Was it all bad?

Was it all bad?

Was it all bad? Just over one year on and back to normal working pattern. In some ways it feels like I lost a year as my treatment took 11months but I have to say that it’s not something I can wish never happened.

Strange I know but I have learned a lot. I have had such amazing support from work, friends and of course family. I feel very humbled by the many offers of help I have received. It some ways I feel that it has not changed me but I know it must have. I had a very rough time with chemo although it appeared to work well. I find myself thinking how lucky I am quite frequently (not that I don’t get cross and frustrated like everyone else) and have learned not to get worked up about silly things.

Just wondered if I am strange or if others feel the same?

Izz x

Wish I Could agree - but I cant Hi Izz

I really admire your spirit - wish I could feel like that.

I am 18 months down the line and I cannot see any good that has come out of this at all. My family have gone through hell, I feel about 100 years old with this awful tamoxifen and I am still really depressed that my future security has been put in doubt.

I also still feel completely traumatised about losing my hair and getting second degree burns from radiotherapy. You wouldn’t put a dog through chemo/radiotherapy (no offence to dogs I have one myself!)

I feel like it overshadows every day and I can’t enjoy anything.

I am really glad that you dont feel like me - maybe I am just odd??!!!



Hi Izz and Alise,

I’m sitting somewhere in the middle of you two I think!! I agree with Izz in that a few good things have come out of it, eg, making me realise I must make the most of every day, and realising how many truly good friends I have. But … it does still overshadow my life, I feel really old - aches and pains, hot flushes etc, and find that I can’t really plan anything in the future as I keep thinking I may not be here!!

Anyway Izz am so pleased you are being so positive - you are an inspiration and I’ll try to be more like you, but Alise I do emphasise with you - it’s a c**p thing to happen to anyone.

Hugs to all, Jean xx

And me too! I agree with all of you…I think…I’m new to this site - and hello to all - have got lots of info from it and have read so many posts…but this morning these just seem so true. A year on I look back and it has been hell…I had invasive lobular cancer, multi focal - I gather its more likely with this type to have a recurrence - anybody know??? - had mastectomy and chemo and now on tamoxifen. I have so little energy and so tired! Ache all over - my consultant says its common side effect and arimidex could be worse -ugh! BUT it wasn’t all bad…I know whats important now and if you’ve faced your own mortality and dealt with the dreaded big C (my mother still cant say the word!) then surely you can deal with any other c**p life throws at you. I’m not frightened of things any more.

Hi Izz I feel the same as you. I finished chemo in January and rads in February. I came back to work on 2nd April. I feel really good aabout still being here and not having a worse prognosis than I have. I am still here to enjoy life with my son and partner. I can earn a living again. I am getting back to doing the things I was doing before diagnosis. Things could have been so much worse— I could have been dead, and I’m not. I really don’t think much about the future other than to plan what I’m going to do. I am incredibly grateful for the life I have. A 16 year old girl in Northumberland died earlier this year after having had 2 years of treatment for cancer. She should have just been starting her life. She should have been planning her prom like my 16 year old son. I feel incredibly humbled when I think about her. Her death has helped me keep things in perspective. I celebrated my 48th birthday 2 days ago. I am not going to spend my life worrying about " what if’s" or feeling sorry for myself when there are many people who are so much worse off. Things were bad last year when I was diagnosed. My son had GCSE’s coming up. I had to be able to earn a living. I did n’t have time to be ill. Now, I’ve got through the yucky stuff and I’m getting back to where I want to be. I’m not going to spend my time down in the dumps, I’ve got better and more interesting things to do. Things could have been so much worse but they’re not, and I’m still very much alive and kicking.


Hi Izz

I actually envy you for being able to see some positives in your situation.

I’m probably in Alise’s camp in that I have difficulty in seeing cancer as a gift in any way, shape or form.

I have felt let down by some friends and family members, although a select few have been amazing. I feel sad at the loss of my innocence and angry at being thrown into an ealry menopause on top of it all. The worst bit, though, is having to live the rest of my life in fear that I may leave my wee girl without her mum.

If I was to try to find a positive it would be that it has made me less vain. I never thought I’d be able to walk around with a shaved head, yet I did. Still it is a lesson I’d be happy not to have learned.

Lola x

Message for Anjella - re lobular cancer Hi Anjella

Welcome to this great website. I managed to find it quite soon after my diagnosis and it’s been a lifesaver at times, especially during chemo when I picked up lots of really helpful advice from others on dealing with the side effects etc.

I also had lobular cancer. I had a mastectomy, chemo & radiotherapy. I’m now on Tamoxifen and Herceptin. I’ve discussed the likelihood of a new cancer starting in the other boob with my breast surgeon and oncologist as I was led to believe that there is a higher risk of this with lobular cancers. (The onc said there’s a 1% increase year on year, so in 20 years I’d have a 20% chance of it starting in the other side.)

We’ve all agreed that a mastectomy for preventative reasons is too drastic. I will be having annual mammograms, but as lobular cancers aren’t always easy to detect even on a mammogram, I’ve been pushing to get an annual breast MRI scan as well. Until very recently there was no NHS funding for this in my area, however my breast surgeon has been fantastic, he’s managed to secure funding & I’ll be able to have annual scans starting next March (we’re planning to stagger the mammograms & MRI scans so I get one or the other every 6 months.) I think this will be enough to give me peace of mind. What are your thoughts?

reply Hi

I will be about one year on in about six weeks. I hope to get back into a normal working pattern quite soon. Like you I feel as if I have lost a year but it is not something I would have wished to have happened for the sake of my family.

