What if?

What if I forget to keep my Cancer away?

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

In general, I am a worrier, but it is a focused worry. I worry about my husband, my daughter, my friends. Are they all safe, healthy and happy? 

But I don’t worry about things like “what if there is traffic and we are really late to the appointment, airport, restaurants, meeting ….” you get the idea. I try to worry only about things I have control over. For the other things, I try to be prepared and do what I can. I bring a jacket almost everywhere because I hate being cold. I usually have snacks in my purse because even though my daughter is 19, she gets so grumpy when she’s “hangry”. But if we are late we are late, we can call to be polite but there isn’t much we can do. If we miss our connecting flight, we’ll see what our options are when we land. No point worrying now. Nothing I can do about it while sitting on an airplane. Maybe the connection is late too? Who knows? Maybe something fun will come of the delay. 

But having to take Tamoxifen after my breast cancer treatment is a whole new thing for me. I have done other posts about why I don’t dwell on my treatment or what the future might bring. But this stupid little white pill is something else, it’s a whole new stress and dilemma for me.  

Every day for the next 5 to 10 years I am supposed to take it. 

Once a day. 

Definitely not twice a day. 

So If I can’t remember if I took it there is a problem. I am not supposed to take it twice. 

So if I can’t remember, the safest thing to do is to not take it again. 

But if I didn’t take it, I am missing a dose. 

That’s really where the stress comes in. The “what ifs”? 

What if 20, 30, or 40 years from now they find something wrong with me again? Could it be from that one missed dose? What if I missed one a year for 10 years? That’s 10 missed doses! Twice a year? Or once a month? 

You can see how quickly this can spiral and become paralizing. At least for me. 

Taking this one little white pill everyday has exposed me to a whole world of worry that I never knew existed. I never thought to check on friends and family that have to take medication to stay healthy. Honestly, I never even thought to ask much about it. But now I try to. Not because I want something else to worry about. But because I know that it’s a stressful thing to have to remember to do and I don’t want to have any regrets. 

This really isn’t meant to be lecture about taking your medication as directed, or scare people who may have forgotten a dose now and then. It’s meant to shed a little light on the importance of taking your medication and helping your friends and family remember to take theirs too. If you have a medication that will help to keep you happy and healthy it isn’t something to be hidden. Tell people so they can support you. 

Not only will it keep you healthy now, but it will alleviate any doubts you have in the future whether you did all you could to keep yourself and your family healthy. 

No matter how you choose to keep track of your medication, please take your medications as directed. 

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Breast Cancer: Are you lost or on an adventure?

by Leeanna Gantt

The Fear All Cancer Survivors Share

by Joe Bakhmoutski

How To Quiet Your Mind When You Feel Intense Anxiety

by Kaia Roman

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.