I want my old life back!!!!!

My OH on the phone tonight asked me a simple question - out of fun really - and my answer was “all I want is my old life back”. Ever since then I havent been able to stop crying. I tried going to bed, looked at myself in the mirror and didnt recognise the person looking back at me. I am so fed up and tired of this life already and am really just at the beginning of the journey.
I feel none of my friends (brilliant friends they are) really know whats going on with me and feel like I have to put on a ‘face’.
Right now I feel stuck in a deep hole and cant see a way out.
I know a lot of you out there feel the same kind of thing at one time or another but I felt I just had to say all this out loud. If it was not for the fact my 14 year old was in bed I would scream the house down!!!
I dont spose I will ever get my old life back but will have to adapt my life as my treaetment progresses - just dont know where that will leave me as a person!!

I willl shut up for now
Hugs to all out there
Fiona

Dear Fiona

Just to say I know exactly what you mean. Want to scream as well, but at the same time you will have a new life as will we all. Won’t be the same but it will be there. I so sympathise and scream all you like. Assuming you were a great person (and I was just fine as I was) then you will be great again and out of that big well known hole.

Hold my hand and hang in there my love

Dilys

Oh yeah. I second the motion…

As much as some things in my old life could have been improved, I really hate what I am living now, the powerlessness, the impression to be on the outskirts, everything. I feel as if I am just watching the rest of the world rolling by.

Since my hair is gone, I hate it more than ever, because now my being ill is obvious to anybody, as I go around I feel as if it is written on my forehead (should I say, on my skull), I just want to stay home and pretend I don’t exist. I despise this monstrous person looking back at me in the mirrors (yes I know it isn’t monstrous, but that is how I see it), I just want to hide. Up to last week, I could forget the illness (I have moderate side effects from chemo), and go out, play pretend. That was keeping me sane. Now it doesn’t work anymore… I have a good wig - it works on the outside, but I keep feeling as if it is going to fall off, as if I am a lie, a fake. Bandanas and foulards make me feel as if I am a freak, and everytime I see myself I cringe. I don’t cry, to help my daughter… otherwise she gets really scared.

Oh heck. sorry for the meltdown. It will be better later I guess…

Hi Fiona,

sending you a massive ‘cyber hug’ ((((((((((o))))))))))

I think we all know exactly how you are feeling right now and I can totally empathise with you. I am very nearly finished my chemo now, but I know on several occassions, nearer the beginning, I was really really down. I actually arranged to have some counselling (which I still have) as I was really struggling with the ‘mental/emotional’ side of the illness and its evil treatments. Having had my mastcetomy previously in march, when I was only 34, I felt really sorry for myself and quite shrot changed! There are so many things I long to do (such as have babies), but mostly, like you, I just long for my old life back.

I guess we’ll never ever be able to get back exactly the way we were, something like this changes you forever. Personally though I am desperately trying to turn a negative into a positive. I no longer take things for granted and refuse to sweat the small stuff! I know what and who is important in my life now, and also what and who is really not worth worrying about.

Take care of yourself and you know where we are if you need us. As you say, friends are awesome and we wouldn’t get through this without them, but obviously they can never truly understand what we are going through (unless, god forbid, they have been through it themselves),

All the best as you continue this journey,

Kelly
-x-

Hi Fiona,

I totally agree - I think we all diserve Oscars for ou brave faces and lets pretend acts…
It is amazing what good make up can do and a smile (when all you want to do is scream, cry and hide)
I try to ide my feelings from most including OH as he only gets more worried. I am so glad that I found this site as I dont think I could cope.

Kelly - dont worry about those mkeltdowns you are NOT alone!
I feel so useless - wish I could something!

I am sending mass of Cyber Hugs to You and all that feel the same!
Giggles tooo…
Take Care
Mel
xxxx

Hi Fiona,

I am nearly at the end of chemo, after a mastectomy and Node clearance, and know just what you mean - I’m tired of the whole sorry business, of not remembering what I look like with hair, of not remembering what I look like with 2 boobs, of not being able to shower properly cause of a PICC line, of never feeling totally well, of being someone that suddenly I don’t really recognise any more!

BUT…at the beginning of this of this all I made an active choice of will (and wrote it all down to remind myself) that although I can’t possibly not change through all this I WILL NOT BE DEFINED by a disease. I am defined by the faith I have, by the relationships I value, by the love and care my family have poured into me since the day I was born, by my wonderful husband who reassures me continuosly of his love and commitment and how much strength he sees in me, by my children who make me laugh (mostly), by some really good friends that I can be totally honest with and who don’t say stupid things to me, by the things I love doing and by the hopes and dreams I have for the future, however long that might be. (I could go on, but I wont)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not taking a superior attitude. I am miserable as can be sometimes and cry a lot and get stressed by the whole treatment process but when I am having a good moment I make that choice to be defined by my life in its entirety and not by a diagnosis!

