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Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Fear

I hope Erin does not mind but I am stealing her Blog title after reading it as I think it is definitely a subject worth talking about!

Being close to the end of my treatment I find myself worrying more and more about my Cancer returning in one way or another.  I just feel that in the past 8 months I have been through a lot and thinking about my treatment finishing makes me a little teary as I will be so glad its over.  The Fear however gets worse as this approaches - what if it does come back?  I'm not sure I would have the strength either physically or mentally to do this all again.  And what if I did find something that needed to be investigated, would I tell anyone?  Would I want to put anyone through that?

When I originally found my lump I did not tell anyone, I did all of the appointments alone, I did question my decision at the time but I guess like anyone in that position you always hope it will be nothing so there will be nothing to tell.  However when it is something telling people is hard - especially when like me you have kept it all secret, I felt terrible when I told my parents, I literally came home from the hospital after being told myself and dropped this bombshell on them - in hindsight I am still not sure I did the right thing. 
I guess if my Husband was here I would have told people as it would have been much harder to keep it secret, but now if I found something would I tell?  I'm still not sure.

The Fear sits at the back of my mind all the time and I will have to learn to deal with it, but that's hard when you are constantly at odds with your own body - every twinge or pain comes with a side of dread that something is wrong and checking my boobs now is an ordeal in itself that comes with a hefty sigh of relief that so far nothing else has appeared.
I suppose in time I will make peace with my body again and in a way that will help me deal with The Fear as I will again get used to what is normal for me and know when something is amiss. 

The psychological effects of having Cancer I don't think will ever go away, and I hope that in time The Fear will become less of a feature in my mind - as with anything it will take time to make my peace with the fact that my Cancer could come back, but one thing I know is that if it did I have amazing family and friends to help me through, I couldn't ask for any better.


  1. Erin doesn't mind at all! Apparently she's very flattered that you liked the idea! ; ) You should send your fab post to Breast Cancer Care. They are starting a new campaign next month and are looking for guest bloggers who've been through cancer themselves- you'd be fab! Xx

  2. Zoe, ask Macmillan nurse, if you have one or your specialist nurse about counselling. I was very sceptical but my counsellor is employed by Macmillan and is brilliant. She understands what cancer means. She has given me ways to deal with the Fear, and they really work. Ali x

  3. The fear never really leaves you Zoe, but you are right, it features in your mind less and less as time goes by, but it kinds of nestles sleepily in a tiny corner of the mind and opens it's eyes most days really....but the fear is fleeting and fades quickly.

    I had a recurrence and it was something I had dreaded, and I was devastated, but it was something that just had to be dealt with...there is no choice. Then my daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia and that was on another level. Thankfully we are both doing well now and we truly love life and appreciate the love and support we have been lucky enough to receive.

    Believe me, when you have finished your treatment, you will start to get back to normal and breast cancer will fade into the background.

    However, you have a talent for could possibly inspire others going through the same by using this gift. Turning a negative into a positive is fantastic therapy...the best kind.....xxxx

  4. Your vulnerability is beautiful and your hope shines through your words. There are no words to make anything better, just know that your words were received today and lifted my heart.

  5. Agreed. You are a great writer. I've been on the flipside of your situation. My step-father just recently passed from Lung Cancer. I will say that no one really ever understands just how you feel. And that goes for you and your family's feelings. I wish I could've known all the thoughts in my step-dad's head. But he wasn't a talker at all. He just smiled right through everything. I will say a prayer for you and your loved ones that the only news you have left to tell is GOOD NEWS. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!!! {PS. I'm visiting from Tony Robbins tweet}

  6. Thinking of you and hope the comin year is good for you. I lost my hubby in June sending you lots of strength xxxx

  7. Ah, Zoe. I remember the dread when I was coming to the end of my treatment. It's the weirdest thing. You would think that it would be cause for celebration that you aren't going to have a cocktail of chemicals flushed through your system any more, but that was when I felt most vulnerable. I think it's because while you are having treatment, you are being seen so regularly that it's a constant reassurance. Then you finish treatment and it's all down to you to face the big bad world on your own. I wish I could tell you that your treatment will end and suddenly your life will be full of nothing but rainbows. People think that once you have survived cancer, that's it, life carries on like before you were ill. But it can cast a shadow over the rest of your life. How big a shadow is down to you; I'm now on my 5th period of counselling (roughly every 2 years!!!). In many ways, this has been a bigger battle for me than the cancer ever was. I'm always happy to chat to you, if you think it will help speaking to someone who already has the tee-shirt! I won't be able to get rid of your fears, unfortunately, but I do at least understand where you are coming from. FB message me if you would like my number. Big hugs for the New Year!

  8. God bless you and your journey! You're a strong woman and I'm looking forward to following you recovery.

  9. My best friend lost two brothers and a sister in law to cancer (stay strong) I also so your tony robbins tweet (wink)!

  10. I offer this to you... in lieu of your husband or other partner being next to you.

    I trust you, and I trust the decisions you make. I can't imagine anyone in a better position to make those choices besides you, so if you ever feel the need for support, I'm here. If you doubt your choices, I'll support you no matter what.

    And, while I know you doubt your strength, I know now what you're capable of, and I imagine that you're capable of even more. Of course, I know that you'll feel weak and tired at times, and those times, as with all times, shall pass as well.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I feel "a part of", now, and I'm grateful that you'd be willing to share yourself with me.

    I am always with you in spirit.

  11. hi,

    Did you already try EFT? It may help- pls check

    happy new year!

  12. Your writing is surely inspirational for anyone going through a similar ordeal as you. Perhaps writing about it is your way of dealing with things. You are certainly very good. I look forward to reading your posts and reading about your recovery. Maybe in your blogs you will find the answers.

  13. My mother is a breast cancer survivor. This was very touching. I will pray for you and your family. Bless you and stay strong.