Sometimes feeling scared and anxious

I am glad i noticed this  thread…

I was DX 2009 (so 4 years ago now, but surgery was only completed in July of this year).

It has been a real roller coaster, but i feel the worst is  over now.

For a long time, i felt very very angry and sad. Now i have moments of fear and anxiety. Is this normal?

I am not exactly sure what i am scared of.But it is something about knowing that life really is very fragile and no-one is immortal. I know the story could have been a very different one, but it wasn’t and i am here, with my OH and 2 children, who are now nearly 9 and 5.5.


I am thinking that this fear has been buried under the other emotions and at the moment, of all things, driving scares me. I have to drive and i do drive (albeit short distances) but before i get in the car,  i feel sick and heart races.

I have NEVER experienced this before, so i hope it passes? I am guessing no-one has experienced this?

I think that once again, it is to do with putting myself in a situation where my life could be threatened (in the  car) even though i am no more at risk now, than before DX.

The other thing, is that although reconstruction was a must for me and i now have a lovely lovely PS, i sometimes quite cannot believe that i had to have so many ops post MX. That the recon is forever, because it reminds me of bad times.

I want it all to be further from my mind, if you see what i mean?. For months i would fight to make it go away and of course it never did. Now i am learning to accept what happened but i still feel very anxious and scared at times.


Naz xxx



Hello Naz

Whilst waiting for replies from your fellow users you might find it helpful to talk things through with one of the helpline staff, they are there to offer emotional support as well as provide information.

The free phone number is 0808 800 6000 and lines are open 9-5 Monday to Friday and 10-2 Saturday.

Best wishes

June, moderator

Hi Naz

Your post caught my eye and I really feel for you. You sound as if you are depressed. Not in your day to day life necessarily but deep down in your thoughts. I bet outwardly everyone will think that you are over it but in fact it is buried deep and surfaces at the difficult times that you mention. I understand what you mean about being scared that life is fragile and us not being immortal. I think we all have thoughts like this, I know I do particularly in the dark when I wake in the night and the OH is snoring! It’s easy to feel totally alone and replay what’s happened to you over and over.

Sounds like you could do with someone to talk to about this. What about the people on here that run the forum? They should be able to put you in touch with someone. Or do you have a Maggies Centre near you? I’m sure if you get in touch with them there will be someone there to talk to.

For me, I’m no counsellor. But I do believe in taking and dealing with one step at a time. It sounds like you have most of the nightmare behind you so it’s onward and upward. Sounds like you have a lovely family, so immerse yourself in them and try to relish every day. Try not to dwell on what happened, put it in a cupboard in your head and close the door firmly…it is no longer important, it’s in the past and you have a long life ahead of you…

Sorry if I’ve rambled on, your post struck a chord

Take care of yourself
JF x

Naz - I’m sure you’ve read the other thread expressing worries over fear and anxiety. I am 10 years post diagnosis and still have moments where I am gripped by the anxiety. I do think this is a pretty ‘normal’ reaction to the trauma we have suffered. I understand your comments about the car and driving and how it may be linked to risk (putting your life in danger).   I have ‘triggers’ which bring  into sharp focus the intense emotions experienced at the time of diagnosis and through treatment. For me it (sadly) can be sunny days. It was a particularly warm summer the year I was diagnosed and now, sitting in the garden on warm days can fill me with a sense of dread. Stupid, I know, but it is association for me. I suppose what I am trying to say in my long winded fashion is,   we have suffered an immense trauma, which can’t be easily put to rest. I’ve spent a lot of years thinking I am in the minority in terms of the emotional impact that a cancer diagnosis has had on me but I’m beginning to believe I am, in fact, in the majority. As time has elapsed, I’ve relaxed a little but the triggers are never too far away and follow up still remains a time of heightened anxiety. I think what you are feeling is entirely ‘normal’.

I have read both of your replies twice over and have printed this page out to read when i need to.

THANKYOU SO MUCH for getting back to me, because i was beginning to get worried.


Jasmine, i think you have hit the nail on the head. I think i may be or have been depressed in my thoughts, but by god i have have been trying so hard to put it in its box and lay it to rest. It all started last November, when i hit the brick wall.

