Having to cope on your own

It is very good that there are so many ladies out there with caring partners who can help them through breast cancer and all that entails, but how are single women managing? Those with no partner, who live on their own and do not have family available?


Fortunately I have some very helpful friends and neighbours who pop in to see me and help with shopping; one is very kindly taking me to the hospital for surgery next Tuesday and another is bringing me home the following evening, but inevitably I shall have to manage on my own for most of the time. I have a list of really caring people who have offered to take me to chemo sessions if they are necessary (that will not be established until after surgery), but it’s the early mornings, around 4.00am, when I wake up feeling totally isolated that are terribly daunting. Getting up and doing something at the computer helps, but I am having to persuade my cats it is not breakfast time and they need to sit politely and wait quietly (which they are now doing).


How are other people coping on their own?

Sounds like you have a good circle of friends. It is daunting and I have a partner. This forum is fantastic for support and also advice from the ladies on it. I know not everyone likes attending groups but can your breast care nurse put you in touch with a group in your area?


I wish you well and dont want to offer platitudes. Talk to the people who are helping you. I know it doesnt replace the 4am waking but there may be one who will tell you to call them. Good luck Appletree x

Hi Appletree,I know excactly how you feel .I too am facing this alone having lost my husband to cancer 5years ago .Friends and family are very supportive but you do miss having that one person in your corner.Im having surgery tomorrow ,lumpectomy and snb.Not much sleep for me this week .Ive waited since October as tumour was against the chest wall and ive taken letrazole to successfully shrink it away to hopefully get clear margins.

Really been wishing this week away feeling apprehensive but want it over with and onto the next part of this sometimes very lonely journey…

Hi ladies. I don’t post on this forum very often now but just wanted the pre op ladies all the best. I was diagnosed in Jan 15 and had 3 lumpectomies and snb, followed by rads. None of the ops were a bad experience and I needed virtually no pain relief, only took the odd paracetamol. I can remember how nervous I was before the first op, which happened to be on my birthday! No sleep at all the night before and thick fog on the early morning drive to the hospital made me a wreck by the time I got there. One thing I would say is to make sure the person picking you up by car brings a cushion for you, so the seatbelt isn’t right on your chest. Sending you virtual hugs, Francine.

Well another forum member told me about the cushion and boy did it come in useful. OH decided to take the quickest route home but hadn’t considered that it was littered with speed humps! That was interesting to say the least, lol. Do your post op exercises religiously but gently to start with. One tip I got was to reach up and touch the frame of the door every time you go through one. Looks a bit bonkers to others but is a good stretch for the underarm snb area too. X Francine

Hi ,I’m home from surgery and all went well .No pain yet but I did have nerve blocker so I’ll see when that wears off. As others have said on this brilliant forum it was much better than I imagined .Now for the two week wait for results and next step in treatment .Wishing you all the best for next week ,I won’t say "you’ll be fine " as i got heartily sick of hearing that from people who have no idea what we’re going through .Hope I don’t sound too ungrateful.Sue