lost and empty


Hi Alice

You are right, these feelings are normal, however, you might find it a great help if you give our helpline a call.

If you feel you can cll them, you will find that you can in confidence about your fears and concerns and the team on the helpline are happy to talk to you or just be a listening ear if you feel you want to offload.

Breast Cancer Care are here to support you so please use us if it will help.

The helpline is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturdays 9am to 2pm. The number is free phone 0808 800 6000.

I am sure you will receive plenty of supportive, helpful posts from other users too.

Kind regards


Dear Aliceinwonderland
I’m sorry to hear that you are one of us instead of escaping.
When I was first diagnosed I went into auto pilot and focused on organising things and action plans for my children, but it is now I keep cracking. My ‘wake up’ point was when I was hospitalized just before christmas.
It is scary but you can get thru this, just take one day at a time.
If you need to talk to someone totally un connected then the helpline is good and of course you can always post on here.
Take care and let us know how it goes
missusB X

Dear Alice. I, and everyone else on this site, understand all too well why you feel lost and empty and need to cry. Feeling sad and low are totally natural reactions to the terrible shock of being told that you have breast cancer. You have so very much to come to terms with - the loss of just being able to sail through life, the changes that your body is going to go through, all the treatments that you know are ahead, indeed the feeling that life itself is threatened. Alice, this entitles you to cry, and feel low and feel lost. These are emotions that you just have to go through and are entirely and utterly natural. It hurts like hell, believe me I know - the night I had been diagnosed I cried and howled like a wounded animal and paced around the house… But now let me tell you the good news, when this initial shock has passed you will find that you can cope (which doesn’t mean that you won’t cry again), and that on some days you do more than cope, you laugh again, and enjoy life again. You find depths of inner strength you never knew you had, you appreciate your friends in a whole new light and although you won’t be able to believe it now, good things will happen in your life as a direct result of what is happening now.

You don’t have to shiift your mindset Alice, that will come gradually as the days go by. You are grieving for the life you knew which has suddenly been sent into total and utter turmoil. This is a time just to be very, very gentle with yourself. Accept all the friendship and support that you are offered, and just go day by day. I am sure that you will get lots of other answers to your e-mail. You will find friends here, and people who will care about you through all that is ahead, the good days and the bad. Good luck for your operation. Do talk to your breast nurse and the BCC help line. Do ask for help, Better days are ahead and we are all right along side you. Love Sarah x

Hi Alice

So sorry that you have had to join us here.

I can’t really say much more than Sarah has - yes, everything you are feeling is comletely normal. I was dx in November last year - and though I held it together at the hosital during diagnosis - as I walked away to meet hubby and eldest daughter I was howling my eyes out from the hosital to the car.

All I can say is - 2 months on and surgery over (mastectomy), 3 of 4 chemos done and facing radiotherapy and more chemo - I have been amazed at how I have coped and at the strength I have found to get by each day, As Sarah says, there are days when you will still feel low, but there will as many, if not more, days where you realise that you do still have so many things, and friends, to be grateful for and you CAN laugh and have fun.

Please keep us posted as to how you get on. The only other thing I would add is that I found a lot of my strength from the ladies on here - in the early days (and even now still) it is humbling sometimes to realise that no matter how bad you feel, there is someone else going through either the same thing, or facing a worse daignosis - and they are so upbeat and willing to share all their experiences - something for which I will be eternally grateful…

Take care

Margaret x

Hi Alice,

We all have our bad times, it is only natural. I won’t go on, as the posts before me have explained it all so well already. I just wanted to add that you will probably find it easier when you start treatment - you meet others in the same position, which always helps, and you can feel ‘normal’ as you are no longer the only one with BC. It also helps that positive steps are being taken to deal with the disease , rather than the awful waiting.

You will get through this, and find that you smile & laugh again.

Hello Alice

I’ve just read Sarah’s excellent reply. I think it was the complete change of life that really hit me all of a sudden, all those things we took for granted. I was diagnosed at the end of November and it has been hard. Sometimes I think I am getting there and boom I have a bad day when I can’t get my head around it all. I am told that we do adjust and manage to get through it. Its painful but I do believe it will get better.

Take care.

