Feeling lost

Hi all,

Just wondered if anyone feels/felt lost after their treatment had finished?
I was diagnosed Feb 07, had WLE and axillary clearance, 3 x FEC, 3 x TAX then 20 RADS which finished last Tuesday, now i’m taking Tamoxifen.

I’m really tired which i expected, what i didn’t expect though was to feel so sad and emotional all the time, i kept such a positive face on it all throughout the treatment and i’m really proud of myself for coping with it on my own but now i don’t know what to do.

I hate feeling like this, i seem to be worrying about everything and when i’m not worrying i’m crying!

Is it just me or is this normal? Im going to Malta with my mum for 2wks in Nov so i should be looking forward to it but i just dont seem to be able to get in the zone!

Sorry for moaning

Tracy xx

Hi Tracy

Guess what? your so so normal.

The amount of times someone posts here feeling the same as you do. Ive got that to come as although ive had my chemo/surgery/rads, im still going to hospital to have Herceptin and Zoladex so still feel looked after so i can really understand what your saying because i will have to go through that next year.

I think the holiday is the best thing possible, it will distract you from all your emotions and worrying because you will be in another country you have to get on the plane and think right im going to leave all this sh&t behind and when i return there not going to be waiting for me. Relax and have a few good drinks.

You wont be forgotton about by the hospital, you will have regular check ups and if you feel anything that makes you worry then just go right back and see your onc, its only a phone call away.

Your not alone in the way your feeling, its normal and there’s lots of us here that fear it from coming back or new lumps and bumps, including paranoid me that went to my onc with a new lump and ended up being my breast bone, how daft am I ???

well good luck and have a lovely holiday.

love and hugs

Tracey
xxx

Hi Tracy,
Your not moaning…I remember feeling the same after treatment stopped and from what others have said I think its quite common to feel like this, I think part of it is as much as we don’t like the treatment as long as we were going along regularly we kind of felt secure in the thought that we were being seen regularly, then all of a sudden were on our own and wondering where do we go from here.
Like myself you are still being treated as you are taking Tamoxifen, I don’t know how long you’ve been taking Tamoxifen but it can cause depression…also you are probably having menopausal symptoms caused by chemo and Tamoxifen and these symptoms can include mood swings.
Why not give your BCN a ring maybe she could recommend some counselling [if you want it].
My BCN is very good and i know i can still ring her when ever i want…it is daunting finishing treatment you expect to feel europhic as you got through it but instead the routine of going to and fro for treatmnt has gone and your expected to get on with your life…which is easier said than done believe me.
If you can’t talk to your BCN, maybe your GP could prescribe something short-term to help you, or maybe give the nurse on this site a ring.

Hope you feel brighter soon and can start looking forward o your holiday.

karen x

Hi Tracy
No, you’re far from alone. In fact, I now understand, most of us go through this at the end of treatment. I wish someone had told me too, because I went through hell 2 weeks ago and it would have been reassuring to know I wasn’t alone either. I was dx in Jan, had 6 FEC, mastectomy and clearance, and am just finishing rads this week. I’ve had big ups and downs throughout, but nothing like the pit of despair that I found myself in recently. It was hard to believe that i could feel like this - I’ve been through all the treatment and it’s nearly over, why on earth would I crumble now?

Reading previous threads, I’ve discovered that this is really common and it can go on for a long, long time. It’s quite usual to feel anger, despair, grief and fear, to be frequently tearful and to either crave company or to avoid other people.

In my own case, I think I’d been conning myself all along that i was coping when I wasn’t. I struggled on trying to work through chemo, I tried to keep on running the family home as I had done before. I was trying to keep things as normal as possible for my family and to shield them from the possibility that i might no longer be the woman i once was. I am feeling a lot better already just for recognising what’s been going on. I’ve had a few good rants on this site and to friends and family and that helps too.

We’ve had cancer and we don’t know what the future will bring. For the last year our lives have been completely disrupted and we’ve had to work to the treatment timetables. It’s a big scary world out there and now we’ve got to go it alone after all the support we’ve had. It’s no wonder we feel a bit shakey!

Hope this makes you feel even a teeny weeny bit better!

