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Unread 01-05-2004, 04:42 PM

Small Roar it is very natural to think about ones mortality going into this type of surgery and then certainly when ones dx proves to be cancer. Even though my cancer stage is low and survival rate high, it is not the same as before I knew I had cancer. It is so easy for "cancerhead" to raise its ugly head with the appearance of any new ache, pain, fatigue etc.
I must admit that my faith has been my strength and enables me to usually maintain a positive attitude. I know I personally would be in dire straights without it. You mentioned you were not a religious person; however, if you were raised in a religion, you really would have nothing to lose to perhaps study or revisit what you were taught since you could be surprised to find some peace and comfort there.
In any case, please seek help somewhere (counselling, social worker, group support) ; this is not something you should face alone and I say this as a person who understand what you mean re not being a group person. Please let us know how you are doing. Blessings, peggiesue
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Unread 01-05-2004, 07:29 PM
Know how you feel!

I understand your feelings because I share them, big time. I was treated for cervical cancer in May and June of '03. I finished treatment with internal radiation on July 3. I did well emotionally THEN but I don't feel like I am coping as well now. Tomorrow I have my second, three month follow up appointment and I have been so worried about it! I imagine that every ache and pain is the cancer returning. I attend a support group and I have found that helpful. But it only meets once a month. I find statistics to be almost meaningless. The cure rate for my cancer is 80 to 90%, which by all standards is very, very, good. But I will either be in the group that has a recurrence or in the group that doesn't. So, for me, as an individual, my stats are 100%, one way or the other. I couldn't help but wonder if this was the last Christmas I would have. I don't fear death as much as I fear more treatment for cancer. Yes, I have a bad case of "Cancerhead" and have no idea how to get rid of it.

It is wonderful to be able to share here as I don't want to burden my family or friends with this. I don't think they would understand it but I know that you ladies do.

Thanks for being here! I need you gals!
Unread 01-05-2004, 07:40 PM
Life after treatment

I was diagnosed in May 2001. Until I was actually told I had cancer after the operation, I didn't think I will get cancer. The day I was told, I cried buckets but had the frame of mind to ask my husband to run down to the library to borrow books on cancer. Those books, and the many more I have read since, gives me hope. The first statistic I read came from "Making friends with cancer" by Dawn Nelson. It was brutal. I thought the title of the book was absurd, but was drawn to it because the writer was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer and had undergone chemo. There were photos of her and her family. I read it from cover to cover. I have been corresponding with Dawn and the last time I heard she is doing well. Another book that helped me a lot is "A woman's guide to Breast cancer" by Nan Lu. I know I have mentioned this book many times, and with reason. I learn a lot about diet, exercise and herbs from this book. I also learn to understand how I might have gotten cancer from this book. This book teaches me how to take care of myself during chemo and after chemo. This book gives me hope. A year after my chemo I was still suffering from fatigue and fear. Fear of it coming back, fear of going back to another round of chemo. That is when I decided to check out qigong, as recommended by Nan Lu. Even without proper instructions, just from a book, I was able to follow the movements. A week later, my fatigue was gone. So was my fear. My husband took it with me. His eyestrain was gone (he works with computers), so were his headaches. I agree with the sisters here.. life after cancer is better, life after cancer is special. I am healthier now than before. I used to fall sick easily, getting the flu, headaches, insomnia, putting on weight, mini black-outs upon getting up suddenly, moody, depressed, hypoglycemic. Used to. I won't go so far to say that I am cured, I am still mindful of the statistics. I am just grateful for what I have today, and very thankful for the past 2 years.
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Unread 01-05-2004, 07:59 PM

you aare so lucky you found this site. It is wonderful support. I don't go to support group either because I am DEAF and half BLIND. THere are no interpets willing to go the group.I went to counselilng , but that did not help. One day I was searching on hysterectomy to tell my doctor what i go through and acidentlly found this site. It is great because I am deaf and cannot hear anything , yet I stilll lhave wonderful women who really understand. You cry all your tears you need to . There is a life somewhere after death. Your spirit changes. Jesus loves you ans so do we. Hold on to faith. I lost is my faith too, a little came came back. Verey little.You are a survivior too. Hold on to these women you are not alone.
Unread 01-05-2004, 10:15 PM

This site is so wonderful! My surgery for cancer was just over a year ago, Dec.02. I'm really beginning to experience the emotions now. I didn't have a gyn.onc. to do my surgery--wish I had!! Thank God you women are there to help. It felt soooo good to be with my family this Christmas, alive and well. I, too, fear recurrence. I look to God for strength, yet sometimes I feel far from God and can't seem to pray. Then I have to trust that He is carrying me. I heartily agree with the women who say cancer gave them a new outlook on life.

