Constant worry of recurrance


Hi, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer in Oct 16, I had a lumpectomy, 6 cycles of fec t chemo and 20 days of radiotherapy.  I coped really well, but since then I am forever paranoid that it’s come back.  I have awful pains down my arm from my shoulder, it’s worse at night and my hands go numb frequently.  I work at my GP practice so feel embarrassed to discuss it with my GP as it sounds pathetic!  I feel worse now (mentally) than I did when I was going through the treatment.  It’s taken over my normal sensible thoughts....Does anyone else feel like this?  Sorry for waffling ! 

  • Hi Pandaparky welcome to the forum and please be assured that you are perfectly normal in your thinking.

    The fear of recurrence never leaves any of us but somehow we manage to put it  to the backs of our minds and keep it there for a while until something comes up that re-ignites the fear and you are not alone in this.

    i didnt have chemo but I think that what you describe has been talked about in the breast cancer forum in the chemo thread about the pains and numbness and I might be wrong but I think it is to do with chemo but pop over and see what you think.

    Working at a GP Practice is the best place to be Dr's on hand. Is there one that you get on with better than the rest if so why not ask to have a chat with them? No need to be embarrassed you are scared and you need re-assurance and thats ok.

    Im wondering if you have access to the Internet that you go on and look up an article by  Dr Peter Harvey called After the Treatment Finishes Then what?  Im sure like lots of us it will offer some re-assurance about what you are thinking and how you are feeling right now and believe me you are not alone.

    Meantime im sending  some huge big hugs your way. xxxxxxx

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to GRANNY59

    Thank you Granny59.  As you say it goes to the back of your mind for a short while and then you feel something is not right...then before you know it, its in the forefront of your mind, tormenting you yet again.   Does it ever improve?  or does your whole life evolve around it?  

  • Hi Pandaparky,

    It definitely does improve and your life will definitely not evolve around it. It might just take some time, so be easy on yourself. And go get yourself checked out. I reckon it’s always better to have the embarrassment of wasting their time than driving yourself potty with the what ifs.

    Here’s hoping you get some answers soon, and that your mind gets some rest too.

    All the best,


  • Hi pandaparky

    Lots of great advice from Granny59 and Greg777. Fear of recurrence is very real. Please don't beat yourself up about how you feel - I think if we were all to be honest, most of us here probably go through similar fears. Fear of recurrence had a nasty habit of creeping up and pouncing when we least expect it. It's important that we build up our coping strategies so that we can stop the negative thoughts taking up squatters rights in our headspace. You perhaps already have things you do that help you feel better. For me, those strategies include walking, knitting (when I'm concentrating on a pattern there's less room for the dark thoughts) and prayer. Lots of people find meditation helpful. Mindfulness techniques can also be very useful. 

    I agree with Greg777 - you work in the right place to go and ask someone for support both regarding the pain you're e periencing and the emotioside of things. I can understand  your reluctance but don't worry about wasting their time. It's what the doctors and nurses are there for. If they don't feel they can offer the right support they'll know who can. If you have a specialist nurse, she might also be a good source of reassurance and support. If you prefer to talk to people you don't know or to people who've been through something similar, your nurse or local Macmillan Centre can put you in touch with support groups or even a counsellors if you feel that would help. I'd gently suggest that if you find these thoughts are taking over for more than a few days at a time it may be beneficial to seek some specialist help. As others have said, we get bettervat dealing with it as time goes on - you're only 2 years post surgery and in my book that's still early days with regard to dealing with everything a cancer diagnosis and treatment entails. Be kind to yoursel x

  • This is a link to the Dr Peter Harvey - Life after Treatment papers as it is hard at times to find it.

    Mike - Thehighlander

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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