My reconstuction was not complete, i had a bad recon experience prior to the new surgery and have spent the last 2 years, trying to out together a claim for clinical negligence (i have got to first base, but may i may not get any further, but that is another story). Bad surgery left me angry and upset for months and spending  hours putting my  legal case together, has caused me much stress and kept me in the  cancer ‘zone’  (if you see what i mean?)


Now i am far less angry and the sadness and pain is  reducing all the time. The fear has surfaced in the last couple of months and i couldn’t work out why. So, have decided that it  must to down to loss of confidence in my own ability ( i felt this with my job and was convinced they were about to sack me, my body and  now driving.


I have been talking to the cousellor attached to my place of work for some months and she has been very good. She gives me the opportunity to express my fears and worries, however illlogical they seem to me or others.


Yes, people do think i am over it and the worst is over for sure, But at times, i cannot help the way i feel,  i can’t stop the fear and anxiety when it arises. But, i am learning to accept that it is part of the new 'normal for now and hopefully it will fade over time?


My aim now is not to dwell on what happened, but know i can’t change the past either.

I now have lots of good day, but some days are hard  when i feel overwhelmed or scared.


Cherryred - You have just summed it up so well and i can totally relate to what you are saying…

I think for some reason, i underestimated the emotional impact a cancer DX can have on a person’s mind.

 I am sad that sunny days for you, bring it all back. For me, it is the new school term - the day my daughter started school for the very first time, was the day i was DX.


Anyway, i have rambled enough.

Thank you so much once again…

Naz xx





I forgot to say,  the other thing i seem to be experiencing of late, is flash backs.

Flash backs of chemo and of the ruptured reconstruction.

It is all over now, but somwhere deep in my thoughts or subconscious, it  lies there and resurfaces.


Need to keep in the here and now and now and relax i think.


Naz x

Hi Cherry

Yes PTSD did cross my mind (in fact several times) but each time, i think that the whole experience does or did not really warrant such a drastic title - it just doesn’t seem ‘serious’ enough if you see what i mean?

I think it is just another layer of the onion that is coming away - anger, sadness, now fear and anxiety. I know only i can work through it and i will (slowly).


Tracy, how are you? How is your back pain now?

I know what you mean, i want to be free of the curse too.

I know i have come along way (thankyou for being there during this time) and i do feel much better on the whole.

I am hoping once anxiety and fear passes, nothing more will surface!


Let me know how you are…

Naz xxxxx







Hi Rosiedog and welcome to the BCC forums

In addition to the support here you may find it helpful to call our helpline on 0808 800 6000 for practical and emotional support, lines are open weekdays 9-5 and Sat 10-2

You may also find the following link to the BCC ‘Moving forward’ information and further support ideas useful too:

Take care

Lucy BCC

Glad that put a smile on your face Tracy :smileyhappy: because it did mine too!


Hi Rosie and Kirstie…

It is a long and bumpy road to walk alone, which is why we all need to hold one another’s hand as we continue to travel to our destination .


It is early days for the both of you, so try and just take a day at a time.


Rosie, i also have the voice in my head, reliving it all at times. When this happens, i have to concentrate hard on what i  am doing. I can have a string of good days, where i hardly think of ‘it’ . Then other days, it hits me with a bang .

Kirstie, i really hope the house move comes right for you as that is a stress in itself …

The reconstruction journey is different for everyone and in my view, can be quite a difficult part of  the journey . Hopefully once you have seen your PS and you are more informed as what is avaible for you, your mind will calm a bit?

For now, be kind to yourself, we will all be okay , it  just takes some time and space to come to terms with what we have been through and the impact is has had on our mind and body.


Bye for now

Naz xxx





Hi there,


Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I am so glad to have found this thread.  I was beginning to believe I was going mad. My name is Debbie ,  I am 45 years old and worrying myself sick on a daily basis!


In December 2011 I was diagnosed with IDC Grade 3 ER/PR- HER+ (though I don’t know how many +'s and whether or not it actually matters anyway!!) with one stupid, annoying beggar of a node involved.    


