I am new to this Forum but would like to say Hello!
I have been out of cancer treatment now for 4.5 years (yah) and on the whole am very happy. i have a lovely husband and 2 gorgeous (but loud!) little babies aged 2.5 year and 15 weeks.
I try not to think about the cancer coming back and get on with life - however in the past few days i have been really struggling with it, especially thinking what would happen to my babies if things took a turn for the worst. i am not sure what has triggered as my 6 month check-ups have been fine. i think life is just so good right now and just want it to stay that way. maybe it's my post preganncy hormones!!
i am just intersted if anyone else gets 'disaster flashes' occassionally and how best you handle it.
My understanding is that it is quite common to have such feelings quite sometime after ceasing treatment, or certainly after the diagnosis. One colleague of mine had some psychological help a few years after treatment and her counsellor described the symptoms she had as typical post traumatic stress disorder - yes PTSD - flashback, disasters feelings the lot. Hardly surprising after the trauma we have been through!
In my own case it was ten years after diagnosis when I just felt as the monster in a room in my mind was threatening top break out of that room and all I was doing was frantically nailing planks across the door trying to stop it get out. I saw a psychologist and it really helped.
If you see your GP they can arrange, through the better outcomes for mental health scheme for you to have yup to twelve session with a psychologist on medicare. As others on this site will tell you it is well worth doing and that was my experience.
Any fool can carry on, but a wise man knows how to shorten sail in time. Joseph Conrad
I agree with Sailor.
I finished treatment 3 years ago and onlu started having ssome counselling earlier this year.That and the anti=ds have really helped.
At the moemnt I am working huge hours and really tired but I will get back to you on this as it is one of my hobby horses.
thnaks for your comments - that is great news re the medicare rebates / counselling! it is something that i have been thinking about for a while, so will book an appointment with the GP.
Enjoy the weekend.
Sorry it's taken a while but wanted to have a think.
I thought I was mad until I found this site and realsied that my crazy thoughts were quite"normal" for those of us in the survivor community.
It took me some time (18 months after 7 months of chemo)to finally seek professional help.
My circumstances were that my husband and teenage sons considered that treatment was over, tests results were good - we've done cancer - move on.
I really struggled with what my psych termed cognitive dissonance and recurrence phobia. The cognitive dissonance related to how my values had altered because of cancer but others around me carried on in the same way. The recurrence phobia was the irrational fear of recuurence. Everything was pointing to a full recovery but every "niggle" as I called it sent me into a spin back to my GP.
The counselling and the anti-ds have helped enormously.
My depression is much more controlled and my anxiety is still there but manageable.
Please be assured that your feelings are "normal" and it is something that I feel is left unaddressed in this world of cancer. The transition from sick - well is not as easy as people would like to believe.
Try reading the book "Two Years to Normal" by Karen Lebovitch (I think). I found that I related to a lot of what she dealt with.
Good luck with it all and stay in touch here as many of us have similar experiences.
Enjoy your babies,
As the others have stated, it is very normal to feel the way that you do. I am out 10 years from my cancer, but only one year out from my last op to remove pre-cancerous polyps - has been a long journey - and although it has been a big improvement for my future health (physical) I have found it has provided a mix of feelings during this last 12 months. I too had big "it's come back" feelings in the first 4-5 years, every little cough, loss of energy (probably due to not enough exercise) and that sort of thing, but that feeling has definitely faded to a great extent. It doesn't matter what any professional (ie. doctor, nurse, etc) says, the feelings take a long to to fade, I have found that if I acknowledge the feeling and then put it to the back of my mind, then I can live with them. After 10 years the feeling of the cancer returning has been locked firmly away.
So, don't feel like you are inadequate or that "you shouldn't be feeling like this", it is all very normal.
As Samex says, this site is a fantastic place to "normalize" what you are feeling and dealing with.
Good luck and lots of kind thoughts,
thanks for all your comments - they certainly helped and i feel much better about things. looking back i had a very very wobbly week and i am sure it was triggered by 2 things.
Firstly i had a dodgy looking mole which i kept staring at convincing myself it was something nasty and rather showing it to the doctor (took me 2 months to get to him!) i just kept trying to push it to the back of my mind which kind of just festered there... when i finally went to have it checked out it was a harmless cyst and a whole weight lifted off my shoulders!
Then secondly i surfed on the internet and saw some reoccurance stats on the cancer i had had which didn't look too favourable (50%)...
so big lesson for me, and my top tips for staying positive are- go to the doc and no surfing on sites as we have individual stories....
i am still planning on speaking with the Doc next week as i think counselling is an excellant idea.
hope this email finds you all well
Glad you are feeling better. I am a Dr.Google culprit as well and it really doesn't do us any good to look at stats.
Tyr not to take 2 months to see your GP for the mental health assessment!!
Take care, Samex
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.