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Time to talk me off the cliff.....

Time to talk me off the cliff.....

Posted by JustJan on Oct 2, 2020 11:57 pm

I went for my monthly visit to both my oncologists (breast and ovarian) a couple of weeks ago. I had a cat scan prior to that appointment. Everything was clear except for one prevascular node which had enlarged ever so slightly (2mm). My one doctor said we could monitor and do  CT scan in 3 months or make a special request for a PET scan. I was thinking I would wait for a repeat CT but my one oncologist thought I should do the PET scan. Well I agreed and I got a call today that my appointment has been scheduled for October 17th.  I am feeling very anxious about getting the results of this test. I know that worrying about it won’t change the outcome but..... I am really starting to feel well and more like myself after my year and a half of diagnoses, tests, surgery, chemo, radiation and pulmonary embolisms. Does the anxiety ever go away in regards to tests? I swear the anxiety might be the thing that gets me and not the cancer. Heavy sigh. 
Strength doesn't come from what you can do, it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't. - Rikki Rogers

Re: Time to talk me off the cliff.....

Posted by cancertakesflight on Oct 3, 2020 6:37 am

JustJan‍ I completely understand how you feel. In February it will be about 10 years since my diagnosis. Recently I requested a mammogram because my remaining breast didnt seem quite right. It wasn't that I felt a lump but I hadn't felt a lump the last time either. 

I received an appointment for both a mammogram and an ultrasound. After that I waited for the results. When I got the call it was to come back for more tests. I went for more tests and this time it included a biopsy. I waited again and it turned out to be a cyst but they are going to do another ultrasound in 6 months just to be sure.

No one likes something over their head. I hate the unknown. It's like the whole cancer experience starting over again. 

I totally understand knowing that worrying won't help and actually not worrying. I deal with my anxiety by writing. Just last night I put a blog post on the cancerconnectiin website. It will be a series of posts that compare the different aspects of the diagnosis process to games. 

Please know that I am waiting with you and that it is always better to be safe than sorry. 

Hang in there and find something to do to keep busy. Go for walks. Read a book. Clean. Do whatever you can to keep those thoughts from racing. Reach out any time you need help getting off that ledge. Now may be the time to learn some mindfulness techniques. Deep breath. You will be ok. Deep breath. You will be ok.

Please keep me posted.

cancertakesflight 

 
Laughter is a lifestyle choice. www.laughterandcancer.com/blog

Re: Time to talk me off the cliff.....

Posted by ashcon on Oct 3, 2020 9:24 am

JustJan
You have talked so many others on this site back from their own personal cliffs, but it doesn't mean you are exempt from needing that support as well! 

I think after we go thru cancer we move into a "safe house" within our minds. A place where we can recover from the trauma that we've just been through but it is a house that is not far from the bluffs and cliffs of fear of spread/recurrence.
With each storm that passes (a followup test, scan, or appointment that renews the anxiety), the soil around our safehouse erodes and brings the edge of the cliff a little closer. 

I am struck by your signature quote by Rikki Rogers.
This may sound corny, but perhaps the best thing we can do is to ensure the foundation of our safehouse is solid so that withstands the threat of erosion; the windows are kept clean and clear so that we can always see clearly; and we keep each room filled with warmth, love and compassion. 

I'll be thinking of you on the 17th.
---- "Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced." ----

Re: Time to talk me off the cliff.....

Posted by MCoaster on Oct 4, 2020 12:44 pm

JustJan‍   Your subject and last sentence say it all.   Because of all of the medical intervention involved in dealing with the physical aspects of cancer the emotional and spiritual stress are often not addressed.   Dealing with cancer seems to take over your entire world and the feeling of “enough is enough” is very draining.

As ashcon‍ says, you have helped so many others here to step back from the cliff and were able to help because you understood their feelings all too well.  Treat yourself with warmth, love and understanding because, while you may feel unable to control appointments and results, knowing that there places where you can find some respite is comforting.  Personally I find the cancer thing and all it entails claustrophobic and I use being in the garden preferably with my dog, listening to music, mindfulness and my favourite Scrabble help  a lot.  I now have a little trampoline, bouncing on which I hope will help with lymph drainage but it also is quite a mindful experience.  

To to answer your question, I think anxiety never goes away so always have your toolbox with you and know that we are here for you.

Will be thinking of you on the 17th.

Warm hugs.

MCoaster

Re: Time to talk me off the cliff.....

Posted by Essjay on Oct 4, 2020 1:03 pm

JustJan‍ totally get it.

i had an investigation on my shoulder recently - ultrasound showed a labral tear which explains the problem, but the doctor ordered an X-ray to ‘check for lesions, because of your history’. I hadn’t given Cancer a thought in this case but of course I was then anxious about the X-ray and getting the results until they came through as clear. It dawned on me that this is my life now - doctors will be cautious and check, just in case, with everything.

Like you, I want to live my life well and beyond cancer. We don’t want to think about it, but scans bring it into the forefront of our minds.

i have a breast MRI on 19th and I’m experiencing scanxiety. I’ve decided to take the day off and do something nice in the morning just for me, and I’m scheduling a massage for the afternoon after the MRI. 

I have no advice to offer, I don’t know how to handle it myself, but just know that we are sitting beside you on that cliff xxx
Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018

Re: Time to talk me off the cliff.....

