I'm struggling

Hi…I don’t really know where to start…I don’t know if this is the result of everything that has happened to me in the last 15 months…I was dx Sep last year…had right Mx in Oct…broke my wrist in Nov…had Hickman inserted in Dec…started chemo in Jan and was really ill…ended up in hossie…had to have hickman out in jan due to infection…chemo jan to may…also sold our house in May this year and that fell through…still trying to sell…my treatment finished and I thought I was ok with it all…until just lately…I can’t seem to get going…I get tired easy and feel so down all the time…it’s an effort just to get out of bed…I was having good days and bad days and now seem to have more bad than good…I am taking tamoxifen and wonder if this is one of the se’s as I am not sleeping too well either…I thought it was the brand and changed it but to no avail…I am also worried about every ache and pain I have…at 54 I am bound to have some but each time I think the cancer has come back and get upset…I cry easily lately which is not like me at all…I don’t want to bother my OH as he is worried enough about me as it is…I feel better just writing it all down…this site is invaluable to me…crying now…how do I pick up the pieces of my life…if anyone has any suggestions I would be really grateful…apple

just bumping…it’s not appearing in posts…

Oh Apple, big hug for you. it’s rotten isn’t it, you get through all the treatment, think you can start to move forwards then … wallop.

Couple of thoughts.
Firstly, you have been through one heck of a lot and it will take its toll physically (fatigue and/or exhaustion) and emotionally. Sometimes the keeping going through all the active phase means that a few months down the line it all hits big time. The disrupted sleep an dpressutres of thjis time of year to be jolly and happy will all add to that.

Secondly, depression is a side effect for some people on Tamoxifen, and quite a few people take low dose anti-depressants at least for a while. There is no shame in this, and it can help reduce flushes too.

Why not give your BCN or GP a ring and see if they can help you. As mine said to me (about other side effects) there is no need to suffer and being a hero is not all its cracked up to be.

All I can say, is that for me another year down the track I am much nearer to the ‘old’ me physically and emotionally. I can still suddenly find myself kn*ckered and my brain is still a bit prone to fogginess. but I’m getting there.

Hi Applestreet, Sorry, I’ve just seen this. You sound very much like I was 6 months after my treatment ended. Tired, cried easily, struggling to come to terms which the bomb which had gone off in my life. I thought it might have been tamoxifen related, and this might indeed have been part of the case. My Occupational Health team at work were very good and made a valid point when we first talked about this early in my treatment. They said “once this is over, you may feel worse for a while because while you are going through treatment you are in a survival crisis and full of adrenaline, but once it is over and you have a chance to reflect it will be a bit like post traumatic stress disorder and you may need counselling or time to come to terms with what has happened to you.”
it seemed least of my problems on dx, but my experience is that they were exactly right. whether it was delayed shock, after effects of WLE and re-ex plus rads combined with the return to work or aches, pains and hormone effects of tamoxifen, eventually I decided that they were right. I took up the option of counselling which I was lucky to have available via work. They were very helpful and I found it good to talk through the odd mix of worries, trauma, shock, sadness for what has happened to my previously body confident self. It also brought right back the memories of my I other dying of bc secs. Counselling helped me to switch off negative thought patterns and to live for the moment a little more.
I think what I am trying to say with this ramble is that it is entirely normal that we need time to come to terms with what has happened, and it helped me to have some professional help with this. I don’t know whether this would be your thing, but I did find I felt a lot better for it and it then I could also split out what was to be expected and what might be tamoxifen SEs.
If it helps to let off steam to us, do so. We know what it’s like. And if it helps, two years on, I feel so much better. it takes time, be kind to yourself, you’ve had one heck of a year xx

Hello there,
I know how you must be feeling because I have felt the same way too. All through my treatments we marked each milestone with a celebration. End of chemotherapy - cracked open a bottle of champers. Same after surgery, end of rads and final visit to oncologist. Then all I felt was a rather puzzling feeling of abandonment. All my family and friends expected me to be back to how (and who) I was. But even though it is a year since I had my mx and 10 months since I finished rads, I still suffer from a painful shoulder, extreme tiredness, difficulty in sleeping, various joint pains and hair that Ken Dodd would be proud of.

