Extreme anxiety post treatment

Is there anyone out there who is struggling to get back to ‘normal’ post cancer?

I was fine the first time, but then didn’t have chemo the first time (or zoladex/prostap! Or anastrozole! Or zoledronic acid!), I had tamoxifen and a boosted session of radio for a month, this time, I’m a changed & ruined person.

The medications this time are ‘gold standard’ my Oncologists tell me, and as a consequence I feel like I’m a 42 year old living in a body twenty years older, I don’t know who I am anymore. I am so changed, I don’t know how to BE anymore. I always had anxiety, but coped, now I live with extreme anxiety and extreme health anxiety.

I don’t know if I’ll ever feel normal again and I have to feel the old normal! I’m fed up of hearing the old mantra of ‘you have to get used to your NEW normal’ I can’t do this new normal, as I’ve adjusted and done it once and now… well, there’s no positivity in adjusting again, there’s too much to adjust to this time. There’s always a new worry! Something else out of my control. 

Has anyone else recovered from extreme anxiety. No one ever offers any positivity! 

I had extreme anxiety after my mother died of cancer. It was awful. Every time I coughed I had lung cancer. Every mark on my skin was melanoma, etc. I actually gave myself physical symptoms I was so stressed out. Anyway I started therapy and took the antidepressant they prescribed like it was my job. And slowly but surely I started getting better. In fact to the point that when I was actually diagnosed with cancer last year, my worst fear, after the initial few weeks I kind of shrugged and just got on with it. My worldview had already been rocked with my mother’s death and I didn’t have too many more f&*^% to give after that.

So in saying that, yea complete healing is possible but you’ll have to embrace change because you can’t go back. Find a therapist and sort through the trauma of what this has done to you. If they think you need an anti-depressant, take it. By the way, anti-depressants aren’t just help for mental health symptoms. They can actually help alleviate the physical symptoms of menopause, too. No one can coast through a trauma like this without some kind of help if it’s your first time. It changes everything and we all need help coping with that and learning to live with the changes.


I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through such a difficult time. Coping with the physical and emotional aftermath of cancer treatment can be a long and challenging journey, and it’s not uncommon to feel like you’re struggling to get back to “normal.”

It’s important to remember that everyone’s experience with cancer and its treatment is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, there are many resources and support systems available to help you manage your anxiety and find ways to regain a sense of control and normalcy in your life.

One resource you may find helpful is talking to a therapist or counselor who specializes in working with cancer survivors. They can provide you with tools and strategies to manage your anxiety and help you navigate the emotional challenges of cancer recovery. Support groups for cancer survivors can also be a valuable resource, as they allow you to connect with others who are going through similar experiences and offer a space to share your feelings and concerns.

It’s important to remember that recovery is a process, and it may take time to find a new sense of normalcy after cancer treatment. But with patience, self-compassion, and support, it is possible to regain a sense of control and live a fulfilling life post-cancer. www.mypepsico.com

I am in a similar position, I was diagnosed again after 19 years and the treatment I am getting now is very different from the first time. I am anxious and depressed. I haven’t been able to snap out of it either. I am taking sertraline antidepressant which has chilled me out quite a bit. I feel sleepy so maybe that’s why I feel better. I am still very fed up, but who wouldn’t be? 

I am slim, I eat sensibly, I don’t drink, I exercise daily. I am a perfect healthy person. Apart from having a mastectomy for a new primary in the same breast as before, can’t have any more radiation as I had it last time. My tumour was very close to the chest wall so it is highly likely it’s on the move, but nothing I can do except take the tablets (letrozole and AdCal3) and have the zeledronic acid infusions. Like you I found the idea of it all quite grim. 

If you registered on the site, I could send you a private message, but you don’t have to.


I feel better if I go into the countryside with my dog and walk around the fields for at least forty minutes at the same time each day. Easier for me now I am retired. I was in my forties when I was first diagnosed, I got diagnosed again aged 66 last year. 

I have always got anxious and I want certainty which is impossible with cancer. So I went to see a GP yesterday about dizzy spells I am getting which seems to be something related to being older this time, and luckily nothing to do with cancer. But I still got very worried. Most patients are probably worried well. We have good cause to be worried, but whether you worry or not, unless you do something different nothing will change. The only thing we have control over is what we do. I have decided to find out less about certain things that I can’t control e.g. research findings seem to be very obscure, as they only worry me more. I will try and fill my time with joy, even if this means finishing my tax return which I did on Monday. I had the greatest feeling of accomplishment I have had in a long time! I loathe doing it, but thinking about doing it, and then not doing it is even worse…

Who would have thought a tax return could give me joy? But there you go.


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Hi, I can totally relate to your anxiety problem. Like you went through breast cancer diagnosis 4 years ago. Had lumpectomy, chemo & radiotherapy. It came back in the same breast 3 years later during the pandemic. Had mastectomy & chemo again. Much worse this time as I knew what was coming. Please stay positive. I wake up every day wondering if any lump, bump or feeling unwell is it returning. I put it to the back of my mind, but mentally it drives me mad. Unless you have been through cancer diagnosis, I don’t think people understand. You are not alone in feeling extremely anxious. I sometimes can’t sleep at night thinking about it. I just try to distract myself ( not easy). I just focus on knowing that hopefully chemo has got rid of it!

Hope this helps a little, that you’re not alone, feeling this way x

By the way I am also getting zeledronic acid infusions every six months for three years

Not very keen on them or going to the dentist every six months. I only used to go every year. I also need to remember how to spell zoledronic acid as every time I write it I choose a different version…