Not coping again

Hi everyone.

Sorry I have been quiet recently… i’ve had a lot to deal with.

On Friday I have one of my best friend’s funeral to attend - he was tragically killed a month ago and we have had to wait for multiple post-mortems before we could lay him to rest. Then, on the following Wednesday, I am having my tissue expanders taken out and switched for my permanent implants…

Since my friend died, I have been questioning my own mortality and future a lot.

I’m not coping with the fact I may never be able to bear children. I am not coping with the fact that my husband may be a young widower. I’m plain just not coping with having secondaries at all.

I had an appointment with a psychiatrist, and she believes that I am mentally sound, as I know what my problems are and why they are affecting me negatively, it’s just I don’t know how to deal with them… there’s a lot of work to be done there.

I was cuddled up with my husband today, feeling all relaxed and calm (he gives great hugs, I feel safe if that makes sense?) then all of a sudden that horrid feeling popped up again, and I came crashing back down to reality…

I *really* want a child. We were going to try to get pregnant this year too. I don’t even know if the Zoladex and Tamoxifen is working yet, because I have my Big Scan in April. If it isn’t working, then they’re going to try chemo. I’m wondering if that will be the proverbial straw that breaks the camels back…

Sorry to moan. I know there are a lot of people on here who are in a much worse position than me, either health-wise or relationship-wise… It’s just I try and talk to my friends about it, but (thank god) they don’t truly understand what I mean. I am glad of this, because I wouldn’t want ANY of my friends going through what we are all going through… it’s just hard to connect with them sometimes over it all.

I guess I’m just feeling a little lost…

Hoping you are all feeling as well as you can be…

J xxx

Dear poannie

I am sorry to hear about the death of your friend and would like to pass on our condolences to you. I can appreciate that this is a very difficult time for you, please do feel free to call our helpline on 0808 800 6000 for a chat to one of our team who can offer you further support and a ‘listening ear’. The line is open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm.

Kind regards

Dear J

Please don’t feel you should be sorry… that’s what we are here for. I don’t want to be a “Job’s comforter” (someone who has lots to say in a well-meaning but thoughtless way, but who hasn’t experienced what you are going through).

You were honest to write “not coping” - I’m sure that many of us here will be thinking of you today with sisterly love and concern. And especially remembering you on Friday.

Sorry to hear how you feel and sad that you have a funeral to attend. That always makes everybody aware of their own mortality and of those we have lost before.
I was wondering whether a counsellor or psychologist would be better for you to see. Some psychologists and some specially trained counsellors do CBT - cognitive behaviour therapy. This where you look at what is making you upset or what starts the panicing/upset and you find stragtegies to cope. Sorry, I haven’t explained that well but I think you would get more help from a counsellor or psychologist especially if you do not get the ‘good’ news and you can’t have children, they can support you more.
I would go back to your GP and ask to be referred to someone else. From what you have said and from my experience of seeing them, counselling or the psycholgist would be more helpful to you.
I’m glad you and your hubby are so close cos as you say bc often seems to destroy relationships so it’s lovely to hear that you are very close.
All the best for friday.
Thinking of you

Hi Sweetie,
I’m so sorry to hear how much pain you are in at the moment. I wish there was something helpful I could do.
It’s brilliant that you have a lovely supportive husband, but I know what you mean about that dread feeling in the pit of your stomach, and nothing can take that away completely.
I think Kate is right about a counsellor. Psychiatrists deal with mental illness. Psychologists and counsellors deal with people who are not mentally ill, but whose psyche is having trouble dealing with what life throws at them. That sounds more like us! You could really use some support and help to unscramble all the worries and questions in your head.
I’m sending a big hug and sending up a prayer for you
love Jacquie x

Hi poannie

Moan all you like, its what were hear for.
Take care
Liz xxx

Hi poannie…did I read somewhere here you might have a northern meet? I found meeting up with others in the same boat really, really helped me. Take Care…x.x.x.x

Hello Poannie

I am really sorry to hear that you are felling so low at the moment. I was referred to a clinical Physicologist by my BCN and she has been fantastic. I have been seeing her every 3 weeks for about 6 months now. Perhaps that may be something that would help?

