Hi, not been on here for a couple of years…please be gentle!!


It’ll be 3 years Nov this year since my original diagnosis of TNBC, age 30, totally out of the blue. Managed to get through everything incl double mx with impant recon (one of which feels hard as stone due to rads) but you’d never know anything had been untoward from looking at me.


I worked so hard to get myself through it all and back to work, started a new job etc but every time someone asked me about where I previously worked all I could think of was the big c and I would start to get breathless if I divulged anything. That’s getting better with time, but I just can’t get my confidence back in a social setting and find it really hard to reach out to people and that never used to be me. I was so outgoing, confident…I’d even say funny! But it’s all gone. Does anyone else think that cancer messes with your mind?


My surgeon has said that wobbles will occur, I lost a friend last year to bc who was dx at the same time as me with a similar dx, that has never left me and I think of her often.


I’d like to move forward with having a family, and this latest wobble is due to some scans to check all is well before the go-ahead. 


Anyone else had a delayed reaction to the shock of dx? I think that’s what has happened as so much energy was taken in fighting it to begin with that it’s only now that I’m beginning to deal with it properly.


Any thoughts would be great / other stories etc


Thank you:heart:



Yes, I have just the sort of wobbles that you describe and I’m 5 years past diagnosis now.  My confidence took a huge knock but I think that it’s gradually improved over the past year or so.  I suppose when our bodies let us down we subconsciously wonder what else might go wrong and that saps our confidence. 


I see you’ve changed your job since diagnosis.  I also did this and I think it’s helped a lot.  I’ve cut out a long commute and am in a less physically demanding job these days.  Also, at my old place of work I was, latterly, always the colleague/employee who had returned to work after breast cancer treatment.  At my new place of work I was just me, no preconceptions/prejudices from others.  As I’ve got to know colleagues over the past 18+ months I have more recently told some of them (if there was an appropriate time) that I’d had breast cancer treatment but the important thing is that they got to know me, as me, first.  


This is a link to a fairly recent thread called “Finding the new you.”  I found the link to the document posted by Janet_BCC really helpful.  It affirmed that it’s ‘normal’ to still feel the effects of the shock of diagnosis years later.  






You say “I think that’s what has happened as so much energy was taken in fighting it to begin with that it’s only now that I’m beginning to deal with it properly.”  That absolutely hits the nail on the head for me.


I send my very best wishes. I hope that the upcoming scans and appointments are encouraging.

Skinny and I have spoken both publicly on the thread she has shared with you and privately, about these feelings you are describing post diagnosis and i can assure you, how you are feeling is very normal.

Let me share a little of my experience with you, to offer you some reassurance Cyclegal. I was DX Sept 2009, with grade 2 BC, had MX, ANC clearance, Chemo and Tissue expander recon. This failed, due to rubbish surgeon and i ended up with an LD recon (which is okay, but not as good as it might be, due to the failings of the original surgeon). Tried to take Trust to court, lost at the last minute.

Like you, i got myself through it all and started a new job in 2011. I was in a mess phyisically (botched recon) and had my interview (on the phone) with me holding a dressing to my failed recon, trying to say all the right things! Got the job, started working. End of 2012, i hit a brick wall and started to feel VERY low, i thought i was slipping into a depression. I couldnt recogise myself, what i had become, who i was, i was an alien when i looked in the mirror. Flashbacks were regular, of the botched recon, of chemo - you name it. When i finally lost my 3 year case in February this year, i then had to work on my body - i had to find myself again and remind myself that i was alive, the kids had a mum, OH had a partner and i was going to be okay. That took 2 years - from end of 2012 to now. I have only really begun to feel better in the last 6 mths or so and i was DX in 2009!


What am i trying to say? That it can take a long time for everything to sink in - months if not years. When i had MX, it had not registered that i had lost a breast, in my diluded mind, i was sure recon was going to 'fix; everything. I was not prepared for the very changed body image, for the lack of sensation, for the scarrring here there and everywhere, none of it! I believe i suffered a delayed reaction, perhaps like you, to the shock of DX. BC can and does mess with the mind, it can cause us to lose self esteem and confidence and to question who we really are. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but for some, the road is bumpy and no without potholes.

Where am i now? Well, i desperately need to get out of the job i am in. This job which i am doing now, spells BC for me! My self esteen hit rock bottom and i have always felt that i was not as good as my colleagues in what i do - the truth of it is, i AM as good, but because my job and BC happened at the same time, it has a very negative impact on my confidence, so i need to leave ASAP!! I want to be in a job, where no one knows my BC strory, where i can be ME. I volunteer at a food bank each week and i LOVE IT! NO ONE knows my BC story, they don’t need to and i guess that is how you feel with your new job? When i leave, if anyone asks about my old job, my immediate thoughts will be botched surgery and sadness…

I wish you all the best Cylclegal, i am sure lots more of the members will pop along to chat to you too, but i just wanted to share my experience with you and to let you know, you are not alone and things really do get better over time ( And I NEVER believed that!)
Naz xxxx

Hello cyclegal,


Don’t underestimate the impact of the loss of your friend in all of this.  I was dx in Feb 2007, my friend in Sept 2007.  She died in April last year - I was six years on, she was 5 1/2.  It really knocked me for six.  As long as we were both OK, my world felt safe.  When she died all that went, even tho’ our diagnoses were quite different, and her prognosis had always been worse than mine.