Feeling upset - year after surgery

Hello lovelies,

Feeling like shit today so need to write it down.

I recently had my 1st mammogram after lumpectomy in Aug 2020 and saw my oncologist on Thursday. It is all clear (yay) but i’m having scans for abdo pain (thought it was probably period/ bad IBS) but am on Tamoxifen so doing scans to be on the safe side. But i’ve got an appt really quickly so worrying it is something serious.

I thought i was coping with life, but feeling really upset and its brought everything back. Angry that this has happened to me, guilty that I’m not more grateful to be alive and ‘only’ having had lumpectomy + radio. Know I ‘should’ feel happy that the mam was clear but at the time, was told that my original tumour didn’t really show up on mam - so how to know you’re actually clear. 

I’m feeling worse as I live alone and met some of my neighbours for outside drinks on Thurs eve which was lovely. I completely overdid the wine so had a horrific hangover yesterday and couldn’t eat much and had to take a sick day. So then feeling guilty about making the situation worse (I have anxiety/depression and know alcohol is a depressant), being all self critical about not being able to control drinking, and should i give up alcohol (risk factor for cancer etc) and what do my neighbours think of me, and what is wrong with me that I’m finding life so hard.

My job is stressful and i know i want to move on but how will i find a job that is flexible enough to do the adjustments i need - still so fatigued (Tamoxifen I guess). My manager has also been great and i wouldn’t have got through the return to work without the support.

My family and friends are supportive but like other posters say, you feel like they expect you to move on and can’t really understand what its like. I feel so alone and helpless. 

Coming back onto the forum to read other posts has helped me feel less alone. then I feel bad that i should have been using the resource more often. (noticing lots of shoulds in this post!).

So trying to take a step back and be kind to myself today rather than worry about the work i need to catch up on and what damage i’ve done to my body. 

Feeling so tearful has brought it home to me that i’m still going through this, it isn’t over. So i’ve registered for the moving on course and another one mentioned on this forum. If anyone has any other tips i would love to hear them. 

Sending lots of love to you all xxxx

Hello Cath

Sending you a virtual hug. I can totally understand your anger/concerns. I am four years since my diagnosis and have had scans for unexplained rib pain and thrombosis (in lymphoedema arm). My tests came through very quickly as they usually refer you under the “two week wait” rule. I hope your scan goes well. 

I had my mammogram Thursday and I am upset that I won’t get my results until I see the consultant in October. It seems an agonising long wait. Especially as last year, during pandemic, I didn’t get to see the consultant and had my results in 2 weeks. In addition I have a relative who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer after only just being given her 5 year all clear so I can empathise with what you say about mammograms.

I still have good days/bad days 4 years on and I live alone and am self employed so have the worries about work/money. I find having a drink can be relaxing and it sounds like you had a mixture of emotions on Thursday. So please don’t be hard on yourself. Please take some time out to pamper yourself and have some “me” time. We have all had a lot to deal with in the last few years.

I go to Yin Yoga once a week (I have had to have a little break due to illness) and I find this helps my Tamoxifen induced aches and pains and finds it helps to clear my mind and relax me. Or perhaps you could try counselling?

We are all here for you and to support you. Michele x