Having said all that, what I don’t suffer from (at the moment) is depression, tearfulness or anything like that. I think this is partially down to how I start and finish each day which is in a state of “mindfulness”. This involves keeping your thoughts in the “now” and not letting them wander into the past or the future. We all have our problems and worries, but try to concentrate on what you have to worry about “right now”. I read a book by Eckhart Tolle called “the power of now” and it helped me. You could probably reserve the book at a local library or I would be happy to lend you my audio book version of it.


Hi applestreet
I am at the beginning of my journey and cant offer you any advice but I saw this and wondered if it would help you.
I still dont know if i’m allowed to post links on here so apologies to the Mods if I am breaking rules.

So sorry apple that you are feeling low, you have come through a lot and it will take time for your head to get to that better place, I think the months following treatment are full of worry you think every ache, pain etc is C, it is frightening, I have had liver scan, bone scan and finally mammo, seen onc and surgeon, speak to BCN regularly, have joined a group and have seen a pain psychologist, all of this has helped me greatly. Still have some teary moments, just little ones that are connected to I think the lack of oestrogens. (tamoxifen)
Phone your BCN, doc or helpline (on here) today, speak to them about your worries, fears etc do get help, it maybe the tamoxifen, talking is really good especially to someone you are not close to as you can get all your feelings out and please keep posting.
Phone today, lots of hugs to you xx

Hi Applestreet , reading your post was like reading something I have written, felt just like your words had come from my hand I wish I had something good or comforting to say to help you but unfortunately I feel like am sharing your boat but I do know that this site has been invaluable to me to help me in my dark days there are some wonderful ladies on here that help so much unlike myself who can only send you massive cyber hugs and positive energy and hope that your good days return soon. The thing I hate most about this after active treatment is my inability to stop crying have been left quite an emotional wreck and am hoping that it is due to the tamoxifen have already visited my GP who’s advice was wait for 3 months and see howe it settles then they will consider giving me something to run along side it if I still am the same I see from your post you are further on with your tamoxifen so may be worth giving your GP a call to see what he can offer. Lots of hugs and love to you Angi xxx


Sorry but the Links in Funkilala’s post have been removed as they identified a doctor.

June, moderator

Hi applestreet
Sorry to hear that you are feeling this way, its really awful what this Cancer does to us all.
I am earlier in my journey but your feeling of worrying about every ache and pain is so true to me even now and I am sure as time goes on it will probably get worse. However I don’t feel I can talk to my BCN very well and have put off ringing about a couple of things so when I go visit the Oncologist next Monday have a list of things to ask her.
Please talk to someone even if it just helps to stop things going round and round in your head.
Don’t be too hard on yourself as people have said you have been through an awful lot.
Its difficult when you feel low to think positively but as supertrouper says try and not think about the past or the future if that makes sense but in the now. Mind you living in the now has left me without a card or present bought for Christmas but he ho we’ll get there even if its Christmas eve but you get the idea!
Take Care

Hi ST, Mindfulness was the technique ai was talking about which the counsellor s introduced me to. I find it very helpful and it does remind me to notice things in the here and now rather than the “what ifs” xx

I’m so sorry June.
It wont happen again. X

Thanks Funkilala, I know you were only trying to help.

Take care, June

Hi apple street,I’m over 2 yrs now since diagnosed,still get very tired and can’t do things as I used to,think maybe getting older might contribute a little to that.I have also just had MRI results because of bone and muscle pain all over my body,quite severe around the neck.thankfully just a damaged disc in neck and also in lower back,but my doc also said its the result of too many birthdays and bad genes! What I really wanted to say was don’t be too tough on yourself,I think most of us have some lingering effects both physically and mentally.hope you’re soon getting more good days than bad,
Best wishes,Di.x

Hi Applestreet

I know a lot of people think it’s probably the tamoxifen that’s causing them to feel down but I’m TN so don’t have anything else to take. I finished my treatment in May and expected to be elated - as did everyone else. However, I became very down, tearful and found it very difficult to cope, particularly in my job where I have to deal with some difficult people and issues that I now find are quite trivial to get so angry about considering what I’ve been through in the last 16 months. People who haven’t experienced it don’t understand, they look at me and say how much better I’m looking every day (though how I can be looking better every day when they’ve always told me throughout that I looked really well…). I was also lucky that my work paid for me to see someone to talk through my feelings as I kept ‘cracking up’ - not good when the very busy boss has to make a special hour long trip to where I work to take me out for a chat for a whole morning!

