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?

@alamogal635

@merpreb What a fantastic attitude you have. Gosh, you are a true trooper and have been through so much and are going through so much. Will have to think up a mantra, but that's a great idea. What is SBRT? That is another new term for me. Gosh, I am not great at prayer–sometimes nothing comes, but I figure the intention is acknowledged. I am better today–the closer it gets. As you say it is getting to be where the results will be known and shared.. Was going to say that cancer is a sneaky and nasty disease to have, but so are so many others. Yes, it does make us turn inward. The thought of something growing within that has no place there actually makes me angry. This is a great place to come and "vent" with others who are sharing in something that others cannot relate to fully. Anyway, thank you for your kind words and for being here as moderators. Your knowledge is wonderful as is your support. I hold you in awe for lending such support with all you have going on in your life and with your health.

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Good morning @alamogal635 – Thank you for your kind words. As a Mentor it's been truly an honor to share my experience and knowledge so that I can hopefully make it easier for others. And you have not been a wall flower on here either! You have extended your self in a truly heroic measure so soon after your operation! I think that reaching out to people who truly understand your feelings is so important and healing! Thank you for all your help too! What will you be doing today? Are you in the path of the hurricane?

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@richcolleen

Just had my scan at the Mayo Clinic was also nervous (my cancer is terminal) as I had different feelings within lung and stomach. Of course one always thinks the worst. Turned out everything was same.my scan was read and meet with Dr same day which helped me. Tumor stayed the same as did the nodules.get sick 8-10 days after treatments, which I get every 21 days, so I took holiday and skipping the next 21 days. Hoping I made good decision but my mind was tired of being sick. Prayers coming your way.

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@richcolleen– I think that we have to decide for ourselves how much we can take before we step back and say, "hey now, that's enough for now". The night of my last chemo session my husband almost called an ambulance. If I had more scheduled I don't think that I would have been able to do it. Heal well, rest a lot and hopefully you will bounce back soon. What will you do other while you heal?

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@merpreb

@becsbuddy– I agree with you about telling @janlanderz's mom. Having cancer is stress enough but not telling your mom about your illness ads to that. I'm sure that you have felt that. Also I'm sure that your mom knows that something is up because you have cancelled your trips to see her. It sounds like she has brought you up to be a caring loving person, so giver her the benefit of the doubt that she will help you and that it will not hurt her. Will you give this some thought?

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@merpreb … My mom worries when her sister gets a cold… and it stresses her out to the point that is all she can talk about. She lives alone and has already had a heart attack so I rather be safe than sorry.. If things ever get bad where my life is in jeopardy or coming to an end, then I will probably tell her… I plan on maybe moving back to the east coast and would maybe tell her if I was near her, where she could see me physically and see that I look the same and am doing fine with the chemo I am currently receiving. It is a choice me and my sisters made, and they are near her, so they know how she is a worry wart.. but thanks for your input

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@janlanderz– I understand. I think that we all just wanted help, but given that your mom is an extreme worrier I think that you made the right choice. How are you feeling today? A bit better?

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Build up strength and play cards, mahjong and work in my perineal garden and go to daily mass when I can.

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I’ve avoided mouth sores by rinsing my mouth out with 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon salt mixed with 1/2 cup warm water. Worked for me.

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@merpreb

Good morning @alamogal635 – Thank you for your kind words. As a Mentor it's been truly an honor to share my experience and knowledge so that I can hopefully make it easier for others. And you have not been a wall flower on here either! You have extended your self in a truly heroic measure so soon after your operation! I think that reaching out to people who truly understand your feelings is so important and healing! Thank you for all your help too! What will you be doing today? Are you in the path of the hurricane?

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Am taking it easy today. Being in San Antonio, TX am NOT in the way, mercifully, of the hurricane. Thank you for the kind words above. I like to help others if I can and if words here do, then that is great. I hope everyone here had the kindof Labor Day he/she desires today.
.

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@merpreb

@jshdma– Now there's a thought! Maybe we could come up with a better acronym and start a whole new "thing". What are your thoughts? Any ideas?

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I always said we had post traumatic cancer disorder

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@kittykiernan

Hi everyone I have chronic Epstein barre , it causing cancer. I can not move my neck and had white things in my mouth for a month, no one helps me. God forbid I can find a oncologists or beg someone to do a peta scan. I have had who
It’s patches down my esophagus for a moth

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Hi @kittykiernan, I can hear the fear and desperation in your messages. Living with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) isn't easy. Now you've got the added anxiety of suspecting cancer. It sounds like you have symptoms that need medical attention. Until you consult a doctor and get recommended tests done, I would not assume that you have cancer. I know that's easy for me to say. Keep in mind that EBV may increase your risk of cancer, but VERY FEW people who have been infected with EBV will ever develop cancer. I suggest that you make an appointment to see your doctor.

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Agree with Colleen above. It is scary, but until you've actually seen a doctor and gone through tests, I wouldn't jump to the conclusion of cancer. It isn't easy, but keep up a positive outlook of health until you know otherwise. EBV is not fun from what I hear, but like Colleen says very few people diagnosed with it develop cancer. I second her in saying go see a doctor.

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@auntieoakley

I always said we had post traumatic cancer disorder

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@auntieoakley – PTCD?

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This issue of learning to live with a possible cancer recurrence is a very difficult one for me right now. I have read and been given much advise. Each person needs to figure out what will work best. Although I am cancer free right now I may not be in the near future. I have scans coming up in a month and I am worried about them. Worry doesn’t help I need to change my “worry” into something constructive. I find that keeping busy, hobbies, spending time with family/ friends, helps a great deal. I make “deals” with myself and give myself “worry breaks”. Like I tell myself that the coming weekend I will forget the cancer , or try to, and concentrate on doing something fun. Writing things down is helpful. I literally write down all my fears in a journal I now keep. That way I can put the cancer in it’s place and try to “control it” by writing things down. I don’t want cancer to be in “control” of my life! We don’t know what the future may bring but we have a good amount of control on the “now” moments in our lives.

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Hi merr and everyone else. Its been awhile since i,ve been in here. So far summer hasnt been too. Bad. I go for another ct scan at mayo. The last one there were some changes in my left lung so need to find out about that. My copd has been pretty good or as much as it can be. Now the last thing. Ever since last dec been having these tremors every so often. Had a mri which was good a eeg short one which was good. So no answers. Last week i did a 72 hour eeg so am now waiting on a report on that. It is so hard when you know something is not right and have to sit around waiting and waiting. All you want is answers so you know what you have to do and to keep on surviving. The good lord is with us all and will help us get thru what we need too. Prayers to all of you. .

Ps. And excuse my language. But humor and friends go a long way in dealing with this shit.

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@sakota

Hi merr and everyone else. Its been awhile since i,ve been in here. So far summer hasnt been too. Bad. I go for another ct scan at mayo. The last one there were some changes in my left lung so need to find out about that. My copd has been pretty good or as much as it can be. Now the last thing. Ever since last dec been having these tremors every so often. Had a mri which was good a eeg short one which was good. So no answers. Last week i did a 72 hour eeg so am now waiting on a report on that. It is so hard when you know something is not right and have to sit around waiting and waiting. All you want is answers so you know what you have to do and to keep on surviving. The good lord is with us all and will help us get thru what we need too. Prayers to all of you. .

Ps. And excuse my language. But humor and friends go a long way in dealing with this shit.

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Good to hear from you, @sakota, I do hope you find some answers for your tremors. I so appreciate your positive attitude. It goes a long way in adjusting to difficulties!
I look forward to hearing from you again. Will you post with an update as you get test results?

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