I think I am going mad!

I think I am going mad!

I think I am going mad! It’s a nearly a year since I was diagnosed with Breast cancer. I feel very fortunate in that I ‘only’ had DCIS so I escaped the horrors of radio and chemo therapy. All I needed was a mastectomy and a couple of lymph nodes taken out for testing. I recovered without any glitch and life moved on.
My life returned to normal very quickly and I returned to work 2 months after surgery. I am now working full time and enjoying life as I did before but in a different way.
So, whey then, nearly a year later do I feel so mixed up? On one had I feel so happy to be well and alive and on the other I feel so angry that I got cancer in the first place. Also, maybe its because of the way I am, no one seems to want to talk about it. My family and friends seem to think its all over for me and if I mention it, I feel like I am being a pain just talking about it. Quite often my mind is filled with dread that it will come back but if I mention this to my partner he just says we can all get any disease at any time. I then feel like I am over reacting.
I suppose I just want to know that its normal to keep thinking about things one year down the line and if any of you feel the same way?
Thank you

Dear Kathryn I am sorry to read that you are feeling this way at the moment, you are very welcome to contact our freephone confidential helpline on 0808 800 6000 for support and a ‘listening ear’ if you feel this would help. The helpline is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 9am-2pm.

Kind regards
Forum Host
Breast Cancer Care

Hi there Kathryn

no your completely normal. I was talking to a mcmillan nurse this morning about how i feel more fragile after ive been given the all clear, she said this is normal and because of the amount of people that have the same fears she is going to set up a support group for the “after” Cancer. She also said that family and friends will assume that you have moved on and dont even think about it but thats because they couldnt know how your feeling unless theyve been through it.
Whilst having treatment i never really thought about it or had any feelings about what i was going through but now ive got to admit im scared, scared about what i eat, what anytime of pain is, will it come back, can i drink that cola? I was very positive and strong through it all but im a wreck recently, think hormones are not helping me as you have to recover from what you have been through. I think you need to talk about your fears to the people cloest to you so that they understand plus it’s not healthy for you to have these feelings bottled up. But im sure who ever replies will tell you that your normal and its only natural to have fears.

Hope this helps,
good luck


You can relax-YES you are normal!!!I felt like this and 3 yrs post diagnosis l am still prone to panic if get aches and pains and this seems so common.its easier for everybody emotionally if they act like its over and done with and we are getting back to normal-however this is not the same for us having been thru the nightmare.its a bloody awful disease and affects us all in different ways but dont beat yourself up for feeling like the majority of us do.Once the rollercoaster of diagnosis treatments etc are over the reality of it sets in and this is probably the point you are at now.Talking about it with a Breast Cancer Care peer support volunteer might be helpful for you as they understand and its often nice to talk to someone neutral. take care love sharonx

Further support from Breast Cancer Care Dear Kathryn
I just wanted to let you know about our other support services which you may find helpful, such as our peer support service whereby you can speak to someone, by telephone who has had similar experiences to you and has been trained by Breast Cancer Care to offer support to others. We also hold weekly live chat on Thursday evenings between 9-10pm which you would be very welcome to join, the users discuss all aspects relating to breast cancer during these sessions and report that they find them a very good source of support. If you would like further details of any of our support services please look under the ‘Support for you’ tab at the top of this page or ask the helpliners for more information to be sent out to you.

Kind regards
Forum Host
Breast Cancer Care

just wanted to say my mum is 6yrs post op and chemo etc and she still has, what she calls her wobbly times. she also still has a little bit of fear when she has to go for her check ups. as the others have said try the support groups and peer services ,find what it is that gets you through the hard times . maybe they might be able to help find a way to get your hubby to understand how you feel. i also wonder if he’s scared too but doesn’t want to let you see that, my hubby felt he was letting me down if he showed how bad he felt, but we have found our way again and can’t wait for my radiotherapy to finish.

Thank you! Ladies

Thank you so much for yout encouraging replies. I think I just wanted to know that other people feel the same and I do feel much better after reading your replies. I think its this ‘locked in a bubble’ syndrome I need to manage. I seem to always be ‘listening’ to my body to see whether its doing something different that may indicate the cancer is back. I think that’s my greatest fear (as it is everyones). Then there are days when I don’t really think about it. I wil take your advice and talk to someone close to me about my fears and also contact the helpline.
Thank you again for making time to respond.

Your post has made my day! Hi Tracey

I’m only half way through my rads after two lots of surgery but no chemo (I decided against it) and the thing that struck me about your post was the comment about food and cola. It made me laugh out loud. Are you like me?

I am in such a twist I don’t know if I am coming or going!!! Shopping, eating and drinking have all become a minefield! Is it organic? Is it a super food? Is it low fat? Followed by: Is it fair trade? How much packaging is there? How many airmiles has it travelled? What’s its carbon footprint? Oh and when you do finally select something the price label is bigger than the product!!!

