How do I move forward

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Hello, I'm new here 

In March 2023 I was diagnosed with stage1a grade 1 cancer, in April I had a total hysterectomy and was told that the cancer had been completely removed with the surgery,  I do realise how very lucky I am,

however,  I cannot stop worrying about the cancer coming back,  I say a silent prayer every time I go to the loo as I worry there might be blood or discharge,  I can't make plans for the future or move on, I have also been diagnosed with reactive depression and have been put on antidepressants, how do I get past this and start living again, thank you

  • Hi  and welcome across to this corner of the community. I can totally understand the what if’s post treatment……. I have an incurable cancer and although my last treatment was over 7 years ago there is a very good chance that I can relapse at any time….. but I was diagnosed way back in 1999 and have relapsed multiple times over my first 17 years so my secret is take each day as it comes….. then move onto a few days…… this turns to weeks and months.

    You may find it helpful to 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.

    The paper is a great tool, have a good look ok at it them come back to me and tell me the top ‘takeaways’ you get from the paper ((hugs))

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

    Community Champion Badge

  • Hi Cyanyear

    That is wonderful news that you have been given the all clear for the cancer you had. Now is time for your body and mind to heal and come to terms with what has happened to you.

    I think that many of us worry about cancer returning particularly early after treatment but this becomes less so as time passes. Many of us also suffer from short term depression after our diagnosis and treatment. It takes a while to come to terms with what has happened and the change in our lives. One day we were happily living our lives and then suddenly there is a bend in the road that we did not see coming and life is different and maybe not quite the same ever again for some.

    I had jaw cancer as a result of a condition called lichen planus that cannot be cured.Over time I have had 3 big ops (2013, 2019,2022)  and 2 lots of radiotherapy and a recent jaw reconstruction. I am currently cancer free. The lichen planus is unable to be cured and there is always a chance that it may result in another cancer in my last remaining jaw. Initially I was quite down about it all but over time have developed a much more positive attitude. I don't want to waste the second and third chance that I have been given to live my life. I don't take anything for granted and live my life very happily as a life lived in fear is no life at all. I have been on some lovely holidays and joined in so many family gatherings since my first diagnosis in 2013.I volunteer at my local library and I am still jogging along quite nicely. If the caner returns my attitude is that  I will manage it then. In the meantime I have a lot more life to live.I have the advantage of being on this journey for some time now so have had longer to come to terms with things.

    The article that Mike mentioned was an absolute revelation to me and really helped me with my recovery. I hope it helps you too. I highly recommend it to you.

    You will get there you just have to give it time.Take a small positive step to start the process e.g. join an exercise group, go for a walk, get out in the garden, anything that you enjoy. The brain finds it hard to concentrate on 2 things at once so when you are busy doing something you enjoy you won't think about the cancer.

    Sending warm wishes.

    Lyn

    x

    Sophie66

  • Hi thehighlander, thank you so much for your reply, I am inspired by your outlook on life, as you say 1 day at a time, then a few etc, at the moment I am at 1 day at a time, however, I have booked a holiday abroad for Sept, so maybe I am braving looking to the future, slowly. I read that paper and my main takeaway is that I can't shut all this away in a box in my mind and hope to be the person I was before cancer, I have to try and face this head on and learn to live with this, and also accept that hearing that someone else has cancer will act as a trigger, again I need to find ways of coping with that, as an empath it won't be easy

    On a side note, I am also a highlander, I grew up on the Isle of Lewis Slight smile

  • Hi again  I thought at Inverness College for a good number of years and worked with and tougher a lot of Islanders…..I actually think they were all the ‘same’ as the main land Highlanders but at the same time had a unique edge Wink

    We have lived in Inverness for over 32 years and never been over on the Isle’s…… I know that sounds crazy and more so as my wife’s ancestry goes back to the clearances from Barra to Nova Scotia…… but it’s on the cards for her 65 birthday year….

    Glad you found a ‘takeaway’ from the paper….. since it was highlighted to me about 6 years ago I find myself looking through it from time to time as it’s like a roadmap into the unknown. 

    My very long and complicated journey (see my story in the link at the bottom) has resulted in navigating a significant amount of bumps on the road….. but as a family we worked on an open book approach so that ‘stuff’ was not put in boxes and hidden on shelf’s and under the bed……. doing this just means that the issues will fester (like some cheese) and eventually blow up due to some ‘trigger’…. a conversation, a film, seeing someone who is obviously going through treatment.

    So looking forward is very important…… 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.

    Have a great holiday…… this little corner of the community is a good ‘therapy’ area where folks can rant and get support when the bumps on the road appear.

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

    Community Champion Badge

  • Hi Mike and Cyanyear

    What a coincidence about the Scottish connection. My family migrated to Australia in 1964 just before my 11th. birthday. My father was Scottish and we used to visit my grandparents in Edinburgh regularly. I remember some wonderful holidays visiting the Corstorphine Zoo and Edinburgh Castle. We always visited in the warmer weather (we lived in the south of England) so when we returned for a visit in the 70’s in December after being in Australia for 10 years I was not prepared for the bitterly cold weather. I had not heard of thermals up until then and my grandmother had to lend me hers.

    My uncle and his family lived in North Uist and Dad’s cousin lived in the Isle of Skye although I have never visited either of these although my parents did.

    My father passed on at the age of 96 and never lost his accent. I sometimes had to interpret for my husband. Sometimes people would comment on his accent and asked where he came from and it used to surprise me as I said ‘what accent?’ It’s funny how you don’t notice an accent when you have lived with it all your life.

    Dad used to watch the Edinburgh Tattoo every year to get his fix of bagpipes and kilts.

    So many happy memories of Scotland.

    Best wishes to you both.

    Lyn

    Sophie66

  • Hi  …… I like your dad!s approach “what accent?”….. our oldest daughter lives in Surrey so we do go down a lot and we get the “so your Scottish then”…….Grimacing

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

    Community Champion Badge

  • Hi Sophie66,

    So nice to hear from you, north uist is a beautiful place,  and like you, I also love Edinburgh,  every time I go home I stop off at a shop in Edinburgh and buy a piece of Scottish jewellery, I too live on the South coast now, bognor regis, so its nice to go home every now and then for the slower pace of life, Slight smile

  • Hi Cyanear

    We had a 4 week trip to England in 2016 and did not get to Scotland but spent the time in the south. Did not go to Bognor Regis but visited Arundel and the castle. Fascinating place as there is nothing in Australia like that as it's history is so recent compared to England's. I managed to catch up with an old friend that I have been in contact with since migrating. Also met up with a cousin that I had not seen in over over 40 years. We visited in early Summer as I did not want to repeat the December trip with the cold weather.

    Nowadays my travels are closer to home. Since I had more ops for my jaw it has affected my eating which makes foraging for food when on holidays a challenge. I am planning a trip to Tasmania with my husband in November and we plan to hire a car and stay in self catering accommodation so I can prepare my own food. Have done this in the past and found it works out well.

    Have a wonderful holiday in September.

    Lyn

    x

    Sophie66