I can't add anything to the amazing replies you have already had. I'm at a similar stage to you, I think. Diagnosed last July, mastectomy and failed recon. Still having side effects etc etc. Have been having counselling since the start of the year and the psychologist is starting trauma therapy with me. I think with everything you have had thrust on you on top of bc, it's not surprising you are feeling how you do. There have been times the past few months I just didn't see the point of being here anymore. Life is never going to be the same,but perhaps down the line a way there is a different normal. I hope so.
Hang on. Sometimes that's all we can do.
Lots of love,
Thank you so much for your replies - Lucy, Jan & Evie.
I will reply later to you all.
I’m in quite a bad place now.
I'm so sorry to read your post - I know we've chatted in the past, so I wanted to come on here and give you a big hug. You have received 2 excellent replies from Lucy51 and Jaybro and I don't think I can add anything to their wonderful advice - hugs to you two ladies too.
My only extra advice is to keep chatting on here if that helps, this is such a safe and non judgmental place to offload. You need to deal with all that has gone on in your own time, try not to feel pressured to feel "back to normal".
You sound like you need a big but careful hug. In all the leaflets and handouts I got about the different aspects of my treatment (which started Christmas Eve 2018), they all said side effects might last 2 years, at least. At the time I thought that was ridiculous, I couldn’t imagine my side effects lasting that long but I’m 16 months down the line and still suffering some of them. I feel like a living, talking mass of side effects! My point is, there’s no “should” or “supposed to” about it and I think if you accept that, you may find the pressure you feel from people will ease, which may help you a bit. I generally repeat in a rueful voice what one of my oncologists said - I’m one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t respond well to the treatments (not the curing/treating aspect but the response to the chemicals etc). It sounds like you are too.
I share your memory problems, balance problems (fell flat on my bum in the garden, like a toddler - and hurt my good arm!) and constant pain (my GP this week suggested paracetamol. It’s a good job it was a phone consultation or I’d have flattened him!). Today I have someone else’s mouth again. I’ve yet to pinpoint the cause of it all. For me, it’s not the anastrozole (ruled that out ‘scientifically’); it might be the neuropathy from EC but why is the joint and muscle pain still getting worse?? There’s nothing wrong with me according to my blood. I reckon it may be the ongoing zoledronate treatment - are you still having that once every 6 months?
Have you looked for a cause? Have you, for instance, stopped your hormone therapy (with your BCN or oncologist’s agreement of course) to see if it’s that? You may be able to pinpoint in by a process of elimination. Like you, I had MH problems prior to the diagnosis. I think it gave me an advantage in dealing with the cancer because nothing was as bad as my panic attacks. I still have the underlying depression but my SSRI has that kind of sorted. Hopefully you’ll lift a bit with more sunny days now. But breast cancer, the surgery and treatment and the after effects alongside bereavement is a double whammy - you’ve two lots of grief to handle on top of everything else.
Deal with it your own way. Forget about expectations. It is what is is (sorry). Be sure of your ground and then, hopefully, what people think won’t bother you so much. Like you, I sometimes wonder if I’m stuck like this forever now. I’m assuming not. I’m working through it all on the assumption things will ease off and I’ll get better. There has to be a way out. I’ve lost one boob. I’m not sacrificing my general health as well. I hope something I’ve said helps, though I know what it’s like to be in the depths of a period of depression so maybe not. But I would be very interested to know if you are having the zoledronate/ Zometa/ biphosphonates treatment?
Please don’t give up and please stop worrying about what people think. Re-educate them firmly! Loads of people do just get better and move on. Not everyone though - we’re in that smaller or more silent group.
Sending you a mental hug.
I’m sorry you’re having such a difficult time, you’ve been through a huge amount. A cancer diagnosis and losing a parent are 2 massive life changing events which are going to take time and care to come to terms with. I’m glad you recognise you have depression and you’re seeing your GP.
You haven’t said when you started the antidepressants but I hope they start to help soon. Have you got any support from family around you?
I can sympathise so much with how you’re feeling and I would say I’m very depressed. I haven’t coped with any of it and as I’m coming up to a year since my mastectomy things are very difficult. I’ve spent most of today crying and feeling very distraught. I was supposed to have reconstruction but it failed and am still waiting to see what I can do next. I, like you struggle to understand why I’m not back to normal and find it hard seeing friends because they’ve all moved on, after all I’m better aren’t I? Side effects from treatment can be debilitating which isn’t going to help how you feel either. Would you benefit from some counselling?
I recently was referred to the Someone Like Me service by one of the nurses on the support line. I’ve been matched with a lovely lady who has been through a similar experience as me. She calls at a pre arranged time, as often as I would like. We’ve talked about how I’m coping and a few times she’s said what she felt at the same time and I’ve felt the same but hadn’t told anyone, mainly as I thought I was the only one.
Im in no way better and at times things feel harder than ever but just knowing that I’m not alone, someone understands really helps.
I wish I could help you but just to say I understand and you’re not alone
I have been depressed prior to my breast cancer & have not been OK with any of what has happened but now I’m so bad I can hardly function.
It seems most people expect you to be fine now treatment has finished but I’m worse than I’ve ever been.
My dad died during treatment, it’s taken months for me to surface slightly from all the treatment, I ache all over, my legs hurt that much at night it wakes me up,my feet hurt, my arm hurts, my breast hurts, I feel dizzy, lose my balance. My memory is very bad.
And the fatigue I have is immense, I can’t do anything without feeling exhausted.
Plus I can’t stop crying 😔
My GP had given me medication to relive my anxiety but it doesn’t help.
i feel about 80yrs old & wonder if I’ll ever be fit again.
im supposed to be back to normal & because people don’t understand unless you’ve been there it’s hard to understand.
Needed to say all this on here because it’s what I want to say everyday but I don’t.
Thank you for listening 💞