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Psychological Support
Questions about support for the mental aspects of breast cancer & treatement.
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AskedPublicly Submitted Question
10/24/2014When does the fear that comes with this cancer business subside? I am 43yr old female and 2.5 years out from diagnosis of stage 1a TNBC. I completed all treatments and have made changes to my lifestyle to try and minimise my risk of recurrence. I've had a few scares and biopsies on the way forward since but each day forward helps to make me feel stronger and hopeful that I won't have to visit this disease again. Both my oncologist and surgeon tell me 'go and live your life!' which makes me feel great but as I reach for the door to leave they say, 'BUT don't' be complacent! While you were early stage, the cancer's ki67 score and the grade were high. Make an appt. if you feel anything suspicious or unusual' It really freaks me out!
Will the fear pass or is it just something that goes with the territory? I've got 2 young kids and so much ahead that it is frightening to think it could all be taken away. The initial despair of having TNBC cancer was just horrible and I have since only had glimpses of it when I was called back for biopsies after my scheduled scan. It was horrible! I hope I'm not coming across all doom and gloom because I know my prognosis is by no means a worst case scenario, but I read/hear stories of stage 1 node negative TNBC presenting later as stage 4. How do people reconcile this? As a survivor yourself and through your work, what are the best strategies for letting it go and living freely? Will there be a day when I dont think about it?
Thanks for all that you do :-)
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
10/25/2014Thank you for sharing your feelings. It is normal for survivors to experience fear and turmoil surrounding recurrence, and in some cases, metastatic occurrence. Trust me, these fears do diminish the further away from your date of diagnosis. Also, let me share that most TNBC survivors do not experience metastasis.

Try to begin practicing some stress relief measures, such as yoga, Reiki, massage, acupuncture, and talk to others who will understand what you are going thru. We also offer a survivors retreat to address these types of questions...can email: mcapano1@jhmi.edu if interested.

Also check this web site:

http://www.tnbcfoundation.org/survivorship.htm

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