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Fear of recurrence...


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Recurrence is when the cancer comes back after it has been treated. A recurrence can happen in the same place where the cancer first began or it can come back in a different part of the body. You may worry about a recurrence of your cancer often. You may only think about it when you go in for check-ups, or maybe you don't worry about recurrence at all. Fear of recurrence is something that affects survivors differently.

While recurrence is a concern for many survivors, some survivors are more afraid of it than others. You might think about recurrence more if you had a kind of cancer that was difficult to treat. You may be someone who is usually very calm and level headed when it comes to other things, but fears about the cancer coming back may be too much for you to handle.

You may always live with some fears of recurrence. You may notice that over time, your fears of recurrence have decreased and you don't think about the cancer coming back as much. Some survivors find that their fears of recurrence go away as time passes. No matter how long it has been since you finished treatment, there may be certain moments during your survivorship when fears of recurrence affect you.

You may find that you worry more about cancer recurring:

When you are due for check-up appointments

When you have scans, blood tests or other medical procedures

When you hear or read something about cancer that frightens you

It's perfectly normal to worry more about recurrence during these moments in your survivorship. These can be very scary experiences. Knowing when your fears of recurrence are usually the strongest can help you prepare to deal with them.

What can a survivor do to manage fears of recurrence?

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Even after 6 years, I am still afraid of recurrence.

I don't have much working lung tissue left.

I've been maxed out on chest radiation.

My heart probably couldn't take any more surgery or chemo.

I wish one of my doctors, just one, would tell me it's gone for good. :cry:


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