Facing Cancer Recurrence, PTSD & Acknowledging Mental Health

Posted by Merry, Volunteer Mentor @merpreb, Dec 6, 2018

It’s extremely difficult to face the fact of recurring cancers. After treatments we try and get away from it all and live our life. Then along comes another CT scan or PET scan and POW, you have to face another cancer. My reaction was developing PTSD.

You can read what I wrote in my blog: https://my20yearscancer.com/blog/

How do we cope? How do we react? What do we do?
How have you all reacted to another cancer? Or the possibility of another one? Has your “already compromised” mental health been able to deal with it? How? Or not?

@merpreb

@lady1lake– Oh no! I'm so sorry that things are getting more complicated. Did you say that you had a brain MRI? Did it show anything?

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I thought I had mine figured out but the MRI showed a new glioblastoma is trying to form in the same area that the old one was cut out of:( Now I have to decide if I want to pursue a trial or go back on high does maintenance of temozolomide to maybe get a few more months of life.
That's hard because a trial is just a trial and you don't know what you'll get or what side effects it will produce……..I have to let my doctor know by next Thursday….oh my:(

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@bjh369

I thought I had mine figured out but the MRI showed a new glioblastoma is trying to form in the same area that the old one was cut out of:( Now I have to decide if I want to pursue a trial or go back on high does maintenance of temozolomide to maybe get a few more months of life.
That's hard because a trial is just a trial and you don't know what you'll get or what side effects it will produce……..I have to let my doctor know by next Thursday….oh my:(

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That is a tough choice. Whatever you decide, it must be what is comfortable fro you. What does this new trial offer? Yes you could be one who gets the new medicine, or one who does not.Does the new medicine offer to completely remove the glioblastoma If you didn't get the medicine, can you easily go back on the high dose of temozolomide? Whatever you decide, keep on posting here and know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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@lady1lake

Thank you alamogal635. I did not get in touch with the neurologist about the MRI results yet. Will try again on Monday. Am now having daily right eye pain & head aches in the right temple. Once one has an aggressive form of cancer It causes concern about the spread of it where the pain is located. Will see our optometrist on Monday. This journey gets more complicated.

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Gosh, I hope you can get in touch with your neurologist. Hope it is soon. Hate for you to be in pain. Please keep me posted and wishing you a respite from the pain. Take care.

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@alamogal635

That is a tough choice. Whatever you decide, it must be what is comfortable fro you. What does this new trial offer? Yes you could be one who gets the new medicine, or one who does not.Does the new medicine offer to completely remove the glioblastoma If you didn't get the medicine, can you easily go back on the high dose of temozolomide? Whatever you decide, keep on posting here and know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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Thanks for ur feedback. I appreciate it.

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@alamogal635

Gosh, I hope you can get in touch with your neurologist. Hope it is soon. Hate for you to be in pain. Please keep me posted and wishing you a respite from the pain. Take care.

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@alamogal635, thank you for your kind comments. Am finding that Tylenol capsules dull the pain, but not totally do away with pain.

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Am glad something is dulling the pain that works fro you. FYI, Tylenol makes and extra strength 8 hour relief form that I find helps for arthritis and ha helped with my after surgery pain. It is hard to find here, but I can find it on good old Amazon.

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I find Tylenol extra strength helps a little bit not like ibuprofen

Liked by alamogal635

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@alamogal635

Am glad something is dulling the pain that works fro you. FYI, Tylenol makes and extra strength 8 hour relief form that I find helps for arthritis and ha helped with my after surgery pain. It is hard to find here, but I can find it on good old Amazon.

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@alamogal635– How are you feeling? has you pain subsided? How is your breathing?

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@merrpreb I am doing well for 3 weeks post surgery. Have seen several doctors, had my stitches removed yesterday, met a pulmonologist and had him check me out–all seems all right. Week after next will meet with my oncologist so he can follow me via CT scans and whatever. Pain is very slight–hurts more where my bra goes than anywhere else. Breathing is good and I"m no longer using oxygen. Thank you for asking. I haven't posted here for a while–been focusing on doctors, but I do read the posts. Just got home and saw your kind e mail. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

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@alamogal635– Sounds like you have everything under control. I'm so glad that are feeling better. Here's a few suggestions
https://www.gentlebra.com/ Also try a sports bra Have a wonderful weekend too.

