Feel like my issues are so minor to others

Posted by alamogal635 @alamogal635, Aug 29 7:04pm

Haven’t posted for quite some time. Almost two years ago I had a VAT surgery to remove a stage one small cancer in my lower right lung. I am blessed that through a routine heart scan this was found early. All follow ups have shown no return of the cancer. Am due in mid September for my third six month CT scan. I read of so many of you who have, or are going through much more trying situations than I. Thus I don’t feel comfortable writing about my growing anxiety and fear about this. It is the “what if” that has me so filled with anxiety and trepidation. I know to live in the present, but this fear continues to lurk right beneath The surface. I have a great oncologist and my basic manner is to be optimistic about most things, but with this cancer thing, the fear stays near, or at the surface. II live alone with 4 rescue doggies and feel being so isolated due to this Covid scare has not helped matters at all. I am hoping to just hear some positive things from others and/or tips to deal with the fear and anxiety. Thank you all for even reading this. God bless you all as well.

Thinking of you during this time…..

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Hi @alamogal635, so good to hear from you. It has been a while. Seeing the bright red top you're wearing in your profile picture always brightens my day when you pop back into the stream. Please don't feel like your worries are lesser than the situations others are going through. We each have our burden to bear. Yours are as important as the next person's.

I can understand your growing anxiety. Living alone these thoughts can play on an eternal loop and really drive you crazy. You absolutely have to read this post by @sueinmn https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/lets-go-walking-join-me-for-a-virtual-walking-support-group/?pg=143#comment-419939

She uses a grounding exercise to help her stay in the moment called – "five things for my five senses." You take a moment, perhaps during a walk to take note of things you notice through your 5 senses. What do you
Hear
See
Feel
Taste
Smell

I did this with my daughter when she was younger and anxious. It really works.

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Dear @alamogal635 First, let me say that your anxiety and situation are not 'minor' compared to someone else. They are just different. Never be hesitant to reach out on this site for support or vent or be happy or whatever. This Mayo site has really helped me and my health concerns might even seem trivial to some but everyone has reached out and I was able to share. What a blessing that is. I am NOT a positive person (ha ha). I'm not optimistic and I'm not easy going. I admire you for being that way. I never lose 'hope' but I whine the whole time I'm getting to hope. I am a breast cancer survivor. It will be five years this November and seven years since I first started the battle with cancer. Every time I have an appointment with oncology or a scan or a blood test I wonder if I'll get bad news. I think it's part of the awful process. I think it's common. Because cancer is still such an elusive disease, because so much is yet unknown, I think there will always be some fear when we come up on the next test or time frame. We can't control cancer. We can do our research, take care of ourselves and look for the best medical care and once we've done that, we have to take a deep breath, live in the moment and distract ourselves with the happiest possible thoughts and activities. Don't get me wrong, I'd like to control cancer, ha ha………About a million years ago, when I was young, I suffered from panic attacks. I didn't even know they were a thing. I thought I was losing my mind and found a truly gifted psychiatrist who was studying panic disorders (they weren't really talked about much back then). He used to make up these funny stories about my 'fears'. At first I thought he was cruel to do this and then I realized that he was trying to show me how looking at 'a thing' from a different perspective could help me feel calmer and less afraid. I still use what I learned today. It's not easy but if you can face the fear and not give it any more power over you and turn it into something less dark and scary – it won't have as much power to make you sad in the moment. We've got your back out here. Here's hoping you have the best possible news. Hugs.

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@cindylb

Dear @alamogal635 First, let me say that your anxiety and situation are not 'minor' compared to someone else. They are just different. Never be hesitant to reach out on this site for support or vent or be happy or whatever. This Mayo site has really helped me and my health concerns might even seem trivial to some but everyone has reached out and I was able to share. What a blessing that is. I am NOT a positive person (ha ha). I'm not optimistic and I'm not easy going. I admire you for being that way. I never lose 'hope' but I whine the whole time I'm getting to hope. I am a breast cancer survivor. It will be five years this November and seven years since I first started the battle with cancer. Every time I have an appointment with oncology or a scan or a blood test I wonder if I'll get bad news. I think it's part of the awful process. I think it's common. Because cancer is still such an elusive disease, because so much is yet unknown, I think there will always be some fear when we come up on the next test or time frame. We can't control cancer. We can do our research, take care of ourselves and look for the best medical care and once we've done that, we have to take a deep breath, live in the moment and distract ourselves with the happiest possible thoughts and activities. Don't get me wrong, I'd like to control cancer, ha ha………About a million years ago, when I was young, I suffered from panic attacks. I didn't even know they were a thing. I thought I was losing my mind and found a truly gifted psychiatrist who was studying panic disorders (they weren't really talked about much back then). He used to make up these funny stories about my 'fears'. At first I thought he was cruel to do this and then I realized that he was trying to show me how looking at 'a thing' from a different perspective could help me feel calmer and less afraid. I still use what I learned today. It's not easy but if you can face the fear and not give it any more power over you and turn it into something less dark and scary – it won't have as much power to make you sad in the moment. We've got your back out here. Here's hoping you have the best possible news. Hugs.

