Diagnosed with BC in November with a mastectomy/reconstruction in January. I thought I dealt with BC well until reality and ‘normal’ life hit and then how different could I now feel. I am quite teary nowadays and not myself. I have booked a GP appointment but wonder if this is normal or perhaps I don’t like my ‘normal’ since treatment/ops are over.
Sorry you feel like this. I must admit that since active treatment ceased I’ve been more wobbly than I ever was while it was going on. I felt abandoned when I left the rads dept for the final time, and after 5 months of “being looked after”, it seems strange to be left to just get on with keeping myself well. I wish there were some of those Going Forward courses in my area. I have the folder of booklets but I think the course would be more effective in helping with the road ahead.
Some of the way I feel is down to other people assuming it’s all over and done with, and it’s not easy to get across that it never will be without sounding like I’m moaning.
I just hope that in time I’ll discover my new “normal” and be able to get on with life without feeling cancer is lurking in the background, waiting to ambush me again.
Hope this makes sense?
Love, Rose xx
Hi Rose and SJ19
How fortuitous are your posts as I am already contemplating ‘what comes next’ in terms of having had surgery and now having rads and then Anastrazole…I was very fortunate that I met with my oncologist this week due to a problem with rads and was able to ‘go over’ my pathology report and dissect his letter to my GP to try to gain confidence that I had done all that is possible to get on top of the cancer. Talking to friends and family doesnt seem to hit the spot. As my OH puts it when I wobble he does too and he feels he has found an equilibrium but I keep upsetting it which is not helping him. He is very solution focussed whereas I am more emotionally analytical and spend ages thinking about the ‘what ifs’. I have declined chemo for a variety of reasons and felt more recently that my reasons were not as sound as I felt they were, I put this to my onc who has reassured me that he will open up the conversation again after rads as he is not opposed to rads first then chemo if I have changed my mind. I rather feel this is ‘part of the process’ and perhaps not a change of heart but like you I am trying to imagine a time I feel confident to go it alone even though I have only been in the system since early Feb. It all feels a bit quick for something of such magnitude which really is impossible to explain to someone who has not experienced it.
I do think it is helpful to talk the teariness over with a professional for them to take an objective view of the situation as it is not surprising that we can feel fragile a while after all the ‘drama’ subsides as however awful it feels it all goes at such a pace that we are very busy and afterwards there is time to reflect on what the heck went on.
If its any consolation I and my husband are therapists by profession but we are still struggling although trying to deliver our own therapy to each other…a darned good shout helps occasionally!!!
Hugs to you both
I so concur with you both! On occasion I have to stop myself explaining that I have had ‘real’ cancer.
Sounds like whatever lies beneath our thinking and feeling might need some exploration in a safe environment without all the feeling that we have to support others and not scare people into avoiding us and conversations. I know a key thing is that my friends and family just want me to be me, the old me rather than adapt to a new and of course maybe better version of me!
Gosh, like so many posts on this forum.i could have written these myself. I am now just 1 year post inutial diagnosis, and after x2 sugergies, WLE, change of diagnosis leading to SNB and rads , i have just had symmetrisation surgery. I too discussed chemo with my onc, but she said the percentages showed a 2-3% difference, but also chemo bought its own risks.
As mine was not a fast developer (always have been a bit of a plodder and in this case good to stick to type) and with the words of my onc, i declined.
One year on my biggest struggle is regaining fitness. Am on anasttazole, fatigued and have prolonged phased return to work. When i step out into the world my best face is mostly in place, am told "how good i look " … and there is the issue. I look reason but my bod feels rubbish.
Gosh it is such a fight!!! I found Cordelia Galguts book emotional support through breast cancer excellent… 75 pages which reflect me.
I have discovered my union, the RCN, does counselling sessions, have self referred to Talking Therapies, amd found a wonderful supportive closed facebook group in my county of Berkshire. Through them i have found other amazing links all to help me get better / different perspective on life. Now i just need the energy and stamina to access it all.
Be kind, sorry for long post / rant.
How reassuring to know that we are all perhaps experiencing something very normal if normal is defined by how many of us are thinking and feeling similar things.
I had a convo with OH last night in which he unexpectedly launched into the topic of me questioning chemo and how he is scared I actually will ask for it. I suddenly saw just how much he has been through with me in the past two years and needs me to be ‘back to normal’. I had a heart attack out of the blue which was potentially a killer but following swift action and surgery made a full recovery but for 12 months until I was allowed to reduce medication I checked myself over every day for signs of relapse. I did regain confidence in my own body and OH in me. I also had acute cholecystitis four weeks after HA which almost killed me too, again it took a year to believe in myself as surgeon has assured me the problem would recur - it hasn’t so now I don’t even think about it…what OH was trying to say in a roundabout, pragmatic way was that I have already learned to trust the medics and my own bodies potential to find a new equilibrium so maybe I just need to trust that my head will catch up and to be kind to us both!! I was so bouyed up last night that I took my first Anastrazole as I had been holding off for some reason or another unknown to me…
I do feel maybe I have turned a corner.Phew!
