71.4K members
1.2M posts
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Stress - how big a part does it play?

13 REPLIES 13
feistyflora
Member

Re: Stress - how big a part does it play?

 
Butterfly318
Member

Re: Stress - how big a part does it play?

Dear Lorac

 

Lovely to hear about your trip too.  Hope your treatment is finished now and you enjoy good health.

It is strange how we learn things in life. 

 

Take Care  Butterfly x 

Butterfly318
Member

Re: Stress - how big a part does it play?

Dear Feist Flora

 

I am sad that this person wasn't able to support you when you clearly had been very supportive to them.  Sadly in life there are some people who will always drain others of energy, emotion and finance.  I will check out the book. Love the Bold Type...

 

Take Care  Butterfly xx   

feistyflora
Member

Re: Stress - how big a part does it play?

 

 

lorac170
Member

Re: Stress - how big a part does it play?

Butterfly,

 

You go girl - good on you. Enjoy your wee trips to London. Sounds good.

 

After I had healed from my surgery, my husband, unbeknown to me, booked & paid for a flight to visit my best friend who lives in Spain. When I was told & queried why he wasn't coming his exact words were......Wouldn't dream of it - you go & chill & enjoy yourself. So I did & it was a real tonic.....just what I needed! Butterfly, people who genuinely care for you will be pleased for you & anyone who isn't just might be a tad jealous, dare I say.

 

All the very best & happy Christmas shopping, Carol x

Butterfly318
Member

Re: Stress - how big a part does it play?

Dear Feisty Flora

 

I know it's a little while since this post but i've only just picked it up.  In the year prior to my diagnosis i had two falls, random and with no warning, no serious injury but a big shock on both occasions.  My Brother was in ITU in Spain with a bleed on his Brain, flew following a severe bang /  cut to his head (clips all down the back).  Sadly alcohol dependant and takes no responsibility for his behaviour or how it impacts on his Family.  Myself and our Sister were backwards and forwards to Alicante and this had a massive impact on both of us health wise and financially.  He also has a beautiful Ex Wife and two children.

 

My Sister was unwell at the same time with a sub clincial thyroid problem, depression and  some rumblings and mention of Lupas.  She has aged really rapidly over the last 5 years.  And then i was diagnosed with this Breast Cancer.  I had my first Mammogram in October 2011 at 49 and nothing showed.  In September 2012 I felt a lump / swelling on outside of my right breast.  This turned out to be a 6.5 cm invasive stage 3 grade 2 ER8 PR8 HER2- tumour...  

 

I have since had some very expensive CAT Therapy to absolve myself from the self imposed responsibility of my Brother, every therapy known to man following my treatment and continue to practice Mindfulness.

 

I do believe the stress played a huge part in my diagnosis and i too say no these days and also nurture the things that are important.  I no longer explain my actions (within reason).  I love to see the exhibition in Buckingham Palace each year.  This year was the Queens clothes.  We weren't going to London as we had just moved house.  So I booked myself, on a non working day, a First Class Ticket to London.  Purchased some gorgeous food from Borough Market, Sat in Green Park for a couple of hours and ate it, with a small bottle of prosecco and then went to the exhibition.  When i told my Hubby my plan, he gave me Cash to cover it all and said have a fabulous day....... However you won't believe the questioning i've had with comments about how indulgent it was... some suggestions of me being selfish going without him (he was glad, he's not a fan of Betty's clothes and he's been to Buck House more times than he really wants to) and My lovely Sister in Law even suggesting my stange behaviour may be indicative of something more sinister going on............I quite like my own company and will be going back for a Christmas Shopping Day.... Just need to decide where to eat... Afternoon Tea at the Ritz is in the running.......

 

I have looked for conclusive research Fiesty Flora but not found anything...... My Consultant will only say that she believes we have to be as kind as possible to our bodies and take good care of body, mind and spirit.

 

Take Care  Butterfly x   

feistyflora
Member

Re: Stress - how big a part does it play?

Hi Anita

 

Just a little clarification. I seem to have given everyone the impression that I was stating that stress is the actual cause of cancer but that wasn't what I was saying at all and I completely accept that it is much more complicated than that. As someone pointed out even babies can get cancer, as I am only too well aware. No, I was wondering to what extent the presence of extreme stress might speed up the spread of a pre-existing cancer in an adult patient.

 

 

Anita
Member

Re: Stress - how big a part does it play?

Interesting one this. I'd had a stressful year the year before I was diagnosed & have often thought did that play a part. But then I have friends who are stressed all the time & haven't succumbed (& hopefully won't) so was it just a coincidence for me. I've read many times that overweight people are more at risk from cancer but my four friends, neighbour, & I'd count myself, too (although I'm not skinny!) do not come into that category. So is it just coincidence- probably. And I too try to avoid the 'why me' question. I mean why not? Good people, not so good people, children, animals, no one seems to be immune no matter how we live our lives. And if stress does cause it, then that's scary as that it something that's hard to control. We can change diets, lifestyles but some stress is so hard to avoid. X

feistyflora
Member

Re: Stress - how big a part does it play?

