Moving On

Hi. I have just joined this group and this is my first post. Just wondering if anyone else struggles with making decisions for their future? I was diagnosed in 2012 aged 40. I had a lumpectomy, then a mastectomy, chemo and radiotherapy. I had reconstruction and a risk reducing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction on the other side and am about to reach the final stage with my nipple tattoos next month.
I am unfortunately very aware of the risks of cancer returning as my sister had breast cancer a few years ago and sadly passed away with a brain tumour when I was right in the middle of my treatment.
I was lucky enough to be able to have a long period of time off work but now it’s time to move on and I am finding it so difficult to decide what I want to do as it is always in the back of my mind that I may only be here for a few more years. Part of me thinks I need to plan for the future financially but another part of me thinks I just want to stay off work and have fun while I can! My partners has been wonderful but he just won’t talk about the possibility that I could get ill again.
Sorry for such a long post - I am just feeling completely incapable of making decisions at the moment! Do other people feel the same? Thanks

Hi Helen , I finished my treatment jan 14 and feel exactly the same as yourself . I feel I can’t plan anything anymore and take it day by day and wonder what if , all the time . My life has changed and so have I. Let’s just hope it does get a little better as people are always telling me . Take care x

Hi Helen
Yes, I am still incapable of making decisions and I am 5 years down the line! My issue is confidence in myself and body, but am getting better day by day. I have to get myself a new job very soon ( contract coming to a close) and am clueless about what to do, as my surgery and current job are one very interconnected journey.

I think you somehow need to try and put the ’ what ifs’ to one side when you move on and take each day as it comes. Sadly your sister passed away during your treatment and that must feel very scary. But, right now, you are well and you must live life as if the cancer is never to return, or it has won! You don’t want to live in fear, or else what was the point of all the treatment. But BC has touched your life and you may never be the same person again ( I know I am not) But that does not have to stop you from making little decisions so that you are taking back some control of your life? Definitely have fun, but no one knows our fate, regardless of stafistics, prognosis, size of lump etc etc, so somehow we need to find a way to enjoy life again and put the ’ maybe’s in a box with the lid shut tight.

I really hear what you are saying though, life post BC is tough at times!

Very best wishes

Hi Helen, Kestrel and Naz,
I think Naz it right…by whatever means we need to try to focus on enjoying elements of each day and re future ensure things are ticking along re longer term picture, but push that more to the background since today, tomorrow etc are what really counts. Sounds easy but I know it’s far from…I’m a few months post rads (and had bad anaemia) and am concerned to plan anything due to fatigue…started back at work and have been treated v badly so having to document everything…though I think the penny has now dropped that they would look appallingly if this goes further…been so stressful…so today listening and singing along to Kirstie McColl and will then go for a river walk in the winter sun and smile at swans and geese as their feet make that flipping sound as they land and take off on the water! Plus Swans sneezing or hiccuping! There is one!

Thanks everyone, It’s nice to know other people feel the same but you have all given some great advice.
Naz you are so right that there’s no point going through all the treatment if we don’t then live our lives to the full.
It is also a very good point that cancer has changed our lives and changed us and maybe we should embrace that rather than feeling sad about it. I certainly appreciate life a lot more now, I get so annoyed hearing people moan about getting old! Why don’t they realise how lucky they are?!
I think I need to make the most of the present and make sure I have as much fun as possible and try not to worry about the future so much.
Love to you all x

Hi Helen and welcome to the BCC forums

In addition to the support you have found here please see the link below to the BCC ‘Moving forward’ information and support which I hope you will find helpful:

Our helpliners are also on hand with further support and a listening ear on 0808 800 6000 so please feel free to call, lines are open 9-5 weekdays and 10-2 Saturdays

Take care
Lucy BCC

Horrible disease. When going through treatment you focus on the disease being killed off/cut out etc, once treatment finished I feel that there’s nothing to focus on apart from it coming back! As a good friend of mine once said “If you’re going to worry all the time about it coming back, then it may as well come back”. Good advice but I find it hard to not worry.