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Worried About Recurrence

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momof2 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jun 09 2013 at 11:37pm
I have 12 more RADS left but feel leery about what's to come.  Doctors say I have clear margins and everything looks good but how do they really know.  I pray that I will not have a recurrence.  I will continue with my follow ups every three months with my chemo oncologist and radiation oncologist (just for first 6mths-year) and every six months with my surgical oncologist.  I'm happy I will have these follow ups but I want to know what the heck is happening internally!  I don't know if it's because I'm nearing the end of my treatment but I'm emotional right now.  I have a six year old son and college age son and I want to make sure I'm here for a VERY long time!  Everyone seems to tell me I look good for everything I've been through and I do my best to remain optimistic and read/watch comedy material, but I can't be "perfect" for everyone all the time. Does anyone else feel the same?

Edited by momof2 - Jun 09 2013 at 11:38pm
TNBC/ILCw/MedullaryFeatures 9/19/12/age39,Stage2b,Grade 3,4x4cm,InternalMammary 1.3x0.6cm,16 NodesRemoved/rb lumpectomy/ClearMargins 3/15/13,BRCA1/2 Neg,8x AM386/Taxol;4x A/C;34Rads6/26/13;NED5/18/16
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annafriday View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote annafriday Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 10 2013 at 1:18am
Hi...I am struggling with fear daily. I have two sons 13 and 16 and worry I may not be here for their next major life milestones.  I struggle with not wanting to finish chemo because of the way it makes me feel.   I also try my best to be optomistic but its hard sometimes. I am trying to live to the fullest and want to take road trips and do lots of family get togethers and appreciate what ever time I do have left.  I keep dreaming that some miracle cure will happen of course I know thats not realistic.
I agree comedy on tv is the way to go. I try and stay away from watching things that make me cry or stress me out.  I can't wait to be done with treatment and feel halfway like a normal person again!!
I pray for us all daily and l try my best to stay optomistic.
DX:3/20/13 right breast multifocal stage 3a TNBC. Bilateral Mastectomy 4-18-13 largest tumor 6.2cm. 1 microscopic sentinal node positive. KI-67 77%. ACx4..doing Taxol now x12 weekly.
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ann u View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ann u Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 10 2013 at 10:56am
What you are feeling is completely normal - especially given all that you have been through. And then when you are finished, your doctors seem to just send you on your way and tell you to go live your life.

One thing that I can recommend is to see a counselor and talk about your feelings. If your doctor is associated with a hospital, they usually have a social worker on staff that is good at helping patients deal with the whole range of emotions that come from having cancer. Counseling helped me put things in perspective, and I was also diagnosed as having mild depression - go figure!

Seven years ago, I had myself dead and buried, but I'm still here, doing well ( knock on wood). I've seen my two kids graduate from college, and celebrated when my daughter got married last month - all things that I feared I would not see.

There are no guarantees in life, and sometimes you need others to help you see that life is always good, no matter what we have to endure.

Ann
8/06: IDC 1cm, 0/9 lymph nodes, lumpectomy, Mammosite radiation, 4 x A/C
5/07: BRCA1+ (5382insC)
11/09: IDC 3mm, double mastectomy w/reconstruction

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote mainsailset Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 10 2013 at 1:44pm
I had my annual checkin just last Monday. I felt fine but then the TM came back at 43.5. It really threw me for a loop I have to admit. I stopped taking my adrenal support pills about a month ago and now I'm going to go back on them because of the stress.
 
Then yesterday I went for a hike and just missed getting bit by a rattler. I stood there, shaking, and thought, well while I'm panicing over a recurrence I almost step on a rattler! Since I was 2 miles from home and a hard hike out it seems perhaps I need to look where I'm walking instead of where I might have to walk.
 
I hate the fear that the word recurrance strikes in my heart. I hate that it tries to steal my dreams every time it taps on my shoulder. I hate that sometimes I forget to notice that it's a beautiful day and I have options that are fun. But I guess it's part of the job we face to put one foot forward, let the sun kiss our face, hear the laughter of our kids, enjoy the embrace of a loved one and, well, smell the flowers.
 
dx 7/08 TN 14x6.5x5.5 cm tumor

3 Lymph nodes involved, Taxol/Sunitab+AC, 5/09 dbl masectomy, path 2mm tumor removed, lymphs all clear, RAD 32 finished 9/11/09. 9/28 CT clear 10/18/10 CT clear
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cheeks View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cheeks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 10 2013 at 2:16pm
M, 

Well said, glad you missed the rattler. 

 I'm in my 4th year and just had a six month check-up last week. Liver enzymes are elevated more than last time. Doc has ordered an abdominal CT with contrast. She does not believe it's related to cancer...of course, where does my mind go regardless Ermm I'm just not letting it get out of hand. 

Glad you are starting your adrenal support again. Mine counts went up a little over a year ago...stress most likely but i was also having some hip and back pain - after all the tests and freak out it was arthritis. 

