Home Now what? The highs and lows of survivorship

Breast Cancer Survivor - then why don't I feel like it

I've just passed my 5 year cancer journey so why don't I feel like jumping for joy.  I've been discharged by my oncologist and surgeon but now my anxiety has jumped up a notch even though I am on meds for this.  Is this normal and with time will it settle. Or is it because I don't have my 'safety net' of doctors now??? What helps please


  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 4,022
    i actually found things easier after five years - my pre-test jitters calmed considerably. But I continued to see my oncologist and surgeon annually - spaced so that I saw one of them every six months. I still do (nine years on). That’s partly because I get my annual mammogram at my surgeon’s centre, results while I wait and he sees them - and me - too! 

    Being discharged should be a good feeling, but for many it feels like a safety net has been removed. Most of us put ourselves completely in the hands of our medical team, so that sense of reliance is very normal. It may help to set up a check on your own request (mine costs me but I consider it money very well spent). Best wishes. 
  • CatNevCatNev Member Posts: 19
    Thank you for that Afraser. Think I'll ring oncologist to put me back on 1yearly check (money well spent as you say) to ease my mind. Already on yearly mammogram and ultrasounds .  
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 4,022
    Good! Sometimes we have to practice being happy and cheerful again, after a long period of anxiety. I saw a councillor briefly after my third long term side effect (all of which turned out to be perfectly manageable) and she gave me some really good bits of advice, which still come in useful during COVID. One was to spend some time outdoors each day, in the garden or on a balcony, whatever. Have a cup of something. Don’t think, just breathe. Helps reset the mind a bit, we often think too much about things we can’t do anything about. Best wishes. 
  • TonyaMTonyaM Member Posts: 2,745
    Hi @CatNev, it can be mixed emotions when your medical team breaks up with you. On one hand it’s great that they aren’t worried about you anymore- a good sign.But then who will check you- you’ve been cast adrift.I still see my breast surgeon yearly after my mammogram and that’s 11yrs on.She palpates my chest and personally looks at my Mammo films.That gives me peace of mind.I asked her ‘how much longer’?and she said forever! I’m probably funding her next holiday!
  • TasiaTasia Sydney, NSWMember Posts: 122
    Hi @CatNev, I get what you are saying and I believe we each use words (survivor, warrior, etc) to comfort and heal.
    They donʻt work for all of us and sometimes, we search for language that is better suited to our needs (thatʻs me).You may find that a useful exercise.

    Cancer doesnʻt necessarily have the upper hand, you have been medically cleared by the gurus :-)
    Cancer occupies a chapter in our story (as does chemo, surgery, rad etc) and I feel it always will yet when we get to a point where our chapters grow and there is distance from where we were to where we are now, cancer is no longer a protagonist but a mere passer-by, a character from the past. Plough forward and start your new chapter  <3
  • CatNevCatNev Member Posts: 19
    So very true, just need to tell my subconscious that 😀😀 thankyou 
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