Treatment ends. Your hair begins to sprout anew. Your skin slowly smooths. Your energy levels rise. You can look in the mirror and see remnants of the person you once were. You’ve trudged through the hardest journey of your life and bear the scars that tell the story. Your doctors share the latest results from your scans and there is no evidence of disease. You’re cancer-free.
Tag Archives: fear of recurrence
When I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at 2 ½ years old, I never imagined it would ever come back. For leukemia survivors, your risk of relapse decreases significantly as years go by, all the way down to a less than 5% chance of relapse by ten years after your initial diagnosis. When that seemingly impossible occurrence became a reality for me, I was just about to turn 13. I could not believe it. Now that I have been through a cancer relapse, I feel that there is no number of years that will guarantee me safe from cancer.
As a cancer patient, I mistakenly thought that once I was given a clean bill of health, I could breathe a sigh of relief and return to my normal life. After a year of treatment, I was finally given my “all clear”. However, my excitement was mixed with nervousness. This was not what I expected. I realized the nerves stemmed from a fear of recurrence. The safety net of being examined by health care professionals on a weekly basis would no longer be there.