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?

@sakota

@merry and Linda. Thanks for the wishes. And yes I did get a stable report. But you know what I don’t know if I trust the dr here. I was with the drs at mayo and trusted so much the surgeon and radiologist. It almost sounds like this dr is saying ok you been stable a year maybe you are in the clear but I know that’s not right. This about the dr here is probably my imagination.but yet I don’t feel right about the stable thing and he is missing something. Thanks again sveryone

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Sakota, I continue to travel 9 hours each way to have all my follow ups done at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. After the beginning of my journey I feel they are the only ones I want to deal with concerning my cancer. I have a primary physician here but all my cancer treatment is done at Mayo. Please consider this if you can.

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@merpreb

Sakota- Did you move away from Mayo? If you are uncertain or do not feel right about a doctor then get a second opinion. I am so glad that you are stable now! When do you go back for another scan?

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I did merry but I am beginning
To regret that decision. I changed to dealing with drs here and I just don’t feel right about what they say. My biggest fear is that they will miss sometthing and then it will be too late. Do you go to mayo at Rochester. Maybe sometime we can schedule at the same time. Right now I’m waiting to hear for appt with pulmonologist in February Keep the faith and the power

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@sakota

I did merry but I am beginning
To regret that decision. I changed to dealing with drs here and I just don’t feel right about what they say. My biggest fear is that they will miss sometthing and then it will be too late. Do you go to mayo at Rochester. Maybe sometime we can schedule at the same time. Right now I’m waiting to hear for appt with pulmonologist in February Keep the faith and the power

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@sakota– I am on the east coast and go to MGH. One big fear with cancers is that "doctors wont get it all". I think that this is a legitimate fear. Legitimate because it sometimes happens. Sometimes doctors can't remove the entire cancer. Sometimes radiologists miss a tumor altogether. This happened to me.
With this, we have to deal/work with what we get. It's not perfect, it's not ideal, but all we have are humans to make decisions and act.

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@anyone. I had my ct scan a couple of days ago and I talked to the dr he said there were no changes and come back in six months……. Ok now the radiologist report was posted today and this was in there :a subsolid morphology suggesting multicentric synchronous indolent primary lung cancers so what does this mean……. to worry or not to worry …… thanks…….If I totally don't understand it I worry, lol Thanks everyone

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@merry. No matter what face you put on , full of smiles, or just kind of sad, the cancer thought is always and I mean always there in the back of your mind. But life goes on and we must too……

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I agree, sakota

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@sakota

@anyone. I had my ct scan a couple of days ago and I talked to the dr he said there were no changes and come back in six months……. Ok now the radiologist report was posted today and this was in there :a subsolid morphology suggesting multicentric synchronous indolent primary lung cancers so what does this mean……. to worry or not to worry …… thanks…….If I totally don't understand it I worry, lol Thanks everyone

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Sakota- Here is a link to a great explanation to your question. It also show a picture of ground glass.
https://pulmccm.org/review-articles/management-ground-glass-subsolid-pulmonary-nodules-review/
I don't want this to sound like a lecture, but here goes- Research brings knowledge that brings understanding that reduces worry. When we know the meaning of words we gain power over their implications and the decisions that need to be made. Often, as you know, radiologists pick up more things on CT scans than surgeons or oncologists. I always ask if a doctor has actually looked at the scan. If they haven't I ask that they do.
What does the radiology report say about the comparison to the scan just before this one?
subsolid morphology suggesting multicentric synchronous indolent primary lung cancers- actually means that there are more than one primary, indolent (not moving or growing slowly or inactive) half solid/half ground glass lesions. If these were on your previous scans than they haven't grown. Call your doctor and have him. explain.

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@sakota

@anyone. I had my ct scan a couple of days ago and I talked to the dr he said there were no changes and come back in six months……. Ok now the radiologist report was posted today and this was in there :a subsolid morphology suggesting multicentric synchronous indolent primary lung cancers so what does this mean……. to worry or not to worry …… thanks…….If I totally don't understand it I worry, lol Thanks everyone

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Sakota-my radiology reports can sound downright frightening. I believe the radiologist report absolutely everything they see. In our case, that may or may not come to fruition 6 months from now. I give myself a few days if needed to be upset and put it on the shelf (if you can) until 6 months from now. There is absolutely nothing we can do about it so I try to not give it too much of my energy.

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Hello- @sakota; @linda10; @ndeanda; @cindylb; @bluelagoon – I hope that everyone made it through the holidays feeling better this year than last, even if it's only a few days later. I know that PTSD symptoms can be exacerbated during stressful times, the holidays being one of those times.
Did anyone experience increased ( for reference only -anger, depression, anxiety, intrusive thoughts or memories, flashbacks, fatigue, nightmares, loss of concentration, increased startle, hypervigilance, avoidance, isolation, emotional numbing, lack of trust, and suicidal ideation or suicidal thoughts) symptoms?
My family and I changed up our traditions- we are a mixed group of different countries and religions (not all Christian – we went out to eat Christmas eve for out big meal and at Christmas we had a simple lunch at my sister's house and exchanged gifts. I was much less anxious this year because of that. I did have some flashbacks but not many. And I was tired for sure, but it felt ok to be because it was a busy season.

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@samanthaezu

She enjoys when I give her a massage…..hope you too you doing good there

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@samanthaezu– Happy New Year Samantha. How are you and your mom doing?

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None of this is easy… but I think you have to just go about the business of living life because nobody knows when your number will be up. I was diagnosed in October 2018 and since then lost a classmate's husband who just went in for knee surgery, was at home healing and doing well then developed a blood clot and did not wake. That's it, he's gone. Another lady that my daughter knows was fine Christmas day and then had a massive heart attack the day after and she's gone..that's it. We sort of have a warning that we are closer to deaths door but nobody's opened the door yet so just keep on living till they do.

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@bjh369

None of this is easy… but I think you have to just go about the business of living life because nobody knows when your number will be up. I was diagnosed in October 2018 and since then lost a classmate's husband who just went in for knee surgery, was at home healing and doing well then developed a blood clot and did not wake. That's it, he's gone. Another lady that my daughter knows was fine Christmas day and then had a massive heart attack the day after and she's gone..that's it. We sort of have a warning that we are closer to deaths door but nobody's opened the door yet so just keep on living till they do.

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@bjh369– Hello and welcome to our group. You are right, you just keep on keeping on. I hear you on losing friends. I've lost several just in the past 2-3 years. I have a type of lung cancer called multifocal adenocarcinoma of the lung. Over a period of 21 years I have 4 lung cancers, Mostly in the past 5 years. It's like having chronic lung cancer. Has you cancer reoccurred?

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