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Feeling vulnerable

Forums General Melanoma Community Feeling vulnerable

  • Post
    stars
    Participant

      HI

      I'm just posting for some advice on anxiety.

      I've had three thin melanomas – one stage 0 and two stage 1 (0.33 and 0.15mm respectively). This all happened beteen March and September this year. Since then I've gotten a second opinion/full skin check, and had a few more moles removed with mild or moderate dysplasia. 

      As you can image, between March and September I was beside myself with worry. Since the second opinion and removal of only mild or moderatley dysplastic moles, I've managed to regain some peace of mind.

      However, I realise that mentally I'm still really vulnerable. If I see anything near my scars I immediately panic. An insect bit me near one, clearly a bite that resolved the next day, and I fretted all night only to find it gone the next day. I got a pimple near another, again fretted and again gone the next day. I have a fleck in one toenail. A blood blister that's shrinking and growing out with the nail, and I still look at it and think melanoma. Tonight I thought I saw something near my scar, so I worried and was horrible to my kids because of it.

      I just can't seem to mentally free myself of this disease… Its much better than before but I feel like its affecting my happiness and taking its toll on my family.

      I guess I'm just reaching out for a virtual hug, I feel a bit silly knowing there's people here wit far heavier burdens to carry rhan me. Does anyone know how to manage this anxiety? I hace four-monthly skin checks… Why can't I just limit my worry in between?

      Stars

    Viewing 5 reply threads
    • Replies
        Janner
        Participant

          The one thing I can say with absolute certainty is that staying on a site like this will not decrease your anxiety, only add to it.  I have moderated a stage 1 board for many years (no longer really active) and all of those folks came to that site after being overwhelmed here.  They all did much better mentally on a site where everyone was really in the same boat.  There is no way to have a positive and objective outlook being early stage on a board with "exceptions" and advanced stage.  Logically you can know your outlook is good but being hit with all the heartache here will not help anxiety.

          In addition, you may seek out counseling or anxiety meds to get you past the shock of things.  The first year is definitely the hardest.  Stage 1 has all the anxiety of a cancer diagnosis but without the bad prognosis.  It can be tough to resolve that dichotomy in our minds.

            jenny22
            Participant

              I have to agree with Janner….though I feel closely connected to this board, and read it ever day, and post too, part of me feels it only increases the anxiety…

              Though I am stage 3B, i keep hoping there are people out there, like me, who have had no further recurrences and maybe just living their lives.  Hoping that Not every single 3b turns into stage 4 and that some do go on to have long lives…..

              Unfortunately those of us in the forum are in the thick of it right now…..without much evidence of the long term survivors who may be"out there"….(we can hope there are many)

              The information and advice that comes from this group is invaluable, compassionate and caring…but also can create added anxiety….

              Somehow we have to balance the value of the information with the anxiety that accompanies it….and always remember there are lots of people out living their lives who are just not on this board regularly anymore!

              Best,

              jenny

               

              jenny22
              Participant

                I have to agree with Janner….though I feel closely connected to this board, and read it ever day, and post too, part of me feels it only increases the anxiety…

                Though I am stage 3B, i keep hoping there are people out there, like me, who have had no further recurrences and maybe just living their lives.  Hoping that Not every single 3b turns into stage 4 and that some do go on to have long lives…..

                Unfortunately those of us in the forum are in the thick of it right now…..without much evidence of the long term survivors who may be"out there"….(we can hope there are many)

                The information and advice that comes from this group is invaluable, compassionate and caring…but also can create added anxiety….

                Somehow we have to balance the value of the information with the anxiety that accompanies it….and always remember there are lots of people out living their lives who are just not on this board regularly anymore!

                Best,

                jenny

                 

                jenny22
                Participant

                  I have to agree with Janner….though I feel closely connected to this board, and read it ever day, and post too, part of me feels it only increases the anxiety…

                  Though I am stage 3B, i keep hoping there are people out there, like me, who have had no further recurrences and maybe just living their lives.  Hoping that Not every single 3b turns into stage 4 and that some do go on to have long lives…..

                  Unfortunately those of us in the forum are in the thick of it right now…..without much evidence of the long term survivors who may be"out there"….(we can hope there are many)

                  The information and advice that comes from this group is invaluable, compassionate and caring…but also can create added anxiety….

                  Somehow we have to balance the value of the information with the anxiety that accompanies it….and always remember there are lots of people out living their lives who are just not on this board regularly anymore!

