Feel so alone

hello I really hope someone can help. I have had a lumpectomy and lymph nodes out in April, followed by chemo and a mastectomy in November. Started on tamoxifen about 2 weeks ago and start radiotherapy in jan. My family and friends think I should be dancing from the ceiling because I have got through Breast cancer but I am not. I feel so low and seem to spend hours crying which is ridiculous. Was on anti depressants before starting tamoxifen but had to come off them as they interacted with the tamoxifen. Got some new ones today as I felt so bad. I have ended up having a major row with my daughter because she thinks I should pull myself together. My husband thinks the same. So why can’t i? I should be grateful to be alive which I am but the enormity of it all has knocked me for six. I thought I would be so happy and vowed when I was in the throws of chemo never to be sad again but I feel worse than ever. What is wrong with me?

Hi Jules


You are not alone and you have the right to feel depressed, you have gone through so much and still a bit more to go.


Hugs to you on the start of a new year.



Oh Jules, my nurse used to say that we are all on a journey and every journey is unique. You are still on your journey and your family need to understand that. The radiotherapy should be a doddle after the chemo but mentally it all takes its toll. You are allowed to cry and feel sad. It really is a roller coaster. Be kind to yourself. Sending you hugs and strength for the rads. Joolz x

Hi Jules, I think those who haven’t had this illness think it’s a purely physical thing so once you’ve been treated you ‘get better’.  But for me that hasn’t been how it works, and the psychological effects stay around, getting easier over time as you regain confidence.  And then something happens (in my case my first post-op mammogram is due in 2 weeks) and off we go on the rollercoaster again!


I found the book ‘Emotional Support though Breast Cancer’ by Cordelia Galgut very useful to read, and gave it to my partner who was also struggling with why I wasn’t ‘getting back to normal’ once my treatment ended.  He found it gave him a better understanding and we’ve since passed it on to a member of his family going through the same thing.  So your daughter and husband might gain from reading it too. I think those closest too us have been so scared by what’s happened that they want ‘normality’ to return but my view is you end up at a new normal but not at the place you were before you are diagnosed.


So I think what you’re feeing is totally understandable and things will settle down over time but it’s early days and you shouldn’t feel ashamed for having all these feelings, it’s just what happens. Gx

Hi jules, I just read an article on this today, accidently down loaded it…really good. 

Its by peter harvey, , called after the treatment on www.cancercounselling.org.uk 

Im not as far along as, but understand a little of how you feel.  Its your experience that counts, they havent gone through it, they’re your support crew. Some days are so tough for no obvious reason.  I dont think anything is wrong with you. Youve been through the wringer no wonder you’ve run out of steam

Xxx much love, be kind to yourself you’ve earned it.


Dear Jules
I am sorry to read you are feling so low, along with the support here our helpliners are back tomorrow 9-5 so please feel free to call and talk things through as it may help a little

0808 800 6000 weekdays 9-5 and Sat 10-2

Take care
Lucy BCC

Jules - I feel just the same, just spent the last 15mins crying my eyes out and i have no idea why. Ive only had a lumpectomy but I think its the tamoxifen with me as now going through the menopause again but its worse than the first time im sure. I feel sick, every bone in my body aches, i have no energy. I feel worse now than the first week after surgery. I go back to the hospital on Monday and will have to speak to someone cause i cant function like this. I start radiotherapy in a few weeks time. I should be so lucky i was caught early and that it is gone but I dont at the moment

Hi Jules…as everyone has said, a very natural reaction to the end of active treatment…quite a long article, but well worth a read to reassure yourself that you are not alone and how you are feeling is valid…


All the very best and hope that 2015 is kind to you…xx

Hi Jules

Wow what a year you have had and no wonder you are feeling like you are, as everyone else is saying.  Also, you still have another hurdle to face in the radiotherapy.  Both the book and article mentioned helped me alot when I thought I was being stupid or pathetic after my treatment…I realised I was just behaving normally for what I had been through.

My family found it hard to understand and still do. 

So, in answer to your question-there is nothing wrong with you…feeling sad and low is as normal as everything else…we are all so different and as has been said we can only help each other on our different journeys.

Love and hugs


Hi jules,I can sympathize with you I too had a lumpectomy in july then radiotherapy in October.won’t go into every detail but I have had an horrendous time the past 4months.infection after infection,never been away from the doctors.your right peaple think because you have finished your chemo and radiotherapy life goes on like it did before.every individual is different,I have been at rock bottom at times then I pinch myself and say come on get a grip your alive,I know I have come a long way I have good days and bad days,who doesn’t.I started my hormone letrozole 4weeks ago,I know there are side affects but each morning I take this little tablet I just think of the advantages of taking it.never feel alone jules we are all in the same boat.wishing you all the best for the future x