Judith x

Sarah your reply was so brilliant, you complete summed up how I am feeling - its a bit like you think you are having a bad dream and you will wake up any minute - if only!!!

All you ladies on here are so supportive

Good luck to you all



Thankyou, all of youxxx Alice

Hi Alice, so glad you have posted again, I have been wondering how you are. Do keep writing and sharing your thoughts and experiences, the good and the bad. We are all in this together, and certainly writing and reading the discussions here have made me feel a lot less alone ( I am in Australia for a few years, but only just got here). I hope that you too will find lots of “cyber friends” to walk along side you each step of the way. Big hug. Sarah xx

Hi Alice

As my grandma used to say “better out than in”.

You may find other people approaching surgery who appear to be much "stronger " than you - I was like that(26/11/07)- surgery was like a very bad case of going to the dentist - I had a partial masectomy and lymph node investigation

Am now deciding that it wasn’t strength - it just hadn’t hit me - have been having a major wobbler myself for the last few days

This whole thing is so upsetting that everyone seems to go through a low - but then gets stronger again

I have decided that whilst I am very positive re: the outcome, it’s OK to be temporarily distraught and let it all out

I am also convinced that whilst there will be some things that we lose as a result of this there will be lots of others that we gain - we just don’t know what they are yet

the best thing about this site is that you cry for help and it’s there! it is so incredibly supportive and that makes all the difference in the world (to me anyway)
also - once you’ve been on here for a while you will see other people needing help and it’s very fulfilling to be able to help them and you will surprise yourself at the progress you are making - I am actually viewing my current wobbler as progress - I think it was all bottled up before - look on the bright side - at least you’re not suffering from that!

hope you feel better soon - don’t judge yourself or try to feel better - just know that you will come out the end of this stronger

good luck and a big cyber hug >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
FixBix xx

Hi Alice xxx

Echo the above, it is ok to cry, we need to do that. It is completely and utterly normal and absolutely necessary in my opinion. You will get through this Alice, your friends are here for you online, take care, hugs to you and kiss away your tears.xx

I am 47, dx on 23 Oct, mastectomy and recon 1 Dec and I have like all of us been on this rollercoaster, most days very positive and single and sometimes multiple days where I keep trying to pull myself together, days when I dont even want to get dressed and just cry for hours. It is all part of the process. We have all lost something precious whether we consider that to be our changed physical appearance, changed outlook on life, changed opinion of friends and family due to their reactions, realisation of our own mortality, fear for our children etc etc. We have also gained tho too, in hearing birds singing, smiling at the things we took for granted before and many positive things which we are yet to discover with each day that breaks. Take care Alice, thinking of you xx



Alice everything is different I think that is the problem and once we get our heads around that fact we can accept the next stage. It is just blooming hard getting to that bit but everyone on here is wonderful at giving you support and picking you up and setting you back on track.

Take care and try to keep positive.




Hope you had sweet dreams - the strength we get from friends, and the love they give us is just amazing. Hope your day at work tomorrow will be a good one, it would be nice if we could magic the marking away, sorry we can’t do that for you! Take care, love Sarah x

Good firends and good wine seem to really to help - hope you have a good day at work tommorow and dont suffer too much from the alcohol! Pleased that you are sounding a little more positive admit its not easy.

Love and hugs



Hi Alice

I have just started a new thread called water vs wine jou should read it.

I too work with children - pre-school age not keen when they answer back. I have got the girls to bring me their cutting out and filing to keep me busy did pop in four a couple of hours yesterday - it was nice to get a fix and sit cross legged on the floor reading a book ha ha

Keep them positive thoughts flowing and of course the wine




Hi Alice
Once you’re off work you must forget it for a while and concentrate on getting better!! I’m a Headteacher of an Infant School and have been off work since mid November, mastectomy in December and now driving everyone crazy talking about when to go back to work! Teaching is one of those jobs that’s hard to let go of.
So drink that wine (my consumption has probably doubled since being diagnosed but don’t tell my staff that!!), forget work and carry on laughing! I even made my theatre staff laugh just before being knocked out as my op was the same day as my xmas fair-the staff decided to cancel ‘Guess the weight of the cake’ and changed it to ‘Guess the weight of the Head’s right boob’!!!
Good luck!
Love Gill xxx