Struggling today

Was diagnosed on 7th July, the day before my mother in law’s funeral! That was a great week for us.
Have been doing ok (ish) since then, carried on, been cheerful, strong for OH. Now very confused, feel guilty OH can’t grieve for his mum properly, he is being great but I feel really awful for him.
Trying to work but finding it harder & harder to concentrate. Keep making mistakes, but trying to remain “normal”. Work have been great and will let me do the hours I want & what I feel able to do but I still feel that I should be doing a full days work & organising things for while I am away. Why do we do that? Does it really matter?
Op is next week, pre op this week, this is becoming real now. Had buried my head in a lovely big bucket of sand, but someone has started to take the sand away and now I can feel a chill creeping up my back.
People keep telling me it will all be ok, but what do they know, I am scared, don’t even know what I am scared about.
I know I have to keep going, if I give in to the bad feelings I will just hide away & I think that wil be worse.
Anyway stiff upper lip, smile & best foot forward.
Thanks for listening.

I remember so well the immediate days after my diagnosis and the ‘trying to be brave’ for others - You also have the double wammy of your MIL funeral and the fall out from that and the ‘guilt’ that you need to support your OH in his loss.

It is so hard and so hard to advise as we are all different. What I would say is don’t try and be superwoman - the diagnosis has such an impact on you and it will change your life for ever - and the immediate days after are in my view the very worst - you have no control over anything and you have no information as to how you are going to fight this nasty disease.

This site is wonderful for us ladies to express how we feel and get support from others who have been through it - The helpline here is also very supportive and will give advice and someone to talk to who does understand.

If I were you I would forget work - go off sick - get a note from you GP (there will be no problem there at all) you need to spend some time being kind to yourself and not beat yourself up if you don’t get things right - as I am sure like me your head will be all over the place.

Talk to your husband about how you feel - just tell him you know he has got his own grief to deal with - but you need to tell him how the diagnosis has affected you - and stop and I mean stop trying to be normal…

Your life is not normal at the moment and you yourself need the time and space to come to terms with this horrid horrid disease. please keep posting and let us know how you are getting on xxx

I agree with saffronseed - stop trying to be “normal” you need time to come to terms with what you are having to deal with. I haven’t worked since I was diagnosed and know I will not work until chemo is finished, and even then I am not sure about what I will do.

Try not to project your life too far into the future - deal with what you have to do but for the most part just deal with today. Be kind to yourself.

Keep posting and let us know how you are getting on.

You really are having an awful time and sound as though you are coping much better than I did pre op. I wasn’t working but am pretty sure that if I had been I would not have been able to even go in … so I think you are pretty amazing!
We are all pretty good at putting on a face and appearing to cope but we have to allow ourselves the time and space to bawl our eyes out if that is what we feel like. I’m sure your OH will be having his moments too but wants to be strong for you and those of us that have strong and supportive OHs are so lucky… I can’t imagine what it would have been like to go through it without mine.
Have you used the helpline? I believe they are very good… although I admit I haven’t… I talked to my fantastic friends instead… one who happens to be a breast care nurse, so I was very lucky, she always calmed me down.
My experience was that my fear actually subsided a bit the closer I got to surgery…I felt as though things were now being done and that made me feel a bit more in control and actually the day before my op I was really calm and spent the day cooking for the freezer!!
I don’t know what op you are having, I had a mx with LD recon and I can honestly say it wasn’t as bad as I imagined and hope that you will find this to be the case too
Sending you a big hug and lots of love
E x


It’s really tough isn’t it? In fact it’s tough enough on its own without having to deal with all of the other rubbish that life doesn’t cease to throw at you.

You’re allowed to find things tricky sometimes - in fact if you weren’t it would be very odd.

I’m towards the back end of my treatment (awaiting rads dates) and have completed chemo, snb, mx + recon. During this time (dx in Nov) I’ve had both highs and lows, with the lows being more common at the beginning.

Give in to it for a bit, that’s what i did/do and have found its worked well. To begin with everyone would find it unnerving when i wailed and sobbed and swore - afterall this is NOT the british way and it makes everyone feel uncomfortable, far better for them to see a cheery, stiff-upper lip - but i told them to let me do it. To just hold me or let me get on with it because its rubbish and i need to admit it. I told them that if it went on for weeks, without any let up, to worry but if it was the odd 10mins or even a whole day just let me do it.

So here i am 4 weeks after the big op and feeling ok. I’m aware that there’s the possible downer once treatment is finished but i’ve my eye cocked for this and anyhow - it might not happen so no point worrying til it does.

Try to go with it (not said lightly or glibly) it will pass and will get better.

  • by the way, i know where there’s a spare bucket! Go the the ‘Dark Woods’ thread, there are many campers starting their journey through the Woods and some the other side - a regular Poster, ‘CM’, has used a bucket to help her on many occasions and am sure she’ll wash it out for you. There’s a flamethrower or 2 if you need it which blast away the scary gremlins that creep up on us all when we’re not looking.

Maybe see you there.


hi, you dont say what your diagnosis is or what sort of op you are having. Have they given you any idea of what is going to happen after the op??

How much time have you arranged to have off to recover from surgery? As safonsee said, you could get time off now, better that than make mistakes that will make it harder for your collegues to sort out whilst you are away.

Its such a bombshell being diagnosed with cancer. There are so many differant types but they are all covered with the big C word. Whichever sort we fall into our minds race ahead to loosing our hair or it spreading round our body. And whilst our minds are going over all these possibilities everyone round us is trying to be possative and cheer us up by saying everything will be fine.