Cry when you need to, it would be totally fake if you didn’t, but savour those good moments, they do occasionally happen! And I think you are likely to come out the other end stronger in many ways

With love and hugs

Jane

Thank you all for your comments - as always its good to not feel so alone. The sun is shining today so think I will have a nice long walk and cut the grass and hopefully perk up a bit!!

Hugs to you all
Fiona
xx

Hi fiona,
i know exactly how you feel, you get tired of putting on a front and being brave!! i am fed up of seeing my reflection on this pc screen, but as everybody says it will grow back and i am hoping to be a much stronger person from this experinence.
sending you a big hug
love galeb xx

Oh Fiona how this is all too true. We are all trying to make everyone else feel better…some days I can’t be a*rsed though!
I commented to my friend yesterday that life will never ever be the same again, and now it is pre-cancer and post-cancer life…will make me enjoy everything from now on, but of course our new life has a new and different set of worries, even when we get the ‘all clear’ or remission statement.
I agree with Mel - this site is a real lifeline, definitely makes us feel we are in it together.

Take care everyone
Hugs
Ali
x

I dont know where I would be without this site. Friends and OH really dont understand how we feel - and its not their fault - but all the same sometimes I resent them for not understanding. I know I am the same person underneath that I was but some days just cant get to grips with this. I shaved my head a couple of weeks ago and I swear now my eyelashes are starting to go - especially the bottom ones - so spose its only a matter of time for losing them (I have my 3rd chemo on Tuesday). I have been banking on them staying so I could keep putting on mascara etc to make myself more ‘normal’ - for myself as much as anything.

Anyway, enough of that - just want to say thanks to all my virtual friends. I must say - I have thought about going to a local support group but for me its far easier to talk on here!!

Hugs to all
Fiona
xx

Hi All

Fiona - I am too waiting for my eyelashes to go and am dreading that - hair loss was enough not sure how that will be. Reckon will look like an alien. But, I have got my false eyelashes waiting for me to use, got them from www.headcovers.com and arrived within 5 days - glue and remover too.

Agree with all of you about this site, as although friends and family say they understand and try to understand, they don’t. Not their fault, but when I am really down, don’t feel can scream and cry to them, as think I am them burdening them with my troubles and even end up upsetting them. It is so very hard to be brave all the time and to keep smiling for everyone, when inside I am cracking up. Ah well, we do it and we do it well.

But then the good days are good, and they are the ones we should focus on and to make sure they outweigh the bad.

I hope you are all ok today. I have had a few bad days this week, but am now back and trying to catch up with all the threads that I have read but not joined in.

Take care all
Love
Dawn
x

Hi everyone,
Like all of you have said it would be nice to go back to life as it was before bc.I had a very happy life then two years ago my husband left me after 26yrs together then a year later i had bc!I know i am lucky that op went well,chemo now finished but still attending hospital every 3wks for Herceptin and just get fed up of constantly there.Also trying to go out to meet someone to date when do i say that i have had bc in last year without them running a mile!
Ladies i am not good on these sites and dont know if anyone will reply but wanted to put it down in writing.
Take care of yourselves
Theresa x

’ The Brave Face’ how I hated that! Half way through my treatment I thought to hell with that, if my family or my dearest friend asked how I was I told them - family backed of but my friend wsa so there and it was such a relief to be able to tell at least one person EXACTLY what I was feeling - so I say be damned with the ‘brave face’ sometimes and just let it all out.

Angela

Theresa: I still wonder how a guy would react if I mention my BC… for now it is merely speculation, as with one boob and no hair I can hardly apply to the title of Miss Dating 2007. I guess that is an extra hurdle of single BC… maybe we should have a separate thread… I have been single for years now, finding someone is hard enough with single momhood and work! Now this. pffff.

As for the brave face, I guess we all have to put it up, for our family and children. It is tiring though - sometimes it is just required to feel miserable. Heck, I even have to be sober during the whole ordeal - wine tastes like **** so even that relief is out! speak about a bummer.

Yesterday I got really mad at my darling sis, who at my winging for my hair falling off, and how utterly miserable it made me feel, she proceeded to tell me that I was lucky to be in treatment and that the year of life lost is compensated by the life I’ll have after. Easy to say, when you are moving into a new house, with a new bf and children. I know she meant well, but do people sometimes think when they talk? it isn’t really a good timing for “tough love”…

Drats. Can’t wait for xmas, when all the chemo will be over.

