I’ve had 2 lumpectomies and am now on Day 18/20 of my radiotherapy; I finish next week and that will be it for me re-treatment. I had been “strong” all through my appointments, and 2 lumpectomies, but over the last 3 days I’ve been in tears much of the day (when I haven’t been working). Even lying on the radiotherapy table today and yesterday…tears streaming down my face. It has hit me hard. That the “journey” is coming to an end, and what life will look like post-breast cancer. There have been other factors that are no doubt contributing to my lowered mood, i.e., I was in pretty regular contact with my breast cancer nurse who was attached to my surgeon’s department (for 19 months) but since my radiotherapy started, I’ve not heard from that nurse, and instead have been assigned another nurse (from the radiotherapy team). Not all nurses are created equal:) and I miss the nurse who I got to know well.
I also find it odd that when I asked the radiotherapy oncologist (the one involved in overseeing my radiotherapy) who will be monitoring me, etc. he said that my surgeon will and that he will be overseeing the bone density scans and my letrozole medication. He has asked me who else was involved in my treatment, to which I replied “Dr. X”-the oncologist based in the same hospital as my surgeon and the one who arranged the Oncotype Dx test, & started me on Letrozole, etc. If I’m honest, it feels like my original “team” has abandoned me:). I was diagnosed in August 2018 and have been under that team all along but now that I’ve started radiotherapy, I seem to have a new team looking after me. I don’t know if the cancer teams realise that patients value more than just their knowledge and expertise-we value the connection, the relationships that we form with them. And as much as the new breast cancer nurse is doing her best to be helpful and nice-I don’t know her in the same way that I know my other nurse & it just doesn’t feel the same.
I’m also aware that COVID19 is not helping the situation in that I can’t celebrate the end of treatment face to face with my parents (who live in another country).
Has anyone else experienced low mood towards the end of their treatment and have you experienced a change-over of “keyworkers” and felt dissatisfied? I emailed my original BC nurse on Tues with a specific question and haven’t heard back and that just magnifies my feelings of abandonment and sadness. It feels really awful at the minute.
Without a doubt, this whole experience has had more of an emotional impact on me than physical.
It’s hard to explain the feelings to my parents-they assume that once my radiotherapy is over I’ll be able to “get on with life” and “get back to normal” and somehow I don’t agree. I feel I am losing the ability to control my emotions, whereas for the last 21 months I was doing so well doing just that!
I’m interested in hearing about your experiences…
Update as of June 11, 2020: I finally heard back from my original breast cancer nurse (she was off when I first contacted her)-she was incredibly sympathetic to how I was feeling and suggested we have a phone call-we did, and I felt so much better for speaking with her.