Hi Charys

 

Thank you to you and all the others for posting your thoughts on this. There have been studies on this topic but the results were apparently inconclusive from what I can gather. Without a doubt stress does have an effect on many other medical conditions however. I never thought "why me" either by the way and I agree that there are many different causes of cancer, I just wondered why, if it had been lying dormant, it started at that particular moment in time but maybe it was simply coincidence. Yes I also know people who drink, smoke and eat a very unhealthy diet without experiencing any adverse effects but comparisons are futile so be grateful for what you have and get on with things is my motto. Personally I guess that I will always have a small niggling doubt as to whether stress could have been a trigger but even so one positive thing to come out of all this is that it has forced me consider who and what I am actually responsible for. I now realise that I should have placed limits on how much I used to take upon my shoulders in the past. At last I have learned that I have an absolute right to say pleasantly "sorry but no" to unreasonable requests without a shred of guilt - if someone has a hissy fit as a result that is not my problem.

ann-m
Community Champion

Re: Stress - how big a part does it play?

Well, I'm with Charys & Magical on this.

 I initially felt the same way in looking for links, but, no, I feel it's just one of those things. I nearly didn't go for that routine mammo as we were flying out on holiday that day & came home 3 weeks later to find the recall letter for an appointment the following day - I'd had no symptoms at all. As I have no family history, I still didn't believe it could be bc, until the biopsy results came back.

The rogue cells have probably been there for quite a long time before bc is diagnosable, so any issues immediately prior to diagnosis are most likely just coincidence. As my first routine screen was clear, mine probably kicked off about 2 years previously, when nothing out of the ordinary was going on for me at the time.

I see it as just one of those things life throws at you.

ann x

 

 

Magical_Moon
Member

Re: Stress - how big a part does it play?

Great post Charys,

I totally agree with you.

Sometimes there are no convenient logical explanations to help us 'pin the blame' on something we did in our lives to cause BC. None of us can have any certainty of what caused our BC except for those ladies who have the BRACA gene.

Wondering whether I am in the minority, as I have never once thought 'Why me?'. I was shocked when I was told I had BC but accepted I just had to get on with it and overcome the massive challenge.

Cancer can happen to anyone. You are either lucky or not.

Stress seems to have become the all-encompassing assassin for a multitude of human ailments/diseases. If stress plays such a major contribution in kick-starting cancer to grow, why do so many innocent, carefree children succumb to a cancer diagnosis.

M x

Charys
Community Champion

Re: Stress - how big a part does it play?

You know feisty flora, this is one of my pet fears, that stress can and does play a role in cancer starting. Had I been under stress before diagnosis?....yes I had for 5 long and intensely difficult years, that had involved me giving up my work in order to care for a terminally ill family member. After surgery that ( family related ) stress continued and I remember crying to my other half, saying that I was worried stress had caused the cancer to surface and that I couldn't stop being stressed and so it would probably recur!! However, in the cold logical light of active treatment ending,  I find it hard to accept that there was anything other than 'bad luck' that caused it. I don't want to think, and refuse to think it was anything I did, as I have done my best to live in a relatively healthy way, couldn't avoid the stress, and I don't think there is any direct evidence to prove links between stress and BC. I have been intensely stressed at other times in my life, and I didn't develop BC then. I choose not to feel guilty about BC, I didn't want it to happen, and imagining that stress could have caused it would make me feel that it was 'my fault'. 

 

I think we all try and look for answers as to 'why me', and to try to apply some logic to a situation that is difficult to process, and some people aren't comfortable with it just being 'one of those things' that just happens for reasons we don't know. I think part of the reason people look for reasons, as if you can attribute a factor then maybe in the future you can change how you are living/ have lived and possibly have some control over cancer. However, for me, I am more comfortable with believing there was nothing I could have done that would have made a difference. There are people on here who have lived their lives in all sorts of ways, and some worry that it was being overweight, or eating the wrong things, or not being active enough...or....or......but you know what.....there are others who have smoked, drunk to excess, are obese, live lives of high anxiety, etc and had the good fortune to not get cancer. As for developing cancer after a pet cat dying, well no, I can't go for that as a theory.....its co-incidence. Another example of humans yet again trying to apply logic and look for patterns in unrelated events. After all, we all face stress all the time, so it wouldn't be hard to find something that happened around the time our cancer developed. 

 

Just my thoughts ......I bet others come along now with a totally opposite view. 😏😊

Lizzy_BCC
Member

Re: Stress - how big a part does it play?

 Hi fiestyflora, 

 

Thank you for sharing and I am sure some of our users will be along to offer their support and discuss the topic. 

 

I have moved your post to our Living with Breast Cancer board in order give users more of a chance to see it. 

 

Best wishes, 

 

Lizzy 

 

feistyflora
Member

Stress - how big a part does it play?

When I finished treatment and things had settled down somewhat, although I accepted that there must be something in my genetic make-up that predisposed me to cancer (I was not the first one in my family to have it) I could not help wondering what had 'awoken' the cancer at that particular time. I read a post by a new forum member who wrote that she felt that her breast cancer may have been brought on by the "shock" of her cat dying. Just prior to diagnosis I was under an immense amount of stress that had more or less peaked and my personal feeling is that my cancer starting at this time may have been more than a coincidence. I can't help wondering how many other people noticed that they had been feeling stressed just before their diagnosis.