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Thank you!!!! I will try gentler and look at sports bras. That would be wonderful not to have the bottom band cut into where the incisions were made. So, far things seem to be moving along well. Hoping we get some rain in this part of Texas! We need it.

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@merpreb

@musicflowers4u– Good morning. Thank you for being with us. as you know survivors represent hope to so many people! How are you feeling? I have one small nodule in my left lower lobe (lung) that my doctors are keeping an eye on. I rely on Connect to keep me grounded and safe. It is part of my security blanket family!

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Feeling ok and do my best to.keep busy and motivated to get projects done while I do feel ok. Hang in there and don’t stop your check-ups.

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@alamogal635

Thank you!!!! I will try gentler and look at sports bras. That would be wonderful not to have the bottom band cut into where the incisions were made. So, far things seem to be moving along well. Hoping we get some rain in this part of Texas! We need it.

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I have sensitive skin. I had this very same problem with one of my 4 scars being right under the bra elastic. What worked for me were 3 things: using "Scar Away" tape for 3 months (at least 22 hours out of 24 every day); going without a bra (for 8 1/2 months), and wearing tops under loose flannel shirts that were slightly, but comfortably, compressive (I hat anything tight and too close to my skin – I wore these inside out with the seam out). Then after 8 1/2 months I transitioned to Hanes Smooth comfort bra (a tip that I found from another lung surgery patient). Then finally back to a normal bra, although 1 yr, 8 months later I sometimes wear the comfort bras. I got mine at Target and also at Amazon. It's style WHG 796. So, did I feel comfortable not wearing a bra? No, but the tops and flannel shirts helped me to feel a little bit better than my t-shirts. Good Luck. BTW, all my scars are now flat.

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@muffy Thank you for the ideas. Ice ordered three bras from the gentler site. Really like the idea of the Scar Away tape. Will order that from good old amazon, too. I don't like really tight things and haven't despite the surgery. I"m retired and don't see a real reason to get all "gussied" up s I used to, unless I go to a concert, or something like an opera. Anyway, I"m glad to know about your scars being flat. I don't mind eating many months for things to return to normal so 8 1/2 months, our so seems reasonable. The rib cage feels sore sometimes–that happened yesterday while huffing and puffing at the Cardiologists; However, it is much better today. I'll check out the comfort bras on Amazon–Amazon has me completely spoiled for getting things. Will get the tape there, too. Nearby where I get my hair done is a specialty bra shop for all kinds of needs. I'd due a trim and will go over to that in a couple of weeks and just check things out. I appreciate your tips of feeling better while wearing clothes. I think I can get by with my loose Tee Shirts and a blouse with them when out in public. Again, I appreciate your information. All of this helps so much in recovery. Thank you fro your good wishes.

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@merpreb

@alamogal635– Sounds like you have everything under control. I'm so glad that are feeling better. Here's a few suggestions
https://www.gentlebra.com/ Also try a sports bra Have a wonderful weekend too.

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@merpreb Found yesterday in the whole night that I was really feeling worried, apprehensive, and flat out frightened. It is for now a kind of mild PTSD. I take generic Prozac for depression andI guess this helps, but for some reason the doubts of "what ifs" are starting to creep in. Also as mentioned in another post of mine, I had the achy rib soreness that seems to be part of the post surgery recovery. It felt like a big lump of ribs on the right side that simply ached no matter what I did, or what pain pills I took. So, I am not anywhere near Little Miss Sunshine as I go through the healing process. Some days I worry about what might go wrong with the first post surgery CT scan, what if the surgery was not sufficient–have all the path reports and the detailed report from my kind surgeon. All reads well and no one on the medical team seems overly concerned, but I seem to lack a basic trust that I'm being told everything. That is purely conjecture on my part. I get kind of OCD about wondering all of the what ifs and that is not healthy for mind, or body. Will see my oncologist week after next and see if he knows of a local group that meets where these topics can be discussed in a safe environment. Also, am thinking that maybe a yoga class that is gentle and easy would be a good idea for getting back more motion. So, not to complain, but everything is never just wonderful–I do have my moments–many of them. There are few people except for this site with whom I can speak my mind and am learning to do that. Just wanted to let all know here that I am a cancer survivor who hopes and prays the future will be okay. I try to live each day as it comes, but it isn't easy. I find lots of strength in this group. Thank you all.

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