Its the other elephant in the room that only the cancer person can understand. What do I do if it comes back????? As Barbara Jacoby points out over at Let Life Happen, we need a bit more focus on breast cancer, and other cancer, recurrences.
Ask any cancer patient that made it through treatment, the next concern is 'what if it comes back?' Well as my little voice of experience speaks up, at my second cancer diagnosis I was slightly more prepared than my first. I had a 'taking care of me plan' in place by day 2, even though I was so stressed about surgeries, chemo and all that fun.
Since I had already lived the cancer roller coaster for 26 years, I had some experience to fall back on. It didn't prevent me from completely freaking out but it did allow me to have a little voice inside me saying 'you did this one and got through it, you can do it again'. I also had the me plan in place.I was in a support group before my first surgery. I signed up for another support group - this one was introduction to breast cancer. At the end of treatment, when many cancer patients fall apart, I had a therapist. I blogged, I talked, and I coped with it all, with varying levels of anxiety.
My plan for cancer three is already in place. I don't care what kind of cancer it may be, but I will put me to the forefront once again. What will it take to keep me sane through the process? Probably more or continued therapy. Maybe a second opinion at some big fancy cancer hospital if its some kind of recurrence.
But what I would really like to see is more research into why some cancers recur and some don't and as to why some people are more likely to have their cancer recur than others. Give me some info people! I need to know. Thank you.