Work and life struggles

Sorry if this is the wrong place to post as it’s not strictly about treatment, but I notice there are a few posts about work and life-related struggles, so hope it’s ok.


I had waited for over four weeks to hear the results of my second excision for primary breast cancer, having been told there was a fifty/fifty chance of there still being cancer cells and needing a mastectomy.  So when I was finally called in and told yesterday the margins were clear, it was a big relief.  I felt that I should be very happy and not so anxious as I still am about having radiotherapy and being on a hormonal tablet for five years.  I appreciate how lucky I am compared to some people.


I had to go straight to my work shift after the appointment.  I do care work on a casual basis, filling in for staff absences.  This one place is very short-staffed and has offered me a lot of shifts.  I had to tell them early on about my cancer diagnosis, to explain cancellation of some shifts, and the manager and staff have been very accomodating.  The work there is fine for my physical limitations, but for a while I have been finding the staff politics there very stressful, however much I try to keep out of them.  In the middle of my most anxious time (the staff knew I was waiting for cancer results), one staff member I was on with took a tirade over what I meant as a quite neutral comment over some work issue.  Next time, he sort of apologised and said he’d just been ‘having a bad day’.  While outwardly friendly, I feel I am still walking on eggshells whenever I’m on shift with him…which is quite often as the place is short staffed.  Yesterday when I went in to work after my appointment, he asked how it went.  He was friendly and concerned, and perhaps I gave too many details, mentioning the radiotherapy and hormonal treatment to block any return of the cancer, as well as getting regular screening thereafter.  He then remarked that yes, his father was cured of cancer and then it returned years later and he died of it.  It ‘lies dormant for years; you’re never really free if it.’…these were his exact words. 


While I know of course that this happens as he said, it wasn’t exactly what I needed to hear at this time.  I can’t get this remark out of my head, and feel very depressed, also about having to keep on going in to work there.  I’m on a late shift today with this same guy, and my stomach’s churning.  I’m even worried about one or two things I said yesterday (about work, not cancer issues) which I fear may have caused offence. 


Taking a break from work or finding another place is not an option, for reasons too much to explain, except that I am not on contracted work and rely financially on the shifts offered to me at this place.


In other issues, I am weighed down by the prospect of writing to my sister in Canada.  For fear of her reaction (she has a gloomy outlook on life), I have not told her so far.  And through all this, even my poor husband cannot really help.  He keeps reminding me of how positively I was talking about my work about a month ago (well yes, I was probably trying to psych myself up and anyway things can change).


Sorry for this long rant, nothing much anyone can say, I guess, but I needed to get it down.  Thanks for listening.


Hi rosalba, i totally get what your saying, some people just dont think when they open there mouths, that certainley wasnt the best thing he good of said to you, 


Im a very positive person one day, the next im thinking when am i gonna get it a gain, cancer has changed my way of thinking, fortunatley my work colleagues have been great, and i would be feeling exactley the same as you, if one of my colleagues had said that to me.


Four weeks for your results, thats a !ong wait for you, im so pleased they were good, you have every right to feel anxious, you have been through alot, i like you consider myself a very lucky lady, but it still doesnt stop my anxious days.


I wish you all the best with your work and health, hugs debbie x



It is not a long rant, and that is what this wonderful forum is for, being able to talk with other ladies who know exactly what you are going through and who get you so never worry.  My reply to you is probably equally as long :slight_smile:


That is great news you have clear margins and will be going forward now for rads.  There is a section on here Radiotherapy and each month a new thread is started so you might like to post on there whenever you know your dates, you will get loads of help and support from the lovely ladies who are currently undergoing it.


With regard to the gentleman’s thoughtless comment., which hopefully he has realised that it was not the right thing to say  It is hard to not think about the possibility of it coming back but as time goes by it does get easier, from my own view I look on it as I am grateful that I have had the most amazing treatment, the cancer has been removed from my body and the other treatments that I have had have been the belts and braces, ok occasionally I will have a “down” time where it does creep into my mind but then I get my rational mind back into gear again 


When I was first diagnosed I met two ladies who work with my friend, who told them of my diagnosis, one said that she had had exactly the same diagnosis as me 20 years before and the other had had a mastecomy 30 years ago, neither have had a recurrence.  Unfortunately we are always going to come across people who are going to see the negatives in things the trick is to learn to just take what they say with pinch of salt and leave the remark there.


Do you have to tell your sister?  She lives so far away what are the chances of her finding out about it, and to be honest once you have finished your rads that is the end of active treatment for you, so is there any need for her to know.


WHat you have got to do now is to think about YOU let the others get on with it if they dont like something that is their problem not yours, your energies are needed to see you through this final part of your active treatment. 


Sending you loads of hugs



Helena  xxxx