So I think perhaps it’s just the whole situation of treatments, worries and physical effects. The mx has affected my body confidence also and I haven’t been able to have a recon yet plus I haven’t managed to shed all the weight I put on with chemo. I’ve been very tired and not myself recently but it looks like I may have developed an overactive thyroid - but my first thought was that the symptoms were cancer related. The BCNs and doctors say it takes a good 12 months to 2 years to get over the treatment and I do think that’s going to be the case. I need much more sleep than before. Sometimes I’m in bed by 6pm and at weekends don’t get up till 8.30-9.30 am, whereas before all this I would be up at 6 am doing all sorts. even on weekends. I’ve always been very physically active but have been struggling to motivate myself to do anything so at the moment my life is mostly working and resting but then I feel guilty and frustrated for not doing anything.

Sorry, I’ve just had my own little rant without contributing any help to you. I suppose what I’m trying to say in a roundabout way is your feelings seem quite normal, you’re not alone in this and that there are people out here who understand and care - as can be seen by the other ladies who’ve posted.

Best wishes

Hi…thanks for all the replies…it helps to know that I’m not going barmy…have had a word with GP and am going onto low dose Ciltalipram for now…didn’t want to but can’t go on like this…just hope they work…will think about the mindfullness thing…it’s the wee small hours that set me off…you know…when your thoughts start wandering…should be grateful treatment is over…the chemo to me was a bit of a comfort blanket…as long as I was having treatment I was safe and now it’s finished I feel a bit out on a limb…am going to try and live day by day and see how that goes…thanks again…apple

Hi Applestreet
I just wanted you to know that you are not alone in how you are feeling…
I was diagnosed three years ago, had mx, chemo, on tamoxifin, recon, failed recon, more recon and do you know what, i am only just dealing with it all NOW.
For three long years i suppressed all feelings and emotions, trying to protect others from my fear and anxiety.
Well my last surgery was a month ago and boy am i paying for that suppression now.
So much so that i am now going over three years worth of ‘stuff’ with a lovely (i think psychologist) who is attached to the organisation where i work and TOTALLY gets where i am coming from.
My mind also wanders during the early hours and am seeing GP about something to help me sleep better (short term) until i feel more emotionally healed.

What i am trying to say is, your mind and body have been through the mill.
YOU have had much so deal with in addition to the BC so be kind to yourself and give yourself lots of time.
Taking each day as it comes is a wonderful idea. Grab each good moment and try and ride out the bad stuff by talking to us on here who know how you are feeling right now.


Hi…just want to rant really…got some tamazepan off the doc to help me sleep…does it work…NO…I’m bl**dy fed up…I’m knackered and sick of all this BC crap…just waiting for the citalipram to kick in and hope that sorts me out…I feel really sorry for myself today…I know there are worse off people on this forum but if I could just go to sleep and stay asleep for more than 2 hours I would be happy…is insomnia an se…I’m sorry for moaning but I am so fed up!!!

Hugs for you applestreet…
Sorry you are feeling low today…
Have you tried any relaxation techniques or yoga/meditation to relax your mind and body?
Does lavender or clary sage help in a warm bath with a nice drink?
I know how you feel because i feel the same too although further down the line than you…

Sorry to have not been much help to you but just wanted to let you know i get where you are coming from…xxx and am hoping that in the days/weeks/months to come you will see the sunshine again…

Hang in there Applestreet. I was like this a year ago and the citalopram 10g really helped. It took a few days to settle in. I only wake once or twice a night now and drift back off quite quickly. It’s amazing how much better I feel now :slight_smile: x