Nearly finished radiotherapy and starting to worry!

I think this may sound bonkers, but having had WLE, TAC chemo and 3 out of 4 weeks of radiotherapy I’m starting to feel nervous about what life will be like when it’s all finished.
At the moment I get seen every day at the hospital and I feel that something positive is being done to protect me against the cancer - how do you come to terms with no more treatment, no more kind staff looking after you and friends/family saying you can ‘get back to normal’? I don’t feel like I’ll ever be back to how I was!
I know I should be jumping for joy but I feel more scared and vulnerable than ever.

Hello there

It’s a well known fact that there is a transitional period to go through when active treatment finishes. It isn’t unusual to feel the way you are feeling.

I am no expert on this but I am sure others will be along soon to chip in their thoughts and advice.

You could always ring the helpline on here, I am told they are very good although I have never used them.

I am still in active treatment, chemo finished last week but I have surgery this month and then 3 weeks of rads.

Do keep coming back here and let us know how you are getting on - we will still be here to support you.

Dear Starlight67

As Supertrouper says, it is not unusual to be feeling the way you are and Breast Cancer Care recognise this and have produced a range of publications to help with moving on from active treatment for breast cancer, they have called it Moving Forward. Below is a link which will take you to a page with all our rescources dedicated to this next stage. And of course, the helpline are there to help you as well.

www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/publications/moving-forward

with best wishes
Poppy

Hi Starlight, I too felt exactly like you in August when I finished radio, had 4 FEC, 3 tax, lumpectomy and axillary clearance then 23 rads. I was so worried about not going to the hospital regularly but it does pass. I went back to work in September and have been for a check up in October, all ok and now my next appt is January. I think it does take time to get some sort of normality back in your life after such a roller coaster, you will get there Im sure, this forum has been a great help since I was diagnosed just over a year ago, Ness xxxx

Hi starlight,

It’s quite normal to feel anxious as active treatment comes to an end. It doesn’t matter how traumatic it’s been to go through it all, once it’s over you end up feeling like your support network has been taken away from you.

I felt exactly like that when I finished treatment at the end of May and I’m still trying to get my head around it all even now. The Moving Forward Resource Pack is really excellent - it answered a lot of my questions. You might also find this book useful too - The Cancer Survivor’s Companion: Practical ways to cope with your feelings after cancer.

Nymeria x

Thanks all, it’s good to know that I’m not alone feeling like this. I spoke to the radiographer the other day too, saying how I was feeling and she was reassuring.
I think I feel extra scared as I’ve decided to make some big changes in my life (work and where I live) after plodding along dutifully for years not rocking any boats!
I really appreciate your support everyone.
x

Hello Starlight,
It is good to hear someone else is thinking about big life changes too. I just finished chemo last Friday and will have the op then rads but as soon as it’s over, I’ll be selling up and moving closer to family where I can take it more slowly and let myself heal. Just want to spend some time doing what i want to do instead of knocking my pan out to pay the mortgage! It’s a bit scary though, I think the treatment takes a bit of your confidence and courage, plus there’s chemo brain - decision making seems to be harder. Don’t know about you but I’m excited by it too!

Hi Happy Carrot,
Well done for making it through your chemo - hope it all went ok. I hope you find radiotherapy easy by comparison.
I know what you mean: the ability to make changes is really exciting, but then I feel I’m getting carried away - what if I have a recurrence etc etc. Plus I think I still have chemo brain too: I’m slow, clumsy and forgetful!!!
I’ve been doing my job for nearly 20 years and only when I’ve been on sick leave, relieved at not having to be in work, I’ve realised that it’s not really for me!
Also, I feel I want to spend more time with the people I care about instead of trying to keep up with the Joneses by working full time.
BC certainly makes you appreciate what matters.
Good luck with your op.

Thank you for the kind words Starlight. I’ve been feeling a bit shattered these last few days - I started with Tax and am finishing with FEC. I think I’ve done pretty well so far, hair is wispy and about to go bald…eyebrows almost gone…a few nails going bad. Clumsy, slow, lumpy, frumpy and want to be comfy! None of this was me before the chemo. I was a bit down but I know that I’ll be feeling better soon (though it seems a long way off still!) Probably, my op will be early January then rads, still though, I have a break for Xmas and New Year to recover before the op.
I wish you all the best with your future too, a new year ahead and a chance to change direction. I’ve been talking about it for at least 3 or 4 years but BC has forced me to change!

I know just how you feel I was diagnosed in April after the birth of my son had two ops 6 lots of FEC and finishing radiotherapy on 21st Dec and as I’m triple negative no drugs for me to take either quite worrying really and people just expect you to carry on as normal once the treatment ends they have no idea about the worry it causes but the kids I have a 6 year old aswell keep me very busy. Good luck thinking of you.

Hello. Just jumping in to share how I feel two weeks after finishing rads. Had WLE, FEC Tax chemo, double mx and rads which finished 2 weeks ago and expected to feel elated. Bought champers etc to celebrate and felt really flat for about a week afterwards and was worried I was getting depressed, but two weeks on I feel so much better and I feel quite fit too. I do get tireder than I ever did before but I feel i can now look forward and it is lovely not to be going to the hospital all the time. I worked full time through rads which was exhausting but things really are getting back to normal for me and I’m sure they will for all you lovely ladies too.
Rachel x

Hi to everyone out there, It is good to see that I am not the only one who fears the future after a year of constant treatments.
I had double surgery in May 2011 , then on to 18 weeks of chemo which I must admit felt like it was nearly the end of me, then on to 23 rads which I finish this Friday. But what happens next I keep thinking I know it will be a relief not to have to travel to hospital daily but I fear I shall be floundering like a fish out of water. I just can’t stop thinking how long will it be before it comes back and what will I do then?
I find it very difficult to talk to anyone about my fears, my husband will not help me and thinks all will be well but him above all knows this is not always the case(his first wife died after breast cancer treatment, it spread to other parts of her body). I hate myself for feeling like this and know I should be positive but I find that so much easier said than done.
Lots of Love to all of you out there. Pam XXX

Hi everyone,

I’ve mentioned this before but I thought it was worth posting again. I would recommend you ordering a copy of BCC’s Moving Forward Resource Pack - www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/publications/moving-forward which I found very helpful after finishing active treatment last May.

I also found this book to be absolutely brilliant - The Cancer Survivor’s Companion. amazon.co.uk/Cancer-Survivors-Companion-Practical-feelings/dp/074995485X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326831686&sr=1-1

The first few weeks and months after you finish active treatment can feel very strange, as you feel like your support network has been taken away. It’s completely normal to feel uncertain and worried but these feelings do go after a while.

Nymeria x