Skin cancer

A place for people affected by any type of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

Feeling Anxious

cantdecide1234
Posted by

Hi everyone,

I've just joined this group but have read through many of the past posts and have learned a lot. I have a nodular basal cell carcinoma on the tip of my nose, which is due to be removed through Mohs next week.

I have a pre-existing anxiety disorder and, since receiving the BCC diagnosis, I feel even more anxious than usual and am struggling to cope. I'm in my early thirties and have a young child. Like many (if not most people), this diagnosis has really thrown me for a loop. My list of worries seems endless...that I will develop another BCC, that the atypical mole on my back could be melanoma, that my fatigue and aches and pains signal something more serious, etc. On top of that, I have an autoimmune condition that makes it more difficult for my body to fight off infections.

The rational part of my brain is telling me to breathe, think positively, and that all this stress isn't helping things, but I can't seem to shake the anxiety.

Does anyone have any words of wisdom that have helped them in situations like this? Commiseration also welcome. Thanks for reading.

latchbrook
Posted by

Hi and welcome to the online group

I'm sorry to hear that you're having a BCC removed next week but no wonder you're feeling anxious. Fear of the unknown has that effect on most people so don't beat yourself up about it.

I'm sure you'll feel much better once the BCC has been removed and you know that the cancer has gone. Hopefully you'll never have another one but it's important from now on to be safe in the sun. The article suggests SPF15 or above but for us skin cancer sufferers we should be using a minimum of SPF30.

To stop your mind concentrating on the skin cancer it's good if you can immerse yourself with work or hobbies or both. I would also stay away from google as you'll inevitably stumble across the worst case scenarios and just cause yourself more stress.

It might also be a good idea to speak to your GP about your increased anxiety as she/he should be able to help you if necessary. You could also call the Macmillan Support Line. It's free to call and staffed by trained experts who can help with emotional issues or just listen if you want to talk. The number and opening times are at the bottom of this post.

Please come back and tell us how you get on next week

Sending a big virtual ((hug))

JonathanD
Posted by

Hi

Have you discussed having Radiotherapy instead of surgery? I wasn't offered it (probably due to the cost) however I carried out some research and decided I would prefer this to surgery. I told the Plastic Surgeon that this was my wish and he said 'its your nose .. you can decide'. I said its a gamble and he said 'no not really it has a very good success rate'.

Ten months later and all is good apart from having pale skin in the treated area of my nose. A little delve in to my wife's cosmetics bag and I can barely now see the difference in colour.

Please give it some thought before you go ahead.

Best wishes

Jon

linen2664
Posted by

Hi Cantdecide1234

just read your article I truly feel for you I have just had a BCC and a further biopsy on the tip of my nose removed on Wednesday, my other half 6 years ago had a melanoma removed from his back I spotted it by shear luck and thank god I did.


However, back to you,  I have learnt over the years not to get too fractious but sadly the mind is a clever and manipulating part of our body.    What I do now, to try and stop my mind wondering, what if what if all the time -  is to breathe in for a count of 4 through the nose, hold for 7 and breathe out through the mouth slowly for 8  it works and slows the mind down, it takes no time to do- I find sitting (which i never have time for as I still work, albeit in my own business  - but you have to find the time) is better - you can do it in the car, sat at traffic lights, not whilst driving and it truly does calm the mind.


Give it a whirl.   Just take each day at a time, enjoy each day, try and do the exercise each day and see if it makes you feel a tad better.  Remeber we have fantastic Doctors, Consultants to help us and cure us in most cases,  and this Forum to keep us going.   Good luck and send me a message any time at all.  BREATHE - TO BE CALM


Best for now Denise Linen2664

Clare C
Posted by

Hey Jonathan!  Glad you've discovered the make-up bag - that's what I'll be doing when my turn comes round!

Hope all is well,

All the best,

Clare

Kathias
Posted by

Hi, 

I had a bcc nodular cancer removed from my nose three weeks ago. The operation went well, no sedation was necessary, it was painless once the injections were done. I was left with stitches and swelling, bruises on face and around eyes. I didn’t have Mohs, the cancer was cut out with a margin of healthy tissue allowed. A biopsy proved the bad cells were all out. I’m not keen on hospitals etc and felt very anxious. However, the surgeon and other staff put me at ease and I coped fine. It wasn’t pleasant but it wasn’t too bad and it was necessary. Try not to worry, you will get through it. My scars are healing well and some people have said they can’t tell I’ve had anything done to my nose. It’s still a bit sore inside and part of my nose remains numb, little price for getting rid of the cancer.  Wearing reading glasses has been very difficult though, still uncomfortable.


 Time passes and you will get through this. Practice some breathing exercises to help reduce feelings of panic.

All the best. 

Rebecca Rebecca
Posted by

Hello Cantdecide1234

It might be that you have already had your surgery. If so, I hope it went well. If not this is how I coped with my situation, which is still ongoing:

I lent on my family and friends and told them how I felt (anxious) rather than acting big and brave. I removed as much pressure as I could from my life and didn’t go to any social events unless I wanted to. I also did yoga, didn’t drink and ate really healthily, all of which m made me feel better mentally. I also learnt along the way not to read up in the internet (unless it was a registered body) as I sent my mind into overdrive! 

Good luck and take care. 

Rebecca xx