Recovery is on so many levels

As I begin to write this post I’m not sure if I’ll have a question or if I’m sharing where I’m at. I’ve just passed 2 months since single mastectomy and I’m making good progress with physio and yoga. I’ve started to drive again, only locally, but at least I’m not dependent on my partner anymore and my stamina is steadily increasing. Only side effect from anastrozole seems to be random itchy hives and these are managed with antihistamines.

What I am noticing now is anxiety and weepiness if I am expected to go out of my comfort zone, for example being invited to a college reunion (I have sent apologies explaining I am still very much in recovery). As I write this I can see it is still early days. I was recalled in May after a routine mammogram so it has been a whirlwind of tests, scans, surgery etc. 

Hello Annie63,

You’ve pretty much summarised it beautifully. It’s early days and you’ve been through a lot if you think about it. If only it was as easy to digest as ‘you’ve had a bad cold’ but it’s not it’s been the ‘c word’ which is an incredibly emotive word these days. The anxiety is just that, anxiety. It’s rearing its head to protect you because when you do things it is basically saying ‘there is danger there don’t do it’ even though before bc you would’ve thought nothing of it. 

I think you did the right thing by not going to the reunion it would just be not the right time for it. 

Anxiety can also go hand in hand with depression/low mood. It upsets us when we feel that fear and it’s no surprise that it makes you feel low and vulnerable. You’ve been ‘let down’ once already (metaphorically speaking) and your brain doesn’t want to risk being let down again.

It’s really common to feel low after treatment and even during the journey. I also get very anxious with certain triggers (pretty much anything to do with cancer) and it’s a real pain in the a*se.  Speak to your GP and possibly ask if there is some therapy you can have during this time. You might find you need some ‘CBT’ to try and work through these triggers.

Don’t bottle it up. Keep talking and take little steps out of those ‘comfort zones’  - the more you do it the more you can ignore that anxiety devil sitting on your shoulder.