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@cindylb Bless you! Just needed to hear exactly what you wrote! A long while back, I worked with an excellent psychologist who always told me to face the fear and go through it. He said, "damned the torpedoes full speed ahead." It is much the same as your psychiatrist taught you, I think. I just need to practice it! I would like to take all the kinds of cancer throw them all in a burlap bag weighted down with concrete and drop it in the deepest part of the Indian Ocean! Congratulations on being cancer-free! Happy for you. You've fought a longer battle than I and obviously have courage. You may not think you are an optimist, but your post sure comes across that way. I also think being so isolated at home–doctor's orders during the Covid-19 mess finally has taken its toll on my trying to stay sane. When we could go out, do things to take our minds off things, I know I was much better at this. I was fine in semi-isolation until recently. Anyway, I thank you for writing back and will NOT be shy regarding writing on this site and on others. Reaching out here and being answered by others is a help in times such as these. Thank you so much for writing and for your support. Sending you hugs right back!

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@colleenyoung

Hi @alamogal635, so good to hear from you. It has been a while. Seeing the bright red top you're wearing in your profile picture always brightens my day when you pop back into the stream. Please don't feel like your worries are lesser than the situations others are going through. We each have our burden to bear. Yours are as important as the next person's.

I can understand your growing anxiety. Living alone these thoughts can play on an eternal loop and really drive you crazy. You absolutely have to read this post by @sueinmn https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/lets-go-walking-join-me-for-a-virtual-walking-support-group/?pg=143#comment-419939

She uses a grounding exercise to help her stay in the moment called – "five things for my five senses." You take a moment, perhaps during a walk to take note of things you notice through your 5 senses. What do you
Hear
See
Feel
Taste
Smell

I did this with my daughter when she was younger and anxious. It really works.

Jump to this post

@colleenyoung Thank you. I will check out the above post. Sounds like a good practice to work on being in the now. It has benna while since I posted anything and will be more active from now on. Am so glad to have found this support group. YOu are right each of us has her own burdens and each is as important and the next person's. Thank you again and it's great to hear from you again.

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@miriam57

Thinking of you during this time…..

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@miriam57 Thank you!!!!

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My lung cancer was caught in pretty much the same way. Something 4 years ago showed up on a CT which was of my abdomen. It wasn't malignant but Mayo told me to have a CT scan every 6 months. One year later it had become malignant. I had VAT also (now 3 years ago). Other spots have shown up but none have changed. I have not passed the 3 year mark so now will only get my CT annually. Certainly I think about whether any of the others will change, but I feel confident that the original malignant tumor is gone. I also had breast cancer (20 years ago), so I knew that once you have a cancer you always are aware that you might get another, but I take deep breaths when my anxiety gets high – take a walk – cook – or do something that makes me focus on something other than myself. Take care.

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@alamogal635– Good morning. I am so glad that you have reached out to Connect with this subject. When I made my first trip to the grocery store after my first cancer. I knew 3 ladies who wound up in the check-out line in front of me. They all had had breast cancer and had had chemo. I felt inferior because I hadn't needed chemo. For some strange reason, back then, I felt that without chemo my cancer wasn't important enough, or bad enough, like a mini-cancer, a subordinate in relation to all other cancers. It wasn't until after my 2nd cancer when I did have chemo, that I knew that I had been way wrong in my thinking. I was comparing myself to others thereby diminishing my worth.

How can having lung cancer be minor? Having to look over our shoulders is the bane and badge of courage after a diagnosis of Cancer. The Big C! After all the years since my first cancer, coming on 23 yrs in October, I might need to move more of my body looking over my shoulder, but I still do it.

I have had a horrible time with COVID-19 and my lung cancer. Every feeling seems exaggerated and huge. I don't know how life will look like if we get a handle on this virus or a good vaccine, but I do know that we can adapt and feel more in power as time goes by. About two weeks before my CT follow-up I begin to get very anxious with Scanxiety. You might be feeling this now. This is also another badge of courage for us. Grounding at this time is important. See if you can make a plan too about what you will need to do if you need another treatment or what you will do to celebrate.

I am so happy that you are back. I found that it takes years to learn to live with cancer and it's always an adjustment. How are you doing this now that is different than a couple of years ago?

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@wallyk

My lung cancer was caught in pretty much the same way. Something 4 years ago showed up on a CT which was of my abdomen. It wasn't malignant but Mayo told me to have a CT scan every 6 months. One year later it had become malignant. I had VAT also (now 3 years ago). Other spots have shown up but none have changed. I have not passed the 3 year mark so now will only get my CT annually. Certainly I think about whether any of the others will change, but I feel confident that the original malignant tumor is gone. I also had breast cancer (20 years ago), so I knew that once you have a cancer you always are aware that you might get another, but I take deep breaths when my anxiety gets high – take a walk – cook – or do something that makes me focus on something other than myself. Take care.

