My KCA group has been having a discussion today on Facebook about what separates "normal" people from cancer survivors. Once you've had cancer, anytime you have a new symptom, your mind will return to cancer. A sore throat? A cough that won't go away? Hip pain? A bad headache? Nausea? No matter what it is, it's extremely difficult to not let your mind go there. You can't help but wonder if anything unexplained is a symptom of cancer.
Cancer survivors will always worry about the cancer coming back.
I've actually been trying not to let those worries take over the last few weeks. I was sick at the beginning of December and a round of antibiotics didn't get rid of this crud. I've been coughing and blowing my nose for almost a month. I don't have a fever anymore, and other than some dizziness (that I'm blaming on cough medicine), the only symptoms I have left are this horrible cough from the congestion in my throat and a pain in my side/back from coughing.
What do we do? How do we handle being sick without thinking we are really sick? I know my white and red blood cell counts are low, so it stands to reason that my body is having a hard time getting well due to my compromised immune system. Tell that to my paranoid brain. I went to the doctor last week and they didn't see anything concerning on the chest x-ray. Tell that to my paranoid brain. I can't help but worry that this cough is the result of something else, something much worse than this sinus crud.
One of our KCA friends recently started chemo for the second time. She was having a lot of pain and found out she had a build-up of fluid in her chest, and the fluid was positive for cancer cells. BLAH. I hate that she is having to go through this, not even one year after finishing chemo the first time. I hate that something she was worried about turned into something she needed to be worried about. It's things like this that make me even more afraid.
Who wants to live in fear?