After cancer survival

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Hello, I am new here . How do we do this. How do we manage to put one foot in front of the other and get out the door. Then meet people, who may ask how are you.? It's overwhelming .  I thought being told the cancer is gone, and no treatment needed would be enough . My surgeon was brilliant and I would thank him every day if I could, but my last appointment with him is soon , and I am starting to panic over all the questions I haven't yet asked. And the fact that he will not be there . 

My operation was in January and it's a long way to July for my scan. 

  • Hi again  and well done navigating across to this little corner of the Community.

    The question “how do you move forward?” is often asked, of course you are going to get many answers as everyone deals with this differently.

    I have an incurable blood cancer, diagnosed way back in 1999 when I was 44. Over my 23+ years journey I have had a shed load of treatment and I not was ever able n partial remission for about 8 more this before the treatment started again (see my story through the link below) but eventually I got into remission in Sep 2016 and remission so…… can it come back yes, am I focusing on this no.

    Life is precious, we have fought hard for it so it’s important we don’t lose a day of it. We can’t let fear, the questions we get asked, the unknown define us and how we live, we Ned to take control and define how ‘we want to live’.

    Sometimes we need help with this so it’s good that you have found the group.

    As a starting point why not make a cuppa and have a look at this great paper After Treatment Finishes - Then What? by Dr Peter Harvey as it highlights the post treatment milestones….. then once you have read it, read it again then come back to us and tell us what the paper is actually saying to you ((hugs))

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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  • Thank you for telling me about the great paper that dr Peter harvey wrote. I have read it twice now and taken some information from it that will be useful when seeing my consultant next. Thank you.

  • Hi  I am pleased that you  found the paper helpful and yes, it’s a very good tool to help move life forward.

    When I post the paper folks will often come back to me and say that they think that the paper had been written just about them.

    I would always then challenge folks to become proactive after reading it through and use it as a vehicle for change and life improvement.

    So get a note book or some sheets of paper and put pen to paper - it is a good way forward.

    So a page per subject heading. Start detailing the things you have done already to move life on in each area and then start to set some achievable goals to work towards. 

    When you achieve the first goal on each lists, tick it off and then put a new goal at the bottom of the list. By doing this you can start to actually see your progress and celebrate achievements…… and when I say celebrate I do mean giving yourself treats and gifts........ you have life - celebrate it.

    The headings would be:

    What steps am I taking to regain trusts in my body?

    What steps am I taking to regain trust in myself?

    What steps am I taking to overcome living with uncertainty?

    What steps am I taking to deal with the world?

    What steps am I taking to regain mastery and control of my life?

    Try it, the future is sitting in front of you - think about driving a car. The big windscreen shows the future, the past is in the little mirrors and is getting smaller and more fuzzy as we move forward.....if you concentrate on the past you crash ((hugs))

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

    Community Champion Badge

  • Yep, I know what you mean, Silversurfer5427!

    From the beginning I've questioned what people actually want to know when they say 'how are you'? Do they really want to know or are they being polite? Do they want to know about your physical or mental health? I'm never even sure what doctors mean when they ask! I usually give a fairly bland answer like ' not so bad, thanks'! It can indeed be overwhelming!

    I also get what you mean about the questions stacking up before your last appointment with your surgeon. I am in just that place myself. There are questions I have asked my surgeon before but I can't remember what he answered then! I feel embarrassed about asking him again, but then again, it's probably now or never! I will have another 3 years of annual appointments but I am guessing I will see one of the team then rather than the 'boss man' who I have seen so far and who actually did most of my surgery.

    I have more or less decided to be brave and ask at least 2 questions that have been on my mind for some time but which I've bottled out of asking before! In the past, I've written questions down and I've always been met with patience and acceptance that there are a lot of things I don't quite understand, so that might be the thing to do. If you do that, you might want to let the surgeon know at the beginning that you have a number of questions to ask, so they don't get forgotten or so you don't lose your nerve at the end of the appointment! It's too important an opportunity to miss, isn't it?

    As for your first question - I think you've answered it for yourself.. just do put one foot in front of the other and take baby steps! The diagnosis and treatment is done, but the recovery is a whole 'nother thing! There are no rules and no doctors to tell us how to do it! Just don't expect too much of yourself too soon. Recovery is not just physical, as I have discovered 3 years on from diagnosis.

    I wish you well and keep talking and sharing here.