I know we have had other threads in the past on Fear of Recurrence (i think Judy started one) and discussions on scans versus no scans. I think, we will most likely always have that fear but hopefully, over time, we are not LIVING in fear every day. I remember feeling scared and insecure when my doctor moved me from 3 month visits to 6 month visits. I just had to tell myself a recurrence could or could not happen any day...more importantly, did i want to live each day worrying about it instead of enjoying each day.  It is an ongoing process for me.

Everything is blooming and tons of birds singing here in the mountains of North Carolina. We've had so much rain i may find parts of our garden down the hill in the woods. 

Blair




Edited by cheeks - Jun 10 2013 at 2:38pm
Lump found 11/08 @51
DX: 2/09 @52 TNBC
L. Mast. 3/26/09, SN-, BRCA-,
4.5 cm (post surgical)T2NOMO
Chemo: 4/09-10/09 Taxol x 12,
A/C x 4, No rad., No recon. NED 1/16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mindy555 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 10 2013 at 8:17pm
Really great post Mainy....   all so well said, and so.. well..  you.  Lovely.
Dx July 2011 56 yo
Stage I IDC,TN,Grade 3
Grew to Stage IIa- No ev of node involve- BRCA1+ chondroid metaplasia
Daughter also BRCA1+
Mass grew on Taxol
FEC 6x better
BMX 3/19/12 pCR NED
BSO 6/2012
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MayM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 11 2013 at 6:54am
@ann u
Your words are a blessing. I think you can make a great counselor. Indeed, most of the time, battling with cancer isn't only about how much you have or how many medicines you take, sometimes, the most effective way to fight it is to have strong emotional support especially when you are feeling down and depressed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote debB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 11 2013 at 10:02pm
I saw a new GP yesterday since mine moved on two years ago and I have been a bit too busy to worry about it. His words to me were "I suggest that you go out and live your life, enjoy it and move on". He went on to tell me that I MIGHT recur but that the chances were greater that it will not. Part of me wanted to say, I know, I know all the stats, etc and the other part of me wanted to say, really dude? You try it. Try it for one hour, one day, one week and then get back to me with your words of wisdom.

GREAT story Mainy! We just spent a week at Yosemite and the house we stayed at was further south, with rattlers on the property. I am so used to not watching when walking around our property but was really worried about my boys wandering around the place exploring! Thankfully (or disappointed if you are a young boy) we didn't see any!
Dx 4/29/11, 46 yrs old, 3.9 cm tumor, Stg 2 Grade 3 chemo 4 rounds DD AC, 12 weekly taxol, finish. Lumpectomy, 2mm residual tumor. 37 rounds rads completed. Cisplatin/PARP trial
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote denise07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 11 2013 at 10:17pm
deb,
I sure do agree with you one hundred percentmy mo says when you leave here look in your rear view mirror and keep on going okay I will until my next scan or appointment aproaches.
Mainy..great story sure glad that you dodged that snake you sure do have a good point there.
Blair.. good luck with your scan.
DX Idc 10/07,st2,gr3,2/6 lymphnodes
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lillie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 11 2013 at 10:23pm
Like ann u, 7 years ago I had myself dead and buried also.  Recently I made that statement to my husband and he was shocked.  He said he didn't know it affected me that much.
 
Having said that, he supported me all through treatment, all the past 7 years, but still cannot know the fear I have experienced.  Only those who have been there can truly understand.  I do believe a counselor is a good idea, if needed.  Also, support groups if there are any in your area.  Just being able to express your fear, verbally, helps.  You don't feel so alone with the fear if you can talk about it.  Also, coming here on this site and sharing all things, good or bad, happy or sad, helps so much. 
Keeping busy and being with other people, after treatment ends, helps also.  That way you can focus on other things, and that helps. 
We all know the fear you are talking about and I wish I had a magic potion, but honestly, if you let the fear control your every though, FEAR WINS.....   It really is "One Day At A Time" and try to "Stay In The Present."  Looking too far ahead will pull us down.
 
Good Luck and keep posting.  This is a Wonderful Support System.
 
God Bless,
Lillie
Dx 6/06 age 65,IDC-TNBC
Stage IIb,Gr3,2cm,BRCA-
6/06 L/Mast/w/SNB,1of3 Nodes+
6/06 Axl. 9 nodes-
8/8 thru 11/15 Chemo (Clin-Trial) DD A/Cx4 -- DD taxol+gemzar x4
No Rads.
No RECON - 11/2015-9 yrs NED
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Charlene Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 12 2013 at 7:39am
This isn't original, but I can't remember where I found it.  "Live as though the cancer will never return.  Whether it does or whether it doesn't, living any other way makes the disease the victor."  Less than a year after treatment, I came down with a stomach bug.  I was sure it was a recurrence.  What went through my mind at the time was my regret that I had wasted some precious "good health" days worrying about the possibility of recurrence.  I try not to do that any more--not always successful but I try.
Charlene
DX 3/10 @59 ILC/TNBC
Stage 1, Grade 2, Multifocal; Lumpectomy/re-excision
SNB 0/4 nodes, BRCA-; Taxotere/Cytoxan X4, 30 rads
3/14:NED
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