Feeling scared

I was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer October 2016, had mastectomy & now on tamoxifen. Oncotype test revealed low risk of recurance (10%)
doing pretty well but every time I hear about a celebrity who’s breast cancer has returned I have a complete meltdown. The lasted being today, on hearing that Jacquie Beltrao’s had returned under 7 years after being first diagnosed. I understand her original diagnosis was caught early so it is really upsetting that it should return so soon. Please give me some success stories of long term survivors. Thank you

Hi Sonia, 

i haven’t got any reassuring stories I can tell you as I’m 13 months on from treatment but didn’t want to pass by without commenting. 

I’m really sorry you’re feeling like this, it’s hard trying to move on. Unfortunately I don’t think anyone is the same after a cancer diagnosis and stories in the media seem to be everywhere. I wish there were more success stories to reinforce how far treatment has come and that many women never encounter cancer again. 

When you finished treatment did you have any support? It sounds like you’re struggling with what happened and wondered if you had had any counselling? If you did you could always go back to it. Alternatively the nurses at Breast Cancer Now are fantastic to talk to. They would understand how you’re feeling and be able to give you support/reassurance you need. 

I hope you hear from others who are further down the line to give you the help you need xx 

Hi SoniaC - I understand totally how you feel, as I’m sure everyone else reading your post will too. I remember reading a few years ago a thread about positive stories - I’m going to try to post the link - forum.breastcancernow.org/t5/Coping-with-fear-and-anxiety/Where-are-the-positive-stories/m-p/1177151

Let me know if the link works. If you search for “positive stories” across the forum you will find others, this was one I remembered having read at the time.

Sending you big hugs. One thing I try to remember from a book I have is that thoughts are NOT facts. Evie xx

Hi Sonia

I’m sorry your plagued by these fears. My breast care nurse was very good at helping me put things in perspective. If you have a 90% chance of no recurrence, you can think it won’t come back (and you will probably be right - camp 1) or think it will come back (and you’ll probably be wrong - but what effect will it have had on the quality of your life? Camp 2). She suggested the healthier option would be to accept that it might come back (remote possibility) but live in the now (It’s not here now; I don’t have breast cancer). You can move between camps but, with time, you spend more and more time in the ‘I don’t have it right now’ camp.

Most of us who are regulars on the forum are seeking mutual support because something isn’t right. I’m free of breast cancer (75% chance of no recurrence - camp 1) but I’m plagued with chemo side effects still. Tbh, I’d be pretty pissed off to keep reading happy success stories, though I’m sure there is a forum for those - they should be celebrated.

There is a very helpful article that was posted by one of the nurses once. Here is the link. workingwithcancer.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/After-the-treatment-finishes-then-what.pdf There may be something in it that resonates with you. The fact is, we are all different. Our breast cancers have all been different and how we’ve dealt with it has been different. We have to accept we might be unlucky like X, Y or Z - but we may be like A, B, C, D … V, W, whose stories we don’t get to hear because they aren’t newsworthy.

Hope the article helps x