I just wanted to talk to someone who might understand how I was feeling.
I was 36 when diagnosed and hadn’t started a family. I was really lucky to have the opportunity to save some eggs before I started chemo. It’s nearly five years on now (hurrah) and other than the depressing reminder that is lymphoedema, the joys of tamoxifen and a monthly zoladex injection I’m fully functioning (ish).
One of my very good friends who has been trying for kids for ages has just told me they’re pregnant.
I’m truly happy for them. But it also makes me a bit sad for me. And makes me question whether I should come off my treatment and try for a baby…
But then I think - unknown risks, advanced age, should i just be happy with the hand that has been dealt me?
I’m in a perpetual dilemma and it’s just not going away. And I think people who haven’t been through it think ‘just have a baby’… And that I can’t want it enough…
Also i dont want to be someone who can’t be happy for other people’s happiness.
Sorry for going on xxxx
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My oncologist is great. Essentially she has said that of I want to I could stop treatment as we are at a point where the risk is not as high, but it’s still unknown. Ie she said some people absolutely shouldn’t come off the tablets/injections but they won’t know that until they do. So I’m in a perpetual circle of not knowing what to do which is always st the back of my mind until it gets pushed to the forefront. I sometimes think my friends with kids think I cant want it enough, but they don’t have the whole cancer backlog to contend with. Also I worry that at my age and with the cancer history the child wouldn’t have me for very long anyway and that I am just being selfish and should focus on what I do have rather than what I dont.
Ah the joyous cycles of my thoughts!!
You are really helping -hugely!! It’s good to talk to someone who is neutral if that makes sense.
My partner is incredibly risk adverse when it comes to my health. He wants me to keep on all the medication as long as they advise.
Re kids he’s says things like ‘you can’t miss what you don’t have’ and this is the hand we’ve been dealt… I wanted to consider surrogacy but he thinks it’s weird and wouldn’t like letting someone we didn’t know into our lives (he is very private). He has never wanted to adopt. We had that discussion before we got married and he still feels the same way. I have thought about it but I think I might struggle with the process anyway, in terms of the highs and lows. I appreciate a lot of these things would still have the same issues whether I’d had cancer or not of course. I think I’m just a bit more battered and still feel a bit emotionally fragile which makes me less able to see a clear path. Thanks for listening Runningfree. Is everything ok with you? Anything you need to chat through? Feel like I’ve been going on a bit now…
Thank you ? I agree, the forum is such a place of sanctuary. I remember when I was first diagnosed I didn’t think I wanted to talk to other people who had been through something similar but it’s been the best place, as it’s so hard to describe some of the problems to people who haven’t been through it. It’s a big decision re the reconstruction, I can understand why he would be nervous for you to be in a risky situation after all the other horribleness.
Are you feeling ok about not having it? I don’t know about you but quite often I find I am not as fixed as I used to be and can change my mind a lot… The night sweats are grim aren’t they? I work in an office and every time I’ve stepped away from the fan on my desk today my face had been dripping. It’s so embarrassing. Lol. Have you tried a Chillow for the night issue? Apparently they are good. I just moan on all the time and do nothing lol. I do really appreciate your advice. I think the timeframe idea is a good one. Will keep thinking. Thanks xxx
Meant to say, I think re work the thought is worse than the reality. Don’t push yourself too hard too soon though it’s a bit of a reality check in terms of how the other treatment has impacted on you. And thats just a job not being a nurse which is so demanding. Xx
I think mourning the old breast (and therefore the old you) is perfectly natural. Nothing that you said is pathetic in the slightest. I think you’re being incredibly brave and very pragmatic. Although that doesn’t mean you can’t also be sad. It’s a huge thing and yes, nothing will change what has happened but you have the right to make decisions about your body if it will make you feel happier. Constant reminders can be good (helping us to remember that we are lucky to have got through it) but also bad (making it never go away out of your mind). You are really early in the healing process. I’m a bit further on and I still change how I feel a lot subject to what is going on around me. I didn’t have a mastectomy it was a lumpectomy and all my lymph nodes out. It’s not the same thing at all, but my subsequent lymphoedema has been one of the hardest things for me post cancer. That permanent reminder that I can’t hide. Whatever you decide to do its fine. It’s your body and in some way it’s nice to take control (either way) after being so out of control with all the horribleness. And you can make decisions when it’s right for you. Not anyone else.
Re talking about it, I guess it depends what you’re most comfortable with? I know I process stuff better if I talk it through. And if I bottle it up then it will come out in a more uncontrolled way, but it depends, some people process stuff better on their own?