Sarah
XXX

Karen, Tracey
Took so long to write my post, with phone interruptions, that you beat me to it. Grateful for the advice to Tracy - I’ll use it too!
Sarah
XXX

Hi Tracy

Please be reassured that the feelings you are expressing are normal following treatment ending and many people say they feel the same. As your fellow users have suggested, your GP or BCN will be able to offer you further support such as counselling if you feel this would help. You are also very welcome to contact our helpliners for a chat about how you are feeling and for further information about the other support services we run which you may also find helpful.

The helpline number is 0808 800 6000 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm.

Hope this helps a little.

Best wishes
Lucy
Moderator
Breast Cancer Care

Hi Tracey, Karen and Sarah (and Moderator!),

Thank you all for your response, i’m sat here with tears rolling down my face writing this! I keep telling myself to pull myself together but it’s not happening! At least i know that the feelings i have seem to be quite normal so that gives me some comfort. My friends seem to think that its all over now so i should be raring to go and up for anything again when all i really want to do is curl up in front of the fire and hibernate!!

I should be getting my 2wk post RADS appt through any day now and my BCN wants to go with me to discuss the pros and cons of Tamoxifen as ive had years of gynaecological problems and it’s never been mentioned! I’ll make sure i tell the consultant/BCN how i’m feeling, trouble is i always smile and pretend everythings ok when i see anyone so people never know how i really feel, i dont like to burden others with my problems-feel guilty writing this now.

I have suffered with depression twice over the past 10yrs and i dont feel as despondent as i did then, hopefully it’s just a temporary thing! Don’t want to go down that road again!

Anyway, enough ranting, gonna dry my tears, it’s a lovely day and i live at the seaside so im gonna take my dog down on the beach if i can find the energy-that should help.

Take care everyone and thanks again for your kind words

Tracy xxx

Hi Tracy,

I am glad to read that you have picked up the other ladies comments and found them useful.
You have the right idea, get down to the beach and walk those dogs!

After I finished my treatment I too felt as if I had been cast out into the wide world again to get on with things. I talked to a specialist Cancer Back Up nurse at the hospital to ask why it would be a year before a check up. She told me that if it was any sooner the clinics could be filled with well ladies/men rather than ladies/men undergoing treatment or seeking treatment for the first time. She said the system they had helped keep the waiting time for an appointment down. This was true I was always seen within a week. In addition the hospital I attend has excellent BC nurses and I could self refer at any stage. Which as it turned out a good system as I did discover further lumps and was seen within days.

I hope the feeling of being lost passes soon, I honestly believe it will because other immediate things will begin to take over such as what to buy your mum for Christmas as she probably has everything she needs!.
Do enjoy your holiday in Malta, its a lovely island to get round by bus. Check out Valletta Harbour, Medina (Silent City) and one or two off the beaten track beaches you’ll find lost of peace and quiet there.

Take care
Carol

Hi Tracy,

I cant offer support at present as I am just in the chemo stage. I have however been down thinking what happens once treatment finishes etc etc and trying to pick myself up. However on the Matla front I would recommend Valetta Harbour too(beautiful)

And also we took a trip to Sciccily up to Mount Etna - by bus…peace and tranquility is all I can say. Malta is a lovely peaceful island - I hope you enjoy it and find time to relax after everything.

Love Lynne.x

Hi Carol and Lynne,

Thank you for your support, it means a lot. I feel a bit better today, been for a reiki session which helped to relax me and i feel much more positive now. Ive been feeling guilty not being able to get on and live but its only been a week since my last rads session so ive given myself a good talking to today and im going to listen to my body and just d what i can when i can and most of all stop FEELING GUILTY!!!

I visited Malta 2yrs ago with my teenage son-we stayed in Qawra. My son found a cyber cafe and i didnt see him for the full week so spent most of the time on the balcony! I did have a days tour round the island with a couple of S African guys who were staying in the aprtmnt below-they took pity on me!! This time we are staying in Sliema at a spa hotel so im sure it will be better than last time!

I will make a note of your recommendations and im actually starting to look forward to it now so thank you!!!

Lynne, good luck with your trtmnt and i hope i haven’t worried you with my tales of woe.

Take care ladies,

Tracy xx

Hi Tracy,

I love the ‘so ive given myself a good talking to today’

That is always my fall back and it works doesn’t it?

My husband got back from Malta yesterday he said its been near to the 30’s so have a great time!

