Worrying about return

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2016, had a mastectomy (no reconstruction offered) plus chemotherapy. The last time I saw my oncologist she said there was no detectable active cancer showing. This sounds good news, but I’m constantly thinking ‘what if it comes back? Is that ache or pain a sign of a problem?’ Some days are better than others but going through a low time just now
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  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 734 ✭✭✭✭
    Hi, sorry to hear you are in a low place just now. Be assured that is normal and we all do it. Your 'worries' are not unusual either, but it is much better to take them to a Dr to be checked out. If you are on medication you may be experiencing side effects from them. If you are in the UK your hospital/breast cancer nursing team may run or have access to a Moving Forward course run by Breast Cancer Care. It is designed to help us move forward after cancer, covers a range of topics. Happy to chat if you'd like to and I hope you are able to feel better soon, you have come through a terrible time, don't be so hard on yourself. 
  • JaneyBJaneyB Posts: 8
    I would echo comments by Subshinedaff. It does take time and I felt the same for several years post cancer. I am 8 years clear and I can honestly say I don’t think about it any more. You mention that you weren’t offered reconstruction and I wondered whether it would be worth exploring with your consultant because it might make you more confident about the future. 
  • PML263PML263 Posts: 4
    Strangely enough my GP raised her eyebrows quite recently that my surgeon had just said ‘no there won’t be reconstruction’. I guess I’ve just accepted his decision......
    I think my problems are actually related to the Tamoxifen I have to take- might be time to have a chat with the oncologist again?
  • hessomhessom Posts: 110 Community Admin
    PML263 said:
    Strangely enough my GP raised her eyebrows quite recently that my surgeon had just said ‘no there won’t be reconstruction’. I guess I’ve just accepted his decision......
    I think my problems are actually related to the Tamoxifen I have to take- might be time to have a chat with the oncologist again?
     Hi PML, firstly welcome to the Community! This sounds like something that has been weighing on your mind for a while? Which I can imagine it would!

    I would say, if in doubt,  speak with your doctor! Especially if it will help ease your mind a little!
  • PML263PML263 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the replies- I think like lots of other folks when you finish surgery & treatment that’s when you start overthinking or feeling a bit isolated. 
  • hessomhessom Posts: 110 Community Admin
    PML263 said:
    Thanks for the replies- I think like lots of other folks when you finish surgery & treatment that’s when you start overthinking or feeling a bit isolated. 
    I think mindfulness can help with this. It's something I try, and even though I'm not very consistent with it, I do still feel that even the odd 10 minutes can ease my mind and day, or even at night before going to bed. @August16 ; shared a great link to mindfulness for sleep in this topic (https://community.livebetterwith.com/cancer/discussion/comment/179#Comment_179) and I'll try find some similar ones that give little short 10 minutes mindfulness sessions :) (you can always try the headspace app which is great and gives you a 10 day free trial)
  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 734 ✭✭✭✭
    Hi @PML263 ;

    Just wondered how you were doing? Hope you are feeling in a better place now. Did you get to see Dr about your meds?  I do understand how you feel with worries over cancer returning. Not knowing if a particular ache or pain or whatever else, is a 'normal' part of recovery of treatment or surgery can be concerning. Have you given any more thought about bringing up possible reconstruction with the Dr? I was surprised that you weren't offered this actually. I decided not to in the end, but at least I had the possibility, and it was my decision. Hope you are having a good day. Lou x
  • PML263PML263 Posts: 4
    Thank you for asking about me. I’m in a better place mentally probably due to my doctor prescribing me morphine patches to ease the aches & pains. I think if you’re in pain everything seems worse.....
    Xx
  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 303 mod
    Hi @PML263

    Glad you have improved, I agree with you, being in pain does intensify feelings and emotions, makes it much harder to stay positive and not let yourself get down. Hopefully the morphine patches will continue to bring some relief.
    Hope you have a good day, take care.

    x
  • LJMLJM Posts: 7
    Yes, so scary wondering if it will come back.  Try not to think about it too much, not to google on it too much,  and to keep positive.  I know not easy.  Good luck.
  • RobertARobertA Posts: 541 ✭✭✭✭
    Hi @LJM ;

    Welcome to our group, I have read all of your very positive posts which are so inspiring, especially as you were up early unlike me. 💤

    Yes, I think a cancer diagnosis is different from any other and once you have had it, the question will always be there.  You are so right, googling is not a great idea, though tempting. It is just too easy to look at the worst scenario and imagine that is your situation. 

    I have posted quite a bit about anxiety and depression, both of which I have suffered. Fortunately, I had help from my doctor and the wonderful MacMillans  and my wife and I are now able to live in the moment and have some fun. We allow ourselves regular little treats and trips and make sure we always have something to look forward to. 

    The 'What's on Your Mind Today'  section has a link set up by @Lesley called 'Us as People not the Disease' which is fun and worth a look. 

    Rob x 
  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 734 ✭✭✭✭
    Hi @LJM ;

    Lovely to have you here with us, a very warm welcome to you! =) 
    I loved reading your posts this morning, they are really helpful and insightful. Thank you,

    I definitely agree with you about googling! Nothing ever good came from googling symptoms I find. Far too easy to diagnose ourselves with every disease under the sun. Not to be recommended! :#

    Hope to see you here again soon.

    Lou x

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 734 ✭✭✭✭
    Hi @PML263 ;

    I was wondering how you were doing? 
    How are you feeling, I hope the morphine patches have been really effective in controlling the pain you were suffering from. I know when I was on Tamoxifen my bones and joints got even worse (they were already bad from the chemo), since I had to change to Letrozole, I haven't noticed it getting worse, which some people say, but perhaps that's because it was so bad anyway! :# 

    I do hope things are improving for you.

    Lou x
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