Re work, I’m sure you won’t let anyone down. It is a demanding job though so you have to promise me you will be kind to yourself. You are clearly a naturally empathetic person so I’m sure your patients appreciate that anyway. If I was doing it again I probably wouldnt push myself to go back so soon and do so much, but then, I also think sometimes you have to push yourself to get back into it… Oh gosh there are no right answers are there?! Arghfhf
Holiday sounds good. We are off too on Saturday just the lake district. Need to plan a wardrobe… Xxxx
Yeah night sweats and sleeping bags sound like a horrid combination! We are in a cottage with our friends and their four children so not sure how relaxing it will be but it will definitely be fun. Safe travels and thanks for your support xzx
Hey how was the holiday? Hope you enjoyed it. Ours was fab xxx
I’m so glad you had a brilliant time! Hurrah! Xz
Oh I just parked it again, which is the permanent cycle I’m in. Spent some time just enjoying my health and my friends and family. I know I’m lucky really. I think the cycle is that I just have it bubbling underneath everything and then it flares us. I think maybe I should keep a journal for a b it and see how often I’m actually thinking about it. It feels like every time I get a quiet moment.
Sounds like you’re dealing with the fatigue well. Are you doing a phased return to work?
I did which helped. Although it feels like a lot of my time is still going to work and then collapsing!! Xx
Thanks. I will start tomorrow lol…
Sounds like you have a plan re work. Do you think you’ll be ok not being in charge though lol? Not sure I would like it haha
Half marathon sounds like a brilliant goal. I am not a runner but I think setting goals to do something you love is really affective and helps. You do sound like your head is in a good place. I’m so glad.xx
Oh bless you.
It’s so weird going back. I think I did two days initially from around August then by the end of the year was on four and then full time the following January. I think I had accrued holiday when I was sick so used that for a lot of the ‘phasing’. My general tip would be to keep it as little as possible as it’s exhausting going back. It is terrifying but it does help feel normal and also keep your mind off everything, it’s really easy to feel sad and depressed after treatment and I don’t think sitting around too much helps. I also think that if you’re doing your running that will be a huge help as exercise is such a boost so and it will help with the fatigue, so fingers crossed. Hope your celebratatory hot flush went well. I had my monthly zoladex today, so stomach is huge and with the heat I’m really sweaty #attractive!! Sending big sweaty hugs lol x
Really! That sounds a bit worrying!!
Glad you had some anti emetics on hand though it’s so grim throwing up. Eugh. Xx
I think I just read it wrong if you know what I mean. Who hasn’t been sick from drinking at some point lol.
You are so brilliant with thr running. Inspiring me to get off my backside! ? x
Tell me about it. I was ok then it piled on afterwards then I lost it and then I started on zoladex and I think now it’s built up I’ve exploded again. Plus long days at work and other things have made me v fat. Just starting to get my head round losing it again. Am considering running as I know it’s great both mentally and physically but I am so rubbish and have always had asthma which doesn’t help. I think I mainly struggle with prioritising myself and forcing the exercise, but looking at how shockingly fat I seem to have suddenly got I need to sort it out!! I think if you’re running and eating as normal you will be fine. I know I have eaten too much and exercised too little xx
Yeah, I did a half hour cardiovascular yoga dvd tonight (stretchy but gets the heart going) and some vacuuming! Although I got full sight of my cellulite when I was exercising. Eugh! I did a slow ish walk at lunch time today at work cause it was so hot. I’m heavier, but my clothes still fit so it’s a bit weird, i think the Zoladex is putting weight on my stomach rather than my backside where it traditionally went lol! My oncologist had got me on zoladex for two years I think. I was just on tamoxifen and then my periods came back. I mentioned it to her (it made me feel so much better to be honest it’s a weird thing) and she was concerned, recommended it to suppress them to improve my chances lol!
To be honest I feel fat and frumpy and past it. But I think if I do a bit more exercise and eat less comfort food I should be ok.
How are you feeling? To be honest I can’t imagine only having one breast although I know theres a chance it could happen (and part of me wonders whether I should have done that anyway). I saw this cool pix of a lady who’d had a tattoo on her mastectomy scar and it looked fab and she said it felt like her taking control…
It sounds like your husband means well and he’s trying to play down any changes. Although I think that when it’s not happened to your body it’s a bit easier if you know what I mean. I get it all the time with my lymphoedema arm ‘you can hardly notice it unless you point it out’ which is a nice thing to say but doesnt stop me feeling like I have an alien attached to my body sometimes lol.
You’re in a bit of a weird period now between finishing chemo/radio before going back to work and for me, at that point my body went ‘collapse!’ so you may look at yourself and think ‘yikes’ however as you are far more sensible than me and have kept exercising you will probably be fine lol!
I’m really enjoying our chats too. Find it really easy to talk to you xxx
Ooh cool re tattoo! I think it could be great… Go on Tattoo fixers and get it for free lol!
Hair is an interesting one, my mate has kept hers short and it looks fab. Mine is a bob noe but I did grow it a bit just because I can lol
Ooh well done you! ? do you dread herceptin or is it OK? I haven’t had it… Hope it goes well anyway. I’m in work then off to a girlfriends for dinner and a catch up so should be nice xx