Lemongrove… yes agree with you there,I don’t like to say “I’m a survivor” because daft as it may sound to me I don’t want to tempt fate so I try not to use the term,and I don’t say “I am cured” either for the same reason,I have had cancer,I have had treatment,and I have had a good response from chemotherapy and thats where it ends well for now anyway,I hope i will never have to do it again,I am still suffering side effects from chemotherapy still,no doctors can tell me how long I will be like this for,they just don’t know,I know I have been told I am unusual and it’s not everyone who doesn’t recover their hair/eyebrows/shaky legs/TIA stroke/numbness in my fingers/ still sleeping 12 hours a day,I might be like this for all the time now,I just have to go along with it.
But apart from that the worlds hunky dory …
Hope everyone else is doing well ?? xx

I think its a symptom of our current "I want everything and I want it NOW" world that means that as soon as anyones treatment is finished they are pronounced "cured". You see it especially in the media. What they really mean is the cancer has been treated, not cured. Ive been told "Its all in the past", about a year later by a close relative. Now here I am two and a half years later tackling lymphodema, not life threatening but an inconvience! I dont like the "survivor" tag either, Caron. Its a bit too dramatic and triumphant for me. Maybe my pink t-shirt could just have crossed fingers on it!

Hi I feel somewhat the same ! Am awaiting reconstruction in Jan, tram method,just started on taxmo… drug and am feeling a bit lost at best and really blue at other times.Meanwhile told I look well!! Suggstions welcome to improve mood and move forward.

Thanks ,Imelda1

Agree with your first point Lemongrove. The vast majority have no idea about things like metastatic BC and I think that unless it affects themselves or a member of their family, it doesn’t come onto their radar.

As long as pink october continues to focus on the nice fluffy stuff, I fear I will be banging my head against a wall for a long time (at least I’m hoping to be here longer than the “30 months average” I was given).


Why do people insist on the “you look really well” is it to make them feel better?

When the cured question comes up… mine response is it will always be a case of wait and see. That stumps them!

caron_caron - you are not alone, my hair has not returned the same since chemo. I try to avoid checking out the back of my head. Let’s say I have a BIG crown!

I saw somewhere recently that we are cancer warriors… I liked that :slight_smile: the thought that I am an everyday warrior! Tackling the SEs…

I also seem to have developed a condition which means I can’t string words together properly on a forum… check and check and check again… hours later… SUBMIT

Oh god, I’m so sick of people treating me as if I should be back to normal now. I only finished Rads half way through october I think? Im still totally shattered, joint aches and I don’t feel back to normal. I’m grateful that treatments have finished, very. But I’m not going to have the energy levels immediately.
Why is that so hard for people to understand? I’m getting very paranoid and thinking that people think I’m milking it, noone has said that, but I’m very sensitive about it because I’m frustrated as hell about it and because I’ve no idea whats happening with it and how long it lasts :

girls, i’m so glad its not just me. I feel so ashamed for feeling like i do, so long after my diagnosis, ive not even told my family or friends…

I’m 2 and half years post DX. I went to docs today and she signed me off with ‘extreme stress reaction’

In the last 3 months i’ve had op on my knee, due to torn ligament probably brought on from chemo

abnormal smear (was scar tissue from lazor treatment 20 years ago),

headaches which needed an MRI ( turns out doctor changing Arimidex caused the headaches).

I had a large hard lump near reconstruction. I wasn’t worried till everyone else started questioning it, so had a ultrasound last week which thankfully looked fine, just waiting for biopsy results now.

I cant remember when i last had decent sleep without the aid of sleeping tablets

This morning i returned to work but couldn’t stop crying but how do you make people understand how you are feeling. I was plodding along and coping and then the shit comes back up to the top and scares the shit out of you again. How do we live with this fear for the rest of our lives?.. i;m so tied and ache from hormone therapy and i feel so guilty for feeling like this and letting work colleges down. There are people out there with a lot more to worry about than me, i’m a lucky one i know but… everyone thinks, your cured, get on with things, what you worrying for?.. only you girls know its not that easy is it?

looking back at what i’ve written, maybe i should print it out and send it in with my sick note, maybe people would understand better

Thanks girls for listening… i know you all understand x

Hollymeg - I have to say in all honesty, I’d read stories about cancer survivors prior to my diagnosis and anyone “moaning” about life after cancer I used to think how ungrateful they were that they had survived it.
BOY do I get it now.

I feel like everyones looking at me to don the pink ostrich boa and jump up and down with joy all the time, instead I feel a bit deflated and scared of how much longer I have on this earth and what I want to DO and i need another 30 years! I’m 34 and I feel really robbed of my innocence with mortality, I don’t know if I’m explaining myself very well!!!

You’re NOT on your own. xxx

The phrase “ongoing, long-lasting and unpleasant side-effects of treatment” is a useful one to slot into conversations when people talk about being “cured”. That’s if you want to be kind to them, of course, there are other things you can reply if you’re feeling a bit mean…

I dont think Media Coverage on the topic helps with articles like this one re Jeniifer Saunders:
“Jennifer Saunders: my fight against breast cancer
Jennifer Saunders has spoken for the first time about her luck at surviving cancer and how she was so well cared for she did not even mind losing her hair. & But now “back feeling normal” she has spoken about it for the first time and claimed that she has now forgotten about it and she “can’t believe it actually happened”.
“Apart from the fact I have to take some medication now, I don’t feel like a person who’s been through it,” she said.”
These stories just support the public myth that once you have finished your treatment, you snap back to normal and the bc has gone for good.

yeah, that’s what jennifer saunders told the media. good for her if she feels like that! We don’t hear the other side of it!

