Is this my life now? Coz I hate it

Hi All

Not been on here for a little bit as I thought it was getting me down but I am still down. Everyone thinks I am doing okay and getting on with life as I am the life and soul but I am not. Feel like I am waiting for it to come back for the third time and hate my life (except for my 2 year old baby). Keep thinking why me. Don’t want to get help coz then I will have to talk about it and know I will feel worse. Everyone thinks that I am back to normal now but every minute of every day I worry about it coming back. It doesn’t help that I am surrounded by constant reminder of cancer in my job. Occasional I feel positive and convince myself I am okay but I am so angry inside, I want to see my daughter grow up! I know I should be grateful I am clear at the moment but I feel like a ticking bomb. I am on no treatment and it terrifies me. Has anyone else felt like this, will it pass or do I have to face facts and speak to someone. If I speak to someone though,its not going to make it go away. I seem to be all over the place and want to shout at people. Keep finding loads of problems wrong with me, my latest is a little lump in my neck and sick of speaking to bcn as she must be fed up of me. Am I going to feel like this for the rest of my life.

Dear Millielucas

You sound to be having a rotten time right now, and to be feeling pretty awful despite obviously putting on a very convincing brave face. I am so glad that you decided to write here again, because as you know you will get lots of support and link up with others who do know just exactly how you are feeling and how very hard the constant worry is. You write that you don’t want to get help, because you don’t want to talk about it - but you also write that perhaps you should “face facts and talk to someone”. Reading your posting it comes across really clearly that your past breast cancer diagnosis is really having a big and very negative impact on your life - that you hate your life, that your are angry, thinking about it all the time and terrified.

You are by no means alone having these feelings, and they are very understandable. However, feeling like this is ruining your life at a time that you should be being able to enjoy your little one and take pleasure in being well. Please, please do get help. You have made a very brave first step by writing down your feelings here. Your world has not collapsed because you have voiced your fears out loud, and writing it down may even have made you feel a bit better. Please take the next brave step and perhaps phone the help line here, your breast care nurse, or arrange to see your GP. And don’t give up until you find someone who you feel can really understand and help you. You owe it to yourself and your child to get this support and help. You say that you are frightened that talking about it will make you feel worse - and yes, if this has all been bottled up inside you, letting it out might well mean that you need a really big cry, and that you feel sad and scared and angry and all those things - but that will just be the beginning of really coming to terms with what you have been through, with what your fears are, and then with looking forward to the future with more hope.

Sadly, no one can promise you that you won’t ever have to face breast cancer again, but what they can do is help you put everything into context and to find strategies and ways of coping that will make your life much easier and more pleasant on a day to day basis. You are well NOW, hopefully you can come to enjoy and celebrate every day, and live in the moment with fears for the future balanced with hope for the future. But you need help to do this. Thinking of you, and wishing you better days ahead. You are NOT going to feel like you are now for the rest of your life, but you might need a little help right now, and you deserve it. Be kind to yourself and pick up the phone today - I remember a poster from my teenage days “today is the first day of the rest of my life” a bit corny, but perhaps there can be some truth in it for you. Big hug. Sarah xx

Dear Millielucas

I just wanted to reiterate what Sarah has said, please do call our helpline for support and a ‘listening ear’, the number to call is 0808 800 6000 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm. Our helpliners can talk to you about ways to help you to cope with the uncertainty and fear that you feel and as Sarah has said, sharing your fears is one of the the first steps in coming to terms with what you have been through.

Best wishes
Lucy

Hello Millielucas

Sarah’s words express so eloquently what the vast majority of us feel about our disease and I hope her advice gives you some comfort.

I try to live by this mantra, sent to me by a close friend:

Yesterday is history
Tomorrow is a mystery
Today is a gift.

Take care,
Liz.

Hi Millielucas

Many of us find living with breast cancer the hardest thing in the world…I know I do.

I also know how much counselling has helped me find the a way of living with fear and living my life…in a way which suits me. It is wonderful to have someone who is ‘there’ just for me to rant and scream and cry.

Many of us too have found an article by Peter Harvey called After Treatment Finshes really helpful. Haven’t got the link to hand but you can easily find it by googling.

Finally…please do get that little lump in your neck checked out. Your bcn will not be fed up with you and either she or a hopsital doctor should have a look and a feel.

