I'm 23 years old - last month I was diagnosed with TCC in the bladder and had it removed. It was Stage 1 and my future treatment is thankfully only a cystocscopy (spelling might be off on that one!) in 3 months to check if it has returned, then at 9 months, then every 12 months. The diagnosis was a huge shock for me, as we were just ultrasounding my abdomen as a precaution - my doctors believe I might be coeliac due to some bloating and pain. This came in the midst of house hunting with my boyfriend of 5 years, and car shopping. Everything going on in my life was all about growing up, moving out. That's all come to a halt. Now, I feel frozen. I have had many areas of my body checked since out of paranoia, and have only the colonoscopy and endoscopy to go. Even if they are both clear, as were my other tests, I can't stop my mind from thinking, "where else is it? where will it come back? Will I notice it? Will I catch it? How old will I be when I die?" I know this is a ridiculous mindset to those suffering from more severe cancers than mine - I know mine is trivial compared to those struggling with cancers like lung, breast, prostate etc. but I can't stop my mind from wandering. So I guess my question is...how do you deal with that? Once you're 'over it'...then how do you move on from it? How do you talk with your family, who to them it is all over and you're 100% healthy, that you can't get those thoughts out of your head? I still don't know what has been causing the bloating (testing for coeliac in a few weeks) and I have this huge fear - what if I buy a house with my partner, then suddenly it returns and it's so bad that I leave him struggling with a mortgage on his own in a house all on his own? Am I just paranoid?
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Hi Nicole, MNy name is Patrick and have a daughter with very similar circumstances to your own. My daughter Amy is 24 and buying a house with her partner Shane at North Lakes. Amy and Shane are to be married in 6 weeks - mid August - and Amy was diagnosed with bowel cancer 12 months ago... Amy has started a blog and finds it very good to say how SHE feels and to voice HER feelings in her own words, she is very concerned about her partner Shane whom she is so in love with, and how he will cope on his own. Amy is a beautiful person and and has questions the same as you. maybe.. my invitation to you to say hello to Amy will be good for you as it would be for Amy. Amy's blog is http://amykeaney.wordpress.com Nice to talk to you Nicole, I wish I could help you more, Kind Regards Patrick Keaney
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Hi Nicole, I was diagnosed with Uterine Cancer whilst undergoing treatment for Auto Immune haemolytic Anemia In 2011. Fortunately they discovered it in early stage 1, and a radical hysterectomy successfully removed all traces of the cancer which had not made it into my lymphatic system. That meant I didn't have to have chemo or radiation treatments. The whole process took less than a month from hysterascope to hysterectomy, which left me second guessing everything. Were they sure they got it all? Why didn't I have chemo, just to make sure?.....you know the list. I am single and live alone, and my family did the 'it's all over now and life has returned to normal' routine. They did not understand how a person who has just gone through all of that (even for such a short period) has all the self doubt and paranoia to deal with while they attempt to get everything straight in their own mind. This resulted in a significant blowout at Christmas that year, from which my family relationships are only now beginning to recover. The Cancer Coucil put me in touch with a psychologist who specialises in counselling cancer survivors and their families. I opted to take these sessions which were very useful in helping me deal with my families attitudes (my siblings and their families are very self absorbed and my condition was an inconvenience) and my feelings that maybe something has been missed in my diagnosis and treatment. I am not saying that you are experiencing the same attitude from your family, but a psychologist may be able to help you with feelings of 'survivors guilt' and questioning every little twinge or body change. It is approaching my second anniversary since my diagnosis, and whilst they have not completely gone away, the feelings of self doubt and paranoia are nowhere near as strong now as they were initially. Everybody copes and deals with things differently. I hope that this outline of my experiences helps you with your choices as you navigate your way through post op cancer recovery. Best wishes, and look out for yourself Nicole. The Rowan
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Hi Nicole Welcome and I am glad you have found us. I am one of the Cancer Survivorship team. The thoughts and feelings you are having are all really normal and lots of survivors experience them - it doesn't make you paranoid. It can be especially hard when friends and family think you should just get over it and get on with it. That isn’t so easy. We have just run the first of a 2 session workshop in Sydney on “sh!t cancer dumps on you” developed for young adults aged 18-45 who have finished their treatment. We are hoping to have some discussion around the stuff that was discussed at the workshop here on Cancer Connections. You can find some more information about some of the things you are dealing with here http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/get-support/when-treatment-finishes/ Hang in there and go easy on yourself Pauline
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Thank you all for your kind comments. It makes me feel a little less alone to know that others have similar feelings.
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