Falling into the abyss

Hi ladies,
My issamemy not be unique but wanted to share it for anyone else feeling same way. I am 3.5 years out from low grade BC S1 WLC & rads x 15 and been struggling with depression for past 2 months. I am 57 and working full time. I enjoy my work but hate the 2 hour + commute and having no free time to do anything I enjoy and also tired from the meds (Tamoxifen) which I am on for 10 years. I had a past episode of clinical depression in 2010 but recovered. Recently I heard 2 accquaintences passed from cancer so I feel life is passing me by when I should be making the most of it and also feel I am in constant state of worry as every time there is an ache or pain or perceived change in my breasts or body I have to chase appointments to get it checked out with long waiting times which put my stress up to max! It seems I never have a break! Problem is I have Asperger Syndrome which fuels my anxiety even further and I think has been the catalyst for depression to return. In my town a huge biomass incinerator has begun operating and there are lots of scary comments from local residents on social media that emissions will cause cancer. As I don’t want to go through it again but this is out of my control I am in a state of complete despair ometimes it seems like I am on a long, weary and pointless road to oblivion and can see no future. I want to just hide away and curl up. My husband talks about retirement plans but my mindset is not to plan too far ahead and my expectations are always low. Don’t know if there is anything I can do as the NHS provisions for mental health in my area are stretched to the limit and the workplace wellness scheme is not equipped to deal with issues as complex as mine. Feeling ready to fall into tbe abyss right now ?

Sorry issamy should read my issue. Damn stupid predictive text!

So sorry to hear how you’re feeling at the moment, Oldspice. It certainly sounds like it’s all rather piled in on you again. 

Have you seen your GP about how you’re feeling?  Also, please don’t assume services won’t be there to help, it’s what they’re there for.  

Is it an idea to give the helpline here a ring to talk it through?

Sending loads of hugs & best wishes ?

ann x



Hi Oldspice , I think it is normal from time to time to feel scared and overwhelmed by what we have gone through and what the future holds .I think it is often quite a while after treatment ends that it really hits you . It is definitely worth discussing what is available with your GP .You are right mental health services are stretched to the limit but you may also be able to access support more quickly from a local cancer charity or similar voluntary agency that offers counselling .Hope you feel better soon and find some support that helps .Jill x

Thank you for your support ladies. It is much appreciated as I truly feel alone at the moment. Although I am married and my parents are still alive my family is undemonstrative and can be distant and cold in their approach. My husband is always pragmatic and while this can be useful is not always helpful emotionally. The workplace wellness line we have is staffed by company colleagues not health experts so they would only suggest contacting support groups if the NHS route is not viable. There was a MIND centre in Barry where I live but I think it has closed and is now a day creche. I don’t know of any others dealing with mental health/wellbeing issues. Mindfulness was quite nice, I had some complimentary sessions when I was going through treatment but now it would be hard to crowbar time off from where I work as all these facilities go on during work hours and never on weekends ? That is why I often wish I could retire or go part time. However that will not be a viable option until I am about 66 - that’s if I ever make it to that age!

PS just checked the web page for workplace wellness and they can offer some support for carers of cancer patients but not qualified to assist patients themselves. Think I will have to do some Googling over weekend to see if I can find any local voluntary services or even complimentary medicine if it could help in any way!

Could you not negotiate some time off during the working day to access some therapy - you could explain that if you don’t you may end up going off sick ? Would you be paid if you went off sick for a while to deal with how you are feeling ?

I have found the only way to access services is to go down the voluntary services route or pay for it yourself ?.

Thanks Jill and Becca. I have printed out some helpsheets from Mind and also from our workplace wellness pages. They are pretty good and there is a brilliant one on mindfulness techniques. I will have to try and fit time in to relax and meditate on weekends. Any time off work to attend sessions has to be in my own time either weekends, evenings or on flex leave but as I am in deficit at the moment no go. Will definitely see my GP though waiting times in Vale of Glamorgan are between 12-18 months to see a counsellor.

The waiting times for conselling here is 12 months - very scary. Do you have a local cancer charity - we have one that offers support a lot quicker than that .

I am not aware of one. Facilities in the Vale of Glamorgan are p*ss poor on the whole. I did Google for some but nothing came up. Only Cardiff.

May be worth contacting your nearest breast clinic and asking if they know of any resources - some breast teams have psychologists attached -mine does but unfortunately not in my local area (they cover a vast area ) but in the North of the trust area.