I too recently had a friend pass away (from breast cancer) which really rocked me but this lady has helped me deal with things.

I hope you can get some help somewhere

lots of love CAroline

Hello Poannie,

I read your posting this afternoon and have not been able to stop thinking about you since. I cannot imagine how awful you are feeling at having to cope with the death of your best friend. That alone is so diffcult but with everything else as well it is hardly surprising you are having difficulty coping.

I can imagine however what you are going through with other things. I was first diagnosed when I was 36 just as we were planning to have children that year and then just when we were hoping to be able to again last year with my oncologists approval I was diagnosed with secondaries. It is so difficult to cope with knowing I will never be a mother, that no one will hold me like a child does their mother and that no one will call me ‘mum’ and the same for my husband. I have friends with children, friends who are pregnant and sometimes I just feel so sad for us when I am in their company that we will never be in that position. My husband would be an amazing dad.

Like you I have a fabulous and supportive husband. He is a couple of years or so younger than me and I just ache at the thought of leaving him a young widow. He is so cheerful and helps me through this mess. He holds me when I cry and sometimes I wonder who will hold him when I am not here.

Through my Macmillan service I have been referred to a Macmillan counsellor who has helped me tremendously in trying to cope with these feelings in ways I cannot even think how to explain. She has helped me find my way with some things and helped me realise other issues will take time. I have learnt that I am grieving for the life we had planned and like all grief, this takes time to adapt to and cope with.

I agree with what you say completely about friends not understanding. Thank goodness they have not been in this place we are in now and the fact that they haven’t and have not had a friend with secondary cancer leaves them, I think, just unable to comprehend what we are going through.

I hope you get the best results possible from your scan and my thoughts will be with you on Friday. My father was diagnosed with a brain tumour during my treatment for primary breast cancer and sadly died. I was devastated and feel at times that cancer has taken over our lives since the day I was diagnosed and other times I feel less so. Bereavement when you are already low is a massive blow.

Thinking of you,

Angee x

Hi Poannie, I feel so much sorrow that you are down. I read these boards but none make so sad as the ones from the young women. I am older, and believe me BC is dreadful at any age. When I am feeling a bit sorry for myself and down I come on these boards and realise that for me the worst thing would have been to have this disease robbing me of motherhood. Also I can’t imagine how hard it must be coping with demanding babies and toddlers. I wish there could be a network of volunteers who could help out women with young children who must find it exhausting. I wish this had never happened to me, and can’t think of anything positive gained by having bc. I think I am a worse person. The only thing I feel lucky about is that I reached the age of 56, and that’s only because there are so many young women on this site and before dx I had no idea there were so many. Poannie I hope you get some help I am thinking of you love Eileen

Hi Poannie and Angee

I really feel sad for you both and would like to echo Eileen’s message.

Thinking of you both.

Love, Jen x

Hi Poannie and Angee

Poannie, I am so sorry to hear about your friend and realise how hard it must be to come to terms with that, along with coping with everything else you are going through.

My heart goes out to both you and Angee and the fact you may never be able to have the pleasure of having your own children. There is nothing I can say to make this better, but am thinking of you both and sending lots of love and cyberhugs. Wish there was more I could say to you both.

Both your posts made me tearful and pulled at the heart strings. But am so glad that you both have fantastic partners that are there for you both.

Take care
Lots of Love

Hi Poannie,

Your moving post really spoke out to me and echoed some of my own fears and anxiety.

It must be so hard to mourn the loss of a close friend while naturally anxious and unsure about your own mortality.
I too realise that I’m never going to have children and I find at time that this is harder to cope with than the fact that my life may well be shortened. I remember thinking when I was first diagnosed with primary BC 5 years ago that if I was to die the next day the biggest regret I’d have in life was not to have become a mother.

It’s great that you have such a supportive partner and sound to be very close which reminds me of what I have with my husband. I also am more worried about him becoming a young widower than of my own mortality and it does at times feel totally overwhelming.

It is great to have this forum to just be able to say whatever we feel and know that we’re not alone.

Thinking of you,

Take care,

AnneS xx