The blues

I should be feeling on top of the world, I am back at work following completion of my treatment and i have had a clear mamogram on my remaining boob. BUT!!! I cant get cancer out of my head even when I am having a good time with my family I wonder how long things will last before I have to face cancer again. I look in the mirror and the women I see is not the me from before. I cope during the day but especially at bed time my mind starts to race, I would kill for a good nights sleep! Is this how you all feel? Do these feelings diminish with time?

Hi jano - I think the way you are feeling is how we all feel. Have you read this article called “After the treatment finishes - then what?”

I am one year post-dx and so I don’t yet know how much it diminishes with time. I still feel as you do, but it has decreased a bit and I am hoping that it will continue to do so. Maybe others who are further along can say whether it improves.

I was told that it can take up to two years to recover physically and to be able to put it to the back of our minds, although it will never go away completely. It was one huge shock and so it must take time to get over it.

Ann x

Thanks Ann,
I was diagnosed in may last year so we are probably at about the same stage. As usual everything looks better in the light of day. I will have a look at the link. I expect myself to bounce back and am not very forgiving when i dont meet my own expectations! I am sorry you are experiencing similar problems but it is nice to feel I am not on my own.

Have a good day
Luv Jano x

Hi Jano & Anne,

Although I now have secondaries,it was 14 years from my first dx.
It took me about 18 months to recover from mx & chemo ( I was 41 at dx) and I found once the “symptoms” had disappeared I could go days & days without thinking about cancer.I agree about nights being harder, but as you get back to a busier life you’ll probably get a better nights sleep, just cos you’re so shattered!

As is usually the case I can’t remember exactly when I “forgot” completely, but I do know I rarely thought about BC after a few years, other than to think, “Oh yes, I’ve had that” when I heard or read anything to do with it.
Life went on normally and even at check ups I never thought it would come back…(big shock that it has, especially after so long), because I felt so well.

Be reassured that life will take over and one day you’ll realise you haven’t thought about BC for ages, it’s a good feeling.

Don’t be too harsh on yourself, it’s a traumatic thing we have been through and everyone is different.I’m wondering if talking to a counsellor might help, do you have an accessible Macmillan one? I often think the effort of trying to be strong in front of everyone makes it more difficult, because as soon as you are on your own (nights) the thoughts all come flooding in.
Not sure if this has helped, but hope so.
Sandra x

Hi Jano,
I was diagnosed in January last year and still feel the same way you do. Some days I think about it constantly, worrying that it will come back. I have tried to change my diet to eat more anti-cancer foods and limit my alcohol intake. But anytime I lapse a little bit, I worry that I am causing it to come back.
Also, everyone sees me and thinks that things are back to normal. But they never can be because of losing a breast and lymph nodes and having to still cope with the pain and discomfort this causes. My oncologist said that there is life before cancer and life after cancer. I feel that I am only just beginning to realise how life after cancer is so different and things can never go back to the way they were!!

Hope things get easier for you!

Rawlie x

hi,so nice to think ur not alone on thoughts like this! i know it doesnt help u but sometimes realising others feel the same does help.i was diagnosed sept 09,ad masectomy,chemo,rad and now on the beginning i used to punish myself, for instance i would be watching something on tv which made me giggle,then id think “wot u got to laugh at? uve got cancer” it would be the first thing i thought of in the morning and the last thing at nite.there is no way i cld sleep without the aid of sleeping tablets.but on a positive note it does get easier,i still need sleeping tablets but ive stopped being so harsh on about to start councelling, my bc nurse said it will do me not feel ashamed of how you feel,i thought id av this life changing moment like you read about and i felt denied that it didnt happen to me!! but good days are possible so be strong. hope this helps, fight the fight tina x

Hi All,
Rawlie I agree with you I did not expect that nearly a year after my mastectomy I would still be experiencing discomfort in my arm from the node clearance. I suppose these constant reminders bring your thoughts back to the negative experiences you have had.
Sandra, I have been putting off speaking to my counsellor, trying to move on and be strong will give her a call today. As I move on I feel I should be able to cope on my own but thats not always the best way to do things.
Tina, Good luck with the counselling, I have viewed this event in my life as a journey some bits posative and some negative, I think we are all changed people because of our journey and I only hope it is for the better!

Jano x