I had neo-adjuntvant chemo/rads and mx ending in Jan 13, which both my surgeon and my Onc thought was my best chance.  After my mx last June my Onc & surgeon both told me that I was NED and my Onc said  that I was in the top 20% of reactions to chemo.  They were both bouncing all over the office,  my BCN came in, shook my hand and told me it was the best news she’d heard all day.  I left there on cloud nine and cried with relief  all the way home. 


Just over a year later my head is in a totally different place. I am convinced every ache and pain is IT back again.  I am driving my poor husband round the bend with my constant fears and worries.  He tries so hard to calm and reassure me and it works for a while but, once I am on my own, the fears take over again - especially during the early hours.    I HATE feelling like this - it is totally not me.  Before this bloody disease got me I was a happy, confident woman - now I really don’t recognise me anymore.


I am so relieved to have found this thread and to see that I am not the only one who feels like this.  I really hope that one day, in the not too distant future, I will got to bed and realise IT hasnt dominated my thoughts that day.


Thank you for reading


Debbie x

Oh Debbie, i wish we could meet, because that is how also how i have been feeling  on and  off too (except for me  it has been 4 years since dx,!)


The fears are common and normal i have decided and i am not sure there is one woman who does or has not felt the waty we do. However, it is how we manage those fears which is important, so the thoughts do not dominate  our lives.


For me, i try to live for the day  and it seems to work. I try to find something good about the day each day and have started to write it down.


I have also decided that to live my life with anxiety and fear means that ‘it’ has won and trust me, i still have days, where the fear takes over and i do nothing but worry! But then i breathe and focus on the here and now.


I totally get you Debbie - i was also a confident and care free person before the demon arrived, but right now , we  are living in the land of NED, so lets try and enjoy…


Naz xx







Dear Naz and all the others who have thought to post on here,   You’ve all hit the nail on the head with these feelings of stress and anxiety, I feel I am reading my own emotions on here!

I am 41 and am just coming up to the third anniversary of diagnosis (NOV 2010). I had lumpectomy, chemo, axillary  clearance then DXR and 1 yr of herceptin. I am on tamoxifen currently.

I’ve been ticking along fairly well mentally, being NED, and got to the stage where BC fell right into the background of my life . Obviously I’m having aches and pains, I vehemently dismiss them away But suddenly my mind is agitated again with these pains, my left hip has been hurting for over a year with sciatica and sometimes back ache. I’m also getting water infections which i never used to get. I am blaming the tamoxifen ! (even though my oncologist says no) but I feel that with the 3 yr anniversary approaching, I feel like Im  back in cancer land again, my sleep is very disturbed and my heart races. I had a very vivid dream that i had secondaries the other night. 

I am just hoping this is a blip due to the dates playing on my mind, I do know that I celebrate my life since diagnosis, if there was no treatment at all where would i be now?

Hope we all perk up soon !! 

Hi Ladies,


Sorry, I thought I had ticked the box to receive updates when this thread was active, but I obviously didn’t - and I can’t even blame chemo brain anymore lol - just another sign of “getting older” ha ha.


Naz, I wish we could meet up too - friends and family try and understand but, apart from my mum, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer this June , they can’t possibly.


I know what you mean by living for now and I am trying to do that, but sometimes the enormity of what has happened overwhelms me and takes me right back to 1st December 2011.  I am so jealous of family and friends who haven’t had their own mortality shoved in their faces - then I feel guilty for feeling like that arghhh!    I hate the fact that my body has let me down and I just can’t trust it not to do it again.  Being Her2+ plays on my mind all the time.  I hadn’t realised that Herceptin doesn’t work for everyone (how niaive is that?).  My Onc told me to stop fretting about my diagnosis as it isn’t important anymore but then added “but it’s easy for me to sit in this chair and say that”  yes it bloody is mate, I felt like replying!


There is a support group near me that meets once a month, I spoke to the organiser the other day and she said I should go along as I would be able to chat to other women who will understand all these fears which are dominating my thoughts at the moment.  I have mixed feelings about going but am going to give it a shot and see how it goes.


Sorry to hear about your back pain Truddles, I know what you mean about disturbed sleep - it’s awful being awake when the rest of the house is sleeping soundly isn’t it, that’s when my fears completely run riot.


