Log in or Register to participate in these discussions

Mental health and positive thoughts how????

Mental health and positive thoughts how????

Posted by Shankman on Mar 16, 2013 11:30 am

Im a very positive person last February when I was told I had cancer in both kidneys I really thought I would be dead by now(not the positive part haha) I cried once and got to living! I live everyday a little better since then. BUT every once ina while or on the days leading to my next check upand test results everything I feel is cancer, if my back is sore, my op site tweaks my brain goes CANCER CANCER if my nose is itchy the cancer is back! What the heck do we do about this?

RE: Mental health and positive thoughts how????

Posted by Steffie on Mar 16, 2013 11:46 am


Firstly, your positivity is amazingly hopeful. A cancer diagnosis has the potential to change one's priorities and it sounds like you took a scary and potentially terminal situation and changed it to one of hope and life. Not everyone can do that.

Secondly, I would say that what you are going through is probably normal. At least that has been the case for me. I am now four years into remission. I can honestly say that at this point in my journey, every pain or lump or cold symptom do not make me think CANCER CANCER...but that was not always the case, that is for sure! Honestly, I think this takes time; time to trust your body again. Right now, all that you have gone through is still so prevalent in your mind. And while this journey will never fully go away - it is has become a part of who you are and how you live your life, which you can see through your changed priorities - it WILL fade to the background.

I don't know how much this helps at all, but by reflecting on these emotions and being open to discussing it with others, I think you are on the right track!


RE: Mental health and positive thoughts how????

Posted by Shankman on Mar 16, 2013 12:29 pm

Trusting my body again EXACTLY! We have always had a good relationship untill my body gave me this whole cancer thing :-) I appreciate the perspective 4 years out, all those numbers and stats I never paid attention to. Words like recurrence usedto mean bumping into someone you know on a frequent basis or one of my bratty kids not putting there dishes away. I drive myself crazy the week before a Dr visit. Glad to hear you are not crazy(or at least dont sound it:-) congrads on remission for 4 years YEAH GO YOU Thanks Scott

RE: Mental health and positive thoughts how????

Posted by Candie on Mar 18, 2013 7:56 pm

Hello Shankman,

I did feel the same thing at the beginning of my journey (meaning CUP). So, I decided to keep me busy. Very busy. Only activities which give me pleasure.

Today, I am fine. Sometimes, I have a little pain here or there but I don't care. I enjoy living now. Anyway, I was supposed to die by the end of 2011 and see, I am writing to you tonight.
So, don't give up and enjoy being alive.

Good luck. Candie

RE: Mental health and positive thoughts how????

Posted by Gerald on Jan 28, 2014 3:43 am

I really do think that cancer warriors and survivors experience a specific kind of PTSD related to cancer coming back. Its a fear that gripes us all. But I give thanks when I am going through the "cancer anxiety" of feeling it has come back based on what we are feeling physically. I think its a life lesson that is blessed upon us. A reminder to be thankful of the journey we passed. I don't think it every goes away and you wouldnt be human if you didnt have that anxiety. I approach it as a gift perse. I reminder of the hard journey experienced to not forget to live well.

RE: Mental health and positive thoughts how????

Posted by MistyBlues on Jan 28, 2014 8:25 am

I had something similar.  was never very depressed or anxious but something was off.  took a next steps class at the hospital and they played a video at the end.  a doctor who went through treatment started out by saying 'who I am is not who I was' and that just clicked.  I asked someone else about it and she felt it too.  both of them described it different from me but it was there nonetheless.  For me, I just missed the old me.  then one day I realized it was gone.  such a small thing really but a huge relief and now I feel more free to look into health changes to reduce my risk.  don't know why I needed to cross that bridge first but apparently I did.  I guess I just needed it validated that it was normal.

Re: Mental health and positive thoughts how????

Posted by Ocean Breeze on Jul 3, 2014 3:35 pm

This is the reason I signed up for Cancer Connection; I had colorectal cancer early 2012, stage 2B, and currently clear. BUT, I have a CT scan in two weeks and it makes me very anxious. I'm not sure how to resolve these thoughts - The people around me constantly tell me how positive I have been, but underneath it all, I feel a bit of a wreck at times.

I am positive, but the thought of doing a CT scan is to purposelly look for recurrence. How do we get around that thought?

Re: Mental health and positive thoughts how????

Posted by Nelliennm on Aug 23, 2014 10:55 am

I have a new mantra that seems to be helping. I will deal with Cancer when there is something to deal with. Until then, I am going to not think about cancer coming back. It isn't hear until it's here. So when I get a twinge or a pain and my brain goes to "it's back" I remind myself that there is no hard evidence (CAT scan, biopsy etc) that it is back and until then, there isn't anything to deal with and I will deal with it when and only when there is something to deal with. 

Just a thought...

Let's discuss how you stay positive during difficult times

Posted by Nicole_admin on Apr 15, 2015 11:28 am

We've had a lot of conversations here on our community recently about staying positive. Whether it's a personal mantra, an activity, or a mindset, let's revive this discussion and discuss how you stay positive during difficult times. 

