Sometimes, when you are living it, you focus on one perspective and miss everything else around it. Sometimes all it takes is a friend to make a comment that helps you re-see the issue from a different perspective.

The theory behind cognitive behavioural therapy is that you can change how you feel by changing how you think. For me, this matters, because I will find myself feeling down or thinking about worst case scenarios – catastrophizing. Worrying. And sometimes, it takes the help of a friend or family member to change the perspective.

On June 17th, I celebrated 6-months cancer free (woo-hoo). But with this came worry. I saw a graph once about recurrence rates, and it had a bump at 6-months and a bump at 5-years. I think this happens in part because 6-months and 5-years align with doctors visits. It isn’t that it is 6-months post treatment – it is 6-months after my last visit. Anyways, that timing is coming upon me soon. I found myself worrying because no one I know has had a recurrence after I met them. That is – I know people who have had recurrence or worse progression, but they were diagnosed with this before I met them.

As an aside – progression is a term I’m becoming more familiar with and one that I haven’t used on this blog before so people might not be familiar with it. The term recurrence is usually used when you have a local recurrence of the disease. This is when the disease is found again in the same area. A local recurrence may happen if a new tumor appears on the chest wall or in the opposite breast (not that common). But progression is when the disease spreads – it typically means that you went from an early stage to metastasis (stage 4) or if you have already been diagnosed stage 4 it means the cancer is growing again.

So I don’t know anyone who was diagnosed at the same time as me who have had a recurrence or progression. I know that statically, this means that someone will .. and sometime soon .. and this worries me. I mentioned it to hubby and he immediately put a different perspective on things .. he said, no one has and maybe no one will .. that it is a good thing that no one has .. it made me think that I need to change how I think. I should be celebrating that no one has, rather than worrying that someone might. It may sound like a little thing, but it is actually a huge shift in perspective – and that shift helps me clear some of the fog that is my current brain …


  • Becky

One Comment

  • In recovery is an unsettling place. Latest rules for specialists prohibit them from phoning or emailing their patients. They can email my doctor but doesn’t have to contact me. The other option is postal mail but it only seems used to order me to take tests and no results ever come back.
    The whole thing is so impersonal I’m wondering if any of this has to do with me. This isn’t a solution and my history suggests another disaster is on the way but at least the patient engagement sham is over. Wonder if this is a way of breaking away from being a patient? A strange form of recovery?

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