Here people share how they reacted when they found out that their cancer had come back (also known as a ‘recurrence’). People reacted to the news in different ways and with a mix of feelings. They told us they felt:
- Shock or disbelief
Some people found out during a routine check-up. Others had symptoms and went to the doctor.
At the hospital a doctor shocked Lesley with the news that she had liver metastases and that he…
People usually learnt that their cancer had returned from a doctor in a hospital clinic once the test results were back. Steve thought the news was probably bad because a nurse was also there. It’s not always the case that a nurse will be there when you get bad news.
Helens Macmillan nurse asked her to call him. She phoned and was shocked to hear that her CT…
When Ann looked at her CT scans she could see that the cancer had come back in the area where her…
Some weren’t really surprised that their cancer had come back because they knew the chances were quite high. But they still felt shock and disbelief. Ann was scared that she would die quickly and it was difficult to plan her life. She didn’t feel depressed but she was very sad that she wouldn’t be able to see her grandchildren grow up. She also felt a sense of ‘Jewish guilt’ and of failure because she was giving her children so much to deal with and making them unhappy. Telling her children was very difficult.
Hamish had not been surprised because he’d lost so much weight. John was shocked to hear he now had cancer in his lung but it was not as bad as hearing that he had pancreatic cancer the first time.
Michael felt shocked by the recurrence. He had hoped to survive at least three years before any…
The recurrence didnt surprise Hamish. He recognised that he had survived longer than many others…
David felt relief that his doctors had found the cause of his symptoms. He had lost weight, with sickness and diarrhoea for about a year. He had been very upset when his GP suggested his symptoms might be all in his mind.
David felt angry because his doctors did not seem to take his symptoms seriously. He was relieved…
When Audrey heard about her recurrence she was very disappointed and upset. She had thought that surgery had cured her. After getting the bad news she spent the first night lying awake thinking about what she planned to write to members of her family.
Others were more optimistic. Vicky said that nothing could be worse than the surgery she’d had already. She felt she had been lucky because she had been diagnosed early and survived surgery and she thought that other treatment would be minor in comparison. Peter was also optimistic and was confident that he would survive.
Peter had the philosophy that he would fight the disease and that he would be alright. His…
Others felt they just had to accept what had happened. One man said that he’d had a good life and wanted to make the most of the time he had left. He decided to spend his remaining time, which was much longer than he expected, doing DIY, seeing family and going on holiday.