The emotions you feel when told you have cancer are the absolute worst. Your life does actually stop whilst the world around you carries on. Then every time you reach a new phase in your journey you deal with a whole new set of emotions. It is like riding the biggest emotional roller coaster ever. Don’t misunderstand me there are highs; surving surgery, end of chemotherapy, end of radiotherapy, ending targeted therapies and your hair growing back etc.
The head of radiology once asked me what my opinion was on the survival bell and whether her department should have one. My reply was a definite “NO.”. She asked, “Why?” . I explained that I felt it gave false hope that you were cancer free and it was like the end of a fairy tale and she/he lived happily ever after cancer free. Plus how would it feel to hear that if you knew your time was limited and your treatment was only to prolong life a little longer. To me that would be cruel and a damaging reminder that you were never going to achieve that goal.
No-one ever said to me you are cancer free. I did ask and they would only ever say we presume so and you have had all the treatment to deal with it.Maybe that is where my fear of the cancer returning comes from.
The fear of cancer returning is very real for me and at times absolutely consumes me, often at night. To me every new lump, mark, ache or bulge is the cancer back. Just this year alone I have been referred back to the breast clinic as I thought the breast cancer had returned, scan on my liver, thought I had a cancerous lump on my arm, thought I had throat cancer and now my latest worry is skin cancer. Luckily my GP is fantastic and understands me and does a brillant job of reassuring me. He knows when my anxiety is running high and deals with me in a very nonsense way and even when I doubt him and his diagnosis.
I am not sure this fear train I am on will ever end due to losing warrior friends and family members to this cruel disease and metastatic cancers. I can hear people now saying oh don’t worry put it all behind you, move on, be positive. Unless you have been on this journey you have no idea believe me and you can’t get through this without being positive. Unfortuately I cannot not slay my fear dragon and think it will always ride with me in the shadows. Only when I share my worries with my Gp and my oncologist can they kill the dragon of fear for a short time before it reincarnates.
2 thoughts on “Fear becomes something you have to live with.”
This is so accurate Michelle, unless anybody has gone through this they no idea how any of us feel and the how scared we are that this chronic disease – that’s what my consultant called it 8 years ago-will return. We have to be grateful for all the treatment try and put this to the back if our minds and live our life.x
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Knew you would understand Tina.