feeling a bit vlunerable

Seem to be stuck in a cycle of “what if?”
Had mastectomy October and just had 5th chemo (EC and Tax), Due to have rads April and still need to have 16 more Herceptin as HER2 pos.

I just keep going over in mind about secondaries…so much so I can’t seem to plan anything, don’t want to look further than next day.

It doesn’t help that 15 year old is really being difficult at school, hiding , been under CAMHS for self harm (before I was diagnosed) but now discharged etc which is a shame as she is clever and beautiful and has so much potential.

I just want my life back and find I am crying a lot :frowning:

People don’t really “see” me just the “brave” face I put on .

Rant over, I’m sure it’ll pass but just not happy with situaion.


Sorry you are having such a hard time at the moment.

The feeling of wanting your ‘old’ life back is one that I’m sure all of us on here go through at some time. It’s very frustrating and it’s not surprising you feel down given what you’ve been through.

Between the chemo, steroid and the herceptin and the knowledge that you still have more treatment to come you’ll be feeling battered both physically and mentally.

You say that it keeps going over in your mind about secondaries and what if and again that’s a place where many folk on the boards have been. It is always going to be a worry while you are going through treatment. I think if anything, the treatment makes us feel ill and very vulnerable. I hope that when you have finished it all you will be able to look back on it as a rubbish memory that you don’t think about very much…

I don’t have to worry about getting secondaries as I was diagnosed with them from the start after a routine breast scan last year and I know the feeling of panic they can instill. I have mets to my liver, lung, spine, pelvis and axilla. However, I’ve 3 months down the line after finishing chemo, have gone back to my 2 jobs and actually walked into work this morning (4 1/2 miles - so I’m well chuffed!)My last scan showed I have joined the ranks of the Stable Mabels!

I’m with you on the “don’t want to look further than the next day” but I think it’s possible to do that in a postive way as well. One day at a time - it’s all any of us can do whether we have BC or not!

I so hope that you never have to find yourself on the secondary BC board (unless you want to chat to some of us of course!)but I just wanted to let you know that if your worst fear ever happened, there is life after SBC.

Sorry I’ve rambled on for a bit!

With regard to your daughter, you said that she was under CAMHS before she was diagnosed and I wondered if she would consider going back to talk to someone again, now that things have impacted on her with your diagnosis.

I hope things start to get better very soon.


Laurie x

Thank you so much Laurie.
I have my thoughts back in order now.

I feel really selfish that there are already people like yourself already living my “what if” but it does prove the point to me that life is for living. What was I thinking???

My other daughter is 18 tomorow and I guess I was just frustrated that I wasn’t well enough to arrange a party for her although she has arranged to go out with her mates. I have just planned a “belated birthday” party and booked the room for her in early summer.By then this should mostly be over apart from the ongoing herceptin, my hair should have grown back and hopefully I’ll be feeling stronger :smiley:

The call from school this morning regarding other daughter was regarding confiscating mobile as text in class!! - not really a great crime in the bigger picture but chemo brain runs away with me!!

Take care xx

Laurie - what an inspiration you are to all of us who worry about the possibility of secondaries. On good days I can be quite accepting of my situation - “It is what it is” I sometimes say, and get on with it but on other days it can overwhelm.

1234 - my 14 year old has just started self-harming after not eating, smashing up things in room, being in constant trouble at school, etc. I feel I have no more emotions left to give and am finding it hard to deal with. Also having to deal with younger daughter who has injured knee quite badly and so am having yet more hospital appointments with her, and husband who has lost the plot and is going for counselling. I feel I am having to hold everything together at the moment and am exhausted. Ah well - double mx and anc next week - oh the joys!


Good luck with the surgery. Sounds like you have so much on your hands at the moment that a couple of days in bed after a BMX might be a bit of a relief! Teenagers are such hard work aren’t they? I have a 12 year old daughter and a 14 year old son and while they are pretty good kids, I never seem to be able to get them to both be nice at the same time. It’s always one or the other being grumpy and hormonal!

Don’t feel selfish for feeling bad. BC sucks, no matter what stage you are!

Laurie x

Hi 1234,
I’m kind of a ‘newbie’ as I only started chemo 9 days ago, but I wanted to respond as I can kind of relate to your original post. I have really worried how I will cope when treatment is ‘over’ with the worry of it coming back (strangely, I feel safe now that I’m in active treatment). But I find that seeing ‘success’ stories - whether that be of women who live a long time without recurrence, or ladies like Alesta who are continuing to live life in spite of diagnoses (thank you for sharing your inspiring story!) - really help me to put the fear into perspective. I’ve tried to ‘reprogram’ my thinking (my husband is a CBT practitioner :slight_smile: ) - so now I tell myself that ‘most women never have a recurrence’, which is true, statistically.

