Ask your questions to our Clinical Nurse Specialist Sue, who has lots of experience...
At the beginning of this year I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Lucky I caught it early at T1. I had it removed and that was it no further treatment. I have been on surveillance now for 6 months. Recently I have been suffering thinking every pain in my abdomen means the cancer has returned. I go to the gym a lot which means I have lots of aches and pains that before this would never worry me. But now I feel very conscious that I am in control of my health and I don’t know what to ignore and what to see a doctor about. At times it’s all I can think about so much so it ruins my day.
This is week I had my first CT scan since my op. Good news nothing came back which has done loads for peace of mind. I spoke with the staff at the hospital and they said it’s a normal feeling. They offered me to speak to someone about fear of recurrence.
I want to get a grip of it so it doesn’t spiral out of control.
Anyone got got any tips on dealing with this issue.
Thanks in advance
Well what I can say is your feeling what most people feel. The fear of return is very real and most patients suffer from it. I also worried that every pain or ache I had meant it had returned. In fact 2 weeks before my CT scans and check ups I had lots of pains and when I was told I was clear they just went away. The problem is you are very vigilant now about your body and the aches and pains you feel. The whole point in the surveillance and check ups is so they catch anything early if there is anything. As time goes on it does get easier and you start to let go a little. I'm afraid it does take time to process what is going on and what has happened but trust me you are not alone with this.
Try to be patient and things do get easier.
I had testicular cancer. I had 4 x CT scans since the surgery over a year ago and they are ALL CLEAR so far.
I can tell you one thing: you are getting used to it. I have been there.
You are worrying less with good results of each scan. It is like you are building a confidence in your health after every scan and that confidence accumulates so you are less associating small aches or pains with cancer.
I remember I posted here about a back pain after the surgery and the other users here told me that It is highly unlikely to be anything sinister (for logical reasons) but I couldn't stop worrying on my own. That time has passed for me. Hope you will look back to this moment after a year and you will tell somebody the same thing.
The best advice I can give you is stay busy. A busy mind won’t have time to worry about other things. This is easier said than done but in time it will get easier. I’m very up and down with it. I can go months without a care in the world and then I will get something in my head and it derails me for weeks. It is something that will never completely leave you I’m afraid but it is something you can definitely learn to manage better. I just try and live as healthy as I can because being tired, unfit is not going to help. Focus on sleeping enough. You would be amazed how much of a difference this makes to our emotional wellbeing. You will figure it out in time. It is a different answer for each of us. Just don’t be in too much of a rush to be normal again. It takes as long as it takes.
Classical Seminoma, initially stage one.
Oncologist initially unclear if elevated lymph node is due to cancer. bumped up to stage two B after CT scan 3 months later. Further spread to 2 lymph nodes and increase in size.
Undergone 3 cycles of BEP at Derby Teaching Hospital and had the all clear on 9/2/17
Now on ten years of surveillance
Thanks for the reply these messages have helped me a lot. I am now feeling like patience is the way forward
Yea now the time has passed since my scan all my worries have gone away for now. I’m starting to get confidence back in my body again.
Some great things here I can take on board. Staying busy your so right. And look after my general well being is going to help too. Thanks
I’ve had so many ups and downs mate. It’s totally normal what your going through. But in time the worry will leave you. Your surveillance will pick up if anything happens. It does get easier. It’s a lot to go through. You will always have people who don’t understand what it’s like. And that’s why telling people how you feel is important. And even being up front with work. If they don’t know your struggling they won’t understand. It’s important to see the recovery as a marathon and not a sprint. But the healthy routines with exercise, sleep and eating healthy will speed things up lots.
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