I too am suffering from lower back pain, I have had back troubles for years but this feels different (or does it? am I imagining it just because I’ve had a cancer diagnosis?  I just cant tell anymore! )    I’ve been to my chiropractor twice and things have gotten worse - not better, which is unusual.  The pain is in my lower back, but I am getting pains in my groin and shooting down my legs.  My husband thinks it might be sciatica or a trapped nerve but, of course, my brain immediately fixates on mets being the cause.  I have decided to go to my Dr (though part of me wants to just ignore it and hope it will go away).  I keep having cold sweats and that sicky feeling, which I know is caused by the fear of “what if…” but is horrible all the same.


Not sure how to end this post, so I will just say that I hope you have all had a good weekend and thanks for listening.


Debs xx





It is good to know that we are not isolated in these emotions, we may feel our families do not truly understand but thanks to this wonderful site we can shout out loud all our worries and nobody will think we are ready for the lunatic asylum, ; To be honest, I’d rather talk to you girls rather than my family or my Gp anyway!

Love , Truddles

Hello Ladies,  Can I join in, Firstly sorry to read all your messages, but glad that i found this thread as it just sums up how I feel, At least I know that I am not the only one.  I am due back into hospital for reconstruction on left side on 4 Nov, so perhaps it is just pre op nerves at present.  my diagnosis was in Oct2012 and op in Nov 2012. I was very lucky not to need any Rads or chemo. but as many of you say, hearing “o you will be ok” or “its all over now” or similar. isn’t helpful. They aren’t lying awake for hours at night, or feeling tired in the day, or frustrated because they cannot do something.I know I’m lucky not to have needed chemo, but because there was no visible signs people think its all ok. They cannot see underneath the jumper, or feel the port, especially when trying to get comfy and off to sleep.   I was already on antidepressants before all this began,  due to “work related stress” ie lousy management, ( but have since retired ) I am very lucky to have a very supportive husband,and daughter  but sometimes cannot tell him how I feel. 

Not sure how to finish other than to say thank you for letting rant on, and hope you have all had a good day. Sweet Dreams. 




Hi Everyone,  Truddles, sorry to hear about your back, will be thinking of you on Weds. Naz i love your bit about your childrens harvest.It is the little things like my 3 grandchildren and some of the funny things they say or do that keep me smiling. Just taken grandson (nearly 8)out for lunch today -his turn for one to one with us…At least it took my mind of things, I’ve got a dose of “feeling sorry for myself”. had a bit of a rough week, couldn’t sleep, then woke up Thurs with nasty sore throat, just what I don;t need with op in 10 days. My pre op info says to contact my doctor if I get anything, guess that i will try again on Monday as so far have not been able to get appt. feels like one step forward 2 back. Hope this isn’t going to mean that I have to delay op. .


Hope you all have a good weekend,  My youngest grandson just 6 has a special word, since he was very little  " Huggles"

So I’m sending Huggles to you all. Jenny.


Thanks Tracy,   Just had appt with nurse at my local surgery, as still got sore throat, She says its viral not bacterial so no antibiotics and should go in a few more days. So it is going to be close as  I have to go in on Friday for MRI & scan etc, and op is next Mon. My BP was sky high, never been that high. I wonder why. Asked for an appt with my dr next available one was next Mon. !!! Mmmm. think the scared and anxious is stressed and frustrated at present. Just going to have to take it quiet and find a few nice things to do to stop me climbing the walls, or jumping off the nearest bridge. Thet just don’t want to listen.


Sorry for the Big winge, at least I know you ladies understand.

The weather here is wild hope you are all ok where you are.

Hi Tracy, Thanks for the good vibes, I must of rec’d them as feeling happier today, throat is improving, but oops OH now has it.


Kirstie, Truly know how you feel, I’m one yr on from  left mastectomy into hospital next Monday for recon, but everyone seems to think its all over. Your work place don’t sound very supportive. I had problems a few years ago with my line managers so fully understand how you feel. at least your doctor is helping you, I can’t even get an appt.  I live near Bath, wherabouts are you.  if you are near would meet you for coffee. If not lets have a virtual one. 

