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Is it the cancer or the cure?


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I know that some of us have what Ned calls "dual residency" here and on cancergrace.org. I've copied a post I made there today because I'm interested in the response of anyone and everyone. So if you're regularly on cancergrace, just ignore this post. If not, I'd be interested in your feelings on it. I've edited it a little for no reason but that's what I do to pretty much everything I write.

I've noticed two things in my cancer site activities lately. I have a couple of friends on a treatment I don't know much about. They are having a really rough time of it. I've been trying to learn more about the side effects because I'm worried about them. It is the treatment or the cancer?

I have also realized that as I read (on this site) how people had their cancer discovered, I'm noting similarities in symptoms ignored to my pre-dx year(s). I realized I'm preparing for my break from Avastin. What can I look for in warning signs the cancer is progressing once I've passed the time the Avastin is expected to stay in the body (or even progressing while I am still on it)? It's like the concern I have for my friends. The question is how do we minimize the fear?

On treatment or off, the main psychological issue for many of us is, is the cancer progressing? I'm asking myself obvious questions: After my CT scan in mid August, when will the next one be, before or after my Fall break from treatment? I can ask my oncologist next time we meet. If I have one or two and all looks good--how long will my break be? I can ask my oncologist. Supposed one timed after the break is clear, will I be able to extend the break? I can ask my oncologist. If I stay off treatment or not, how will I know if the cancer is progressing between scans? No one can answer that question."

And so we search for answers, what's a side effect and what is suggesting the cancer is active or progressing? Can we ever research enough to make an educated guess?

Judy in Key West

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Hey there Judy. For sure, the mental part can be tougher than the physical part at times. And the fear comes from the mental part.

We all need to find our own way to work out the fear. It will never go away completely but it is certainly no way to live from moment to moment. Finding things to fill our day with joy and humor is certainly part of it. Our minds are very powerful and I think we can "train" them if we "want" to, to have thoughts other than the fear of cancer. Way easier said than done for sure.

Another important thing for all of us I think is peace of mind with ourselves and with all of those in our lives that we care about. If there is anybody we need to make peace with then we should do that. Forgive, forget and move on. That includes ourselves. This will also help us live and love more fully on a daily basis.

Our peace of mind will also come from making sure we follow up on any physical symptoms and making our own personal informed choices re treatment options.

Those are just my "musings" of what I think you may be getting at. For what they are worth.

Have a joyful day


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Sandra, I was really out of it and rambling yesterday but you pretty much got it. We all find our way of handling the fear so it doesn't dominant our lives. I was observing my myself, though, how sometimes I think I see it lurking as I go through the sites and listen to people and try to inform myself about cancer and treatments and side effects. I think I'm trying to do better next time around--they say it will come back. Will I see it coming this time? I just believe that when something feels off, we really really want to know is this a side effect or is it the cancer acting up again.

I like what you said about peace of mind. I find it much easier post dx to just let things go with people I'm close to that I've had issues with. Life's too short is right there at the top of my responses. Those choices about treatment options are always still a sticking point for me though. I never know what I'm going to do until I'm up against it.

I appreciate your musings.

Judy in Key West

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