up with a Burr on my Butt for some reason and then I tell myself, "what the heck am I mad at?". When I shave each morning, I have the reminder of my radical neck disection. But I switch to something else, like, what do I want to do today? Can I be a better person then I was yesterday. Yes, I can.
I give myself a little job to do each day, it might be really small, like sorting out a shelf in the basement. Now I feel like I did something. I'm an old Marine, so I enjoy helping with the Toys 4 Tots during the Christmas Season. Get involved in something you LIKE to do.
I apoligize for the long post.
My Best to You and Everyone Here
by ifeelurpain on Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:41 PM
What a great attitude to face each day with. This is how we should look at life even if we are not stricken with illness. I think part of the problem with most of us is we have very high expectiations of life. Part of this is the media. We watch too much tv and read too many ads. We think there is more to life than just a simple day. A healthy normal day. Life is a gift from God. What we do with it is our gift to him. Make the most of it even if it is just cleaning out a junk drawer. What is happiness?? Everyone has their own definition anyway!
Phillipians 4:12 I have learned the secret of being content in every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want, I can do everything through him who give me strength.
May you find this super natural strenght that only comes from Jesus Christ!
by fiftyskayt on Thu Mar 10, 2011 05:52 AM
I have just joined the forum & this is my first post. I had Nasopharyngeal cancer in 2002.I did worry about every little pain & lump I got for a long time, but with the love & support from my new husband, as well as every alternative medication we could find, I have stayed clear of cancer. Having a positive, happy mind, & giving your body everything you can to stay healthy so you can fight cancer, helps & can do miracles. Though I had to remind my husband that I was not over the weaknesses I had from all the treatments, for a long time after, he now knows I'm not invincible, & I still need to rest & look after myself to stay healthy. In time if your a fighter the sadness will go & you'll come through it a stronger person.The other main factor that helped me was not drugs or religion, though if you need religion it can help, what helped me was connecting with my soul. Religion can help people to connect with their soul in a different way, but for me nature is god, not an individual being. Once I connected with my soul I connected with nature, then I found I didn't fear death. I did feel sadness for the one person who loved me more than his own life, if I were to die, & that made want me fight even more to live.I think when we die, we go to a beautiful loving place where there is no fear, no pain & no worries, that is for those who have been the best they can be in this life, & who have admitted to doing anything, they might have done wrong, & tried to make it right again. So if your a good honest person you don't need to fear death.You should fined a good counsellor, some one who understands, & does not try to drug you up, & just talk & cry till you can't anymore. When you have started to mentally heal, you need to fined something you can do, that you enjoy, but have the energy to do, maybe something you have always wanted to do, but never had time. I've done lots of things these last 9 years & right now I'm learning to read music, & play the recorder, which is something I have always wanted to do.I do still talk about my cancer, but like others, my husband, who has been there all the way, sometimes wants to think of me as being well, I don't think he wants to think I might not be 100% well, I don't blame him for that.
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