I also feel as if I have learned a lot from the experience, the brilliant support from family, friends and from work colleagues.

I also met a lot of lovely people along the way who I would not have met otherwise, and some of these were an inspiration.

I have learned to be a lot more patient (I think!) and don’t let little things worry me as much. I am learning that I can let go of things a bit and the world won’t collapse! Everything does not have to be done today.

I quite agree that it wasn’t all bad, it had some good sides and I hope I have taken the positives from it.

I wish everyone all the best.


not all bad at all Hi lzz

I share many of your feelings and I dont think we are weired.
Allthough my body is rather battered by breast cancer and treatments i do feel that i am an improved person as a consequence of this experience.
I have learned a lot about the condition, the treatment etc. but I have learned so much more about life, about compasion, understanding and acceptance. I found streangths i didnt know i had and i have encoutered such love and kindness from so many people that i am almost ashamed to have reached 50 yrs without realy valuing the power of loving kindness untill now.
I love life and I am happy. I am so very fortunate, I have a wonderful family and friends. I have a good prognosis (though there can never be any guqarentees).
My heart goes out to women who’s life is shortened and deeply disturbed by bc. and I dont know what to say to people who are in dispair. How is it that I can be optomistic and cheerful? what can I say to comfort and support others? If I can pass on my positive vibes to those who need it I will do so via this web-site.

luv gentle

Be careful here The human spirit is a remarkable thing…since cancer I have had moments of soaring joy…probably greater highs than I’ve ever experienced in my life…and certainly too the pits of terrifying despair. Both feelings are normal.

Cancer is not good…there is nothing good to be said about it all, and the sooner causes and cure can be found the better. Wars are not good. 9/11 was not good. Rape, murder, starvation, famine, pestilence and tsunamis are not good.

Out of all the terrible things that life throws at us…and yes globally and historically there are far ‘worse’ things than getting breast cancer in the UK…the human spirit can survive, live again, laugh again and learn. My parents used to talk of the incredible solidarity and sense of community during the 2nd World War but that didn’t make the war a good thing.

Having breast cancer shouldn’t be a competion either- to see who can feel bravest and best, and ‘move on’ the most. Terrible things in life walk alongside the amazing and uplifting…that is the glory of life.


Wonderful post Jane! Indeed, indeed!

I was dx in November, 2005 and I’m still going through treatment - due to finish my year of adjuvant Herceptin in September.

Many of the difficult things I’m having to deal with - feeling tired, fat, hot, stupid (chemo brain!), avoiding mirrors, fearing that death is closer - are all things that would have happened without bc eventually but I can’t see there’s any cause to celebrate the crash course it’s put me through.

We each cope with bc in our own way.

Well said Jane. I love, really love, life and I’m a cheerful, optimistic person but I also have secondares which is devastating for me and my family.
I agree with Bernie we have to find our own way of coping.

Wish I could see something positive about bc… but can’t. In fact I would say it has made me a worse person because I don’t suffer fools gladly …I used to.I also am more assertive and outspoken.I think I take advantage of my bc to say things I wouldn’t normally say. how sick is that. I always thought I’d be a bit like Blanche off Corrie, when I got old. Might not get old so have to do it now. And… if one more person says to me you could go out tomorrow and be hit by a bus.AAGGGHHH I am very wary of buses, and don’t go near ‘em. It would be a trillion to one chance of getting hit by a bus. Wish it was those odds of me poppin’ of early with bc. Wish I was nicer!!! lol Love to all Eileen

Sad rather than bad Glad you are feeling so positive Liss, and long may it continue.

I can’t honestly say that the cancer journey has in any way ‘improved’ me. Yes, the first time round I had tremendous support (I was still working then), great friends and could not wait to get back to work and put all this cancer business behind me - as much as you can with scarring from a reconstruction etc. But when it hit me again some 6 years later, it was a completely different story, I could no longer say I am a cancer survivor, the diagnosis was an absolute shock , the treatment dreadful and prognosis very poor. (All nodes affected). It also seemed as though all my friends and family had enough of the cancer journey and I certainly did not feel as supported this time round, although my OH was and is brilliant. And yes, I have learned to appreciate things more and try and enjoy each day for what it is. But equally, when I just have a normal ‘off’ day, which we all have, I feel I should not have to put up with this. How ‘unreal’ is that!!.

BUT, I have no energy, dreadful bone pains (Arimidex effect) and could never contemplate to return to work now. I also have slight lymphodema, so have to be extra careful with my arm. I feel as though every aspect of my life is now affected by cancer. I lost my joyfullness and although I go through the motions and see my family and have an active social life, I just have not got the energy to really enjoy it. And I am always completely exhausted when everyone has gone and it takes a day or so to recover from what should have been a lovely occasion. Coupled with the uncertainty about the future, I really just feel sad that I (and of course all the other CA sufferers) have to go through this.

Not very positive, I know girls, but that is how I feel now.