Really upset - counselling

Really upset - counselling

Really upset - counselling I was diagnosed May 05, had WLE, node clearance, chemo and radiotherapy at the age of 30, when my only child was 10 weeks old.
I’ve had my ups and downs but things have generally been OK until tonight when I watched a hospital programme where a 4 year old girl died of cancer which I found upsetting. I was a bit upset when I watched it but it wasn’t until I was in bed that I’ve found that I just can’t stop thinking about her and her family and I can’t stop crying. I don’t know why. It just seems so crazy. I’m not usually an emotional person. I have the flu at the moment and things have been a bit hectic with uni so I’m not feeling 100%. I also have my first appointment with a genetic counsellor tomorrow so I don’t know if that’s why I feel like this.

Has anyone felt the need to have counselling some time after treatment has ended?

If so, how did you find one? Did you find it helpful?

(sorry had to get this off my chest)

Hi Adele Hi Adele,

It’s just all too much at the moment. You’re not well, you’ve got uni, something else to go through with genetic counselling after already going through so much over the last few years. You feel things so much more when you have a young child yourself so watching the programme will have really moved you because you know how you would feel if you lost your own child. When my children were small, I used to get upset watching the news and that was without having the added burden of coping with illness and cancer. You have done really well to come through everything and cope with a young child. I think you’ll feel better when you’ve got over the flu. When you’re physically low then it gets you down and it’s harder to be positive and keep going. Cancer totally changes your life and I know a lot of hospitals and cancer organisations offer one to one counselling. Although I feel that I’m coping well I have wondered whether it might be useful at some stage in the future just to reassess my life and see if someone else can offer any useful advice! It might be a helpful support to you and is worth a try. You don’t have to go more than once if you don’t want to. Like you, I’m interested in hearing about other people’s experiences and exactly what counsellors offer. Sorry I can’t help you with that but I just thought I’d send a reply as you sound a bit poorly and a bit down. Hope you feel brighter soon and I’d definitely give the counselling a go.

Best wishes
Francine x

P.S. P.S. I’ve just read your question asking how to find a counsellor. You could try contacting your Breast Care Nurse or the hospital where you had chemo or radiotherapy as they sometimes have counselling services available which will be local to you. There is probably information on this website about counselling and I would imagine that other cancer organisations probably offer counselling services. I’m sure someone will reply with something more specific.

Francine x

Dear Adele Sorry to read that you are feeling so down at the moment. Please feel free to contact our confidential helpline on 0808 800 6000 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 9am-2pm where you can speak to a nurse or helpliner about how you are feeling. The team will be able to offer you information regarding how you can access counselling services in your area too.

Kind regards
Forum Host
Breast Cancer Care

Adele Hi Adele

Sorry to hear you are feeling so down at the moment.

I was diagnosed in October 2005. I underwent a lumpectomy with lymph node removal in November and after 6 months of chemo, finished radio in September 2006. I went on to Tamoxifen and currently on Herceptin.

During all this my family and friends were amazed how strong and positive I was - I even suprised myself. If it’s possible then I can say I sailed through it all!

But now…my GP says the reality of it all has just hit me! I have never felt so low in all my life - to the point where last week I really didn’t want to be here anymore. It just happened overnight - one minute I was fine the next I felt like a wreck! I have had horrendous physical and emotional problems for the past few month and following a visit to the breast surgeon and my GP two weeks ago - it was agreed that I come off Tamoxifen for a couple of months and give my body a break.

My GP has also suggested that I take anti-depressants but I have decided to wait and see how I feel once the Tamoxifen is out of my system. I have however taken up the offer of counselling which is carried out by a lady who works for the practice. She does have a waiting list but I am hopeful of an appointment within the next couple of weeks.

I have picked up a little over the last week - my physical symptoms are easing which is making me feel emotionally better.

I have always been a very confident and self assured person but those qualities don’t even exist at the moment. I believe that the counselling will help tremendously as I am a firm believer that talking things over really does help.

I too had to get this off my chest lol.

Take care Adele


hello Adelle Hi, just writting on behalf of my mum who was diagnosed Feb/March 05, after lumpectomy, chemo and rads thought worst was over but has been feeling so much worse since treatment finished, very very bad depression terrible worry over every ache or pain (which i know i would be exactly the same) she has tried many many different antidepressants and other things (for other problems that have developed because of treatment) and has now agreed to have counselling (she is an extremely private person so it was quite a hard decision for her) she has been going for around three weeks now and although she says its just like chatting to a friend we (my dad and I) have noticed a very slight improvement.

I will also just say that every week she never wants to go!!! but does, so it is deffinately worth a try.

Hope that helps a bit, luv Mel

I went to see a health psychologist for a year starting about a year after my main treatment ended. After my treatment finished I found I was getting increasingly anxious about my health and life in general and was at the doctor’s all the time with different scares (not always BC related). After about 6 months of this I really felt as if I was become a victim of cancer mentally if not physically and asked my oncologist if there was anyone I could talk to about this. He referred me to a health psychologist specialising in women’s health at the local mental health trust. She did a lot of work with me on things like relaxation, dealing with anxiety, getting support from other people, starting to sort out some of the things I was really dissatisfied with in my life and approaching things in a less negative way.

I think she helped me a lot and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend trying this sort of therapy to anyone who is interested. Unfortunately I have recently been diagnosed with another cancer, and although I have asked for some psychological support from my new hospital this time round as well, I think that so far I have been able to deal with things more easily than I did last time and I think that this is due at least in part to the work the health psychologist did with me.

Good luck with finding someone if you decide to go down this route.

Best wishes


Counselling has really helped me- give it a go Hi

I was really sorry to read your message and find out how difficult things are for you at the moment.

