How are you doing?
We all have different experiences and it can be difficult making the adjustments to the "new normal" so to speak. It's a process and not something that can be just flicked into place. I found it difficult and still do at times. Below is my reply to another recent post about the aftermath:
"New Normal... Still adjusting and still in bereavement for aspects of my Old Normal three years after diagnosis. Not saying you can't get on with things and have the grateful ingratitude of still being here etc but I can not think of one aspect of my life that it has not affected and that I have had to adapt. I don't go round with head in my hands moaning woe is me, but every now and again I do need an emotional release which I consider healthy and dare I say it.... Normal."
A good article to read is "After The Treatment Finishes, Then What?" by Dr P Harvey.
It has appeared on this Forum a number of times, most recently seen by me on one of Jaybro's post, so thank you Jan.
As well as being useful for yourself, you may find it useful to give a copy to friends and family who are struggling to understand what you are dealing with.
By the way, in answer to your question, no I am not considering any further recon. I will settle with "Falsy"! I did have a consultation about trying to do something about how my abdomen still feels after all this time. However, I am considering declining the offer as it means 6 weeks of being careful afterwards and there are no guarantees. I could not bear ending up it feeling even worse.
Be kind to yourself Lucy,
Chick x 🐥
Below is a link from the Breast Cancer Now main site specifically about massage which may be of use to you.
Also I also wanted to echo Di's words of wisdom. Being kind to yourself is also about accepting that you have been through a trauma and giving yourself the time to come to terms with what you have been through and the effect it has had. Why would you feel embarrassed about the way you feel? Because of the expectations of those around you (who you indicate are "fed up") or is the expectations you have of yourself that you have not managed to get back to "normal" yet and putting yourself underpressure to do so?
From my own perspective, it was about accepting that I could not go back to the past "normal". That cancer, the array of treatments and the aftermath had all left an mark on most aspects of life. I would love to go back to where I was before the nightmare started but I knew it was impossible. To use a cliché, it was about trying to move on by accepting the "new normal". By the way, my recon was also a fail.
Take care of yourself,
Chick 🐥 x
This site gives a pretty good overview of treatments, what to expect and the research (although it is US based): www.breastcancer.org/treatment/comp_med/types/aromatherapy
i read your comment on still being upset ‘months after treatment’
you are being far too hard on yourself ...it’s not just the physical aspects that we deal with but the mental ones - which don’t stop once the physical treatment stops.
What you are experiencing is like a bereavement. It’s a loss of the body we had and a shift in how we can perceive the future. That’s something that takes far longer to heal than the scars from surgery.
i remember when I finished surgery all I wanted to do was leave the cancer stuff behind, pretend it never happened and be one of the ‘normal’ ladies again.....but the mental side catches up with you....no matter how tough you think you are (I fooled myself for a long time!)
So you may not feel like it right now but you might want to consider some one to one counselling - Maggies, your local cancer support, Macmillan can all help or point you in the right direction. Whilst it might not be for everyone sometimes an hour offloading your thoughts, fears and crying to a complete stranger can help be a big help in the bereavement healing x
have you tried your local cancer support centre? They sometimes offer complimentary therapies including massage. My local centre gives first 6 sessions free then you pay - but the cost is half that of a commercial therapist. I’ve been having reflexology on a regular basis and it’s been great.
if you don’t like the idea of going to the cancer support centre then maybe ask the masseuse on the phone before you book if they are experienced in post surgery massage. (You can always then hang up if you get upset - always worked for me!)
never be embarrassed about getting upset - it’s a huge thing that you have been through physically and mentally - you need to let that out as that can be a therapy in itself (although maybe not complimentary!)
now go an treat yourself to that massage!