im laying here awake just thinking how completely fed up I am about the word cancer, I’m tired of thinking about cancer, talking about it, dealing with the treatment, explaining to people about it the list goes on…….

It’s literally all I think about, it’s all so very consuming

any suggestions on how I can try and not constantly think about it would be welcome,I try to distract myself but it’s always there in the background, I’m hoping that after my chemo has finished I will at least have some days where I can be back to just being me again…… or does that never happen

I’m sorry to moan I suppose I’m just venting & overtired but I do really miss the old me. 

Hi tweenie

I could have written your post myself, except I know the answer to the question near the end. I’ve got secondary bc and am on oral chemo which means taking 9 tablets twice a day for two weeks out of three. And this is indefinitely, so long as the treatment keeps working. I’m not afraid of the implications of the diagnosis, just thoroughly pissed off that I will never have another cancer-free day (on the week off, the chemo works overtime so it’s a bit of a con!). When my mind turns to darker things, I turn to YouTube where there are great videos by Progressive Hypnosis to help me  focus on breathing, relaxing and sleep, which doesn’t come easily with cancer.

The diagnosis turns your life upside down. Chemo changes so much in your body that you barely recognise yourself and it’s easy to get lost in cancerworld. But treatment is time limited and then things begin to go back to (almost) how they were. You’re probably thinking about how lousy you feel, how unfair it all is, will you ever feel better again.

Well, yes you will, although presumably you’ll be moved swiftly onto radiotherapy. After that, it’s just a tablet a day and you don’t have to see yourself as defined by cancer any more, though you’ll always need to be vigilant for any further changes and you might get side effects from the hormone therapy. This just becomes part of life, not much different from someone being careful about their diet.

There is an excellent article about moving on (I’ll add the link below and you decide when it’s best to read it because it’s aimed at patients who have finished treatment. However, it answers your question) and Maggie’s Centres and Macmillan run Moving On/Forward courses, currently online (best done when you’re ready, after completing all treatment and having the all clear). Unfortunately it’s very hard to put breast cancer behind you but it doesn’t have to be a daily rumination and you don’t need to wear a badge declaring your lifelong allegiance, let alone a pink tee shirt! It’s all a matter of choice in a way.

So…it does happen. You can have long periods when you don’t think about cancer and that’s very healthy. It may hit you now and then because it has been traumatic for the body and the mind but you handle it like most other problems - talk it through with someone with a sympathetic ear. My triggers were always those blessed fund-raising ads on tv!

Never apologise for moaning. If you need to moan, that’s why the forums are here but were you actually moaning or voicing a very common concern and asking for other people to tell you their experiences? There’s a big difference. If you feel sh**, then say so. It hurts no one and does you a power of good to get it out of your system.

I wish you all the best for the rest of your treatment. It’s horrid but it’s worth it, believe me. You’ll soon find a new you.

Jan x.

I finished all of my treatment (chemo, surgery and rads) for primary BC end of April.
To be honest I never gave a lot of thought to the treatment - I faired well on all counts (compared to many that is) it was after my treatment ended I began to look at the bigger picture - not because I think of cancer returning but because of the after meds and some remaining side effects from the chemo.
I do have bad days (days when I want the old me back) which is silly because I know that is not going to happen and the quicker (in my view) you come to terms with this the better for your MH.

It is hard work to try and put it all on the back burner I like to do my crafts, I spend ages looking on Etsy and other craft sites once engaged on them I can leave the cancer world far behind. I also like to write, love walking but again this has been cut down since my treatment - then there are the times I truly veg out and watch silly light-hearted films I snuggle with my cats and close down. None of this is earth-shattering but as I live alone it is my way of coping ( I have come to learn that there is NO right or wrong) it’s what works for you.
I also made it clear to my few close friends that my cancer is not something I want to talk about not because it scares the hell out of me - I simply do not want it to be who I am, give it any providence or allow it to alter the way my friends see or act around me, I joke about my right boob (which I have named Myrtle the bouncing bomb) and I buy and wear the most ludicrous hats.

Only we can decide how we let cancer affect us it is a hard fight/battle no doubt there - but please stay strong you can do it.

Lots of hugs and wine gums

Poppy xx