Hi all

I’m just about to wrap up my treatment and for the first time feel apprehensive - the comfort blanket is coming off and I now have to take control of my life! I’ve said no to rads and hormone treatment which hasn’t been an easy decision (ER/PR positive/ stage 3). I’m drawing up a plan of action which involves lots of alternative stuff - most importantly expunging all those things in my diet which I thought were healthy. I’m also off to a cancer retreat where I will detox and cleanse my poor battered chemo body - it’s crying out for rejuvenation!
I also get up really early and do lots of deep breathing - cancer hates oxygen!

Cat

Hi Ladies,

Thanks for your replies, Cat-I’ve just booked myself into a Buddhist Meditation Centre for weekend retreat 19th-21st Oct for a bit of relaxation and hopefully insight into how to switch my brain off!!! I’m bit scared but really looking forward to it. Good luck with your detox hun-you deserve it xx

Tracy xxx

Hi
Just thought that I’d jump on board.
I had WLE, chemo, rads and Tamox following my discovery in June 2000.
I finished chemo and rads in the December and popped in to work to see my boss - he asked me ‘has the depression hit yet?’ - I remember thinking what the hell is he on about, I am ok (although I had previously had a couple of bouts of depression). The tiredness, depression etc soon hit - I felt so alone - I think it was due to the lack of constant appointments ?!? I just wanted to sleep all of the time because when you are asleep, you dont have to face the world.
I would say that this feeling continued for a good few months afterwards - I got back to work in the following April - part-time at first to lead in - after that, it was back to normal and the fears of being alone soon disappeared along with the tiredness and depression.

Keep you chin up, mope when you want to mope,smile when you want to smile - and enjoy that holiday!!! :slight_smile:

Anne x

Hi Anne,

Thank you for that, are you in remission now then hun? It’s fantastic if you are! My mood has started to lit a little now thank goodness-maybe cos ive got a new wig and i love it!!! I am however suffering with very painful feet at the moment though which is something i could do without!!
Like you say-i’m just gonna do what i can when i can and not get too fed up when im having an off day

Love to all

Tracy xx

Hi Tracy

I was doing really well until May this year - was 6 months pregnant (against all odds) with 1st baby at age of 41!!!
I had a feeling of pulled muscle behind my rib, followed by sciatica.
Had the baby on 21 aug and sent for mri/ct scan on 23 aug - was told later that day that it was back - in my bones!!
Rollercoaster ride just couldnt describe the emotions - 7 years on, I really thought that I was safe.

I was doom and gloom to start off with - naturally! - I couldnt see past a week!!!
I am now receiving bone strengthening injections, and have a further course of treatment planned.
Everyone says how well I look and that they cant believe whats happening to me but I just ask them to leave their tears at the door - cos I dont need theirs to bring me down! - life will carry on as normal as possible for as long as possible.

I am determined not to sink in to a depression and become that Stranger from a few years ago once again!

Keep your chin up - I was just unfortunate that a little blighter slipped in to my system (or fortunate that I was pregnant and that they found it early on!)

Take care

Love Anne x

Anne, how ghastly it coming back after 7 years, and scary for the rest of us to hear too! Just shows this rotten disease is totally unpredictable.

The very best of luck with future treatment. It’s great that you have your baby to cheer you up and distract you!!

Hiya

You are right - it is scary for everyone.
I do feel awful posting my story but I guess its because I was so ignorant. I just thought ‘oh yeah - if I get another lump, they’ll cut it out’ - I didnt really realise about secondaries! And I’m not thick either! :slight_smile:
So, I just want people to be aware of how it can come back and to be on guard, as such.

Anne x

So sorry to hear your news, Anne, but thank you for sharing it - you’re right, we need to be vigilant. I was interested in the reference to the Stranger in your earlier post - i identify so strongly with that. I’ve been really down lately (see my earlier post in this thread) but am at last climbing my way out of what I think of as my pit. I think though that rather than it being a full blown depression, it’s been a serious case of the blues - there’s been something physical in all of this, a bit like the baby blues, which is why it came on at the most unexpected time - as i was getting to the end of treatment. I don’t really recognise myself in that teary weepy creature that i’ve been the last few weeks. It helps to think of her as a Stranger, thanks for the image. I’m sure she’ll come back from time to time, but i’d rather it was only for very short visits!
I do hope the treatment goes well - I can’t imagine going through all that again, but at least you know what’s coming and that it’s worth doing.
Sarah
XXX