Posted by CentralAB on Oct 4, 2020 11:32 pm

Hi JustJan‍  My wife had ovarian cancer. At least thats what it started as. I know from that experience with her that the PET scan can and does pick up things that the CT scan does not. Atleast it did with my wife. So thats good that you are getting the PET scan done. At one point, my wife was told she had a vascular type lesion on her liver, and it just turned out to be a hemangioma, which is not cancer. Its just a vascular defect. IDK where they saw the prevascular node in you, but hopefully you can stand back, just a bit from that "cliff edge" and wait till they know for sure whats going on? Wishing you all the best. "Be of good courage." 😀

JustJan:
I went for my monthly visit to both my oncologists (breast and ovarian) a couple of weeks ago. I had a cat scan prior to that appointment. Everything was clear except for one prevascular node which had enlarged ever so slightly (2mm). My one doctor said we could monitor and do  CT scan in 3 months or make a special request for a PET scan. I was thinking I would wait for a repeat CT but my one oncologist thought I should do the PET scan.

________________ "there is always a little Light"

Re: Time to talk me off the cliff.....

Posted by JustJan on Oct 6, 2020 9:23 am

Thanks everyone for your kind words and support. My CA125 (cancer marker for
ovarian cancer) had been rising slowly over the last few months which can indicate a recurrence. It is not a very reliable marker but the only thing currently available to help monitor. My CT scan was normal except for the one prevascular node. I saw my gyne oncologist yesterday and the marker dropped by 9 points in 3 weeks! So I am thrilled about that and has done a lot to boost my spirits. I have an appointment on the 21st with my breast oncologist to get the results of the PET scan. Both my oncologists joke and say that I don’t do normal. I’m just glad I can challenge them as I wouldn’t want them to be bored. 😂 I will update you when I get my results. 
Strength doesn't come from what you can do, it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't. - Rikki Rogers

Re: Time to talk me off the cliff.....

Posted by Suezin on Oct 7, 2020 6:57 am

Sometimes that little cliff just needs you to be aware it’s there but not to take the leap.  
2015 diagnosis of TNBC followed by chemo and rads.  Clear and back to work within 6 months and released from the cross.   Fast forward, I was three months shy of the magic, in my opinion, five year return possibilities.  Well, three weeks ago my left leg started to not follow me around and then my hand wasn’t doing what I expected.   I went to my gp and she sent me to emergency because she said any scans ordered by her could take weeks.  Great advice as the first ct scan that day found a tumour on the right side of the brain. Here i am One week later, I’m in iCU still and I’ve had the tumour removed but a PET scan revealed I also have something in my lung and a node near my esophagus.  Talk about connect the dots.   Couple days healing the brain then the pulmonary team take over.  I am planning on getting through this again because my mother lost one of my brothers three years ago almost to the day from the C word, yes it’s a genetic form we have and I don’t think anyone should go through that even once.   My family are my pillars and I’ll kick this again for them.  Envision a pit of disease off that cliff and we’ll all kick it off that ledge together.  
Hugz to all!

 

Re: Time to talk me off the cliff.....

Posted by ashcon on Oct 7, 2020 5:21 pm

JustJan‍ 
So glad to hear that your CA125 markers have dropped. Though not definitive, it's nice to get test results that seem to indicate good news, rather than bad.  Fingers crossed for you in the 21st.  🤞

Suezin‍  What a great image you painted with "kicking the disease off the edge of that cliff"".  You are the person I strive to be. I am 3 years out from my diagnosis of Stage 3 TNBC, holding onto my NED status, and striving for that magic 5 year mark.  Even though you did not hit the 5 year mark, your words offer such hope with what's next for you.  I'll be kicking at this disease for you from where I am sitting!
---- "Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced." ----

Re: Time to talk me off the cliff.....

Posted by JustJan on Oct 20, 2020 9:36 pm

Hello all. My breast oncologist called me about 45 minutes ago to tell me my PET scan is completely clear!  She was happy with the news and she didn’t want me to have to drive in for the appointment tomorrow when she could share it with me tonight! She also said she doesn’t need to see me unless at some point my gyne oncologist says there is a need.  So now I feel like I can finally breathe and can put cancer in the rear view mirror for now. 

Thanks for all the support and positive thoughts. Cancer can be a lonely road but I feel like having people, even if virtually, who really understand is such a blessing. 




 
Strength doesn't come from what you can do, it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't. - Rikki Rogers

Re: Time to talk me off the cliff.....

Posted by Brighty on Oct 20, 2020 9:39 pm

I'm super thrilled for you JustJan‍ !!
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: Time to talk me off the cliff.....

Posted by Lacey_Moderator on Oct 20, 2020 9:41 pm

Such great news JustJan‍!!!

We are lucky to have you in our community sharing and supporting others. 

Thanks for sharing you made my day! 

Lacey 

Re: Time to talk me off the cliff.....

Posted by Essjay on Oct 21, 2020 8:16 am

JustJan‍ so glad to hear your scan was good!

I hope you are taking some time to do something for yourself - a little selfcare after all that stress xx
Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018

Re: Time to talk me off the cliff.....

Posted by cinderella1 on Oct 21, 2020 8:57 am

Fantastic news! God bless you JustJan. 
😊

Re: Time to talk me off the cliff.....

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Oct 22, 2020 8:01 am

Wonderful news, JustJan‍ - thank you for sharing!
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: Time to talk me off the cliff.....

Posted by WestCoastSailor on Oct 22, 2020 7:42 pm

So glad you are away from that cliff edge. JustJan‍  Should you wander near it again, we'll be here. I'm always amazed at the strength of this community... We get so much bad news, it is a truly a pleasure to share good news.

Angus
 
My story: http://journey.anguspratt.ca