I’m not myself


I Finished my treatments two months ago and I’m recovering well however I’m finding that I’m isolating myself. I’ve noticed I avoid people as I really don’t want to answer questions, they avoid me as they don’t know what to say and therefore I’m left with very few friends. I only have one son nearby and no other family close to me. I haven’t started back at work and I’m at a loss what to do with myself. I read, I paint, I knit, I crochet I swim it’s still I feel alone. I make sure I see someone most days for a coffee or a chat, I just don’t know what to do with myself I feel so alone that I honestly  wish that I’d never gone through with this and that the cancer  had got me. 

I think things like Jubilee weekends make you feel more isolated and alone when there’s no family around to have a barbecue with et cetera. I’ve been to the local fetes and Beacon lighting etc but I feel so empty and such a changed person.

Thanks for listening


Hi Sue ,Im sorry you are feeling so low . I think having cancer is a very lonely experience even if you have people around you.Only people who have been through it can really understand how being faced with your own mortality affects you .It’s very common to feel deflated and low after you come out the other side after you finish treatment . It does get better and you will feel more “ normal “ as time goes on . If you are still struggling mentally after a few months some breast care teams have access to a psychologist to offer some input .Lots of support here from people who understand x

Hi Sue

I’m so sorry you feel so isolated. I found that it is, in a way, a very isolating experience as no one can truly understand how it feels to be us. At the same time, I was surrounded by friends wanting to help by giving me lifts to the hospital, sitting chatting with me while I had chemo etc. Now I have a Stage 4 diagnosis, it’s different. Most people don’t know what it means - I’ve just got cancer again - and those who do understand don’t want to face it. They are also frightened of passing on infection from their grandkids etc so I am left abandoned! 

It sounds to me like you’re being very productive, given what you’ve been through. I have peripheral neuropathy from my primary chemo and can no longer feel a needle so my passion for creative embroidery has been challenged! It’s also good that you meet up with someone most days and you’re getting exercise. But that sense of being alone stems from having a traumatic diagnosis and traumatic treatments that others haven’t had. I’m attaching a link to an excellent article one of the nurses posted a few years ago. It explains so well why we feel as we feel so I hope you’ll read it repeatedly and take things in when you’re ready. It’s still early days for you, emotionally rather than physically. There’s also a website www.futuredreams.org.uk which has some useful online resources for moving on with life after cancer. Maybe there’s something there for you. Meantime, keep up the crafts and swimming - sounds good to me.


Jan x

Hello @Sue8822  

I’m sorry to hear you are struggling at the moment: I think I can relate to how you are feeling: I felt very low in December which was a couple of months after I finished my treatment. 
At one point during my treatment I asked my oncologist when she thought I should think about returning to work to which she replied “when you are crawling the walls and you think there’s nothing else you would rather do”: I was very low before Christmas and tried to rationalise my feelings and decided it was either due to residual tiredness from treatment, the fact that Christmas was coming so I “should” be celebrating (I’m with you Jubilee celebrations, my family isn’t “joining in” we’ve left the country ) or I’d reached the stage of being ready to return to work. 
I went back to work in January and I’m feeling much more like myself, having the work hat to put back on. I have most definitely changed following my diagnosis and treatment but am managing to feel very positive about those changes. In terms of talking to people I feel like my breast cancer is now “yesterday’s news” so don’t feel compelled to say anything or else have developed a stock answer for those that want to quiz me!

You are an amazing person and you make a difference: you have friends who will be in absolute awe of you and what you’ve been through and your friendship and experiences will be so valued be people you know or even people you don’t know. 

Take care and I hope you start to feel better soon

AM xxx

Hello Sue,

I am sorry you are feeling so down right now, it is difficult when the World and their Granny seem to be celebrating and try as you might, you just cannot find any joy inside yourself.  I think having been down the BC path twice the years I may have a little understanding of what you are feeling as I am sure many others on this forum will too.

I am blessed with a large family, and yet since my diagnosis and Treatments spanning from 21st December finishing Rads only last week, I too have felt so ‘lonely and isolated.’  I realise that may seem strange, but no one can relate until they too have trod a similar path, so I feel as though Im in a glass cube in the middle of a crowd, smiling and laughing on the outside but weeping and screaming on the inside.  But I know, with time, these feelings will abate it’s a question of ‘coping’ until then.  Speak with your GP perhaps some counselling may help you, and when feeling stronger going back to work part time or even volunteering, reaching out to others in a similar position or less fortunate can also help.

In the meantime, continue to talk through your feelings on the Forum to others who really do understand or phone and chat to one of the Breastcarenow Nurses. (((Hug)))


I hate questions, always did. If you have a question about breast cancer, and you have it or some one you love-ask away. If you are just asking questions to get facts-get a book. I know this might sound cruel,and it is. If someone is ready to talk about their experience- you will know.