And we are not just having to sort ourselves out, we worry about how this is affecting our family and closest friends. I cannot imagine having to go to a funeral the day after my diagnosis. I always cry at funerals, and if I had started I dont think I would have been able to stop. Then i would have felt guilty about crying for myself rather than my MIL.

The only thing I can say is that you should be kind to yourself, and feel however you want to feel. It is very hard to feel normal, because you are not, you have been diagnosed with cancer and are about to have surgery. it is not a death sentance but its a huge disruption to your life. Its a phycological blow that you are not invincible and despite looking and feeling the same as a couple of months ago you now have been diagnosed with a condition that needs surgery and some other treatment afterwards. Nobody around you knows what you are going through unless they have been there themselves.

one of the other posters said ’ If you havnt had it, you dont get it"

So if you want to stay in your bubble and stay fight to stay possative do that, if you want to go home and hide under the covers that is fine too. You need to be physically and mentally rested as much as possible before surgery so that you recover well and get back to “normal” as soon as possible.

Do come back and get support and advice, we have all been through the same and all reacted differently but all know how aweful it is at the begining

hi CW , so you have joined the worried out of your mind gang. well firstly let me say im sorry your a member, its a gang no one wants to join, but eh your here now so lets try and help you settle in … well firsty sod the job … get on the sick… you need all your energy for yourself at the moment, it will still be there when you get back on your feet,
secondly stop trying to be normal , its not normal to have your life turned upside down by the diagnosis.if you want 2 cry. then cry. if you want to rant why me , then do it , i think it makes you feel a bit better when you let off steam .
thirdly im sorry for your loss, and im sorry your poor hubby has to deal with his grief and also your diagnosis, its a shit time all round… but when your down you seem to get kicked.
the pre op is nothing to worry about, just blood tests, weight etc ,
the usual checks to make sure you are well enough for an operation.
you dont say what surgery your having, but mine was a lumpectomy…and sentinal node biopsy, if its the same… its ok .not as bad as i expected, i was sore both in my breast and underarm, but it was sore not agony …few days of the exercises and i was able to move my arm normally. but still sore…not agony… its normal to have horrible thoughts, and go to dark lonely places… but in time these thoughts and feelings of dispaire will get easier, its the start of your roller coaster journey… it may well be a bumpy ride … but you have friends here who will try to help you along your way
please let us know how your doing… hope my little chat helped angie xxx

Hi CW so sorry your going through this & right on top of a bereavement, I too remember this well part of you just wants to stay in bed cover your head & hope it goes away, but its not & with your surgery coming up its just reality hitting home, please don’t beat yourself up we all put a brave face on to our nearest & dearest find it hard to let the true fears & feelings out, thats where this place is great as you can do just that.

You sure been through the mill with loosing your MIL & having to cope with the grief of this & trying to be strong for your OH, thats lead you to push all the emotions to the back of your mind. Be kind to YOU the next 3 weeks are going to be thge most trying on your mental state & emotions … I TOO WAS A WRECK during this time, try not to feel guilty & holding all the tears in Im sure your OH is going to be a great support & will know you’ve been bottling this all up If anything it going to help him in one sense to concerntrate on you over this time, once you go back (around 10 days after surgery) for the results & treatment plan hopefully things will be much clearer for you. It does get easier as time goes on, but for now its just one day at a time, try not to think ahead.

wishing you all the best keep us posted
Mekala x

Thank you all for your lovely words, I know I have only known you a short while but I love you all.
Feeling a bit better now, I think it helps to konw that other feel the same way.
Op is next week, WLE & SNB, just want to have the op, get rid of the lump.
Thank you all so much for your help, support & kind words. I think I will get back into my bucket for now & face the next round when it appears. If oyu are interested it is really nice bucket, it has cake, wine, a good book & a pillow, I quite like it.

Do whatever feels comfortable for you. I carried on at work although not very productively till the day before my ops.I went mainly because I needed some sense of normality and because my collegues were supportive. Do not worry about what will happen while you are away you need to concentrate on you. Take up any offers of help and support that will lighten the load. When I was diagnosed I felt that I needed to be strong for everyone else and found myself comforting others. I think that if I had cried alot at that stage I would have never stopped and dealing with the practicalities just got me through. I would recommend taking plenty of time off after to recover.21 months after diagnosis I am still on the journey and after feeling quite stuck recently am adjusting to a new normal. As far as the op goes you will be well looked after and be kept comfortable. These days they explain things beforehand which I found reassuring.

I’m so sorry to hear that you have had to join us - but you are amongst friends.

Your bad days will get better and you’ll appreciate the good ones. Talk about it when you need to, don’t when you don’t.

Keep your head in that sand for as long as you want to - but remember to come up for air!!

Take each stage of the treatment as it comes, deal with one thing at a time. You are on the right road and there are plenty of us to travel with you.

My lumpectomy and SLB were absolutely fine, I was in and out in a day. I didn’t have any pain at all - but did take parcetemol every 4 hours for about a week just in case. I took 3 weeks off work because I could - I could have gone back after just 1. Have had one session of chemo, took a week off because I didn’t feel the best but have been back to work full time ever since. I don’t let it get me down - my cancer in an inconvenience to my life, it is not my life and it will not rule my life. People around me are dealing with this an awful lot worse than I am but that’s not my problem - they either deal with it or they don’t but don’t bother me with me because I care about me, and me alone - call me selfish if you like but i’m only dealing in positive attitude and practicality and nothing else.