I have been thinking about this post for a while. Something that all survivors think about, but don't want to talk about. Fear of recurrence. I don't know ANY friends of mine that are survivors who don't think about this at least at least once. Mostly during times close to doctors appointments. Yeah that's right I have an oncology appointment in about a week. Although I don't expect anything bad, there is always that thought, what if? What if it comes back? What if the meds I took to get rid of my breast cancer caused some other cancer, yes, that's right, side effects of some of the chemo drugs are other cancers. I can almost picture one of those happy commercials for Adrymicin/Cytoxan, (the chemo drug that made my pee turn red and made my hair fall out) with the family out for a picnic talking about A/C and happily discussing the potential liver disease and bladder cancer you could get as one of the possible side effects.
Whenever my docs explained the side effects and listed them off, I remember I said no thanks I don't want any of those, as if I had a choice of side effects, no thanks to the seizures, but I will take the chills, fever and hallucinations.
Fear of recurrence. It is real. It is a side effect that I believe every cancer survivor gets, funny how its not on any list that I have seen. It doesn't happen often, mostly near doctors appointments, especially if I get a scan or a blood test, or near the anniversary of when I was diagnosed, when I had my surgery or some similar cancer related event. Even unrelated tests can make you nervous. I remember when my docs office called with the results of my pap test I held my breath a little until the nurse said normal.
As another oncology appointment approaches the thought is in the back of my mind. The odds are in my favor for being cancer free, but there is always that what if?
Mel is the producer/co-host of The Vic McCarty show. Listen live Monday-Friday eastern standard time on wmktthetalkstation.com.
Check out my show The Cancer Warrior on Empoweradio.com