saying goodbye

saying goodbye

saying goodbye Hi anybody listening,

I have to talk about this or I’m going to go insane. I am nearly finished with treatment and I am finding the prospect of saying goodbye to my oncologist very painful for so many different reasons. Am I strange? I should be CELEBRATING not aching inside. Why? He drives me crazy! Literally… LLx

Hi Loralee

I think I understand some of what you’re feeling - I’m still having treatment, but the end is in sight and I’m a bit apprehensive as to how it will feel once I’m finished. I think, for me, it’s the prospect of being out of the safety net of regular hospital visits and contact with medical staff, and suddenly having to be wholly responsible for myself again (not that that hasn’t always been the case, but I have been helped by the fact that I feel I’m in expert hands, and only need to “do what I’m told” without too much decision-making being required - I know not everyone feels like this though). From what I hear, it’s a fairly common feeling, and, yet again, part of the whole experience. I seem to have seen a lot of other posts where people seem to express the same type of feelings. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that you’re not alone, if that’s any comfort at all!

Best wishes


Goodbye? Hi there,

It’s a bit of fear I think - of change and taking the next step. I felt something similar and I know many have said that after treatment has finished they don’t know what to do with themselves and feel all sorts of odd feelings.

I finished my treatment last August and I have had two appointments since with my onc, so for me it wasn’t goodbye. Will you have follow up appointments?


Not Ready to Celebrate! Hi Loralee

No - you’re not strange. I finished my treatment nearly 4 weeks ago with radiotherapy - and halfway through it I became very low and weepy. My Oncologist said it was not unusual, although lots of people felt low after treatment had actually finished. She offered me medication or counselling so I opted for the counselling. I’ve had 3 sessions now and it does help to pour it all out to a complete stranger.

I know the last thing anyone wants is cancer, but all through the treatment we get so much attention. My treatment has been excellent and I have felt ‘important’ (in a strange way) and treated individually.

After my surgery, I wanted to go home, but when it came to it, I cried and didn’t want to leave. It felt as if my security was being taken away. Again, with radiotherapy, I had 15 sessions and by the end of 3 weeks, I felt ‘safe’ going to the hospital every day. The staff were so kind (especially 3 nice young men!) and I didn’t want it to stop! Now who’s strange? My Oncologist said she would see me in 3 months - scary! - seemed such a long time!

I still have appointments with my oncologist and plastic surgeon, so its not over yet. Have you read ‘After Treatment Finishes - Then What?’ by Dr Peter Harvey? (Often referred to on this site) I’ve found that quite helpful. He says we need time to adjust and I definitely agree with that.

People seem to take the attitude that treatment is over, I must be ‘better’ and I should be celebrating. But thats the last thing I feel like doing! I have to get myself together emotionally now and learn to live with my experience. I am getting there slowly but as you say, you need to talk about it. Perhaps some counselling or a very understanding friend?

You’re not alone. Best wishes,

Pam x

you’re not alone …i would echo what other people have said…i found Harvey’s paper very helpful. i was talking with my partner today and how i feel now is a bit like how i felt after a bereavement…once the funeral’s over and everything is sorted and tidied everyone kind of thinks you should be “over it”, whereas it’s only the beginning of coming to terms with a big and painful change. the experience of treatment was so intense, you become very close to the people at the hospital very quickly…and yes, there is all that attention and being treated as “special”…and then it all stops and you’re just left to get on with it. i’m six months post-end of treatment and i look fine on the outside, people keep telling me how well i look…and i *am* well, but i’ll never be the same again and i keep getting all weepy for no obvious reason…i’ve just gone back to work and it’s felt very hard to face everybody and make small talk…

Thank you everybody! Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. Usually when I post on here nobody comments - so I stopped checking! I spoke to my Onc today and sort of hit on the subject. He said I am probably behaving like a victim of a car crash. He went on to explain that when a person is involved in a car crash, they do what they need to do to get the situation resolved; they get the other driver’s info, they get the car towed, they talk to the police… it isn’t until they get home that evening that their hands start shaking. Well, now that I’m home, my hands are finally starting to shake and I am, for the very first time, allowing myself time and space to feel. There wasn’t the opportunity until now. You see why I’m gonna miss this guy?! And I think all of you are right - suddnely we are showered with love and as soon as treatment finishes it’s back to normal - except we have no idea of what normal is anymore, and it’s a frightening place to be. It’s such a relief to know I am not the only one - and that I’m not crazy! Thank you! LLx

I finished chemo yesterday and was expecting to cheer and jump for joy but ended crying in the middle of the ward! I think it is the comradeship of the other patients and the kindness and understanding of the nuses I will miss.
It is good to know that some really good experioences come from something as scary as cancer.
I am off to start radio in a couple of weeks but it is a different hospital.
All the best.