Re: Let's discuss how you stay positive during difficult times

Posted by Mooh on Apr 15, 2015 1:33 pm

Hope. Faith. Inner fight. Focus on the positive. I saw cancer in everything between detection and (thus far) successful surgery. It was impossible to force it out of my mind, even while I was engaged in other mind occupying things, but at least there was competition for thought when I wasn't idle. 

I tried to redirect my anger at the disease and away from the "poor me" syndrome. I wasn't frustrated so much as pissed off that I didn't catch a break. Ovatian cancer killed my sister, and I wanted the break she didn't get. My father and brother had prostate cancer so I was pretty certain I would too (and I had been dealing with an enlarged prostate for years), in fact it was almost a relief that I was no longer waiting and that I could face it as an enemy would. But that was only the first step as the post surgery insecurity caught me by surprise, kind of ambushing me with doubt and worry.

Post surgery, I followed the orders of the health professionals like a religious zealot follows their canons, kept my eye on the date I would hear good or not so good news, listened to my brother who is a survivor and to my family who were full of encouragement. I started to imagine cancer as an enemy with a fatal flaw, find it and it dies. 

A little self psychology goes a long way, ie, I convinced myself to focus of the day to day and not waste thought of next week, month, or year. I allowed physical comforts and affection where I might have previously enjoyed sex, knowing that if I was ever going to enjoy sex again it would have to start this way and slower than I had ever experienced or imagined. (Just how long WAS it between puberty and getting laid? Yeah, slow.)

Remaining positive was part distraction (reading, listening to and playing music, exercise, etc), part faith in early detection and my rock star oncologist and his suberb hospital, part hope that I could beat cancer (just as my father and brother had) as if the genetic predisposition to get it was accompanied by a genetic predisposition to beat it, part inner fight and determination that this b****** cancer wasn't going to get me. 

It's been 13 months for me, and so far so good, but I'm lots young enough at 57 to get cancer again. Cancer may be a fact of life, but it need not always be a fact of death.

Re: Let's discuss how you stay positive during difficult times

Posted by Margaret_1 on Apr 15, 2015 3:32 pm

My faith, a postive attitude and a wonderful sense of humor will take you a long way.

Re: Let's discuss how you stay positive during difficult times

Posted by ThisMomFightsCancer on Apr 16, 2015 10:17 am

Hi!  Just want to say thanks to everyone who has been sharing their stories.  I'm up for scans next week and I really relate to everyone's feelings of anxiety, analogies,  and mechanisms to cope.  It's nice to be validated while also being encouraged that I'm taking a good approach to not get stuck in the worries.  Have a great day!

Re: Let's discuss how you stay positive during difficult times

Posted by Nicole_admin on May 4, 2015 9:54 am

I want to thank those who have shared ways that they stay positive during difficult times. We've had quite a few new members join our community, so I'm hoping we can keep this discussion going. How do you stay positive during difficult times? 


Re: Let's discuss how you stay positive during difficult times

Posted by Windancer on May 7, 2015 5:56 pm

My own personal mantra is below in my signature. Please give a listen to this if you need more inspiration.


"Never Give Up, Go Around, Go Over, Go Through but Never Ever Give Up".

Re: Let's discuss how you stay positive during difficult times

Posted by FishinSam on May 21, 2015 11:36 pm

My son is my strength. A 4 year old knows you're hurting. He knows when you need a hug. He knows when you should come play cars on the rug, a definite distraction from "woe is me" navel gazing. In return, I tried to remember that he knows something is really wrong. Daddy is at the hospital every day for months - a long long time for a 4 year old. Daddy got really skinny and slept a lot. Daddy lost his teeth and his hair. Daddy has a tube in his nose hooked up to a bag that he puts stuff in and it goes in his nose into his tummy. I tried to remember that he's a bit scared too and needs an extra hug now and then. He needs reassuring. He needs his Daddy to get better. He needs his Daddy. I fight for you my son. I fight for more hugs. I fight for more smiles. I fight for Sunday afternoon naps with you. I fight for us. There is no trying. I fight to win. Win. Hugs. Smiles. I fight for "I love you, Daddy." I am going to win. I am winning.

Re: Let's discuss how you stay positive during difficult times

Posted by nancy180 on May 22, 2015 7:06 am


Too early in the morning to make me start crying!! I'm not much of a crier anyway but
your courage is mind blowing!!! Your son is amazing and boy, I feel  your need to
get better for him. I have one daughter and am so happy she is an adult with her own
life now. I'm off to find a box of kleenex and then a slow dog walk in the sun.
I am sending you every ounce of love and admiration in my body.

Love and hugs,


Re: Let's discuss how you stay positive during difficult times

Posted by Amanda26 on May 22, 2015 7:54 am

Wow - your post really hit home for me as we have a 5 year old who has watched daddy go through some scary stuff and has a very limited understanding of it all as well.  So fear is a natural response to it all right?  We try so hard to make him feel loved and included, and take time to focus on him and not ourselves.  You have a wonderful and inspiring outlook and I am so glad you are able to draw your strength reserve from someone so small but mighty :) 

All the absolute best!!!

Re: Let's discuss how you stay positive during difficult times

Posted by Zeanna on May 27, 2015 2:54 pm

So beautifully and authentically put. Sometimes we all need reminding that everyone connected to this disease is affected. Small acts of kindness bring huge amounts of joy. Thank you and keep hanging in there.