                  Best,

                  jenny

                   

                Janner
                Participant

                  The one thing I can say with absolute certainty is that staying on a site like this will not decrease your anxiety, only add to it.  I have moderated a stage 1 board for many years (no longer really active) and all of those folks came to that site after being overwhelmed here.  They all did much better mentally on a site where everyone was really in the same boat.  There is no way to have a positive and objective outlook being early stage on a board with "exceptions" and advanced stage.  Logically you can know your outlook is good but being hit with all the heartache here will not help anxiety.

                  In addition, you may seek out counseling or anxiety meds to get you past the shock of things.  The first year is definitely the hardest.  Stage 1 has all the anxiety of a cancer diagnosis but without the bad prognosis.  It can be tough to resolve that dichotomy in our minds.

                  Janner
                  Participant

                    The one thing I can say with absolute certainty is that staying on a site like this will not decrease your anxiety, only add to it.  I have moderated a stage 1 board for many years (no longer really active) and all of those folks came to that site after being overwhelmed here.  They all did much better mentally on a site where everyone was really in the same boat.  There is no way to have a positive and objective outlook being early stage on a board with "exceptions" and advanced stage.  Logically you can know your outlook is good but being hit with all the heartache here will not help anxiety.

                    In addition, you may seek out counseling or anxiety meds to get you past the shock of things.  The first year is definitely the hardest.  Stage 1 has all the anxiety of a cancer diagnosis but without the bad prognosis.  It can be tough to resolve that dichotomy in our minds.

                    stars
                    Participant

                      Thanks so much, Janner and Jenny. What you say is very true… Janner I really do struggle with the dichotomy you mentioned, you put that really well.  I am a less frequent visitor to the board… but still very frequent, perhaps too frequent for stage 1. I really appreciate you both taking the time to post to an anxious stage one-er!

                      stars
                      Participant

                        Thanks so much, Janner and Jenny. What you say is very true… Janner I really do struggle with the dichotomy you mentioned, you put that really well.  I am a less frequent visitor to the board… but still very frequent, perhaps too frequent for stage 1. I really appreciate you both taking the time to post to an anxious stage one-er!

                          alynne75
                          Participant

                            I totally know how you feel. I was Stage 1 in May. Wide excision And lymph node clear. But I still have such incredible anxiety. I just had treatment for AK and it was biopsied. Everything came out fine but today at my recent three month, the dr requested two more biopsies. I know that she's beening proactive and cautious but I just hate feeling like I'm not healthy. I know my prognosis is very good. But I understand feeling vulnerable. I also feel extremely guilty complaining about my health when I could be much worse off. I've tried counseling but sometimes the anxiety and waiting really take a toll. I'm trying my best to enjoy the holidays and wish the best to you for the upcoming year!!  Just wanted you to know you're not alone in feeling vulnerable. 

                            alynne75
                            Participant

                              I totally know how you feel. I was Stage 1 in May. Wide excision And lymph node clear. But I still have such incredible anxiety. I just had treatment for AK and it was biopsied. Everything came out fine but today at my recent three month, the dr requested two more biopsies. I know that she's beening proactive and cautious but I just hate feeling like I'm not healthy. I know my prognosis is very good. But I understand feeling vulnerable. I also feel extremely guilty complaining about my health when I could be much worse off. I've tried counseling but sometimes the anxiety and waiting really take a toll. I'm trying my best to enjoy the holidays and wish the best to you for the upcoming year!!  Just wanted you to know you're not alone in feeling vulnerable. 

                              alynne75
                              Participant

                                I totally know how you feel. I was Stage 1 in May. Wide excision And lymph node clear. But I still have such incredible anxiety. I just had treatment for AK and it was biopsied. Everything came out fine but today at my recent three month, the dr requested two more biopsies. I know that she's beening proactive and cautious but I just hate feeling like I'm not healthy. I know my prognosis is very good. But I understand feeling vulnerable. I also feel extremely guilty complaining about my health when I could be much worse off. I've tried counseling but sometimes the anxiety and waiting really take a toll. I'm trying my best to enjoy the holidays and wish the best to you for the upcoming year!!  Just wanted you to know you're not alone in feeling vulnerable. 

                              stars
                              Participant

                                Thanks so much, Janner and Jenny. What you say is very true… Janner I really do struggle with the dichotomy you mentioned, you put that really well.  I am a less frequent visitor to the board… but still very frequent, perhaps too frequent for stage 1. I really appreciate you both taking the time to post to an anxious stage one-er!

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