Cancer storm from nowhere

I had breast cancer three and a half years ago. The prognosis was good with no lymph involvement and small lump. Ever since then I’ve had these bouts of feeling unwell and believing the cancers back but each time I have recovered.

Now in the space of one week I’ve gone from feeling healthy to being absolutely ruined with aches (in hips and spine), nausea (coming and going), headaches (coming and going) - just generally feeling really unwell. Have had blood tests and all looks fine.

Can recurrence just suddenly overwhelm you like this or does it come on more gradually?

Hi Susie

It may help to talk this through with one of our trained members of staff on the BCC helpline. Here you will be able to share your worries and concerns with someone who will offer you a ‘listening ear’ as well as support and advice if required. The number is free phone 0808 800 6000 and the line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturdays 9am to 2pm.

I hope this helps.

BCC Facilitator

Hi susie

Sorry you are feeling unwell. I think Cancer affects us all differently but if you are still feeling unwell I suggest you ask for further investigations. It could be nothing to do with the cancer but if it is i is best to find out as soon as possible. did you have your blood tests at the Gps or at the hospital? How often are you seen by your Oncologist. All I can say is that I was being monitered every 2 months by having blood tests which always came back normal then all of a sudden things weren’t normal and it was obvious fron scans that things hadnt been ok for some time. i dont want to frighten you and it is probably something completley unrelated but think it is best to get it checked.


We’re all different Susie, so no hard and fast answer, I’m afraid. But there could be numerous other reasons for your symptoms-especially as the blood tests are fine. In my case, I felt absolutely fine,-full of energy, no pain, and yest I had recurrences to my lung, liver and bones-living proof of appearances being deceptive!

I’d try not to worry too much -easier said than done, but it’s so easy (and perfectly understandable) to assume that every ache means the cancer is back. We’re as prone as the rest of the population to picking up other things too-and there seem to be a lot of strange viruses aroound at the moment, which could account for the flu like symptoms you’re experiencing.

Hope you get the answer soon-good luck,x

Hi Susie

I know absolutely nothing about the symptoms of recurrence, but considering what you have been through in terms of chemo, surgery, rads not to mention the ongoing and persisent stress that comes with having had cancer, it is little wonder you are susceptible to other things such as a viral infections etc. And from what you have described, it sounds very much like a virus with aches, pains and headaches. As Elaine says, its difficult not to jump the gun and think it must be cancer and when you are worried, there is a tendency to focus on each ache and pain. You have a good prognosis and blood tests are clear, so it is unlikely to be something serious. However, like everything else, if it persists, get it checked out.


I totally agree with Cathy. I think sometimes we forget that we are just as likely to get bugs that everyone else gets, we seem to think that we can olny get cancer after we have been through it don’t we?

Before you had cancer I bet you would have thought that you had a virus and just got on with things. A virus can go on for weeks before it clears up but my BC nurses always say if something isn’t right for more than a couple of weeks get it looked at and that’s the rule of thumb I use.

But don’t forget…you are human and open to all sorts of yuk that everyone else is!!!

Sheana x


I would agree with Sheana -I myself get worked up thinking the worst whenever I feel ill, I was totally convinced I had brain mets and it turned out to be a virus. I have also recently had a flu like virus where everything ached-i thought it was my bone mets worsening. Again it is hard not to panic but I spoke to My McMillan Nurse, and she said that it is only if a pain is persistant over a period of time, that you need to get checked out, so Sheana’s advice I totally agree with. So fingers and toes crossed for you that its a virus, and the spring is back in your step in a week or so. Good Luck, take care & good health.