I am a cancer survivor

Posted by naturegirl5 @naturegirl5, Sep 25, 2019

I was diagnosed with Stage 1a endometrioid adenocarcinoma following a radical hysterectomy in August at Mayo. I'm fortunate that my cancer was caught at a very early stage and was not aggressive. My follow-up visit with my doctor at Mayo was last week and I was given my packet about cancer survivorship.

A new perception of myself to work through-I am a cancer survivor. How do I deal with this? How do you deal with this?

Hello @naturegirl5 and congratulations on your new status as a "cancer survivor"! I am so pleased to hear that your cancer was found at an early stage and that it was not aggressive. These are very good things.

You are right, this is new territory for you, as it was for all of us who have claimed this new status. For me, after three cancer surgeries for a rare form of cancer, being a cancer survivor gives me a new outlook on life. I think less about "why me" and more about "what now." For each of us, it is a different frame of mind depending on our age, our responsibilities, and our background.

If you are comfortable doing so, please share a little about yourself before your cancer diagnosis and what your goals in life are now.

I would like to invite some other survivors into this discussion and hope that they share with you what cancer survivorship means to them. You may have met some of them in other posts, but please meet, @marvinjsturing, @dakotarunner, @merpreb, @azkidney57, and @harriethodgson1. There are many more cancer survivors here on Connect. I encourage you to read some of their stories.

What is your greatest challenge as you consider yourself a "Cancer Survivor" @naturegirl5 ?

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@hopeful33250

Hello @naturegirl5 and congratulations on your new status as a "cancer survivor"! I am so pleased to hear that your cancer was found at an early stage and that it was not aggressive. These are very good things.

You are right, this is new territory for you, as it was for all of us who have claimed this new status. For me, after three cancer surgeries for a rare form of cancer, being a cancer survivor gives me a new outlook on life. I think less about "why me" and more about "what now." For each of us, it is a different frame of mind depending on our age, our responsibilities, and our background.

If you are comfortable doing so, please share a little about yourself before your cancer diagnosis and what your goals in life are now.

I would like to invite some other survivors into this discussion and hope that they share with you what cancer survivorship means to them. You may have met some of them in other posts, but please meet, @marvinjsturing, @dakotarunner, @merpreb, @azkidney57, and @harriethodgson1. There are many more cancer survivors here on Connect. I encourage you to read some of their stories.

What is your greatest challenge as you consider yourself a "Cancer Survivor" @naturegirl5 ?

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I am a grateful 4year survivor of Stage 1A breast cancer, and I am
extremely grateful for that. For the past several months my husband and I
have become rotating full time caregivers for our son who is battling Cmml
Leukemia at Mayo. I really feel down and lonely at times since I am away
from family and friends. It's so easy to forget about taking care of me.

Judi Maddock

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As a 5 year survivor of pancreatic cancer, I thank God every day for another day of life. Things have not turned out the way I had expected and planned for my life. Surgery for my cancer made me a Type I diabetic and chemo indirectly damaged my kidneys so now I am waiting for a transplant. I have learned to live with my physical limitations at this time, but I do what I can to enjoy life and spend as much time as possible with family (especially the grandkids) and friends. I can't control what has happened to me but I can control how i react and respond to my situation. I look around me and see so many people who are worse off than I am and i am thankful for the life that I have.

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@ naturegirl5 – Surviving a life threatening illness, mine being lung cancer, is a thrill into itself! Yeah, I'm alive! And @naturegirl I am so glad that you can say this. What a relief. And you bring up a good question- How to deal with it. My thoughts were, so now what? Let me assure you that you will find a way to deal with it, in time and in your own way you will find your way. Because, what choice do you have?
When you first discovered that you had cancer you began a period of deep contemplation over life's big questions, all of the whys. It's called the existential plight in cancer. "The Existential Plight in cancer is a poorly recognized but significant period. It starts with the definite diagnosis and continues for two to three months into the illness, approximately 100 days. The chief signs are the predominance of life/death concerns, e-en over worries about health or physical symptoms." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1052080
I personally have been questioning things for a long time, 100 days just weren't enough for me.
Dealing with cancer is such a personal thing, a hard, hard thing. To deal with it you have to take action of some sort, verbally or in some artistic way to help vent your fears and recognize your feelings. I chose to write and my husband is a great listener. It's trying to accept that you have cancer and can move on, and deciding how that will happen. It's a time to reconcile yourself to changes that need to be made, adaptions that need to be made. This is a time for life clarification- what, other than survival, is your first priority, what can you solve, what decisions need to be made?
One very good way, that helps clear the mind is to take long walks. To lessen confusion make a list of what things need to change and how you will go about it. And for every instance repeat it until you don't need lists anymore.
Does any of this make sense to you?

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@javajude

I am a grateful 4year survivor of Stage 1A breast cancer, and I am
extremely grateful for that. For the past several months my husband and I
have become rotating full time caregivers for our son who is battling Cmml
Leukemia at Mayo. I really feel down and lonely at times since I am away
from family and friends. It's so easy to forget about taking care of me.

Judi Maddock

Jump to this post

@javajude This must be such a difficult time for you. I can’t even imagine. You said that you rotate care for your son—does this mean that you go all by yourself and stay for several days? Maybe you’d like to look at the Caregiving group on this site. Lots of caring people and support. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/lessons-i-learned-from-caregiving/

Caregivers. for the entire discussion

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