Hi all
Just want to say I feel the same. I am fed up with this cancer. I was only diagnosed in early June but I feel my life has just been consumed by this awful monster. What started out as a small lump in my boob has taken my hair, my dignity, my privacy and my love of life.
I am fed up being a victim of pity and ‘oh you’re so brave I couln’t cope like you etc’ I could go on but you all know exactly what I mean. I feel like a fake - I paint on the make up plop on the wig and stick on a smile to face the world and all the how are you folks .
Am sorry to moan but you all know what it’s like - not fair. I look at everyone else getting on with their lives and I feel in limbo. It isn’t the chemo - that I can handle - in fact medically I can manage, it is the fear that this is just the beginning - that it could come back.

MuddyXX- moan for the day!

This site has been brilliant for me, and I relate totally to what everyone has said above. If it’s any help, this is how I cope:

  1. I don’t compare my old (pre-BC) life with my new one. I don’t dwell on the past, just deal with what I have now.

  2. I remember that friends and family each have something to give, be it emotional support (my best friend), finance (my sister) or humour and fast bike rides (my OH). No one can supply everything, so let people give you what they can, and don’t expect more than that from them.

  3. Exercise - a walk or a spell in the garden however terrible I feel, always cheers me up (as does playing with my cats or just making a fuss of them).

  4. Reading up about my cancer and making as many decisions for myself as I can - for example, even just asking for a PICC line or deciding when I would shave my head made me feel empowered.

  5. I’ve changed the way I dress completely! I used to be quite girly and feminine and wear ‘victim cardigans’ and shoulder-length blonde hair. Not any more. I wear casual jeans and trousers and flattering tops and got some trendy new specs that detract from my disappearing eyebrows - plus a spiky haircut that is going to be shaved off tonight.

  6. I keep up things I used to do, mainly horse-riding, even if I can only manage 10 minutes on a lunge lead!

  7. I come on this site for moral support and advice.

Hope this is of help to someone - I don’t want to sound smug because I have the horrors in the middle of the night just as everyone else does, but these are some of the things that have worked for me so far.

Hi to Fiona & all,

just wanted to make a quick comment about eyelashes and stuff. I started E-CMF in May and throughout the Epi my eyebrows and lashes remained totally intact. However, a couple of weeks after starting the CMF they all but disappeared. So, in an attempt to cling on to what few lashes I had left I was advised to abandon the mascara as it can ‘weigh’ down already fragile lashes. I instead lined my top lid with a lovely black eyeliner and no one noticed at all that I only had a couple of lashes, top and bottom!! I used my fav body shop eyebrow make-up too, to aid my v.sparse eyebrows. Others have recommended ‘Browzings’ by Benefit which apparently you can get fairly cheaply from Boots and they’re supposed to be v.g.

Take heart though, not everyone loses their eyebrows or lashes. And, although I lost mine literally overnight they returned v.v.quickly. In fact now they are better than ever!!! I’ve never had such lovely eyebrows and long lashes!!! So, please don’t fear if they do disappear as you’ll be well impressed when they return, I’m sure of it!!!

Take care all,

Kelly
-x-

Brilliant advice, Kelly. :slight_smile:

Hi all

To back up what Kelly said, Browzings are great. It’s something I use everyday now even if I am not going anywhere. Putting on my eyebrows make me look less alien even if I’m only going to get a paper! Also I am using the dark eyeliner which detracts from my lack of lashes. ALthough I am glad to say they are making a reappearance if a bit stubby at the moment.- thick though!

Sharon x

Hi All,

Oh how I am sitting saying how I wish I had my old life back!!

Very sad today - washed my hair yesterday in the bath and loads and loads came out…i just got out and patted it dry as I knew if I continued to run my fingers thru the lot would just come off. Its very thin and today again it wont stop shedding. Do you think it will calm down or do you think it will just shed until it all comes out…?

My bandanas have arrived today so was going to try them on but dont want to incase they knock anymore hair out…
Ive got clippers there to shave it however my thoughts are if it just keeps coming out in my fingers whats the point of shaving it down to a number three when its still gonna come out on my pillow anyway??

Meant to be going to OH’s parents to watch the footy but I know im just so sad right now and I know if they look at my hair I will feel paronoid even though I know they love me for who I am…

So sad today sadder than have been in a while…
What do I do with my hair? shave it or hope it stays? for anyone who desnt know me had number 2 EC wednesday(both times with coldcap)

Lynne.x