Life after cancer: article in Guardian

There’s a great article in the Guardian online today on life after cancer treatment has finished - I think it’s relevant to those of us with breast cancer - we don’t get the all clear, but we did perhaps naively think that after the operation, radiotherapy and chemo were over, we could get back to a normal life. It’s about dealing with the physical and emotional effects of the disease for years or for life.
It mentions the National Cancer Survivorship Institute in the USA. Maggie’s also apparently has a six-week programme. Ciaran Devane, of Macmillan, is quoted as saying the NHS must take account of this.

Thanks Zeppa, thats a really interesting article & accurately describes me to a T at the moment!
I found the link for it online: Life after cancer | Health & wellbeing | The Guardian, hope that helps for anyone searching :slight_smile:

Thanks for link. What an excellent article - well worth reading. Accurate description of the way I have been feeling too!


Hi ladies - thanks for link, a really good, interesting article and the comments are good reading too.

There’s also a link on that page to a discussion on the pinkification of breast cancer, another interesting read, and the comments are too.

Did you all see that Lucy Atkins, who wrote the article, is the co-author of a book on the subject, with Dr Frances Goodhart? It’s called The Cancer Survivor’s Companion. I just ordered it on Kindle.
Some of those comments make me want to comment myself on the Guardian site. Why do people expect us to go around with a smile on our faces for the rest of our lives because we got treatment (and have long-term after-effects)? After all, that’s not how things work for any fortunate escape (if it is an escape) in life. Huh!

Its a bit like people expecting you to be eternally greatful for still being here, alive and kicking. You are never allowed to have a bad day again for whatever reason because if you do, someone will always say “well you should be grateful to still be here”…that makes me soooooooo mad…

SamLee: yes, it’s like that thread about things people say. They should be grateful to still be here too! A friend of mine whose mother got bc relatively young and who is tested fairly often but is now 60 (I’m 65) said in a cheery voice, when I was complaining, 'Well, it’s good that it’s gone, isn’t it?`Well, yes (of course we never know if it’s really gone), but then I’d rather never have had it at all, like her!
The book is mainly about the emotional aspects. I have a lot of trouble with the physical aspects, e.g. lymphoedema in breast and trunk unrecognized and untreated, weight gain plus prediabetes etc. moan moan moan. I am cheerful, but these things I think about every day.

I read it too and found it very interesting. A lot of the points made in the article really hit home.
Like many of you, I find it difficult when people seem to expect that we should be all singing, all dancing the second treatment is finished. It’s a very scary time, losing your comfort blanket that is the treatment and the staff giving it. Why is it that people feel justified in telling us how lucky we are? Don’t get me wrong, I am so so thankful that I’m still here sharing life with my husband and our fabulous little girls, but surely the lucky ones are the ones who have that blessing *without* having to travel the journey we have.

What an interesting article!
I have found the last year or so one the most difficult since dx three years ago.
I too have experienced complications with breast reconstruction and this has really added to my anxiety and feelings of anger and frustration.

The definitely needs to be more support for post cancer individuals, without a shadow of a doubt as for some of us, simply bouncing back to ‘normal’ can prove to be quite difficult.

Mads i totally agree with you. Yes i feel lucky that i am here with my partner and two young children. BUT i do not need people telling me how lucky i am - those who have not had to walk the long road are the truly lucky ones in my mind.

Oh…and the pinkification of it gets on my nerves…it’s not pink and fluffy…it’s scary…it’s dangerous and it can kill you!!!

I agree…I’ve just said on another thread…“at least you are in remission” 6 words guaranteed to make steam come out of my ears!!!..this is a very interesting article…some ladies maybe OK after treatment ends but I myself get up everyday and think…not today…I don’t know if it is a stage we all go through but I dread it coming back…the financial aspect is different for everyone I know but for my OH and myself the cancer journey I made ate a huge hole in our savings…a lot of my treatment was in a different town to mine and the trains and overnight stays cost a fortune…the truly lucky ones are those that have not had to deal with what we have and they are the ones that should be grateful it’s not them!!!

Applestreet i totally agree with you!
BC is most certainly NOT pink and fluffy.
It is sheer hell and far from pink!