Worries about reocurrance - share your story with me

Recently I was at the cancer clinic for check-up. During the rectal exam the doctor could feel lumps in my bowel.  She told me not to go home and worry but that I was to have a CT scan and return for another checkup in a month.  I was scheduled for a colonoscopy later that week (due to constipation problems).  After the procedure I was diagnosed with a healthy bowel.  

Though I tried not to worry, I think subconsciously I was thinking "what if". I think even though I have done really well (1 year 7 months post chemo), a tiny part of me in the back of my brain cannot help but worry about a reoccurance. Especially, when normal health problems crop up.  Fortunately everything turned out ok, but I am left with a throbbing headache today after all of that go ahead last week.  So, I am just going to take a day for me, drink some tea, do some knitting, and relish in the thought that after all I have been through, I am ok.  :)


  • I am going to follow this thread for sure....because I truly don't know how I move on after chemo is done.
  • I moved on full steam ahead! I was so happy to have the chemo done.  I am a happy camper and confident in my health but when things like this pop up I can't help but wonder. I guess that is natural. :)
  • Hello @sunshine1122 and @red1976... yes, I agree, those are all understandable feelings.
    I'm going to review this webinar again:

    I found it very helpful. 
  • I recently went for my final checkup at the cancer centre, I’ve been in remission for five years and now it’s protocol for them to return me to the care of my family doctor. Even though this was an incredibly joyful moment, fear of recurrence remains an extremely difficult issue for me. Sometimes I have a terrible fear of being rediagnosed or ending up back at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. Every checkup, test, or change in how my body feels still causes anxiety. The positive news is that after so many years I think I’ve become somewhat better at coping with the day-to-day apprehension and uncertainty that comes with being a cancer survivor.

  • Hi @SunshineC @red1976 @Flowergirl @Jackie
    Fear of recurrence, hypervigilence over all the aches and pains in the body and tests are all very common. There is a great book called "Picking Up the Pieces" by Kathy Scalzo and Sherri Magee.  This book addresses how to move forward after cancer and pick up the pieces of your life again in a constructive way.  You may find it helpful.

  • I worry about recurrence every day, even though my tumour was considered LMP (low malignancy potential) and removed in stage 1. I just remind myself that what will be will be, and accept that cancer will always be a part of my life. I have good days and bad, good moods and down right sh*tty ones, so I try to stay busy and do things that make me happy. Recently it has been letting go of something that has been causing nothing but stress and starting a direct sales business with a company I am really passionate about.
  • I think more than anything the thought of having to go through all the medical stuff again. I have to travel over 2 hours to get to the cancer centre because my local hospital doesn't treat ovarian cancer patients who require chemo.  That and all the lovely stuff that goes with chemo  :s is the thing that gives me dread the most.  

    Since last post I had a tension headache that lasted 12 days. I went to emergency and they gave me something to break the cycle of pain and sent me for a scan on my brain because of my history.  All was clear thank heavens.  I also had the cat scan the gyne oncologist ordered.  It was clear too.  BIG SIGH OF RELIEF.

    It's funny though, outwardly I don't worry. I must be doing it subconsciously. At any rate, I am back at the cancer clinic tomorrow for a follow-up appointment. I am hoping I won't have to go back for spell.  Wish me luck!

  • Hi @sunshine1122.    Glad to hear that all those scans were clear!    If you are worrying subconsciously, you may want to check out some of the discussions about anxiety and how to cope with the diagnosis.  Maybe some of the practices that some of the other women talk about might be helpful for you too.  How did your follow up appointment go?  Hope you don't have to go back for a while.
  • Hi Marilyn!
    Thanks for checking in on my!  I am taking steps to deal with the anxiety and the stuff I think I buried in the back of my mind. I am going to see a therapist and hopefully process the ordeal. 
    My follow-up appointment went well and I don't have to go back for another four months.  THank heavens!  Now that all of that is over I feel much better.  :)
  • Hello all, I haven't been on this site for awhile. I finished my chemo on Oct 18th/17 and had a great winter got some travelling in to the Dominican Republic & Florida, but unfortunately on March 10th I started bloating, got drained 5 litres & had a ct scan on March 23, small bowel blockage ( this was the same symptom that led me to my diagnosis). So I am already in recurrence, not saying this to frighten anyone just to let you know that even if it happens there are still options. I will be starting chemo again, but this time a low dose of Taxol once a week for 12 weeks. It will be an annoyance but I was glad to hear treatment was an option. 
  • Hello @Jack - thank you for sharing your update - sorry to hear you are going through that again.
  • I have been in remission for over 3 years from stage 4a ovarian cancer - and in the last few weeks have been feeling mildly nauseous and burping a lot.  I have a scheduled appointment with my oncologist on May 29 and I wonder if I should call or just wait for my appointment.  These symptoms are similar to the ones before diagnosis, until they were overshadowed by pleural effusion and vaginal bleeding. 
  • I would definitely call and talk to someone. If they think it's urgent they will want to see you. That's what I would do :)

  • FlowergirlFlowergirl Mod Vol
    Yes, for sure @tigerlily - if this is new for you, the symptoms, if you can call and explain, perhaps they will move up your appointment.
  • thanks @Flowergirl and @sunshine1122 - I did call and we agreed to wait until the set appointment, but with the reassurance that if things got worse, to call again and see what they can do.  I am always afraid of overreacting, and it's only a couple weeks.  
  • FlowergirlFlowergirl Mod Vol
    Glad you were able to do what you are comfortable with - sending positive vibes to you @tigerlily
  • congratulations @Jackie , you made it to 5 years!!! Live life and enjoy it all!
  • your experience sounds similar to mine @Jack . Debulking surgery, followed by chemo which ended Feb 2017. I spent the next year working on my physical body and mind, regaining strength and mobility. Did some travelling. Then in March 2018, I had almost every symptom on the OC watch list. It was a shock, and caused a lot of emotional upheaval. But I sorted it out; I worked hard and I now have a very clear focus and vision for what I need to do and think moving forward.  For myself and my two teenage sons. I spent 8 days in the hospital in April for bowel obstruction; am doing better now. I'm due to start Lynparza next week!!! I'm excited to get going with it. 

  • Thank you @JaneWest I’m filled with gratitude for making it five years and I see the world in a different way than I did before my cancer journey. My thoughts are with you and I can empathize with what it’s like to have a bowel obstruction. In 2012 while I was going through chemo I had an obstruction that was caused by scarring and adhesion of my bowel. I spent seven weeks in the hospital and it ultimately required some surgery. 

  • I have experienced two bowel obstructions. Not fun!
    @Jackie and @JaneWest Both of you know what i am talking about!  Glad things worked out. Keep up the positive attitude! :)
  • Hello everyone - Starting July 6 - for those of you on the site not currently dealing with recurrence, there is an upcoming online webinar if you need support and coping techniques to deal with the fear of recurrence:
    I attended this session a while ago and it was very helpful to cope with stress, address emotions and promote recovery.
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