Sending  lots of Huggles xx Jenny.

Hello Ladies. I have just been re reading from the start of this thread, and smiling at some of the lovely phrases. -do something nice for myself, think of today not yesterday. choose my friends,?family. we are on this journey together. and many more.

Well it got me thinking. (sensibly and not as I have been for last few weeks) and today I had my hair done, tomorrow I’m going for a facial. must look my best for the MRI etc on Friday and for when I am on the Op table on Mon  can’t let the side   Yesterday I went to Bath to a lovely Lingerie shop (ARIA) and bought a very nice post op bra, the 2 ladies running it are lovely. very caring, they likened the fitting and the sessions with the doctors  to childbirth.-all modesty is lost.  it made me smile. summed it up perfectly.


My husband and daughter are both very supportive, and the 3 grandchildren always make me smile. I went to Salisbury last week for lunch with a very good friend. see more of her than i do my sister saw her last Xmas…(not even a phonecall) .

 Think I am back on track, think  my satnav sent me down a dark lane ,but have pressed reset  and am back on the main road , thanks to all of you good friends for listening to me. 

So you have got me thinking postively again,  and last night I slept better, didn’t lie awake as I have done with everything going on in my head at whirlwind speed. 


I hope all your aches and pains are not getting the better of you. 


Sending Huggles to you all.  Jenny.


PS Have to get fit asap after op as we have another grandchild due. the pink variety on approx 27 Dec. !!

Now thats something truly nice to focus on.  and I may even be at the delivery.

Hi Ladies,


I am sitting here in pieces.  I have just come off the telephone from my Oncologist’s secretary and I cannot believe the way she has spoken to me.  This Onc wasn’t with me during treatment, my original one retired earlier this year.  She was amazing and I always left her office feeling like she had my best interests at heart and that together we would beat this thing.  I have only met her replacement once, in July, at which meeting I told him I was having pain in my unaffected breast.  He examined me saying he thought it was fine, but would arranage an MRI or US just to be sure.  I had an US in the end because he forgot to sort the MRI until I called his office 2 weeks later.  At that July meeting he also said “forget your diagnosis, its not important and concentrate on the fact you had brilliant treatment and are now NED”.  He qualified that statement with a “well, it’s easy for me to say that isn’t it as I have never had cancer” - err your dang right you insensitive eejit!!!


Four weeks ago I started having lower back ache.  I have had back problems for years due to a whiplash injury in my early 20s but this pain is different and the pain is affecting my legs and groin area too.  I gave it the recommended two weeks before visiting my GP.  He is fantastic, very understanding and reassuring.  He examined me and said that if I still had the pain in a month, to go back and he would refer me.  Well he went on holiday and the back pains have worsened these past ten days.  I was talking to a friend (another BC survivor) who lost her mum to BC earlier this year and she said to arrange a private bone scan for my own peace of mind.  I called our local Spire hospital and was told I need a referral from my GP or Onc.  So, I called my Onc’s sec and explained.  She said he would get back to me today.


His other secretary has just called and basically told me that since I had a bone scan in February (arranged by my old Onc as I was having a lot of rib pain - it was her suggestion, not mine) that “just this time only we will let you have a bone scan and a plain xray, but after that… well, errr, that’s it, no more investigations.  As long as these come back clear, then that’s it.  We hope you will be reassured”.   She went on about how dangerous it is to have too many and that there has to be at least 6 months between scans - mine was 8 months ago. I broke down on the phone and said she was making me feel like they were really peed off with me - obviously she denied this, but I have come off the phone feeling like I am a pain, a whinger and should just shut up, put up and be grateful.  I have only ever seen him the once and usually just go to my GP if something is worrying me.  I have lost all confidence in my Onc and his team now.  I cannot believe how dismissive and unsympathetic she was.  Obviously she has never been diagnosed with cancer.  


My husband thinks I should wait for my scan dates then make a complaint but I really don’t know if I am strong enough.  I can’t bear the thought of having to see him again with bad feeling hanging over us.


Sorry, I just really needed to get that off my chest to people like myself who’ve been through this awful time and are now dealing with the fall out.


Thank you for listening ladies


Debs x