Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Breast Cancer Health Center

Select An Article

Breast Cancer Survivors: Coping with Fears of Recurrence

(continued)
Font Size
A
A
A

continued...

So how do you handle these fears? First, understand that what Weiss calls "separation anxiety" is normal. "It's hard to shift back to a life where treatment is less in your face than it was before," she says.

Next, give yourself -- and your treatment plan -- credit. "You worked so hard to identify a plan of action and worked so hard to make it happen," says Weiss. "At the end, you have to stop and give yourself credit for what you've just achieved, then pause and shift to a different phase in your life: surveillance." You're still being watched, she reminds her patients -- the intervals are just a little longer.

By talking about her fears, Jami Bernard is already taking action to cope with them. She has also joined a support group for women with breast cancer, where she can talk about her fears and hopes with other women who understand what she was going through. If you're not as comfortable with in-person support groups, online message boards at sites such as WebMD or Breastcancer.org are safe places to chat with women going through the same post-treatment worries. Other approaches that have helped some women control recurrence fears are mind-body exercises like yoga and tai chi, meditation, and keeping a journal.

Expect that you'll second-guess yourself along the way. Maybe you heard a news story about Elizabeth Edwards having chemotherapybefore surgery, and found yourself thinking, "Why didn't my doctor recommend that to me?" Remember, you don't know everything about someone else's breast cancer. The woman next to you in the waiting room may seem like she has a very similar type of disease, but there could be factors you don't know about that make you very different.

"Everyone feels sold on their own treatment approach, so when you talk to someone else about what they did, you'll pick up on that vibe," says Weiss.

Will there ever be a day that you don't think about breast cancer, or worry about it coming back? Yes, says Bernard. "It does recede. Eventually there were whole days when I didn't think about it," she says. "Time is a healer in that sense."

Gina Shaw is a medical writer who was treated for breast cancer in 2004, and now calls herself a "joyful breast cancer survivor."

WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Paul O'Neill, MD on September 01, 2006
1 | 2
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
 
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
 
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
VIDEO
Resolved To Quit Smoking
SLIDESHOW
 
Woman getting mammogram
Article
Screening Tests for Women
SLIDESHOW
 
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
serious woman
Article
 
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow
SLIDESHOW