Balance and counter-balance

By | Sun December 27, 2015

I’ve been reflecting lately about how I’m no longer afraid of cancer recurrence. It is no longer something that I worry about. It isn’t the first thing that comes to my mind with every ache and pain.

This is one of those good-thing bad-thing things. You see, since I am no longer worried about cancer recurrence, I question the need to be on hormone therapy. I can totally appreciate why there are issues with women complying with hormone therapy.  I question the need to continue with treatments that might make me feel sucky. It is a lot easier to put up with the treatments when you think of them as a safety net. When you consider that they are what will help prevent recurrence.

So, a little worry kind of needs to be there. That little worry needs to be just enough to motivate me to continue down the path of hormone therapy. Without that little worry, the treatments feel like torture for no benefit.

And so, I feel the need for a little balance and counter-balance. I need to feel like the hormone therapy is doing something. Fortunately, I will know that one aspect of it will be doing something – that is, the once every 6-month Denosumab shots – because they will be treating my osteopenia (low bone density). Between the gluten-free diet, additional calcium supplements, and the denosumab shots, my bone density should return to normal (crossing fingers).

2 thoughts on “Balance and counter-balance

  1. Rebecca

    How did you manage to stop worrying? Did you find yourself doing a lot of unnecessary tests to try proving to yourself symptoms were unrelated to the bc? Right now I am wondering if I should just ignore every pain I feel. Been experiencing some hip pains for weeks. My onco doesn’t want to do tests. I went ahead and made an appt. with someone else to get xrays. I think it would make me feel better. But at the same time I wonder if I am over-worrying. I am glad you don’t worry as much.

    Good luck with your bone density! xx

    Reply
    1. Becky Post author

      Hi Rebecca,
      I think the stop worrying happened in part over time, but in part because of some cognitive behavioural therapy. My therapist helped me to see that I tend to catastrophize (I replay the worst case scenario over-and-over). However, that is completely unproductive thinking – and I somehow managed to internalize that. She also helped me see that my care team has every reason to be cautious, and they are in no way worried. I have only done one scan, and that was because of headaches – the brain MRI came back clean … it turned out the headaches were caused by tamoxifen. I’m hestitant about scans now because each one comes with a level of toxicity … so I’ve learned to things of scans not as something that is helpful but rather something that is toxic … so I no longer feel the need for them to clear my worry … in some ways, I’ve decided to let my care team worry about my cancer (my onc and my breast surgeon) … so I’ve differed the worry onto them. My therapist pointed out to me that my oncologist and breast surgeon had every reason to be overly cautious, so if they were not concerned there was no reason for me to be. Somehow, that helped. Every now and then I catch myself worrying, but then I realize it, I label it, and it stops. Once I recognize the thinking, I can change it. So now I’m trying to focus on the future, on the positive, on living my life.
      Hope that helps …
      Cheers,
      Becky

      Reply

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