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@wallyk– Hello. Some of us have had a type of lung cancer that is called Multifocal adenocarcinoma. Briefly, this is when there is more than one lesion at a time in one or both lungs. Do you know what kind of lung cancer you have?

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No, I don't remember, but I don't think it was Multifocal.

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@wallyk

My lung cancer was caught in pretty much the same way. Something 4 years ago showed up on a CT which was of my abdomen. It wasn't malignant but Mayo told me to have a CT scan every 6 months. One year later it had become malignant. I had VAT also (now 3 years ago). Other spots have shown up but none have changed. I have not passed the 3 year mark so now will only get my CT annually. Certainly I think about whether any of the others will change, but I feel confident that the original malignant tumor is gone. I also had breast cancer (20 years ago), so I knew that once you have a cancer you always are aware that you might get another, but I take deep breaths when my anxiety gets high – take a walk – cook – or do something that makes me focus on something other than myself. Take care.

Jump to this post

@wallyk Thank you. Appreciate your sharing and good advice.

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@merpreb

@alamogal635– Good morning. I am so glad that you have reached out to Connect with this subject. When I made my first trip to the grocery store after my first cancer. I knew 3 ladies who wound up in the check-out line in front of me. They all had had breast cancer and had had chemo. I felt inferior because I hadn't needed chemo. For some strange reason, back then, I felt that without chemo my cancer wasn't important enough, or bad enough, like a mini-cancer, a subordinate in relation to all other cancers. It wasn't until after my 2nd cancer when I did have chemo, that I knew that I had been way wrong in my thinking. I was comparing myself to others thereby diminishing my worth.

How can having lung cancer be minor? Having to look over our shoulders is the bane and badge of courage after a diagnosis of Cancer. The Big C! After all the years since my first cancer, coming on 23 yrs in October, I might need to move more of my body looking over my shoulder, but I still do it.

I have had a horrible time with COVID-19 and my lung cancer. Every feeling seems exaggerated and huge. I don't know how life will look like if we get a handle on this virus or a good vaccine, but I do know that we can adapt and feel more in power as time goes by. About two weeks before my CT follow-up I begin to get very anxious with Scanxiety. You might be feeling this now. This is also another badge of courage for us. Grounding at this time is important. See if you can make a plan too about what you will need to do if you need another treatment or what you will do to celebrate.

I am so happy that you are back. I found that it takes years to learn to live with cancer and it's always an adjustment. How are you doing this now that is different than a couple of years ago?

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@merpreb Gosh, it's good to hear from you again. You nailed it–since mine was caught early, no chemo, etc., I'm not as entitled to reach out to others, but they are. each of us IS unique. I like the way you call it scanxiety. I feel empowered just thinking that this is a badge of courage. YOu certainly have had more than your share since for you it all started 23 years ago. You certainly set a fine example for those of us relatively new to being diagnosed with Cancer. I must say that since the stark fear, numbness, and dread when first diagnosed, I've learned so much more from the site and from working with my own fears, apprehension, etc. It is an on-going learning experience and as you say adjustment. Just getting back in touch with all of you–almost said y'all–has helped. I am less concerned. I plan on getting out of the house more than going through the drive-through at Walgreens to pick up prescriptions. Now I'll wear a mask, go inside, and look at cosmetics and I love looking at the as seen on TV items in that store. A big load has been lifted from me once I got up the courage to return to this forum and reach out for help from others. So already things are different in a better way. It doesn't remove the CT scan and its anxiety, but the dread is much lessened. I'm not fixated on the event and follow-up with my oncologist as I was before. WIll continue to work on living in the NOW rather than anticipating what has not come about as of yet. Also will be more active here. So glad I found this support group and the other on the Mayo Clinic site. Thank you!!!!!!

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@alamogal635– I have a big smile for you! Many people have left and come back after realizing that Connect is the one place that you can let your hair down and not have to worry about being judged in any manner. When I first found Connect I was surprised by how many people could empathize with me on Connect. They had the same fears, apprehensions, and a desire to belong to a group like this. Connect is like a heated blanket where there is complete honesty amongst its participants. I had never met anyone with my type of cancer before. I had felt all alone, like a stranger.

I never have that feeling anymore. And I met you, my friend. Doesn't that blanket feel wonderful?

Liked by alamogal635

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@merpreb

@alamogal635– I have a big smile for you! Many people have left and come back after realizing that Connect is the one place that you can let your hair down and not have to worry about being judged in any manner. When I first found Connect I was surprised by how many people could empathize with me on Connect. They had the same fears, apprehensions, and a desire to belong to a group like this. Connect is like a heated blanket where there is complete honesty amongst its participants. I had never met anyone with my type of cancer before. I had felt all alone, like a stranger.

I never have that feeling anymore. And I met you, my friend. Doesn't that blanket feel wonderful?

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@merpreb Gosh that is such a sweet response and true! I have met you too and consider you a dear friend too. That warm blanket is a lovely concept. I love the honesty of everyone here and it is good to let one's hair down where it is safe. Thank you for being you!!!!

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