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Unread 10-18-2003, 07:06 PM

OK ladies - I need reassurance I am not going out of my mind. I am four weeks post op from my TAH/BSO/Cervix removed for grade I stage IA uterine cancer. Also had my urethra straightened and bladder tacked, and because my liver had to be palpated my internal incision goes up to my navel, so I still have abdominal pain.
I have been feeling really upbeat - but today I can't get out of this funk I am in. Keep crying on and off and feel really blue - and angry. Is this 'cancerhead'? My prognosis is great! Only negative is that my GYN/ONC is sure I have Lynch II (HNPCC) and I am going through the genetic counseling (they are testing me for HNPCC and BRCA1 and BRCA2 due to family history). Even if I test positive it means more vigorous annual testing - which is a good thing. I am OK with this.
So - why the funk? Did others have this happen while recovering? Why now after four weeks? My DH found lots of outside chores to do today and I even drove (first long drive) 25 miles each way to the fabric store for retail therapy - and even that didn't help!
Yikes! Hormones or cancerhead?
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Unread 10-18-2003, 08:26 PM

Yes, you are normal....and it will come and go during your recovery the first year. I am convinced that the emotional aspect of all of this is the worst part. It will get better with every good check up you have..... I am sure the genetic testing is weighing a bit on your mind. As I have already told you my gyn recommended genetic testing...but i havent made the decision yet...but she also told me that even if one tests positive that does not mean you have a 100% risk of developing the just means you are predisposed to it....and with testing, lifestyle changes, can reduce your genetic risk....and may never get it....
Take care....chris
Unread 10-19-2003, 08:37 PM

I agree that this is normal, especially during the first year. I had my nights of crying and worrying in spite of my excellent prognosis. Hang in there.
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Unread 10-19-2003, 09:21 PM

I sure hope is normal too. No matter how much I am convicned they got all the cancer out, every little pain makes me think it is back. If it does not show up on the cat scan it just means 3 things. It is too small to see, it is dormant(sleeping) and wake up later, or is really gone. For those lucky people who never expericned the "pleasures " or surgrey, chemo, radiaion, extra pills, hormone replacements, and shuch, these little aches and pains are no big deal. To us it is. I hope this cancerhead goes away. I reckon it needs more time.

We understand how you feel, you are not alone.
Unread 10-19-2003, 10:01 PM

Thanks ladies for the support. I keep telling myself this will take time. I think the hormones are starting to act up too - which can't be helping.
I am blessed with a DH who is so patient. I am sure he is wondering who this woman is who is biting his head off all the time, but he is maintaining a better sense of humor than I!
Unread 10-20-2003, 06:49 AM
On The Watchful Waiting Period

Hi, Jan--

For me, the worst time of all in the cancer process was after my treatment ended. I did not have major problems recovering from surgery or getting through internal and external radiation. But then treatment ended and I "crashed" emotionally. I have come to learn over the years that this is entirely normal. I was very busy during treatment, either trying to heal and resume normal physical activity after surgery, or going to daily radiation treatments. But then it ended and it seemed as though there was nothing more to I could "do" to recover from cancer or ensure good health.

In hindsight I am convinced that the anxiety and sleeplessness I experienced for the better part of six months was the result of two factors. One, I was thrown into surgical menopause as the result of my radical hysterectomy. Because of the my cancer history, I could not take any hormones to alleviate the symptoms of making the transition to menopause. Second, I was still trying to assimilate my cancer diagnosis into my psyche. After diagnosis, everything happened so fast as far as treatment went, that my mind did not really have a chance to comprehend what was going on with my body.

My family physician at the time was not at all helpful when I reported what I was going through (I have since moved on to someone who is totally responsive). My radiation oncologist was uncomfortable prescribing something for my anxiety, so she referred me to a psychiatrist. He was able to prescribe medication for the short term that broke the no sleep cycle I was in and and start to get me back on track. It did not happen overnight, but I think over the course of the following few months, my body adjusted both to the hormonal changes, as well as to the cancer diagnosis.

Also, once you have a few good follow-up visits under your belt, the nervousness and apprehension about the possibility of a recurrence starts to diminish considerably. And as you've heard me say before, I really feel great now, and have so for the past few years, both physically and emotionally.

Take care.

Unread 10-20-2003, 11:46 AM
Thanks MoeKay for your reply -

although I didn't post this, I have been going through such anguish. I finished chemo 2 weeks ago - have my CT scan scheduled for 11/13 and in the meantime, seem to be having such anxiety over the test results. Cancerhead has reared it's ugly head and I am having such a hard time pushing "bad mind" away. And everywhere I turn I seem to see or hear of stories of cancer recurring. I switch from bad head to a mantra of "all cured" but it still isn't helping. I am forcing myself to get out of bed, focus on something else and others. Do some work. Go to the post office, the bank. To make matters worse, my dr. told me they don't call unless they see something - with the CT scan results, but I can call in after 2-3 days. So of course, all I can think is that if I answer the phone and my dr's office is on the line, that I should just be committed at that point. I see her next week and am going to talk to her about all this. It feels better just to post. Thanks fo elistening everyone.
Unread 10-20-2003, 01:30 PM

Somehow when I read Jad's initial post here, a psychological theory of Kubler Ross popped into my mind. This theory can really be used for any major life event, and, in my mind, chemo is one such event.

The theory says that we go through 5 stages in dealing with such major events:


However, since we are all unique, some of us may start at stage # 5, for eg., instead of stage #1. And, may skip (?) a stage altogether.

For myself, every time that a chemo has been postponed for me - and this is more times than I want to remember - as I just want it finished with! - I probably have been at Stage # 5. What else could I do. Then in # 4 for a bit of a funk, then out again.

What I am trying to say is that to go from 'upbeat' to feeling angry is normal during, and I'll be very specific here - chemo delays.

But, it could be used more generally for cancer as a whole. You know, "Yes, I have had cancer, and my emotions have run the gamut", etc. Now, how I would apply it to Cancerhead would be to recognise that some days I will dwell on it, and other days I will accept the fact that I've had cancer, but it was treated, and I went along with the treatment to the best of my ability. But because I believe that stress played a major factor in my cancer developing, I consciously have made a decision not to stress out, wondering about it coming back. I certainly have thought about that - but it was fleeting, and I threw it out of my mind.

Now, it's a theory mind, but one quite well regarded.
Unread 10-20-2003, 02:46 PM
Wild Rose,

I think you are so right about the stages, and also about Stress as it relates to cancer developing. I like your attitude and the way you look at this. I am going to keep this in my mind and post it on mycomputer to help me through this. Thanks!
Unread 10-20-2003, 10:00 PM

Thanks Wild Rose - and everyone else who responded.

I like your theory - especially when the order can be adjusted. I think after the initial anger, I went into acceptance mode. I was the one comforting my family and friends.
I have spent most days since my surgery doing research on uterine cancer, HNPCC, statistics, learning how I can help others - and I reached a point where I had read every web site I could find and then it was like 'what now'?
Your posts have been very comforting and today I feel quite a bit better. I suppose it really does take time.

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