I too was plunged into a black depression after lumpectomy and chemo and going onto tamoxifen. My onc said this happens to many women and to go to my gp for anti depressants. I got them but was sure I could get better on my own. A lovely volunteer who drove me to my radiotherapy appointments could see how down I was and said to get anti depressants and not to feel bad about it. He had needed them in the past. I went home and started taking them. The first 3 weeks were awful, raised my anxiety levels through the roof. But then I started feeling normal again. I took them for six months and have been fine since.if I thought I was getting depressed again I wouldn’t hesitate to take them

Jules 1064 it is normal to feel the way you do, many of us here have tread the same path. It is hard for others to understand. They want to see the person they knew prior to cancer. But as you and many on here know once touched with cancer you can never be that same person again. I think we all go through the rollercoaster ride of emotions. But time is a good healer. I finished my radiotherapy 19 November and l would say it is the easiest part, so please do not worry about that. One sure for sure though your not alone. You got us here to talk to. Little steps ok

Hi Jules Poor you …They need to walk a mile in your shoes to know how it feels. I was out with my sister (who has been a wonderful support) before Xmas on our annual Xmas few drinks and a dance and walking back to station in the icy cold and all the Xmas lights I felt quite tearful …I can remember thinking about things like these events in the dark days after my diagnosis in July and I felt so happy to just be there as i had worried I won’t. Instead of giving me a big hug my sister was quite surly and said oh for God’s sake you’ve got to put this behind you once and for all! They dont understand because it hasn’t happened yo them. My husband telld people my cancer lump was tiny …A little bit of cancer is cancer. The idea of making everyday matter and stopping to smell the roses is great in theory. If you feel down you have every right to be …my doctor once told me you can’t medicate for grief or sadness but in time it will improve and I think this is the same. It does get better but sadly we’ll never be completely the same again. But that may not be a bad thing xx Just know others know exactly how you feel …and tell your family (in your mind of course!) to F@#k off as they haven’t got a clue xx

Hi Jules, you ask what is wrong with you- what is wrong with you is that you are a normal human being facing a life threatening disease and awful treatment. It’s an emotional tsunami. Did you see what the coasts of South East Asia looked like after the tsunami hit. How long have they taken to be restored and rebuilt and can you undo the death and destruction ? Even when it is all restored, it won’t be exactly the same. Physically it will look different and you can’t take away from people’s hearts and minds the fear of another one. Once it happens , people will always fear at some level that it might happen again. Let your family know that you intend to " pull your self together" but for Cancer this process takes months and years. Cancer changes you and adjusting to this is hard. I was diagnosed almost 3 years ago and am awaiting reconstruction therapy, I wouldn’t say that I am " pulled together" but I am recovering. I had leukaemia in my teens and I can’t say I have ever really got over that. Of course life goes on and it contains much happiness and I can access that more easily now…
I have found mindfulness tremendously helpful and there are specific mindfulness based therapies for cancer. I wonder sometimes at people who say that since their Cancer diagnosis they are changed and relish everyday … I wish I felt like that too but I suspect that’s therarity not the norm.
Anyway, I do hope you are able to help your family understand a bit more. Macmillan also do some booklets. Would your oncologist or GP be willing to speak to members of your family? All the best


Hi jules, i know exactly how your feeling.  My friend is a godsend, she listens and gives me an hug when i need it.

in 2013 i was  diagnosed  with a small grade 3 invasive cancer, i had a lumpectomy and thought great, get on with radiotherapy done and dusted.  No not that easy, had to have re excision for dcis on the edge of the  clear margin i had from the invasive cancer,   i went from being really positive to a gibbering wreck.

my husband and daughter were over the moòn that the cancer was gone?  Tried to explain to them how low i felt but to no avail.

Now at 4 in the morning, when i am still awake with pain in my joints and worrying if the pain is the side effects of letrozole or secondaries in my bones, juggling with should i go to my gp or ring breast care nurse. My point is that the ladies on this site have been so helpful, do not know what i would have done without them, just try and stay positive it does get a little easier with time.



Hugs Janet.xxx 

Hi Jules, poor you I know how you feel. My family were great when I went through treatment but couldn’t understand the worry and depression after the hospital treatment had finished. I kept in touch with ladies in hospital at the same time as me and we phoned each other when we felt low and they understood how I felt. I also went to a fabulous breast cancer support group in Cardiff which is so supportive. They also have books you can borrow which can be helpful. They have talks about depression, fatigue and lots of other things which are useful and it’s a good place to chat to others over a cup of tea which is really therapeutic. I am sure there will be a group near you, your breast nurse would advise you. I am sure all groups would be as welcoming and supportive. Take care and take it step by step Fiona

I hope you realise now that you’re not and a lot of women feel just as lost and unsure of the way ahead. I’m on here tonight after having surgery chemo and radiation therapy two years ago. I’m on letrozole and often lie awake wondering whether is is joint pain from letrozole or bone mets keeping me awake. Life changes for us but others want us to be the same as we were. I’d like to be the laid back old me of two years ago but my reserves of patience have gone for now and I’m certainly less tolerant of some things and more aware of my own mortality. I know we should be happy to have got this far but it is a scary journey and we can’t wish it away like others would like us too.