My mom and my aunt are both cancer survivors. So is my mother-in-law! My mom had a very aggressive form of endometrial cancer at age 63. She had 7 weeks of radiation treatments. She is now 76 and has become a very understanding, wise woman. Cancer totally changed her values! My aunt had ovarian cancer at age 48 and she is now a happy grandmother of 65. As for my mother-in-law, she is amazing! She had a mastectomy at 35 and wasn't expected to live more than 6 months. She is now 81 years old. She told the doctor, "No one knows how long I will live. Only God knows that."

TAH/BSO for endometrial & cervical cancer / complications (ruptured bladder) Dec.02
Unread 01-05-2004, 10:59 PM

Small Roar,
Cancer, the hysterectomy, chemo, two mnore surgeries and a grim prognosis gave me bad days too. I worry every 3 months before the PET scan, fear every symptom may be a sign the cancer is back, but trust in God has gotten me thru everything so far and I know He always will. I won't die one minute sooner or later than God wills and He will take me to heaven. and care for all I leave behind . Sometimes I don't feel God at all, but my faith isn't based on feelings. i know I would never have made it thru everything with out Him. I have really learned that it is not now long we live, but what we do with the time that counts and I am trying not to waste a moment. On Saturday my son, his friend, my frined and I went snow shoeing thru a frozen lake, climbed a mountain, made a snow cave, boiled snow over a tiny gas stove and cooked beef stroganoff. It was such a beautiful day. The sun setting thru truned the snow in the trees a beautiful golden color. Life can be good, more golden after cancer.
Unread 01-08-2004, 07:06 AM

Dear SmallRoar,

Just want you to know that I've been thinking about you and ...yes praying for you too!

Let us know how things are going.

Unread 01-08-2004, 07:31 AM

HI Small Roar,
I haven't had the same kind of cancer scare as most women here, but I did have a brain tumour, which was removed (14 years ago)... and I vividly remember the almost paralytic feelings of fear that I went through. I felt terribly vulnerable for a very long period of time. I also felt terribly alone with my feelings because I didn't know anyone who had gone through what I had experienced.
It took me a long time to stop thinking about it and to let go... l think I can that while it tapered off, it did take a few years of OK check ups for me to calm down and feel better mentally and emotionally.

No one can offer us any guarantees, -- we could be hit by a car the next time we step out the door -- the ONLY thing we really have control over is how we react to what is given to us.

I know it doesn't happen over night, but I hope that it won't be long before you are able to come to terms with your recovery and face each day with joy, and yes -- that you start to plan for your future.

best wishes
Unread 01-08-2004, 08:31 AM
Another non religious

I haven't had experience with cancer, but i am obsessed with my own mortality and am not religious, having been "unborn again" after 23 years as a fundamental christian.

I came to realize that death can take me anytime, not necessarily due to heart attack, cancer etc. i've lost 2 family members to sudden unexpected death, one 24 and one 54.

I also was not a "group person" but a divorce support group saved my life in 1996, even though it was a church based group, we had the common issue of divorce. so, don't give up on the idea of a support group.

I also came to realize that i am not afraid of going to sleep at night, and that death is like that. one day i will go to sleep permanently. i still haven't decided if consciousness exists outside of matter....

Anyway---you are a strong person to have survived a battle with cancer, and I wish you all the best.

Fluffy Lemur
Unread 01-08-2004, 08:42 AM

Good Morning Small Roar, I hope you are doing better and, at least, are a little less worried. I read Cheryl's point and it hit so close to home. My friend recently lost her daughter in law, who was a very healthy 22 year old, and the mother of two young children, in an automobile accident. Unfortunately as we all know this is not a particularly rare occurence.
While our dx can, and at times will scare us, in a way it also may be a blessing/eye opener since it seems to encourage many of its victims to value life and loved ones more than they might otherwise and in that way get more joy and happiness out of their lives. One simple example for me: I used to get angry with my husband quite easily before this dx (we both are only children and so each always want our way, ha), now I usually stop and think and often thereby avoid a stupid argument thus two lives remain happier, more full, etc. for this.
I also wanted to let you know you remain in my thoughts and prayers. Please vent, chat with us when you feel like it.
Many blessings, peggiesue

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