where did all my support go? :-(

I finished my treatment in oct of last year, and had a double mx in Nov, since then and now that my hair has grown back (the last physical evidence that I was ever ill) I feel that all my family and friends have forgotten about me, and think that I have bounced back and should just feel normal again. This couldn’t be further from the truth, even though I went straight back to work as soon as I could I feel constantly tired and feel that everybody is expecting too much of me. I feel very insecure about my appearance and I am extremely sensitive to criticism, but I just get told to get over it! I’m not sure what to do because whenever I try to talk about it I just get accused of moaning or being over sensitive, I just feel like I want to run away. Does anyone have the same problems?

Hi Bebelou,

Apparently it’s very common to feel like this.

I’ve just bumped the ‘thought I would feel great’ thread up for you. On the first page there is a link to an article by a psychologist.

I’m not as far down the road as you - finished chemo 3 weeks ago, but I’m already getting comments like - ‘Oh it’ll be all back to normal when you get to the end of radiotherapy’. People just don’t seem to understand the physical and mental toll it all makes on your body.
Have you tried ringing the help line or thought about counselling?

Hope things improve for you soon.
Stella xx

Hi Bebelou,
as dancing girl says its well common to feel this - but the people around you do seem to be a bit extreme in their expectations - I am wondering if they are like some (not all) of my mates which is SO SO glad that that difficult thing called cancer has gone away and they don’t need to talk about it or worry about it anymore cos -hey you’re back to normal aren’t you!!
I am So not back to normal yet (2 ops in march last year, then chemo then rads , so finished at end sept). For example I worked all day tues and was too tired to go to a little concert one of the friend’s kids was singing in. My OH is always begging me to slow down (she’s an Onc) and says it will be a year POST treatment end until I feel fully myself…
great she can do the washing up then!
bw Nicola

Hi there

I think it is normal to feel the way that you do.

When i had my last chemo, everyone was of the opinion that that was it, all done and dusted! Never mind the fact that i was bald, had one breast and was mentally and physically exhausted having looked after an 18mth old and a five year old without all that much help .

Tell people that you need time to recover from the assault on your mind and body…proper time…

xxxx

If you are still taking hormones then you are STILL being treated for breast cancer, so the next time someone says “it’s all over” you can remind them that treatment for BC goes on for YEARS, not just a month or two. It has such an all-encompassing effect on us, it’s hard for others to understand just how deep the effect is, and not just physically but mentally too.

Someone recently said that if you haven’t got it, you just don’t get it, and that’s so true.

The article dancing girl has highlighted is very good and is an excellent read, as it really does seem to “get it”.

I’m only starting chemo on 19th April and I can really understand that people probably will think once you’ve done chemo and radio that you’ll be back to normal. When I got diagnosed I thought that, once all treatment done I’ll be able to get on with my life. I’m starting to see that is not the case, bit depressing but I always prefer to be informed! Of course this may NOT happen but rather be prepared for it.

I’ve got to look for a job when this is all over, I was looking for work when I got diagnosis, after finishing a job at the end of Jan - diagnosed 2 weeks later, I just *knew* something was up and I didn’t feel normal, was preternaturally tired, but put it down to fertility treatments I’d been having.

I’m sure people won’t get it, who would. How completely frustrating for you - perhaps you need to explain this as gentley as you can to people, it’s like people having to take months to recoup after surgery. You’ve had surgeries, been poisoned for months, had strong painkillers and been in pain, it exhausts you mentally, emotionally, physically. Poor you, I feel for you.

I’ve had an experience that as soon as I was told the cancer had a clear margin and no spread to SLN, everyone was going “Oh you’re cured then” - No, I’m not. And then everyone has suddenly gone on a radio silence and some of the previous support has gone because I’m (sorry to put this harshly) “not going to die”.

Perhaps you just need to tell people in as easy a way as they can understand, like when they are recovering from a cold, insomnia but on a monumental level.

All the best to you x