As for teens, well they’re very hard, aren’t they? I have an 18yo and three girls aged 3, 5 and 7. All my friends with little ones talk about how hard the terrible two’s etc are and I just laugh…if only they knew what was coming! lol My own teen is just emerging from a very rough few years…he decided to go live with his dad and basically shut us out, blaming me for everything bad in his life. But out of the blue, two weeks after he turned 18 (and two weeks before my diagnosis, thank God), he emailed me, apologising for being a PITA and asking if I could give him a second chance (of course I could!!!).

I’m a secondary school teacher, and I have watched hundreds of kids go through really awful, difficult to love periods, then emerge at 18 or 19 as pretty normal, fairly well-adjusted, lovely people. This experience is what has given me hope over the years that my own ds would ‘become normal’ again one day.

I agree that you should contact school or CAMHS again with an update. Even if your daughter seems angry that you do this, it will show her that you care and want to support her. There are wonderful professionals out there who really do care. Does she have a teacher or other adult she could form a stronger relationship with? Have you got a good dialogue with her tutor/head of year? My immediate feeling is that a school that rings home after a mobile is confiscated is a school that takes their pupils’ well-being seriously, so I’m sure there is someone there who will be delighted to take your daughter under their wing, so to speak, and help her get through this time.

As for you, CBT or other therapies such as EMDR can really help us change the way we think about situations so that we can get out of the cycle of depression, helplessness and hopelessness that are part and parcel of BC diagnosis/treatment. I used principles from CBT after a very traumatic birth, and I’m drawing on those same principles now when I feel myself getting into a state.
Also, I am finding that by being really open about what is going on I am getting tonnes of support. People genuinely do want to be helpful, and it’s so much easier for them if they know what is helpful. For instance, I wrote a brief email explaining what is going on and it was sent to all the parents in my girls’ three classes at school. Our class contact has organised a rota amongst parents who want to help, so we are being provided with two meals and a playdate for the girls every week. You can look at it as a gift to someone to allow them to help - helping others makes us feel good! :slight_smile: We don’t have to be brave all the time. This is blinking terrifying stuff!

Well, I hope you don’t mind me putting my 2 cents’ worth in (and writing an essay lol), but this, too, shall pass and things will get easier in time.

Sending lots of hugs,
Carrie x

1234 and tired1, you’ll find there are lot of us on here who have “difficult” teenagers, and others whose adult children were also nightmares but have now come out the other side. But being in the thick of it is indescribably tough, isn’t it.

And that “brave face”, think it’s a female thing because we all do it. I liken it to a pressure cooker with the weight stuck on. We keep the lid held on so tight the pressure really builds up so when the lid finally blows off, it can be pretty spectacular. Trust me, the heat got turned up under my pressure cooker a while back and I kept coping and coping and coping, until it all got too much and resulted in the most unholy mess. Won’t go into details but imagine metaphorical stew all over the kitchen ceiling. And it takes a long time to clear it all up. I’m still there with my metaphorical sponge and spray.

I completely know what you’re going through, and all that on top of chemo? Horrible for you.

Carrie, you just got in there before me. What a great way to deal with it! Love the email thingy, and your response to accepting help is another thing we women do tend to struggle with. Must re-read your post several times now, to help it sink in.


Thank you all for your king thoughts and advice. It has been quite uplifting.
Today the sun is shining and I shall have a walk to look at the lambs in the field down the road…after ASDA.com have been!
There is a lot of good stuff out there and it’s nice to know that I am not the only person with a troublesome teen!

I have a 17 year old and she’s an absolute nightmare!!! Everyone keeps telling me they grow out of it…When? She’s taking her driving test next week and I’m having to risk life and limb sitting in the car with her while she learns…her dads give up. I spent all last week with her dad cleaning her bedroom out…it was an absolute hovel. I was left with over 20 loads of washing and the ironing board was out for 3 full days while I ironed her clothes and hung them up. My husband just can’t believe how selfish she is. She never helps in the house and is always out with her friends.But, I love her to pieces. Her 24 year old sister as Cerebral Palsy, epilepsy and autism and she’s the complete opposite. She tries to help all the time. I have a daughter that can but won’t and one that wants to but can’t! I suppose she’s just a normal teenager at heart. But, it would be so nice if she just once said ‘mum would you like me to make you a cup of coffee!’ not once in the whole time I have been ill as she made a drink, hoovered, dusted,made a bed or walked a dog. She gets up goes to 6th form, rants and raves,invites her friends round for sleepovers,makes a mess and asks for money! …It wasn’t like that when I was her age! I still love her…But she would try the patience of a saint!
Aramis x