Honestly how you are feeling is absolutely normal…having cancer is scary and also I think very lonely, because though it can be uplifting to talk to others going through the same, our own expereince is still just ours alone. You have every right to be bloody angry…you are young and have a young child and this just should not have happened and be happening to you.

very best wishes

Jane

Hi Millielucas,

I was originally diagnosed in 1990 when my daughter was 5 and felt just as you do now. Everytime I looked at my daughter, I felt like crying as I didn’t want her to grow up without me. At that stage, I was very against the idea of counselling, perhaps because I did not feel able to to verbalise my distress. I felt like this for several years and then slowly these feeling lessened so that 10 years later when I was eventually discharged from hospital, I felt much much better.

Then in 2002, when my daughter was 18, I was diagnosed with secondaries and given a terminal prognosis. I decided that I would accept all help available as I didn’t expect to live longer than a few years. I had counselling sessions at a local Cancer Help centre and found them brilliant. All those hurt feelings and repressed anger came out and my counsellor helped me to cope with my uncertain future. I really wished that I had had this help back in 1990. I learnt to respect myself and to become more assertive instead of internalising my feelings of anger and distress. My daughter also had counselling at the same centre and says it really helped.

Well here I am, 18 years on, still reasonably well despite my prognosis and attended my daughter’s graduation ceremony yesterday, something I thought I would never see.

Take care and keep posting.

Wendy x

Hi

Thank you everyone for your kind words and advice. I just feel really weird on a rollercoaster ride at the moment and am so angry. It sounds really silly but G Brown doesn’t help with trying to make us all skint so that we can’t go out and enjoy our life. It gets me really angry!!!

I find it hard to admit I need help as all I hear is how wonderful I am and how well I have coped these past two years when really I want to say no I am not coping, I cry when I think about what I have been through and I am scared stiff of it coming back and its not fair and its taken over my life. I get angry at people as they sometimes act as if I have just had a bad case of the flu! I am not the person I was anymore and I miss her.

I can’t understand the reasoning about seeing a counsellor as they can’t make the feelings go away or the terror I have all the time of it coming back.

All I have in my head is the Oncologist saying ’ Its aggressive you know and it will catch up with you eventually, scans don’t show all the little cancer cells that could be round your body’. He has made me feel like a ticking bomb!

Thank you for all your advice, I hope I am just going through a bad patch and not going to feel like this forever!

Hi Millielucas,

Your oncologist deserves a good slapping and a course in how to speak to patients. No wonder you are feeling so distressed. The way " bad news " is given to a cancer patient does affect how they feel about the illness after. I wish you could have had my breast surgeon whose first words to me following my diagnosis of secondaries (aggressive grade 3 HE2+++ cells) were " I want to spend some time talking to you so we can sort out the best treatment possible and help you cope with this."

You certainly need some TLC and if you don’t feel able to cope with counselling at the moment, how about trying aromatherapy or reflexology. Some hospitals provide free complementary therapies.

Treatments are improving all the time and scientists are learning more and more about cancer so hopefully it won’t be too long before they are able to find a cure for this “s-----y” disease.

Cyberhugs to you.

Wendy x

Hi Milllucas …u are in my thoughts … im 31 and have a 14 month old son … like the other ladies said anger is a big part and all that you are going though is normal … i have been going to counselling and have found it really helpful, i felt when somebody asked how you were … i would want to say "hey, yeah i feel crap but thought they would start to avoid me…especially if thats all i would think and talk about … so if anything its somebody to chat and cry and rant to and they are there to listen to u …x

Thanks everyone

I saw my Breast Surgeon yesterday as I have a lump in my neck and awaiting an ultrasound. My breast care nurse was with me and I just broke down crying, I knew it was coming, told them everything, they were brilliant. RInging breast care nurse next wek to have a good chat about where to go from here. She said that she thought I was coping with it too well and its completely normal to feel like this especially with having it twice in 2 years.

I actually feel alot better talking to her yest and spoke to a couple of close work colleagues about how I feel. Will see what happens.

THanks

Mandyxx

Hi Mandy,

So glad you were able to talk to the breast care nurse and are feeling a lot better.

Fingers and toes crossed that the lump in your neck proves to be nothing to worry.

Let us know how things go.

Take care.

Wendy x

Thanks Wendyxx

I really apprecaite al the support, going to let my lovely hubby know whats going on in my head too when he finishes his nights tomorrow.x