Anxious about its return

ShorelleShorelle Member Posts: 80
Hi , I know there is so much support on here and when Im feeling anxious I seem to come here but Im reading so many recurrences Im thinking its making me more fearful than I am already. When the doctors give you your % of survival rate over 10 years. (This stat has stuck in my mind) They don't tell you the recurrence rate and now Im thinking things are much worse. Im ready of all these ladies on here where its coming back Im starting to think the stats cant be right. Also if this chemo to hopefully mop up any lurking cells - does it really work when it seems to come back in so many. This fear is consuming and if Olivia Newton John gets it back even though she has her own centre Im wondering what hope I have. Sorry I know this is morbid and there are people here where it has come back. I wish there was a solution to this. I just want to fix it. 


  • LMK74LMK74 BrisbaneMember Posts: 674
    I guess nobody knows why some people's cancer returns and others don't. I think it's just pot luck and we all are aware it could come back. Nothing is set in  stone unfortunately. We have to just try live each day as it comes. No easy answers I'm afraid.
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,754
    Shorelle, perhaps it's worth considering that  the rate of recurrence may not be that high, but that those of us who have  had recurrences may be more likely to hang out in places like this. It's also worth remembering that recurrences are not the same as metastatic disease. 
    Cancer sucks, and if it was a matter of just having treatment then forgetting about it the whole world wouldn't be so concerned about getting it in the first place. 
    If you aren't already seeing a counselor or psychologist, I'd recommend you track one down. We get fixated on what is happening under our shirts and neglect what is happening between our ears. Maintaining your mental health iscimportant too. This is the view from the window of the Otis home I'm staying in at the moment--a bit f a break away can really help too.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 1,480
    As a dyed in the wool fixer, I empathise Shorelle with your need to do something! One of the hardest lessons of cancer is recognising that not all things can be fixed and that focussing on what you can't fix is counter productive. I spent far too much time pre cancer worrying about things that didn't happen. No, I haven't suddenly become perfect but I am a bit better at realising that such behaviour is pretty pointless. Zoffiel is right, everyone here is talking about some aspect of cancer - how much did you talk about that before you were diagnosed? It's the focus just as much, possibly more, than the recurrences which can obsess us. We have all skirted something lethal - let's enjoy what we have instead of burdening ourselves with too many what ifs. I too saw a counsellor for a short time - she was immensely helpful in the refocusing on what is really important. Best wishes.
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,333
    Hi!  hope you are feeling a little better this morning.  There is nothing wrong for your mind to wallow and wonder about what if, however. as long as you pull yourself out of it. We can't be worrying about something that may not occur.
    @Zoffiel is taking time out to rejuvenate at an Otis Foundation retreat - perhaps you could look at that for yourself.  Perhaps a conversation with a Counsellor may help put things into perspective.  We are all here helping out where we can. At times we find ourselves in the thought process that you spoke of.  It's a so and so however what are the chances?  It is a heightened awareness that we have as we negotiate this roller coaster. I'm looking for the final stop where I can get off and they say hey you're now in the clear!  

    Please be kind to yourself and put time into now, coping with treatment and look for good things like the Look Good Feel Better program and the opportunity for a free holiday at an Otis Retreat.

    Take care and sending you a virtual hug xx 
  • Summerhill38Summerhill38 VictoriaMember Posts: 728
    Hi Shorelle
    You are not alone as we all go through these thoughts at one time or other.  Some of us don't worry too much but still get anxious at the annual check-up time.  It is a normal reaction and sometimes others around simply don't see the problem - so we come on here for info and support.  Reading too much into what is said (as the writer is most often very absorbed in what they are experiencing) can be an issue for you.  Please try not to worry about what might not happen to you.  You are being treated by your medical team in the best possible way and you have to put your body in their hands.  Your mind is a powerful thing as per the theme from "Time".
    I hope this brings you some sense of peace and the ability to cope with your thoughts.
    Hugs  Summer  :-)

  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,184
    The fear if the cancer will return is perfectly normal. Reading about others put us in doubt about our own treatment. I know it was one of my constant thoughts at the beginning. 

    My treatment needed to be stopped early and it was terrifying for me to think what that may mean. 

    But....slowly slowly I started to have less thoughts about it. I started to think of myself as a survivor. guarantees. Yes I still worry about every damn twinge being metastases. But it is now in the background, not the foreground. 

    We don't know if we are going to be one of the ones who it never returns for. We dont know if it will, when it will be if it does, if it can be treated easily etc etc. 
    But I do know that only thinking those thoughts all the time will make your life a misery. 

    So how to switch. Self talk. Tell yourself you are a survivor. ..because you are.
    Tell yourself you will reclaim your life...because you will...if you choose to.

    These things we can control. And we are worth the self care it takes to make us feel happy again. Because why? ...We are all worth that. Kath x

  • KatyJoyKatyJoy Rowville victoriaMember Posts: 155
    Hi Shorelle, I think we all feel as you are feeling. I don't know if it helps to think of it this way, but it does for me, we are now part of a group that will be under regular surveillance for the rest of our lives, and if this bastard does come back, it will be found quickly and dealt with quickly. Kate
  • Carissa_BCNACarissa_BCNA Moderator Posts: 50
    Hi @Shorelle I just thought I would jump in here to let you know that BCNA have some resources on fear of cancer recurrence including a fact sheet and two videos, available here 
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 3,059
    @Shorelle I think you share and voice what we all think and feel. I can honestly say at my first diagnosis, I did all treatment recommended and I literally moved on, yes I did my yearly checkup with my Surgeon but I NEVER ever thought about recurrence at all. Until it happened at the 4 year mark, completely blindsighted and nobody can tell why it happened. I am now 2yrs post 2nd diagnosis, did different treatment then. I can tell you this...I DO NOT worry or think about a Recurrence again as I've taken and done all the things possible to make sure. I know...there's nothing more so I figure, I'm not losing 1 Second of my life worrying about something that may or may not happen...its taken up 6yrs of my life...that's enough I say!! It's not being ignorant to possibilities, if anything I think Im alot wiser on it all now and have limitations on what I will do from hereon. 

    I say, it's not what happens to's how we stand up and deal with it, for everything in life. I spend more time now thinking about the things that make ME happy, nobody else...toughest thing in the world. Something Ive learned through the whole thing, be absolutely true to you...and don't waste a minute on the what ifs focus on NOW get through what you have to, and enjoy all the wonderful things you want to do and with who in your life. :) Hugs xoxo Melinda 
  • ShorelleShorelle Member Posts: 80
    Such very wise words. Xxxx
  • adeanadean Member Posts: 1,019
    Im 5  years post and l still worry occasionaly especialy around test time but hey lm still here lol
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