As I am half way through rads and it’s a bank holiday and my better half is away on business until the week after next in the USA I have invited my bestest friend in all the world over for the evening and despite my vow to stop drinking until after treatment has finished I am going to have this months red wine tonight!!! I read somewhere that it helps with red blood cell production and if that’s a lie I don’t want to know. The other benefit is, of course, that for this evening I won’t know if I have anything that aches once I get the cork out of the first bottle.

Please feel free to join us over the ether and let me know how the hangover is tomorrow!!?!?!?!? :sunglasses: Kim xx

Kim - Glad i helped Hi Kim

Im glad i made you laugh, think that is my best point, making people laugh, and there are really only some things that you can only say to other BC sufferers and being allowed to laugh, to other friends i could seem quite sick or like yourself my other friends dont realise how dangerous every food on the shelf is, maybe like weight watchers and slimming world we could provide a book on how dangerous a food is, we could put points on them all, i believe red wine has no points so enjoy yourself, i believe that red wine and the herbs i have growing in my garden is all that i can live on.

Ooh, i feel honored, whats the ether, sounds interesting.


p.s. whoopie, finished my Rads today.

Oh woe is me - who invented hangovers? Morning Tracey

Much wine consumed and much laughter last night - got a bit of a sore head this morning but it was worth it!!! I was overjoyed that you confirmed my opinion that there are absolutely no points in red wine :slight_smile:

I am delighted that you have finished Rads must feel like your time is your own at last.

I like the idea of labelling foods with warnings - we could have a skull and crossbones if it’s bright red and laughing don’t eat it!!

Oh and the ether is really me showing my age - the young things would call it cyber space - we didn’t have cyber space when I was a girl!!!

I hope that you have a brilliant bank holiday and make the most of no more daily trips to the hospital - I’ve still got 8 more visits and my right boob already looks like a red traffic light - must remember not to go out topless could cause havoc on the roads!!!

Must go now and moan quietly to myself as I search for the headache pills

Kim :sunglasses: xx

Good for you, laughter is the key Hi Kim

Glad you had a good time, you obviously deserve it.
In case you want to try something else on your traffic light boob i used Aloe Vera 99.9% gel (mine was from Holland and Barratt) and i smothered it on about 2-3 times a day and its been great. I was also told to leave my bra off at night so that it can breath, which made me laugh, as mine hasnt even got a nipple on it to breath through.

Anyway, you also have a great weekend, im having champagne with the family tomorrow night (which has no skull and crossbone on, thank god).

bye for now and good luck with the rest of Rads.


You emotions are all over the place at a time like this. I am 5 years down the line and ‘it’ has never been mentioned again by anyone since my op in February 2002. I know from reading messages on this support forum (which has saved my sanity on more that one occasion) that it is quite usual for one’s family and friends to consider you 100% now treatment has finished but you and I know that fears can come up again at any time - not just at logical moments. I feel that I will always now carry ‘it’ or its return in the same or some other form - on my shoulder.

I, too, remember after expressing some of my fears one evening on the telephone to a friend, being told that I ‘was getting obsessed by my health’ and so no longer talk about cancer to anyone, except on this forum.

Use this forum as often as you need it. It is an invaluable support AND LONG MAY IT PROSPER.

Going mad? Gone mad. No return. Hi Kathryn

Your post rang loud bells with me. I had a similar diagnosis and treatment to you (except actually very small tumours were found). Went straight back to work. Plain sailing. People were kind, and said how well I’d done. 6 months later someone asked me had I got over it, wanting a yes. I felt I had to give a yes, so I gave a yes. I will never get over this. I just might find a way of living with it. But that is a different matter entirely (if I live, that is - no guarantees, all certainty gone…well, I hear them say, certainty could not have been justified anyway…but they’re not worried…).

At any rate - it’s the normality thing. You were ill, you had an op. now you’re better. That’s how it works isn’t it? Well no actually. I never was ill. I went for first screening, they hit me with a sledgehammer and the rest is history - history, as you know, is one damn thing after another…It is 2 years on for me and the pain (mental) is at its worst and I’m supposed to be “back to normal” and I have a “good prognosis” - so your story sounds just like mine, and your feelings - they are totally normal, everyone on here has them - what is so criminal, criminal - criminally reprehensible (can you tell I’m angry?) is that breast cancer websites underplay the seriousness of the treatment: the treatment, not the disease - I found a website today that said breast cancer caught early is “easily cured” - I’m spitting feathers over that one. Telling women it’s fine, just come on in and be dismembered…

Okay, enough now - I really just meant to say: what you’ve had is non-trivial and what everyone else has said to you on here, they are right and I hope it helps you a lot and keeps you going.

Love and hugs