I was feeling really low about a month ago. I also coped well and was brave and strong throughout all my treatment and suddenly just crumbled.

I am so glad I have spoken to a counsellor and I will continue this for a while yet. My problem was being too brave for everyone else and being too private. Acknowledging my feelings and crying and feeling the pain of grief has really helped but about three weeks ago I felt I was in agony.

The breast care nurse at the hospital or the GP can arrange counselling. I wish I had had the courage to talk to someone years ago.


Hi Adele I was really positve through my 8 months of treatment, but once I no longer had the ‘safety net’ of regular hospital appointments and all my friends and relatives assumed I was cured, I suddenly spiralled down into depression.

The hospital arranged for me to have some counselling and it really helped. It was great to be able to express my fears about the future in a totally non-judgemental situation.The counsellor told me that she couldn’t take away my fear, but she could help me to develop strategies for managing it, and she did.

emotional Hi ladys,me too,

DX sep 05,6 FEC,WLE node clearence,15 rads and 1st mamo scince dx nov 06 all clear.

My hubby and family think i should be over it and on top of the world but im an emotional reck,i went back to work nov 06 and have found it hard to get back into it and anything upsets me,i too watched that tv programe and cryed all the way through.

I also have had thoughts that i would be better off dead,i want to be the person i was before cancer,fit & healthy,happy & confident,i want my long hair back,i hate it now and i am trying to grow it again,my skins dry and aged,and im 2 stone over weight,and thats after loseing a stone after finnishing treatment.

I have an appt in breast clinic in 2 weeks time and i think im going to ask about counselling other wise i think im going to flip,Bluebell.

Dear Bluebell Breast Cancer Care have other support services such as ‘Peer support’ and ‘Live chat’ which you may find helpful at the moment. Further details of these and other services are available on this page under the ‘Support for you’ tab above ‘Chat forums’.

Alternatively, you are welcome to contact our helpline on 0808 800 6000 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 9am-2pm for further details and also confidential support from the team who are either breast care nurses or have had experience of breast cancer so are able to talk about all aspects of breast cancer and can offer a listening ear during this difficult time.

Kind regards
Forum Host
Breast Cancer Care

counselling Hi everyone

Havent posted for a while , have finished my treatment now had last rads 17/01/07 , I too felt like it was the end, my cocoon had gone what was going to happen to me now , I had chemo then rads & do not get anything else as I am not hormone receptive so no herceptin or anything else for me , just on a wing & a prayer so as to speak, oh & keeping fingers crossed.I was very angry at getting cancer in the first place & have had a few problems getting my head round it all , so no more adieu I started counselling 6 weeks ago & its the best thing Ive done, my counsellor is brill, she is helping me to get all the anger out of my system & come to terms with what has happened to me, & my feelings about having no more treatment. I have also felt a worthless human being & not felt good about myself at all but slowly my attitude is changing & Ive now started going out without my bandana I spike what bit of hair I have, I also have my eyelashes back so have been putting mascara on & slowly but surely I am coming back , I too get very emotional , but I think thats to be expected after all weve been through, I can cry at the drop of a hat these days but hey its better out than bottling it up girl, Im overweight but have decided that Im getting my frame of mind sorted first, the body will have to be sorted after, its waited 10 mths a few more won`t matter !!!.

Dont wait another 2 weeks Bluebell , see about counselling now, as in some areas there is a waiting time, do it sooner rather than later. Its taken me weeks to post on here again as I just could not be bothered with anything, some days I had all on to get washed & dressed but hey Im back & raring to go, pity the body doesn`t agree with me on that one just wish it would keep up with my mind!!!.

Hope you get counselling soon Bluebell, take care



Counselling Hello everyone,

Just to add that if you have difficulty being referred to a counsellor, there is an organisation called the Cancer Counselling Trust. It is a charity. They speak to people face to face or over the telephone and you can, apparently, self-refer. Don’t know if it’s OK to give the phone number but if it is deleted I am sure the Breast Cancer Care Helpline will have the number. 020 7704 1137 website (I haven’t used the service myself).

I saw a cancer counsellor at my hospital. They have a cancer information centre there so I was fortunate. I had about 10 weekly sessions with her and it was a real lifeline at the time as I had got myself into such a state. I really couldn’t see anyway that my life would ever be the same again, despite reassurances from everyone that it would eventually!

Well, 3 years down the line and things are pretty much as they were before BC. Life really does go on - other people get problems in their lives and get sick and very gradually your own worries seem to get pushed onto the back burner (very sowly).

Hope this helps,

Best wises


My experience. I was very low before I considered counselling.I have a fantastic support network, including my cybergals, of course! But I felt that I needed a trained persons perspective, and sought out specifically a counsellor with experience of counselling people with cancer- I did and found an ex-macmillan nurse who had also worked for Relate. I felt as though cancer had taken up squatters rights in my mind, sucking up hope and energy. I went to the counsellor last week because I felt stuck, anxious and wanted strategies to feel better-right now! . It wasn’t what I expected at all. Describing the timeline since diagnosis (July 2006) to a stranger made me realise that cancer has touched all parts of my life and all relationships, and it’s all been about loss. I’m not even close to coming to terms with any of it, and have been in survival mode since diagnosis. Sometimes I can’t believe any of this has happened- my cancer had no symptoms at all and was picked up by sheer chance, the paradox is that the treatment for cancer made me ill, not the cancer itself. Trying to be the poster girl for cancer survival has only put the mental recovery into reverse, the effort of pretence. Counselling was powerful stuff, I’m still mulling it over. For me denial was the best strategy to get me through the crisis months, but it stopped working when the adrenaline ran out and I’m looking for what will, but not in a desperate ‘quick fix’ way anymore. Unfortunately there don’t seem to be any short cuts.

Hope you find someone to help.
Barbara xxx