Coping with "normal".....

Hi Everyone,

I’m almost a year out of treatment and feel so ridiculous getting myself bent out of shape over this but I’m struggling to get my head around getting things back to “normal” after treatment and finding where I fit in with “normal” life again.

I finished treatment last year and I’ve been doing good, but work is starting to freak me out. I line manage 3 staff and have a busy legal workload. Returned back to work full time at the beginning of the year. I’ve been coping ok with the return to work, but now my job is being restructured, I’m being given twice as many staff to supervise (who are in a different building and have a reputation of being “difficult”) and I’m finding myself getting really stressed out about it all…

I’m finding myself constantly checking the site of my lumpectomy for reoccurrence and dwelling on my diagnosis, along with a complete fear of not being able to cope with the new “difficult” staff I will be taking on. I’m not one to shirk away from a situation that needs to be dealt with but the BC has left me in so many ways completely insecure. It’s surprised me as I thought I was doing pretty good!

Has anyone else experienced having to deal with this kind of thing? I dread the idea of my working life turning into another uphill struggle…the past 18 months have been that already…any words of advice would be really appreciated. xx

Hi Debs

I can really relate to what you’re saying. I finished active treatment (herceptin) in Feb of this year, but am still on tamoxifen. I’ve been feeling increasingly down and worried. I thought time would make me feel better but I doesn’t. If anything, the more time that passes, the worse I feel. It’s almost like I’m expecting the cancer to come back. I go over what’s happened to me all the time. I work also, but don’t have to manage anyone. I do find I get stressed sometimes though…

Do your employers know of your situation? Are they supportive and could you talk to them maybe?

Sorry I can’t offer anymore help. I just wanted to say that I understand how you feel and think that most ladies probably feel the same way after active treatment.


Hi Debs
I’m not in the same situation as you (yet), but can really relate to what you are feeling.
I’m just about to start a month of rads after lumpectomy, axillary clearance and chemotherapy. Am preparing to return to work full time in January and am already suffering confidence worries and panic that I won’t be able to cope and pick back up again.
I feel a sense of panic as you describe.
I’m sure you aren’t alone and some of the other ladies further down the line than me will come and give you words of wisdom.
Have you thought about having counselling? This could be just the time when you really need it.
Good luck. I know it will sound patronising if I say “you’ll be fine”, but I hope you will.

Hi Debsidoodle
I can really understand how you feel. I’ve finished Herceptin but it affected my heart and now I’m waiting for it to normalise. Like you I was coping really well & felt I could have tackled almost anything, yet now treatment has finished I feel exhausted. My confidence has gone, I’m tired & need to rest sometimes which is so unlike me. So why do I feel a fraud? I think some people expect you to bounce back as you were, once treatment has finished - I expected this a little myself, I think. Be kind to yourself and don’t feel guilty for a little pampering. It must be really difficult at work, if things are so very bad and you can’t cope, you need to explain to someone, don’t be a hero and bear it all on your own shoulders! If people know, they can understand.
Sending you a hug, Ami xx

Dear All

Breast Cancer Care have developed a set of publications and a Moving Forward Resource Pack specifically for after active treatment has finished. This pack and resources are there to support you through the ‘new normal’ of life after treatment. If you follow the link below that will take you directly to where you can order free publications. Also our helpline is there to support you throughout your life with cancer, not just at the beginning or in moments of crises, do give them a call, even if you just want to have someone with a friendly ear to listen.

Take care

Thanks everyone.

I don’t know about you lovely ladies but even knowing I’m not alone is helping. I felt I was letting myself down in some way by letting this get to me as on the grand scale of what we have been through this SHOULD be easy!
I have spoken with my boss in the past though not so much recently but I do know work would be understanding.

Did counselling at the end of treatment and it helped loads. Felt Id gotten all this kinda stuff covered so it’s taken me by surprise. Guess it’s just going to happen sometimes. Tomorrow is another day & will def call BCC for a chat if this doesnt lift in a day or two.

Thanks everyone for you support. Has made me feel like Im not alone. Xxx
PS apologies for not replying to each comment - onMy phone & it won’t let me see previous posts.