I’m over 3 years after finishing chemo and maybe I’m one of the lucky ones. I feel fine (not the same as pre dx but fine). I don’t have the energy that I had before and I quickly get tired, but otherwise I really enjoy life. I make the most of life, travelling, spending time with the grandchildren etc.

I WON’T let BC rule my life. Yes I get scared about a recurrence or mets, but in the meantime I’m going to enjoy life. What’s the point of worrying about it…it may never happen and if it does… well, I want to have made the most of it.


Interesting about Jennifer Saunders as both she and her OH gave very sensitive and serious comments earlier during her treatment, that none of us here would have taken issue with, no All Clear stuff, no I am a better person for having BC.

And El Kat, you are entitled to feel “insert the asterisks of your choice” off. People want us so much to be “cured” and “fine”. I have felt fine recently and have made a big thing of saying “I know people have thought I have looked fine before but only recently have I felt fine”. Then of course I proceded to feel **** again.

I really wonder if Jennifer Saunders claiming that she has now forgotten all about having breast cancer is her way of getting the paparazzi off her back. What she seems to be saying to them is that the topic is now closed by being forgotten about, so no point asking me about it.

We all have very different coping mechanisms for what goes on in our lives, but at least most of us are not in the public eye everyday.

Will any of us ever forget that we have had breast cancer? I think not.

As for not even minding about losing her hair - of course we mind about losing our hair, our eyelashes, our eyebrows because we still want to see ourselves looking back at us from the mirror, but given the choice I would rather lose my hair temporarily than lose my life. I am sure that this is what she meant, but remember that the press are selective in what they print, and not always in the context in which they were said.

Just in case you are interested in reading what Jennifer Saunder’s husband said in a newpaper article about her breast cancer you will see what he has to say about being ‘cured’ in the link below:-

i’d just like to say that i’m not all doom and gloom about all of this - just think people need to hear all sides of story!
If all the public hear is either horrific stories or “i’m not bothered and lets get out the pink feather boa and jump up and down” then it’s a very scewed view… I know theres a responsibility to not scare the hell out of people into not getting anything checked out but honestly…

I constantly bang on and on about how I was a hairs breath away from secondaries and mine was massive, aggressive and I was fortunate that as far as we know it hasn’t spread.
If I’d have left that lump a month or 2 it may be another story and THATS how close I was.

Still here. Scared yes, knackered by treatment, anxious as anything but HERE.

And we’re glad you’re here!

Hi Mazzalou,

Just wanted to say thank you for the link. I really enjoyed reading it. I thought he was very articulate and sensible. I liked the part where he said she was in year 1 of a 5 year treatment plan and there is no all clear. Very true, not morbid or negative but exactly how I view the 5 years ahead of me. It’s all just ‘wait and see’.

Thanks Carolyn x

Hi everyone,
Iv just found this thread and can so relate to it! I finished rads on 1st nov (my birthday) and am now on tamoxifen for 5 years, im hoping for a recon next year. Myself and my family have tried to use humour to get through this, was hard for me to keep this up sometimes but made it easier for my family which is good. A week after i finished rads my daughter said “now that you havnt got cancer anymore can you have the girls for me on friday night?” Yes she was serious! My son said “oh good we can start having decent meals again now” Think i made a rod for my own back with the humour and playing it all down for their sakes because i often feel like s**t!! Friends say that i must be relieved its all over and that i can now get back to normal, I bloody wish! Actually, reading this back is making me laugh, you really can only understand if you’ve been through this. So glad i found you ladies that know the score,and so glad we’re all cured!! lol donna x

Well then I was cured??? but I am not now…hormone posotive carries a lifetime risk I tell them and if they would like to take that time bomb out of my pocket and put it in theirs feel free!!! I know what I am talking about 15 years later new primary…old fears!!! For me I will NEVER consider myself cured , only fortunate for the years I ahve had and hope for more to come …to see my 2 kids grow up I NEED another 10 years at least??? I am sooo glad I do have an undrstanding OH. Love to all XXXXX Jeanette

Yes, Carolyn, Jennifer Saunder’s husband sums at the situation very well when he says:-

"No one, he says, ‘battles’ cancer. Neither is it ‘a rollercoaster ride’. ‘It’s just a long, slow, miserable grind,’

‘So, there is no battle. I hate the word battle. You just get battered with a load of drugs. People want the words “trauma”, “battle” and " life-changing", but it’s not a great three-part TV drama full of moments, it’s a long grind, like a slow car crash that will last five years and then, hopefully, we’ll get out.’

‘Something like 140 women a day learns that they’ve got breast cancer,’ he says. 'If they knew more about the disease, rather than having to read all this nonsense about battles, then they’d be able to accept what they’re in for and be better prepared to face it"