Feeling a bit mental

I was diagnosed on Friday after having a biopsy (which came as a shock) the week before. 

The cancer is very small and everything is positive in regards to treatment.  I have been doing the whole having to tell people and telling my family and friends not to worry. 

I thought i would be able to go to work as normal on Monday which didn’t work out so well.  After feeling fine getting ready and on the drive in as soon as i got there i wanted to run from the building.  I spoke to my HR and they were great told me to go home and take as much time off as i need and they will deal with everything work wise for me.

Everything seems to be happening so quick with appointments and surgery next Friday my head is spinning. 

One minute i am fine laughing and joking the next i want to hide and cry.

Hiyer Janeycat,

It takes time to process the diagnosis you’ve been give, to work through the stages of shock, fear, various other emotions and eventual acceptance (ready to move onto the treatment and recovery stage). I know of someone in real life, who was diagnosed a couple of weeks before you and also ‘went off to work’ a couple of days later, only to get as far as a carpark near to work and sit crying outside. Sometimes it feels the right thing to do is to ‘carry on as normal’ but doing that can be very emotionally painful and you give very little to the working situation as you are so distracted - I am personally of the belief that different approaches work for different people and feeling you can’t go in means you aren’t ready and haven’t yet processed the shock and the situation. Some people want the distraction of work and find they can cover up their underlying fears and shock, but we are all different and the diagnosis ‘trauma’ will come out sometime for most - which is what you are experiencing now. The fact that you are on a rollercoaster, with highs and lows, is entirely understandable and your HR are right here - give yourself some time, as much as you need, to come to terms with everything and be kind to yourself. There is a reason why there are BCNs, and helplines, forums and other cancer support networks - its psychologically tough on people. ‘Feeling a bit mental’ (as you term it) is how many people are at this point and I think it feels surreal and strange because you’ve not experienced it before, but having heard so many talk about their responses after diagnosis, what you are feeling is not ‘mental’ but ‘normal’.

It will come, feeling able to face the world again in a stronger mental place, but its obviously a little early yet. Certainly, the time before surgery is challenging (to say the least) to navigate and I think you might find that following the surgery, when the ‘anomaly’ has been removed and the positive forward progress of treatment continues, you will gradually start to feel less vulnerable. 

The bottom line is - don’t feel bad about missing work, accept this is the way of things at the moment and its hard, allow yourself to feel whatever you feel with no guilt and focus on yourself and your surgery.

(P.S. You’ve clearly been spending time supporting and reassuring other people after telling them about your diagnosis, now allow them to support and reassure YOU).


i agree with charys about feeling better mentally once the surgery is over! I had my surgery 10 December and now nearly 9 weeks on I feel great and moving on to have some radiotherapy. 
My surgeon and breast care nurse were so helpful and kind and prepared to answer all my questions and address all my worries.  Please put your trust in them and just go with the flow and you will be on the road to recovery  before you know it!



Hi there,

so sorry that your experiencing some turbulence with your emotions. It’s perfectly understandable, you’re trying to reassure everyone around you, that you’ve got it sorted and will be absolutely fine it’s the stiff upper lip syndrome, which occasionally has a wobble moment… 
Remember It’s good to chat with people who have got the T shirt etc.                                                                  My own journey is different to yours, I can visibly see ‘It’ moving from my armpit up to the clavicle area. After a traumatic few weeks, I’m seeing my oncologist next week for the first time

Wishing you all the very best, when you feeling like chatting on here, I’m sure other people will be pleased to chat with you Xx 

Wondered how you went?

I also feel like I’m going mental some good days others think I’m going ? 

Waiting on results from oncotype feel sick everytime my mobile rings incase it’s the results.

I just don’t want chemo on a what if something floating around as it’s killing you inside and out.