Happy Bank Holiday to everyone…
Yes my BCN says that but I feel guilty going to the local cancer charity service and yesterday I went to the BC support group for the first time and there was only me and another woman and she was terminal. I feel like a complete and utter fraud and a mastectomy is nothing compared with what she and her family are going through. I am trying to move on but it’s not always that easy.
I’m having my last (6th) chemotherapy treatment tomorrow and starting to look ahead to being post-treatment.
You all write with such eloquence, and your experiences all touch mine, one way or another. We have all been down different paths, and for different reasons, have made certain decisions.
Nevertheless, it seems that we all need acknowledgement from our nearest that we have been through a traumatic time. I have had many messages this evening congratulating me on my final ( hopefully!) treatment, celebrating getting back to normal, looking forward to the summer etc. and yet both my husband and I recognise we still have to face perhaps a second mastectomy, gene therapy, the after-effects of chemo and ten years of oestrogen inhibiting drugs. Oh, and the shadow of a recurrence. I almost feel as though the brave face and the ’ I’m so lucky the cancer was found and operable’ stance is going to have to be more firmly fixed in place over the next months as people who have been magnificent gradually return to normal life.
So, thank you for sharing your fortifying experiences.
So some people think we are cancer bores do they? Oh, poor them, how tiresome to have to spend a few seconds showing someone a bit of sympathy! Grrrr! Well given the current statistics, presumably they will feel very different if or when they get cancer themselves! Some fool actually said to me that their nephew had a “worse cancer” than my cancer so I should shut up (or words to that effect)! She just didn’t ‘get it’ that ALL cancer is unpredictable, that everyone suffers and feels afraid and whether they are seventeen or seventy nobody wants to die. Stupid, stupid, stupid woman. Sorry, just needed to rant and let off steam.
Good morning ladies
reading your posts I totally get where you are all coming from. I had my surgery 25 , ay and got my outcome last week, clear margins only 3 nodes removed, moving on to rads and tamoxifen soon. If I hear one more person saying, that’s great, you’re all over it now (in other words, cheer up stop feeling sorry for your self) I am gonna bop someone
it’s not finished, it’s just the start of a new way to live taking medication, getting menopause with bells on and always wondering if it’s going to make a reappearance
so there, that’s my moan for the day
love and hugs to all you lovely ladies
Rose, if I have one bit of advice for you it’s to try to keep a log/diary of the work situation. Then when you get the strength to deal with this you will find your notes a great help
really what is wrong with folks??
I’m due back to work on 29june, wondering what I will be facing, I’ve already decided that one of my so called friends is not who I thought she was, so she is not worth the effort now
chin up sweetie x we are all here for you x
Hello Ladies. i can identify with all of these comments on this thread! Although a difficult time, having read them I actually feel quite normal! I have just returned to work full time and most days feel like the elephant in the room. No one really wants to know how you are feeling so sometimes avoid you. Although i have lost friends (i’m not wasting time on people that are only friends when they feel like it) I have also gained friends but mainly keep things to myself and keep a diary which help gets everything off my chest! One friend did say perhaps people avoid you because they don’t like to think of you being ill and just want to treat you normally which does kind of make sense. My wobbles are less frequent perhaps once a week! They come from nowhere so difficult to manage usually triggered by something on the tv and then I just feel silly. I don’t want to talk about having Cancer all the time but I do want understanding when needed. How do you get that? Sorry to go on but I have such a lot to say! lol. I will save the rest for next time…xx
I was seething last week when I went to see my manager about phased return - she quoted works phased return policy of 4 weeks, just saw work black and white - irrespective of if what you do and hours worked. Went to see her boss, OH, GP, and spoke to my Union - I think it is sorted.
Start next week 22nd June
Then one my work colleagues (one I have worked with the longest), he covered my maternity leave 14 years ago - he or his partner have not contacted me over the past 3 months at all - great colleagues/friend, phones over the weekend as he heard I may be coming back. Not to check on how I was. No, but to say that he has been acting head of department in my leave - he quite likes it, and would like to carry on!!
I am still seething at his insensitivity and arrogance - I don’t think this would happen to a man
I was feeling fine, in fact need to go back to work at my own pace to feel more like my normal self - but work place bureaucracy and politics is exhausting
I have spent a lot if time at the hospital for appointments, but did not want to go up to my office or my floor. I went on one occasion, and wished I hadn’t. There are secretaries who have list loved ones recently, others who have had cancer and chemotherapy. If there us problem it would be them and they need support and counselling to come to term with their own situation, rather than impeding your recovery.
It’s not your colleagues that are the problem, but your manager for not recognising and addressing that your colleagues need help and support as well
We should rise above it keep our dignity. Keep records whilst they are fresh, as they may be helpful in the future.
Keep going, it improves the wobblinszz